Friday, 11 March 2016

Book Notes: "An Orderley Man" by Dirk Bogarde

An Orderly ManAn Orderly Man by Dirk Bogarde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the third of Bogarde's autobiographical works. I am reading these in random order as I stumble upon each book in second-hand book stores. Yet there is a continuity in Bogarde's writing that seems to make it easy to piece together. Each work is a standalone wonder of personal stories that are somehow vividly interesting. I "discovered" Bogarde after reading Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and then watching the movie of the book. I also "discovered" Mahler. After watching the movie, I have become more aware of the name of Dirk Bogarde and this has sent me on a mission to read all of his works (15 I believe). An Orderly Man is of interest because it covers the period of Bogarde's portrayal of Gustave Aschenbach. The work brings to life Visconti and other famous Art House directors and screen writers and presents in sharp relief the life of an English actor of the period working on the Continent versus the excesses of fame and fortune in Hollywood. Bogarde's humility shines through and it is difficult not to admire the "underdog" and his trials and tribulations. Mind you, living in Provence and existing by acting and writing are hardly the banal stuff of most people's lot. Yet the stories are fascinating, Bogarde makes a wonderful success of writing about writing (and acting) and finishing each of his books so far leaves me calmly contented and eager for the next book.



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