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I have loved Peter Sellers since I was a kid and first saw the Pink Panther movies When I was older I discovered Dr Strangelove, The Mouse That Roared, Being There, The Party and I m All Right Jack, just to name a few This biography is incredibly extensive and attempts to reveal the man behind all the different faces and voices The biography is only partially chronological and there are many digressions While this style is often frustrating it is also incredibly revealing Sellers was a megalomaniac he was cruel, childlike but also an incredibly brilliant actor and performer The book is dense and an incredibly interested study of a deeply flawed person I would recommend watching Sellers films before you read this book especially his early British films as these are the titles most discussed in the book.This book is also the inspiration for the film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers It was shown on HBO in the US but was released theatrically when I was living in the UK It s a great film that manages to capture the tone and Lewis analysis of Sellers life without being as dense as the book Geoffrey Rush is fantastic, and if the film had been released theatrically in the States he would have been a shoe in for an Academy Award nod. Absolute dreck The author interviews Sellers via a psychic and includes it as a source No, I m not making that up They made a very good film out of this, but do not waste your time and read this idiocy. It s difficult to think of a biography with a style appropriate to its subject than Roger Lewis s sprawling, discursive, non linear take on the life and times of legendary comedian, actor, and apparently awful human being Peter Sellers Lewis s book ranges far and wide over the life and career of Sellers, circling around wildly to hit several points over and over Sellers was warped by his overly protective relationship with a mother who called him after an older brother who was stillborn he bounced into characters with the greatest of ease because, as he claimed, he had no personality of his own he filled the void in his life with meaningless sex and the heedless acquisition of material goods he had a persistent inability to distinguish fantasy from reality most vividly exemplified in his one sided obsession with one time co star Sophia Loren Lewis argues that by the last few years of his life and career, Sellers was quite literally insane, given to fits of paranoid schizophrenia and lost in his inability to tell his real life and self from the machinations of the characters who dominated him.It s a fast and interesting enough read, but the show offy, whee look at me writing style sometimes evokes Sellers at his most straining and unnatural Lewis also engages in several seemingly ad hominem attacks against individuals associated with Sellers Goon Show compatriot Spike Milligan comes in for persistent low level contempt, and his comments about fourth Sellers wife Lynne Frederick and daughter Victoria are borderline libelous in their intensity and hatred And if Sellers s mum were still alive, I think she d object to her occasional characterization as a pterodactyl But it s hard to deny the sweep and power of Lewis s narrative, and for Sellers completist, the book is pretty hard to dismiss This book was the basis for the acclaimed 2004 HBO film which played theatrically in Europe , which won several awards for the great Geoffrey Rush in the title role The film is entertaining, less self indulgent than the book, and well worth your time. Peter Sellers was a very strange and sort of private man Even people who knew him for years felt like they didn t really know him A kind of depressing guy who can create into something else One of my all time favorite actors who often didn t choose the best film roles but when he did The Party, Pink Panther movies, Ladykillers, and of course Lolita he was beyond great It s hard to know what made him tick yet you got the feeling that he was sort of a manic depressive type but then who knows. An exhausting read, much like dealing with the real life Peter Sellers, no doubt I give the book a high rating just because the author left no stone, pebble, stick or leaf unturned, thou I could have done with a bit less psychoanalysis Despite the author s efforts to have you believe the book s subject has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and I have to say I tend to agree I still manage to feel some pity and sympathy for the the man who was so obviously insane and desperately needing of medical intervention My love for his characters and works remains unchanged and I plan on reading on his life in the future Just as a side note, I usually read to my wife at night before bed from whatever book I happen to be reading and I m sure she will be thrilled to hear some further adventures of that douchebag Sellers lol Much challenging than I expected I d only seen the popular in America Sellers comedies I recommend seeing as many of his films as possible before reading it. |READ E-PUB ⚆ The Life and Death of Peter Sellers ☸ Roger Lewis, In His No Holds Barred Biography, Exposes A Peter Sellers The World Little Knows Recognized As The Greatest British Comic Since Charlie Chaplin, Sellers Was The Grand Master Of Fifty Five Films From Dr Strangelove, To Being There And The Pink Panther Hits But Shadowing His Phenomenal Career Was A History Of Increasingly Bizarre Behavior Involving Psychotic Violence, Compulsive Promiscuity, Drug Abuse And Humiliating Self Destructive Obsessions With People Including Princess Margaret, Sophia Loren, Liza Minnelli And Each Of His Four Wives Ann Hayes, Britt Ekland, Miranda Quarry And Lynne Frederick He Alternately Showered His Wives And Children With Gifts And Then Threatened To Kill Them Sellers Fluidity As An Actor Made For A Terrifying Madness That Grew Like A Slow Metastasizing Cancer Throughout His Adult Life The Story Of Peter Sellers Concludes With His Premature Death At The Age Of , Sick At Heart And Alone In Those Sunless Hotel Rooms, So Recoiled From Intimacy That No One Really Knew Him Any I discovered Peter Sellers through Tv and movies and then unearthed his radio work With a man of so many faces as well as voices it s hard to pin down the actual person, hence my reading this book.While the book doesn t have a chronological timeline as such, it still pulls together Mr Sellers life and paints a picture of a man with serious issues that could be extremely cruel but also kind in a childlike way.I enjoyed the book and would happily recommend it to anyone with a wish to find out about the incredibly talented Peter Sellers But I would also recommend you watch a few Sellers movies and TV shows to get a flavour of the man. Peter Sellers had an interesting life with the goon show Then going into films Hollywood And Clusoe, I read this book when it was first published in the early 90s and I can remember coming across its flaws then, but I can also remember enjoying reading it and the same has held true now.Roger Lewis started off as a Sellers fan, but after researching this book decided that he hated the man Sellers is referred to without as insane and a monster Lewis went through the same process with his Anthony Burgess biography He really needs to stop writing about his heroes As such the book contains a lot of after the fact psycho analysis and condemnation, but the author does make a claim towards the end that a biographer has no need to be objective And that does make it a passionate read.However it s not a straight forward read I think if a kindly editor had taken out all the Shakespeare quotes and Henry James quotes and John Donne quotes the book would probably lose a hundred pages and it is a rather plump 700 pages The literary allusions add nothing and just show off Lewis s Oxbridge professor past.Further the digressions and the abandonment of chronology about half way through means that it could send my head spinning by jumping from one incident to another There is no gradual progression, what Lewis really wants to do is to prove again and again how much of a monster Sellers was which to be fair he does sound and he hammers that point out again and again.I think that passion is what I like and what I don t like about the book The condemnation of Sellers is so intense it at some points Lewis seems to be as mad as the man himself he admits sending abusive responsives to people who wouldn t speak to him The films most constantly referred to are Casino Royale and Ghosts In The Noonday Sun, which may show Sellers at his worst but are hardly the films you want to hear most about Yes, he seems to have been crazy, but hitting the reader with that fact again and again can get tiresome.But then the passion also makes it a compulsive read Really and genuinely, this is a book that has taken over my last ten days any spare moment I can get I ve picked it up and continued reading And for all its flaws, that is a recommendation.