Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Blessings in Disguise
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on October 8, 1999
BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE stands out in my reading as one of the most enjoyable autobiographies I've ever encountered. Unlike so many actors, Alec Guinness is a truly modest man, and his wry humor and ability to laugh at himself are extraordinarily refreshing. Guinness is worth reading even if you've never seen one of his movies or plays or television appearances. It is a damn shame that this fine book is apparently out of print.
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on December 24, 1999
Sir Alec writes beautifully and simply about the his life through the lives that affected him. Funny, honest, and thought provoking. He's not at all the stereotypical stuffy Englishman, but a regular person with a huge amount of talent and alot of great stories to tell. This book should be back in print!
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on January 16, 2014
Years ago, when the book first came out, I reviewed it in the newspaper in glowing terms. As a fan of his, I came to know Guinness far better than I thought. He is gentle, charming, humorous, self-deprecatory and understands his craft inside and out. His ego is present, as it should with all of us, but he doesn't flaunt it, like a star. He doesn't dish dirt the way more recent memoirs by his confreres too often do.He doesn't even get angry or vindictive with Martita Hunt, who playfully boxed both his ears leaving him partially deaf.The memoir begins with a young man who is content not to be a star but a character actor who can stand aside and watch everything else. it was a niche I cut out for my own acting aspirations.
He reflects on his life, from the beginning, and even talks about how his Christianity has informed on his life, without any stridency or polemics. As a non-Christian, I appreciated that -- even more so now.
My occasion to revisit this warmly delightful book after all these years was needing a gift for a young beginning actor of my acquaintance. I felt he really needed to have this in toolkit and so tracked it down in the dusty bins of used books, since it's been out of print for years. maybe if enough people show an interest, some publisher might reissue it.
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on June 24, 2008
As a fan of Alec Guinness, it gave me additional insight to this great actor's life. It made me want to learn more and more about him, read books on him and see his movies again A great actor.
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on November 28, 2013
Two things drew me to read this book. One is Alec Guinness's conversion to Catholicism. The other is his work on films like The Bridge on the River Kwai and (of course) Star Wars. So naturally I am interested in his autobiography.

The book is a little odd in its structure. Each chapter covers an event (like his early childhood with just a mom or his conversion or his service in World War II) or a person important in his life. Many of the people were friends from the 1930s and 1940s, so the chapters often cover the same time span but with different stories. The book is a little choppy and definitely weighted towards his younger days.

In his younger days he was focused on theater acting. Films were a nice side bonus but most of his work was on the stage. The stories are about fellow actors, though the famous ones (Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, etc.) are mostly side characters; other more personal friends are his focus. They are all interesting enough but I doubt I will remember them.

Guinness's film career has passing mentions throughout the book (for example, the director David Lean is referenced several times but only one or two small stories are told). I'm much more familiar with that part of his work, so I was a little disappointed not to hear more about film makers and film craft. Also, Star Wars is barely mentioned, mostly as a well-paying job. The part of his career I am most interested in was not given any depth or expansion.

His conversion is discussed primarily in one chapter, but bits of the story (including the conversion of other friends) crop up in other chapters. He ends the book by saying his proudest claim is that he never lost a friend. Maybe that is the true unifying thread in the book--the important thing in his life is the blessings he's had through the people he's encountered. I'd probably appreciate the book more if I'd read it with that expectation rather than my own.
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on November 19, 2014
Enjoyable autobiography by an actor who was a long time favorite of mine. He comes across as very likable and a modest individual. Fascinating look at some of his circle of well known actor friends, like John Gielgud. He doesn't write very much about his family life, which would have been interesting to me.
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on February 24, 2015
Fun to read and a very frank picture of a strong-minded, extraordinarily talented person. I'm enjoyed reading this and MY NAME ESCAPES ME; excellent choices!!! Geraldine E. Thorsten
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on February 7, 2016
A deeply moving, beautifully written memoir.
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on August 20, 2014
Wonderful
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on August 30, 2010
If you are looking for a biography on Alec Guinness then this is not for you its full of small stories about early meetings and does not cover any films that we all know and love.
On the whole a very disapointing book
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