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Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond Hardcover – September 27, 2011
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—Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY
“Irresistible….[Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s] incisive writing and ability to deftly transcribe every dramatic moment that shaped his life makes Luck and Circumstance stand out…[a] marvelous coming-of-age story.”
—Lizzie Crocker, The Daily Beast
“[Luck and Circumstance] is a candid, chatty and enlivened by wonderfully detailed mini-portraits of the famous supporting players in his life.”
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
“Sad, funny and intelligent . . . Show-business memoirs are often long on gossip and short on introspection. This one has plenty of entertaining anecdotes about the famous characters who pass through Lindsay-Hogg’s life . . . But Lindsay-Hogg is at his most compelling when trying to make sense of his ambiguous feelings about his parents and his obsession with Welles.”
—Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
Number 3 on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List: The Top Ten Things We Love This Week: “Fascinating. . . Unconcealed flashes of pride mixed with resentment . . . imbue this memoir with its power.”
“Generous, funny, and often poignant. . .”
—Megan O’Grady, Vogue.com
“Lindsay-Hogg makes every effort to parse the practically Shakespearean drama that shaped his life. Epic love, mistaken identities, letters revealing secrets—they’re all here.”
—Alex Witchel, The New York Times Book Review
“An unusual story of a life lived among a galaxy of stars, told with enough insight and intelligence that even those who dismiss celebrity memoirs should enjoy this jaunt through the glitz.”
“A really good read. It’s interesting, and funny, with a poignancy to it also, and the mystery surrounding the elusive big bear, Orson Welles, is fascinating.”
“A perfect memoir. Filled with exquisite, fascinating portraits of legendary artists at work in the theatre and the movies and rock and roll. The mystery of Orson is a chorus reprised in various corner booths through the years. A sheer pleasure to get to know these people and their vanished worlds, and heartbreaking to lose them one by one.”
"This explains a lot."
“The ambiguity Michael Lindsay-Hogg has been dealing with all his life would have broken many a lesser man and artist. With truth shifting, and objects of love being uncertain, one feels the pain and sadness and confusion he must have felt. But he shows a touching generosity I don't think I could have shown to the culprits in his life.”
“Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s memoir, honest and witty, is also a mystery story with all the surprises of a detective story. Along with intimate and humorous stories of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, as well as Hollywood in the ‘40s, there is a courageous revelation of the deepest fears and desires of family life and individual identity.”
“When—if ever—should a secret be revealed? I’ve puzzled over this for years . . . In this brilliant, compelling memoir of haunting questions you will find the answer.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Between writing of both physical and psychological search for his father, Michael Lindsay-Hogg tells of growing up the son of a famous Hollywood actress who then segues into theater acting. He, too, was initiated into the theater world early, skipping out on organised school classes to work as a professional behind the stage. He became a noted director and worked with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on videos in the 1960's and 1970's. He also directed movies and many stage plays in his long career. He moved from being Geraldine Fitzgerald's and - maybe - Orson Welles's son to being a remarkable producer, director, and writer, famous and successful in his own right.
Lindsay-Hogg is an excellent writer and tells his story with a quiet intensity that belie the many questions he has about his own identity. Was Welles Michael's real father? Certainly there was a physical resemblance of sorts and Welles dropped in and out of Michael's life at odd times. Michael's mother hinted at his true parentage but stepped back from firmly identifying the man.Read more ›
And now, all these years later, we have his memoir, "Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond." It's a curious book. On the surface, it's an exploration of Michael's paternity, about which his mother had persistently lied. His father, she insisted, was Edward Lindsay-Hogg, an English baronet who was tall and dark and thin and lived in Ireland. Michael was to ignore all rumors to the contrary. "We [Orson and I] would go out for dinner together," she told her son. "And you know how people can put two and two together and make three."
Well, they did make three, as Michael learns at the end of the book from his mother's friend and his own sometime lover, Gloria Vanderbilt. I spoil nothing by telling you this, for the link is everywhere in the reviews and publicity. But the frame of the book that reviewers are praising obscures its real charm, which is Michael Lindsay-Hogg, talking, talking for 272 pages.
Picture a Brit, cigar in his fingers, a glass half full of some golden liquid, the meal finished, the night getting on. He is slim and elegant now, but he is telling you about his childhood, when his nickname was Pudge Hoag.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael Lindsay-Hogg's mother Geraldine Fitzgerald was an actress who charmed the entertainment world. A native of England, she was part of the golden age of movie making. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Dr. Wilson Trivino
Michael Lindsay-Hogg is a wonderful writer - and his story is beautifully told. A first-rate memoir, cannot recommend it highly enough.Published on April 19, 2013 by Topper Lilien
I was looking for more background info on Let It Be and Rock n Roll Circus. Nothing I hadn't heard before. Sure is a lot of name dropping.Published on March 21, 2013 by Anthony A. Rozensky
Michael Linsay-Hogg has first of all, a very high opinion of himself, second of all, over-the-top writing style, third of all, fantasies of his family story. Read morePublished on November 19, 2011 by M. V. Coit