From Library Journal
In 1994, Guinness was approached by Charles Moore, the editor of the Sunday Telegraph, to keep a diary in 1995, from which he would publish two or three selections in the paper. Obviously, Moore recognized that what he got was a better product than he had bargained for, and the result is this book. Guinness was 81 during the year of his "scribbling," and readers will hope that they are as vigorous and thought-provoking when they reach that age. The actor's comments on books, paintings, other actors, and the like reveal a sharp eye and an occasional endearing quirkiness?so much so that readers who finish the book will want to invite him to lunch. Perhaps as interesting as the book is the preface by John Le Carre, the author who created George Smiley and then watched Guinness bring him to life in a series of TV dramatizations. Le Carre says that Guinness is "not a comfortable companion"?but he says it so gracefully that Guinness forgives him, and so will you. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.?Susan L. Peters, Emory Univ. Lib., Atlanta
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"I never liked New Year's Day," begins Guinness, but he decided to start this diary with his 1 January 1995 entry; and he ends the diary on 6 June_ 1996, in acknowledgment of the momentous day in 1940 when his son Matthew was born, or "possibly" the Normandy invasion. The point is that Guinness is concerned so much with beginnings and endings that he calls the reader's attention to them, reminding one and all that the sun is most certainly setting on the end of a sublime actor's days. And there is deep sadness to his recordings of the passings of dear friends and the preparations for memorials. Yet, the diary is about so much more than reflections on death; it is about the full life being lived by a much-beloved actor whose name will long be remembered. Sir Alec's friend John le Carrehas written a warm foreword that complements the diary nicely. Consider it a coda to Guinness' best-selling 1986 autobiography, Blessings in Disguise
. Bonnie Smothers