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My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn Paperback – November 4, 2002


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My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn + Errol Flynn Slept Here: The Flynns, the Hamblens, Rick Nelson, and the Most Notorious House in Hollywood + Errol & Olivia: Ego & Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a major autobiography in the tradition of Cellini, Casanova, and Frank Harris. (Guardian)

Flynn set the record straight and is brutally honest in his posthumously published self-portrait. This restored version of the 1959 original contains numerous passages deletec from earlier editions for fear of lawsuits―he was equally brutal in his portrayal of many Hollywood big shots―plus eight pages of photos and a new introduction by biographer Jeffrey Meyers. (Library Journal)

A document on Hollywood life far beyond its fan magazine fascination… . [Flynn] delivers footnotes to film history that are hard to come by. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The Tasmanian-actor portrays himself not as a debonair swashbuckler but as a chronically unhappy soul whose luck talent and high spirits vaulted him to fame, even as he remained unfulfilled until the end. (Indiana Gazette)

This restored version of the 1959 original contains numerous passages deleted from earlier editions for fear of lawsuits- he was equally brutal in his portrayal of many Hollywood big shots- plus eight pages of photos and a new introduction by biographer Jeffery Meyers. (Michael Rogers Library Journal)

In the book, Flynn writes in a loose style, sometimes reminiscent of someone writing in a journal, sometimes as though he is talking to a friend. (Carol Moulton Clifton Record)

"the confessions of a rake, unsparing of himself or anyone else..." (Newsweek)

William Macy isn't a fan of horses, althoughn he understands the power of aniamals on the human spirit. <1>But there's something about telling stories about animals that allows us to epathize ever more than we can with people. (The Scoop)

Incredibly absorbing… . Just as in life, Flynn spares himself nothing-and from his book emerges the same roguish charm that endeared his celluloid incarnation to millions. (Saturday Review)

Flynn writes cleverly, as he talked. He has left us a good book. (The New York Times)

From the Publisher

12 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815412509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815412502
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Slokes VINE VOICE on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
For a generation or two of eager young men, he was the epitome of adventure and accomplishment, especially with the opposite sex, and Errol Flynn's autobiography doesn't disappoint. "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" is a remarkably candid and eloquent account of the star's life as he saw it that reads like you are there spending a besotted long evening in the company of the screen world's Tasmanian Devil.

Errol Flynn won little critical acclaim in his lifetime. His only Academy Award nomination, if you can call it that, was bestowed on Peter O'Toole for playing a thinly-disguised Flynn in the 1982 film "My Favorite Year," where O'Toole plays a character named Alan Swann with an affinity for cognac rather than vodka but otherwise is an obvious parallel for Flynn.

Was Alan Swann the real thing? Was Errol Flynn? "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" leaves room for doubt. He tells some improbably tall tales of fighting natives in New Guinea and sailing through hurricanes in the Caribbean. I think I believe the slapping story about Bette Davis, though, since I read it in a couple of other places. The post-mortem story about John Barrymore is legendary, too, and it's especially fascinating reading Flynn's account since he was the victim of one of Hollywood's most legendary heartless pranks, a punking that Ashton Kutcher would have blanched at.

Flynn was an odd screen star, as he makes clear, starting out a gold prospector on the other side of the Pacific from Hollywood with no thought of movie acting until he found himself virtually drafted by a director making a movie about the mutiny on the Bounty, in which young Flynn played Fletcher Christian.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
By the time Errol Flynn got around to the task of putting his incredibly adventurous life on paper, booze, drugs and a life of dissipation had caught up with him. At 50, he was a wasted shadow of the once beautiful, vibrant movie idol who had captured a nation's imagination in such glorious screen epics as "Captain Blood" and "The Adventures of Robin Hood." No longer capable of the sustained concentration and commitment necessary to write an autobiography, Putnam and Sons assigned Flynn to a ghost writer by the name of Earl Conrad. Conrad spent many hours interviewing Flynn, and the result is "My Wicked, Wicked Ways." While the book was not written by Flynn, Conrad tried to duplicate the actor's unique way of expressing himself so that it was, in a way, spoken with Flynn's voice. The reader of "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" should be aware that a great deal of its contents has, since its publication, been discovered to be false. Flynn either made things up as he went along -- he was a notorious and gifted liar -- or he was confused thanks to the two quarts of vodka he tossed down every day of his life, and simply got some things wrong. Whatever the case may be, Errol Flynn did not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in "his" autobiography. However, "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" is still a rousing look at a rousing life...at one of the most visually stunning men of his or any other day...at a man who could seemingly generate screen magic without effort...at a man whose demons drove him, at the age of 50, into his grave with the body of an 85-year-old man. For those reasons it is worth reading.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By W. Wren on June 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm currently reading, and having a helluva great time enjoying, My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn. Good heavens, what a read. Is anything he says true? Well, maybe. Probably, at least some of it. But that's not really the point, not for me.

It reads as if it's the transcript of a recording of a great raconteur, a teller of tall-tales whose favourite tale is his own life. You get the sense of a man who is totally self-absorbed but, somehow, has such a winning personality you love him for it.

I originally picked up the book because I was interested in finding a unique character I might make use of in a story, a model for a supporting player. Well, geez ... did I ever get my money's worth in Flynn. It's not simply a matter of a long, episodic tale but also one of style. The words, syntax ... everything that goes into creating a "voice" in writing, is here.

It's the breezy voice of a kid who never grew up.

For me, the incidents are less important than the personality that comes across (although the incidents are quite remarkable). Together, personality and incidents, it makes for an incredibly entertaining book.

Flynn is a character, in the truest sense. He's marvellous and if I had known him, I don't think I would have trusted him any further than I could throw him.

(By the way, it sounds as if the writing of My Wicked, Wicked Ways was a great story too, or so the book's introduction suggests.)
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By matt corbett on January 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
l first read this book at 12.l have read it once a year ever since.It just has that way of making you feel alive.Adventure,action,fun and zest.This book is greatly under rated simply because it was written by the legendary hell-raiser himself.Do yourself a favour,buy this book,read it and feel the excitement rush from the pages.
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