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Comment: Softcover with some cover and edge wear, the spine is tight and the pages are well attached. Interior pages where without underlining, highlighting or notes upon inspection; this is a good reading copy. This book has been shrink wrapped to better protect it in the warehouse.
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In Spite of Myself (Vintage) Paperback – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345803221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345803221
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Plummer's acclaimed Shakespearean performances or his stately film roles, from Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music to the Klingon General Chang in Star Trek VI, may not recognize him in this breezy, bawdy memoir. Plummer drinks and parties his way through a six-decade career; beds starlets, prompters and wardrobe girls; and endures countless mid-performance indignities and pratfalls. (Lesson repeatedly learned: actors and stagehands should not get drunk right before the show.) Plummer is ebullient, a bit hammy (I cried myself to sleep for weeks, he sobs, after his dog Toadie dies), full of canny insights into the actor's craft and prone to occasional stabs of self-reproach over his own failed marriages, aloof parenting and unjustified tantrums. Throughout, he's an enchanting observer of the showbiz cavalcade, drawing vivid thumbnails of everyone from Laurence Olivier to Lenny Bruce and tossing off witty anecdotes (George C. Scott turned up at our doorstep one morning at 4:30 a.m. looking most sinister and as usual dripping blood from head to toe) like the most effortless ad libs. The result is a sparkling star turn from a born raconteur for whom all the world is indeed a stage. Photos. (Nov. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“For anyone who loves, loves, loves the theater…a finely observed, deeply felt (and deeply dishy) time-traveling escape. . . . Just grab a quilt and a stack of pillows. No need for a delectable assortment of bonbons. They’re in the book.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Splendid, lively. . . . An immensely satisfying memoir, of rare grace, good humor, and unapologetic self-honesty. . . . In tact and generosity of spirit, it is the very model of what a memoir should be.” —The Daily Beast

“A staggering parade of theater-world luminaries struts, swaggers, and yes, occasionally staggers through this compulsively readable memoir. . . . [Plummer] has a tasty anecdote about onstage, backstage, or drinking-hole doings about every single one of them.” —The New York Times

“Rich and riotous. . . . He seems to have been everywhere—including inside almost every room of the Hotel du Cap on the French Riviera—and known everyone.” —Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times
 
“The veteran actor’s delightfully sprawling account of his life and career.” —USA Today

“[A] fascinating memoir. . . . The book records so many trysts, pratfalls, drunken evenings—and afternoons—that it’s amazing he has survived. . . . Amply shows how Mr. Plummer has managed a long, successful career in spite of himself.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“In spite of himself–his relentlessly high artistic principles; his penchant for playing the underdog, even when he was the star; his keen ear equally attuned to the precision of Elizabethan verse and to what passes as truth across a whiskey at 5 a.m. . . . this man has experienced a life rich in textures, and he is able to give most of them glorious voice. His is a life in the theater lived hard and true, in the grand tradition of those distinguished players who went before, whom he surely made proud. Good sir! I raise my glass to you.” —Alex Witchel, The New York Times Book Review


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Customer Reviews

You will be hard put to stop reading this book.
Shirley L. Hanson
Mr. Plummer is a splendid writer who takes pains to reveal himself candidly and honestly, warts and all.
Amazon Customer
One bemoans the lack of an index, but it would probably end up half as long as the book itself!
Ian Payn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By S. Berner VINE VOICE on November 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since the only review of this book, so far, is by someone who HASN'T read it, I thought I'd take the opportunity of voicing an opinion of one who has! My first thought upon starting the book was: At 600 plus pages, this would seem to be less a "memoir" and more a full-scale autobiography. But, memoir it is as Mr Plummer seems to be recounting his life not is strict chronological order, but as memories assail him while writing. One can almost hear his thinking: "Oh, I'd forgotten that! Well, it's just too good not to tell! I'll get back to the main "plot" in a minute!" The stories are amazingly entertaining (As one who, as a youth saw the "Ian Keith/Broadway Television Theater" moment I was thrilled to discover I hadn't just imagined the whole thing!). The history of the theater, and its decline (and triumphs) over the last half century, heartening and heart-breaking. The portrait of stars and lesser luminaries of, at least, the past four generations is enthralling. As to the writing: suffice to say Mr Plummer is almost as good a writer as he is an actor (he couldn't be AS good... he'd be Shakespeare!) If you love theater, read this! If you don't, read this and you will!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Moore on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I eagerly awaited the release of this book. I have been a lifelong fan of Mr. Plummer's and I have been looking forward to reading his self-penned memoir for several years. The night of it's release, I literally stayed up a good portion of the night reading it...long into the early morning hours. I finished it the next night. It was a pretty captivating book, I must say. Overall I cannot give it five stars as I strongly felt the language and explicit sexual descriptions (a few of them actually) were too graphic and the language in my opinion, was unnecessary. I figured he was using it for effect but it really seemed like it could have been toned down. Call me a prude but that's how I feel. I do think that it isa nicely written memoir. I felt, that after seeing him on stage and on screen for so many years, I really walked away knowing him a little better. Throughtout the book, he was self-deprecating, honest and frank about his triumphs and his failures as a performer and as a person.

I was left with a few questions though. What happened to his second wife Trish? After surviving a near fatal car accident, which led to a raging alcohol problem, I got the distinct feeling that after their divorce, she succombed to her alcoholism and passed away. He never cleared up what happened to her. It left a lot of loose ends...whether or not this was intentional, I will never know but I would like to.

I also got the feeling that he has never gotten over the breakup of his marriage to Tammy Grimes. He seemed to leave the reader feeling like his heart had been broken, to his own fault in many ways as he was very much into his partying days then, but still. I would have liked more stories of him and Tammy together. They seemed like, had they been a little older, maybe it would have worked out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian Payn on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you're a Christopher Plummer fan, then this is the book for you. Obviously. There's very little that Christopher Plummer did that isn't documented here (although it doesn't come up to date other than generally). With such a long and distinguished career it's hardly surprising that despite the length of it, this autobiography seems a little cramped and rushed. What surprised this reader, though is how much of what we English call a "luvvie" Plummer is. I'd expected a much more serious tone. Everyone has a nickname (I lost track of who were family friends and who were dogs at one point) and everyone with whom Plummer has ever acted (or so it seems) gets a name-check. One bemoans the lack of an index, but it would probably end up half as long as the book itself! All in all, an enjoyable read, certainly a cut above the usual theatrical memoir.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Plummer is a splendid writer who takes pains to reveal himself candidly and honestly, warts and all. For anyone interested in theatre in the last half of the 20th century, this is required reading. Though admirably frank about his own failings and failures, he retains a gentleman's charity when discussing others. About his various liaisons, he remains fairly discreet throughout. There is much to learn and even more to enjoy in this absorbing and beautifully written book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kirschner on December 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The true odyssey of the development of a great theatre artist recounting a life in the arts of nearly 80 years. Honest about his appraisal of himself, kind to his colleagues, and indispensible if you would know what the world of theatre is really like. Fascinating and revealing. Every actor, would be actor, and theatre lover should read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Janice Morgan on January 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
To have been a fly on the wall in the exciting and privileged life of the actor Christopher Plummer is to reach into a world of advantaged living very few of us are allowed access to....Plummer admits his many problems...drinking, womanizing, underwhelming husband and father...yet the excellent writing of this talented performer acqaints us with the exotic lifestyles in the real celebrity world of the recent past....Loved this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shirley L. Hanson on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a writer he is. You really live the periods he writes about. You share is views and life style. What you thought was going on from 1940 in the theater and film is not what was going on. What an amazing period of time he lived in. A perfectly candid story of his life. You will be hard put to stop reading this book.
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