- File Size: 1704 KB
- Print Length: 1002 pages
- Publisher: Dey Street Books; Reprint edition (October 19, 2010)
- Publication Date: October 19, 2010
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003SHDP3G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,705 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light Kindle Edition
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I enjoyed Mcgilligan's book at several levels. It was very thorough. It covered his English and American phases of his career with equal vigor. It gave interesting insights into his personality, relationships and films. I also appreciated his ability to take aspects of Spoto's book and address them in a respectful manner.
Hitchcock was certainly a complex person. As stated in the title, there are aspects of darkness in his personality and behavior. However, I don't believe he was the monster Spoto paints. Mcgillan offers a a balanced view I found refreshing .
There is so much information about Hitchcock. For a person just beginning this journey Mcgillan's volume is thorough, entertaining and balanced.
Long ago I read a really dark bio of Hitchcock, very off-putting. This one is more centered, realistic, balanced. The good and bad. The author is telling the story of a long and busy life. The other author's bio was written, I think, with an agenda. This one is more readable and more likely to be true.
Mcgilligan quotes lot of people, many behind the scenes who worked with Hitchcock on the writing, casting and camera work. He reports the positive and negative things he did dealing with actors and people in his life. It's no whitewash. And he shows how funny and lovable Hitchcock could be. He was a complicated, talented guy.
If you like show business bios, this is a good choice.
- Fans of Hitchcock movies, or at least people familiar with the movies and the actors/actresses from the decades of Hitchcock's body of work.
- Fans of very detailed, microscopic biographies. Make no mistake, this one takes awhile to get through and would be much more rewarding for film aficionados and fans of the great director.
- Those looking to expand their vocabulary. Have a dictionary close by!
Unfortunately for me, I fall in none of these camps, but I was able to soldier on and finish it. Parts of it are very interesting (Hitchcock's relationships, his wife Alma, the personalities of the movie stars) other parts were very monotonous and difficult to wade through (Hitch's every minute of the day detailed, the entire script writing process of nearly every one of his films).
In the end, I look at it as a difficult journey. Hard to get through at the time, but I'm happy for what I've learned on the trip. For me, the big payoff was the sad and almost anticlimactic ending. I read as this young couple (Alfred and Alma) fell in love, had experiences, grew up together, grew old together, and ultimately, Hitch's passing due to the grief of not having his rock and not being able to do the job he loved. A sad end to an interesting genius.
The most poignant part of the story comes with the coverage of Hitchcock's declining health and approaching death--when his immense fame and wealth could not rescue him.
Despite these assets, A Life in Darkness and Light becomes pedantic, tedious, and boring--with far more details than readers not connected with the film industry want to know. There are numerous sections where twenty pages could have covered the topic sufficiently, rather than the fifty or sixty pages that appeared. On this point, the author seems out of touch with contemporary readers, who prefer an approach that is adequate in detail yet not encyclopedic.