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Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant Hardcover – September 20, 2011
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He was the most charming, handsome, romantic, and famous leading man in the world... what could possibly go wrong?
With unparalleled honesty, Dyan Cannon shares the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of her magical romance and stormy marriage to screen legend Cary Grant. He was the ultimate star, defining Hollywood glamour as well as cinematic achievement. She was a bright new actress, beautiful and funny, who would one day prove her talent by being the first woman to receive Academy Award nominations for her work on-screen and behind the camera.
When he asked to meet Dyan, she assumed it was for an acting part, but he had a different role in mind for her...and so began a storybook romance that brought her to dizzying heights. On his arm, she found herself traveling in the inner circles of power and glamour in which Cary Grant was king, with friends such as Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and so many others considered Hollywood royalty.
Behind closed doors, she discovered a Cary no one knew. A thoughtful, caring, and private person, with dark family secrets that weighed heavily on him. He was a man contending with the swan song of an astonishing film career while her career was just beginning. Despite the age difference, they fell in love, got married, and had a beautiful daughter together. Happily Ever After still proved elusive, and their relationship was beset with tragic twists and turns. It took a tremendous toll on Dyan as she struggled to keep her heart and mind intact.
With rare photos and never-before-seen letters and notes from Cary Grant, Dear Cary is told with poignancy and hard-won wisdom. For anyone who has ever loved and lost, Dyan Cannon’s memoir is an exploration of what love means, and an inspirational story of surviving life’s slings and arrows.
A Look Inside Dear Cary
Click on the images below to open larger versions.
|Aloha! A snap from a Hawaiian-themed party Cary and I attended during our first year of dating.||You may kiss the bride! Cary’s attorney Stanley Fox stands at left. Addie Gould, my agent and best friend, right.||One thing we always agreed on: Our baby was the most beautiful baby in the world! (Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos)||Frank Sinatra’s weekend soirée for Rosalind Russell. $25,000 is still a lot of money for a party, but the same affair today could have cost as much as a quarter-million dollars.||What more can a girl ask for than to have Cary Grant as her driver?|
“Dyan Cannon has written a complex and captivating memoir…an unqualified success.” (New York Journal of Books)
“A revealing look at Cannon’s relationship with her first husband, who happened to be a Hollywood legend. (USA Today)
“Cannon writes of her time with one of Hollywood’s most glamorous and charming men and of her own life, pre- and post-Grant...with refreshing humor.. For those who enjoy memoirs of gutsy survivors.” (Library Journal)
“Candid.” (Los Angeles Times)
“[Cannon’s] candid memoir chronicles the near fairy tale May-December romance between the ingénue and the legendary star.” (Los Angeles Times)
Top customer reviews
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This memoir is an easy read and gives a basic chronology of Grant's life with Cannon. For me, the most interesting sections described Grant's early and often painful life - as he related it to Dyan, along with her own recollections of meeting Grant's mother.
I'd hoped for detailed descriptions of conversations between Cannon and Grant. What did they discuss? But such details are lacking, a point Dyan herself acknowledges when she writes that she simply can't have perfect recall of their conversations.
Instead she attempts to remain faithful, as she puts it, to "the way we talked". Her honesty is appreciated. Just don't expect to find much depth in the sections focusing on the couple's conversations.
On the Kindle edition of this book,there is a disclaimer that the book is a "work of fiction." This sentence appears under the word "copyright" which is printed in blue. From other reader comments, it seems that the disclaimer may be in another part of the book - or perhaps not at all. I can only vouch for the Kindle edition.
There are some solid reasons to recommend this book to fans of Cary Grant and/or Dyan Cannon. Grant's fascination with LSD
as a path to spiritual growth is not glossed over. He pushes Dyan to take the drug and I'll leave it to potential readers to learn about her experiences with acid. No spoilers about that.
Cannon's analysis of Grant's flaws seemed very credible to me and can be supported by other biographies of the actor. Readers
do need to get through initial chapters in the book which describe Cannon's persistent refusal to go out with Grant. As a result,the first sections focus mostly on Dyan and there are entire chapters which focus on her experiences without bringing Grant into the mix.
When Grant pursues Dyan, she resists. Not surprisingly, her reluctance to date Grant only fuels his passion. When she finally agrees to go out with him their romance proceeds in fits and starts,perhaps making it more enticing for Grant, a man described as wary of marriage and intimacy.
There is a lovely photo section included in the book. All in all, a light but enjoyable read.
Cannon is brutally honest in this memoir, about both herself and Cary Grant. From their experiences with LSD to her later breakdown, Cannon pulls no punches. Grant's hyper-controlling personality and her total acquiescence are on full display.
Once again the average person is left wondering how lives that seem so charmed can be so utterly dysfunctional.
I'd have given the book five stars (and maybe I still should, because there was nothing wrong with it) but the Kindle version contains only a couple of the photos in the hardcover book. This is an ongoing problem with Kindle editions and something Amazon needs to resolve soon.