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Loitering With Intent: The Child Paperback – February 13, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This great, wild, cacophonous broth of an aging lad whose face has illuminated a million screens in roles that have thrilled us by their infinite variety -- yes, is it not he who wants us to know about his weird, wonderful, wacky, wild and wuthering childhood back there in England, with the bombs cascading down and Herr Hitler on his throne of evil intent? Ah, what a saga he has to spin, he has, oh yes, and how he tells it! I found myself at the end of this brief memoir wanting to know much, much more about the author and his family and his work -- The New York Times Book Review, William Murray
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (February 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786881968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786881963
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've always known Peter O'Toole is a great actor, but have been wonderfully surprised to learn he is also a great writer. His stories of his early life are priceless, and his use of the English language is poetic, humorous, and as descriptive as a master's painting. I had read this book when it first came out, delighted in re-reading it again recently, then went online and bought three additional copies to share my enjoyment with friends.
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Format: Paperback
RUSS SARTAIN (russ11@flash.net) From creeking through the old house and rediscovering a youth not forgotten, to vivid chidhood memories of Der Furer, this book could be describing many a wild haired youth in war time Ireland and England, but could never be retold with such passion and utter beauty as the great Peter O'toole did in this sweeping portrayal of his childhood. I was mesmorized on how vivid each memory was in his mind. It reminded me of my own childhood but was described in a way that is difficult for even me to remember, and I am only 25 years of age. I highly reccomend this for any one and any aged person who longs to remember and aches to be reminded of his own wild eyed care-free youth. A MUST READ!
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Format: Paperback
Peter O'Toole's early years, growing up in Ireland, are a remarkable beginning for one of our grandest theatre artists. This story fascinating story is set against the back drop of the chaos of the 1930s, the rise of Hitler, and the lead up to World War II.

As enthralling as this story is, the writing in this book are every syllable as deliscious and enjoyable as the life in these stories. The biggest surprise is that the subject of these pages, Peter O'Toole, is also the author! As it turns out, Mr O'Toole is as superlative a writer as he is gifted on the stage and screen as an actor. Who knew?

The best news of all: this is volume one. Read it and then rush out and grab volume II, "Lotering With Intent: The Apprentice."
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Format: Hardcover
You should know going in to Peter O'Toole's "Loitering with Intent" that it is intended less as a full autobiography (it ends with his teenage years shortly after the end of WWII) and more as an impressionistic canvas of growing up in Europe during 20th century wartime. Bearing this in mind, you will find this both immensely enjoyable and hauntingly well-written.
O'Toole's recollections of his parents--a gorgeous, flirtatious mother and a handsome, ne'er-do-well father--are rich with detail and emotion. He remembers also their friends, their tribulations (and pet mouse!) during WWII, and perhaps most vividly of all, his enforced sojourn in the English countryside when city life was deemed too dangerous for children. His account of going to church and going to a Protestant school (O'Toole was reared a good Irish Catholic boy) are especially hilarious, from the fights with bullies to the strict teachers to the sad family with whom he lodged. One especially funny tale has to do with a school picnic. When the Protestant teacher instructs the class to pray for good weather for the picnic, they all promise to. Of course picnic day arrives and is rainy. The teacher disapprovingly sniffs, "Well, I see God didn't answer our prayers." O'Toole, eight years old and astounded by this non-Catholic outlook, cries out, "Yes, He did! He said no!"
Young O'Toole is obsessed with Adolf Hitler, who makes an appearance every several dozen pages. O'Toole gets at the maniacal dictator's fascination for a young, feverishly imaginative boy with some extraordinary stream-of-consciousness writing:
"Hitler had been poison-gassed [in WWI]. Daring despatch runner that he was, twice he was got. Shrapnel swept a bit of his shin away.
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Format: Paperback
A charming book; somehow surprising, as the critics say too:'a new face of O'TOOLE': indeed, the tone of the story is a very warm one, with romantic overtones in the first part, without any trace of cynism or sophistication; therfore, it is contrary to his style maybe, or, a better word is to his type of characters he plays as an actor-usually being in a delicate psychological or emotional status. PETER is creating his book like a sort of collage of memories, keeping coherently the time which gives it a sense, a direction, yet somehow not enough as he needs a second link: Hitler's image(...). In the second part, still, a change of tone: more aggressive when it is about the war; a genuine atmosphere of the 40s, now in flashbacks in the 90s.Classic and modern at the same time as approaching, quite poetic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is really something for a legendary actor to have such talents; he is an author too! Anyway, the book is very well written, interesting and informative about Peter's life as "The Child". I hadn't read it before because I was worried about being disappointed; after all I've put Peter O'Toole on such a high pedestal for so long that I didn't know what to expect! Guess I'm gravitating towards "The Apprentice" now. But, I must admit that I can't wait for the third one (maybe "The Adult" ?!?) and the great film career. Can't wait for all the info about Lawrence. One of the greatest (if not the greatest, which I think) performances in film history - and he was only 28-29 when it filmed. Wow!
p.s. Just my feelings: as far as that so-called "Academy" goes, noone can even count all of the rotten mistakes they've made and continue to make; they are and always have been a bunch of mean, stupid jerks.
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