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Love Is Where It Falls: The Story of a Passionate Friendship Hardcover – May, 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the summer of 1980, actor Simon Callow met the legendary playwrights' agent Peggy Ramsay--it was love at first sight. A strange sort of love, given that it was "between a 70-year-old woman and a 30-year-old gay man, and was never going to be consummated physically," as Callow succinctly puts it. But love it was--an intense, passionate affair that lasted several years during which Ramsay showered Callow with gifts, spiritual and material, despite his continuing relationship with his Egyptian lover, Aziz Yehia.

Like creatures from a bygone era, Ramsay and Callow were bold, huge personalities, their almost daily letter writing filled with histrionic emotion and grandiose discoursing on art and life. Callow manages to turn the letters into an elegant, riveting narrative, exploring the complex triangle between himself, Ramsay, and Aziz; Aziz's depression and eventual suicide; the affair's inevitable cooling off; and Ramsay's decline into dementia and ultimate death with a remarkable lack of sentimentality. Reading the openhearted love letters of an intensely private and at times vulnerable woman makes for some discomfort, but there is no doubting Callow's love and tenderness for his irascible subject, nor the sincerity of his emotion for her and his enduring respect and responsibility for her memory. --Alan Stewart

From Library Journal

The rarified world of the British theater is effectively evoked in veteran actor Callow's memoir of the legendary literary agent Margaret Ramsay. Based on a collection of love letters, the book hinges on an unorthodox m?nage ? trois (of sorts) among Ramsay, Callow, and his Egyptian boyfriend and relies somewhat on prurient appeal. The unlikely association between Callow, a young aspirant, and Ramsay, a seasoned professional who represented playwrights such as Joe Orton, spanned a 40-year age gap and blossomed into more than just a prot?g?-mentor relationship. Ramsay is a real character hereAvivacious and vibrant, irascible but with a generous spirit. This is a sensitive, loving portrait, but as a biography it is a little unsatisfying, paraphrasing correspondence that is occasionally pompous and overly personal. We are given an emotionalized snapshot of the protagonists, who pontificate on Art, Life, and Love but never glean any real insight into those grand themes. Callow's sincerity, however, is tangible. Recommended where interest warrants.AJayne Plymale, Univ. of Georgia, Athens
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fromm Intl; 1st Fromm International ed edition (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880642394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880642392
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,834,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Perhaps some of my fellow reviewers will consider me not only lacking in conscience, but also misguided and over emotional! I have literally just finished Simon Callow's book and feel compelled to write about it. I purchased my copy after I saw the play by Alan Plater currently running in London's West End, starring Mauren Lipman as Peggy Ramsay. I am half way through my life and this is the first time that a book (prose) has ever reduced, or rather heightened me to tears. I caught nothing of the author's opportunism, but only discovered that there are people who have a passion for life and love in all its many guises and whilst it is clear that many seem suspicious of such depths of feeling or indeed may deny its existence, this book serves as an inspiration and affirmation to those of us who may be deemed foolish enough to recognise and pursue it.
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Format: Hardcover
A great writer and talent. This book is also a great memior ofLondon's theatrical scene. Simon didn't use Peggy and Peggy didn't useSimon. Rather, this work is a wonderful testament to a very close and very personal friendship. They were kindred spirits who shared so much in common. Peggy loved art and loved life and part of her mission was to educate Simon and pass her talents and knowledge onto him. This is at once a riveting and at times sad and melancholy piece of writing. Callow really brings Peggy to life and having been to London and being familiar with the West End I could really identify with this work. It paints a fascinating portrait and provides an exclusive insight into London's literary, artistic and theatrical scene. This is a finely tuned and astute piece of work and Callow should be congratulated on producing a sensitive, emotional and beautiful homage to a woman who was indeed talented, strong and influential.
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Format: Hardcover
Love Is Where It Falls is a remarkable book. At a time when memoirs are published by the dozens, here is a book that is beauifully written, honest, tender, decidedly not sensational. Five stars for this stunning book.

I happened upon my review while brousing in September, 2005. This book has stayed with me six years later. It remains one of the best memoirs I have read.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, a book is a book, so I feel rather inclined to not include ethics in my review; after all, this is a memoir, and once we open the page, we open into an intensely private and personal world that, in a way, we are privileged to be in. Simon Callow is pretty much a remarkable writer, executing the events in the book with a sort of charm and also a keen observant pen, depicting situations and emotions so we may feel them also. I personally found this book touching and large-hearted, and I think that all these negative remarks about Mr. Callow is only relevant in making us dislike him, instead of helping us to decide whether or not to buy the book.
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