Ragman's Son Audio Cassette – Audiobook, December 1, 1988
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- Publisher : Audioworks (December 1, 1988)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0671675699
- ISBN-13 : 978-0671675691
- Item Weight : 2.72 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.5 x 0.75 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,630,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Kirk has lived a life that few of us could dream of but within the mad world he and everyone around him seems to be both unhappy and verging on madness.
The term sex addict is not actually used in the book but that's clearly Kirk's problem for much of the book. If Kirk had done some of the things within the book in more recent times he would likely have seen the inside of a prison cell as his attitude to under age sex seems borderline offensive. At one point he appears to groom an fourteen year old girl who.is the daughter of a host in Israel though he is a bit vague on the details.
Another issue I have with him is that he is clearly a working class man through and through but he seems more than happy to forget his roots and almost be embarrassed of them despite then being the basis of who is. I was amazed by one paragraph where they get a child carer to move in and put the kids in a separate building from them. To him this was normal and barely worth mentioning, but this is a different world to me. Who does that to their children? The rich and famous do and then wonder why they're not happy.
There's also another scene where his wife knows he's been cheating on him. He falls to his knees and mockingly begs forgiveness in front of their friends and they all end up laughing and I was just scratching my head thinking these people are dispicable. So he's Kirk Douglas that doesn't give the right to humiliate his wife.
So overall a great read which name checks pretty much everyone in Hollywood and takes on a rags to riches tale. But just don't expect to come out it thinking Kirk is awesome. He maybe a legend but he is a troubled and occasionally a total bar steward.
His autobiography is good in anecdotes, vile with the producers, angry with some fellow actors (Robert Mitchum, Yul Brynner, Charles Laughton) and full with sex, lots of it. Between (and very often during) matrimonies Douglas shows a sex drive rarely confessed before by a movie star. And it is very well written.
And throughout the book its author (a Jew) shows over and over again his anger to the obvious racist discrimination in the United States before and after the WWII. The episodes on how he had to change his name to enroll in a Drama Academy or a Tennis Club are very touching. Those sections in which he was blatantly discriminated (or not allowed to date a girl) for the same reasons, are merely appalling. That's the saddest part of the book (and of our times). But all and all, it is a very good document on Hollywood, by one of its most remarkable and talented players.
His great friend Burt Lancaster said of him”Kirk would be the 1st person to tell you he’s a very difficult man” he paused,” & I would be the 2nd”
Like his son Michael I think Kirk was addicted to sex. His 2nd wife being “European “ was very understanding.
I enjoyed it