Non-Fiction Reviews

Tall, Dark and Gruesome

(1997) Christopher Lee, Gollancz, 15.99, hrdbk, 320pp, ISBN 0-575-06497-8


Lee's autobiography, and a damn interesting one it is too (normally I despise autobiographies). Lee's life and family connections read like something from a novel -- the fascinating story of an air force intelligence officer who, late in life, decides to become an actor. There's probably a bit too much of Lee's fascination with golf in the book, but the story of his early life, background, globe-trotting with the airforce and, ultimately, rise to stardom makes for compelling reading.

On the acting side, you will probably be amazed at the variety of roles he's played over the years, and perhaps more so at which were his favourites. Lee does not dwell on the Hammer years, which is probably just as well as there are more than enough books on that phenomenon, but neither does he ignore them. Lee does not attempt in even the slightest degree to distance himself from his less prestigious roles, nor ever presents himself as the great "I am". What comes across is a peculiarly English gentleman, the more so for his international background and lifestyle. A must for fans and interested parties.

Tony Chester

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