Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Books At My Jobs Series: Hellraisers by Robert Sellers

Though this blogpage is still on hiatus in terms of cocktail drinking and creation, I am trying a new angle in order to shake the rust of the last few months. Now I'm not sure if you all out there know but I am no longer bartending. I'm not even working in a bar. I am currently working as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble and have started a new angle to my blogging. On my Facebook page Sisco Vanilla, I've started a new photo album entitled Books At My Job. Now, I'll go into the first two books in the album at a different time. For now I'll focus on the third book which goes hand-in-hand with my SiscoVanilla At The Movies Posts.

Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers seems to be an interesting book though a few reviews of it seem to sober down (sorry, pun intended) the fun aspect of the book.


Here is one such review:
Janet Maslin
Hellraisers wants only to be a rowdy collection of greatest hits, and it lives up to that fun-loving ambition. It reels off riotous tales about Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed without giving a moment's thought to what those tales might mean…Anyone horrified by the reckless abandon of Hellraisers should know what its ultimate effect turns out to be. This fun-loving celebration of drunkenness proves to be an even more sobering cautionary tale than some of the most serious addiction and recovery memoirs. And the fact that none could entirely stop drinking, even when it became a life-or-death medical necessity, makes it that much sadder. Funny as it is, the book's boisterous beginning gives way to grimly premature states of illness and dotage
—The New York Times
Though to be honest, I am partial to this review:
Publishers Weekly
Show business biographer Sellers (The Battle for Bond) chronicles the booze-soaked lives of four of the stage and screen’s most bombastic performers. Welsh Burton (1925–1984), Irish-born Harris (1930–2002), Irish-born and English-raised O’Toole (born 1932) and English Reed (1937–1999) gave some of the 20th century’s most memorable performances, but were equally famous for their offscreen antics. Except for Reed, their careers began on the British stage, before all four were lured to Hollywood, starring in such classics as Lawrence of Arabia (O’Toole), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Burton), Camelot (Harris) and The Three Musketeers (Reed). Consuming staggering amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, all were forces to be reckoned with on the set, often turning up too drunk to perform. Burton’s tempestuous affair with Elizabeth Taylor—which led to two marriages and two divorces—often eclipsed his talent, while O’Toole, Harris and Reed saw their careers slump in the late 1970s and ’80s, only to be revived by roles in such successful films as Troy (O’Toole), the Harry Potter franchise (Harris) and Gladiator (Reed). Though Sellers often muddles the chronology by switching too often between the four’s liquored-up antics, his glimpse into Hollywood’s culture of excess is more than enough to satisfy. (Dec.)
This book is definitely up the alley of Nitrate Stock. I'll get back to you on this when I pick myself up a copy.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
SiscoVanilla
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