Monday, February 27, 2017


I first read this book of reminiscences 40 years ago in about 1976, it was published in 1971, it was a lot fresher in 1976.

David Niven was an English actor who made several dozen Hollywood movies before his death in 1983. He is probably best known for his role as Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days.

This book rambles through his life from his childhood until the books publication.  It concentrates on his education, his training as an officer at Sandhurst, his war service and his career as an actor.

He is an inveterate name dropper, (he makes no apology for this), he met everyone, real royalty, acting royalty and dined with Presidents.

For me the most interesting phase is his army training between the wars prior to his resigning his commission and heading to America. Whats unusual is he had no desire to be an actor, he fell into it more than any calling.

To his credit on the outbreak of the Second World War with a successful career that was only going to get better, he jumped on a boat and returned to England to enlist.

Like all these memoirs it is bound to be very unreliable in big parts but its entertaining and has lots of the "between the wars" period I enjoy reading about.

He wrote a follow up  Bring on the Empty Horses which is no where near as good .

This is a nice lightweight read, great for a Sunday on the couch and it won't keep you up nights pondering the mysteries of the universe.

Lastly,this is a beautiful Folio Society edition.

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