Born in 1948 to a sprawling South London family, Dennis Waterman failed his 11 plus, and went to drama school instead, with people like Francesca Annis and Susan George. Aged 12, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. The Sweeney and Minder made him famous, but he has also starred in musicals and films, produced and starred in The Captain's Tale. and played football at Wembley with Bobby Moore and George Best. There were affairs with Suzy Kendall and Romy Schneider, and some failed marriages, the last being with Rula Lenska.Now Waterman tells the story of his rumbustious, action-packed life.More
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Simple memoir, enlivened by its talented author
Dennis Waterman's likable persona shines bright through his engaging reading of his memoir. I admired not only the honesty of his words, but the simplicity with which he expressed them. As an entertainer, he's had an interesting life, and many laudable successes. Like the rest of us, he has also had problems, made his share of mistakes, and not every chapter of his life has ended happily. He accepts this with humility and unvarnished candour. He's real. I love that.
I stopped and pondered this for quite a while, but couldn't think of anything. Arbitrarily one could compare it to other entertainer memoirs in general. If one were seeking comparison, I'd suggest The Garner Files by James Garner. Different men, different lives - but both have enjoyed long, durable careers, carving a niche for themselves and becoming household names.
I presume this question is about his career, as he isn't portraying a character in this book - he is being himself, Dennis Waterman. Waterman's career is substantial and impressive. He's always interesting and watchable. I'm a genre fan, so cherish his appearances in Scars of Dracula, Fright, and the television series Brian Clemens' Thriller. Of course I like The Sweeney and Minder! As terrific and memorable as his earlier work has been, everything about New Tricks has been a delight. Dennis has never been better - Gerry Standing fits him perfectly. Oh, and he was hilarious playing himself on Little Britain!
As mentioned previously, Waterman's life has not always run a smooth course. He became controversial for his candid admissions in 2012 regarding alcohol and spousal abuse. While he doesn't get graphic, he does speak here of those dark times, and of course it's hard to listen to - there's no way to make it pretty. I admired his honesty. There's no arrogance, or attitude of male entitlement here. His remorse is clear. What made me uncomfortable for him was his obvious lingering pain and confusion regarding how things could have gone so wrong. Maybe I'm thinking about this too much? There's a considerable difference between a brute and a poor sod who has found himself psychologically outdistanced in his marriage, in over his head, and making a total mess of it. While everybody needs to be safe and respected, I feel we need to reach out in a more positive way to the man when a marriage gets into such dangerous territory. The community is quick to jump to the woman's defense, but the man is in equal need of assistance, and we must learn to respond more effectively, in a timely manner, and with compassion for all. Society goes to extremes defining these issues in black & white terms, always painting the man black. Some men deserve this depiction. However, many do not. It's conjecture of course, and I don't know what really happened; but I'm comfortable taking Dennis at face value here. I wish somebody had been there to provide him with the informed support he obviously could've benefitted from during those difficult times. This book got me thinking quite seriously about how we view, and respond to, spousal abuse. We need to listen to the man more - even if he's clearly in the wrong, we still need to listen, and be willing to offer informed support and avenues for change. These are hard, uncomfortable, yet important issues. At first one might be surprised to find them addressed in an entertainer's memoir - yet, when you think about it, a working entertainer lives under considerable pressure most of the time. They have a public spotlight on them, which surely makes it harder to address major personal life problems. I found myself sharing Waterman's discomfort, but also, understanding him. It's such a tough thing to go through. I have compassion for Rula Lenska too. In the end, I liked Dennis more for his candour and obvious decency. It took courage and maturity to risk public moral ire with his disclosure. I can only wish him and his family well. :-)
A good memoir; however, it's Waterman's reading of it which made it particularly enjoyable for me. I'm planning to give it a second listen, and this is praise in itself. Thanks Dennis :-)
- Kheft Kaligari "A book, a cup of tea, a cat, a comfortable place to quietly read."
Has led a good rough life - his weakness is women!
So So! Middle of the pack.
Leslie Phillips Autobiography - because they both want more than they are willing to reach for!
His being so candid.
No - you needed to listen to parts of it more than once to appreciate them!
About what I expected from a man a lot like me!!!