Showbusiness - The Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Nobody
By Mark Radcliffe
In his first book, Mark Radcliffe recalls his less-than-glittering rock career in a succession of bands which all ended in ignominy and frustration. Combining his trademark humour with an acute eye for the ridiculous, Mark admits his part in bands like The Berlin Airlift (hastily named during a history lesson), the life-changing punk revolution in Bob Sleigh and The Crestas and even a flirtation with thirty-something pub rock. Interwoven with the musical disasters is the appealing rites-of-passage story of a middle-class grammar school boy who finally leaves Bolton for university. Splattered with memorable episodes and Viz-like characters, SHOWBUSINESS retraces the steps that should have led Mark to headlining Wembley Arena, but which took him to Radio 1 instead.
Stalin Ate My Homework
By Alexei Sayle
The Sayles might not have been the only Jewish atheist communist family in Liverpool, but Alexei knew from an early age that they were one of the more eccentric.Born on the day egg rationing came to an end, Alexei was the only child of Joe, an affable trade unionist who led the family on railway expeditions across eastern Europe, and Molly, a hot-tempered red-head who terrified teachers and insisted Alexei see the Red Army Choir instead of the Beatles.Perceptive and hilarious, this is a portrait of a family, a city, a country and a continent going through enormous changes.
The South Bank Show: Final Cut
By Melvyn Bragg
What drives a musician to write extraordinary songs? How do writers create their worlds? How does an actor achieve greatness? For over thirty years of The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg has interviewed many of the greatest cultural icons of our age. These interviews offer revelatory insights into the lives and work of writers, actors, artists and musicians. In The South Bank Show: Final Cut he has revisited some of these artists and used the interviews as the basis for fuller portraits. The range of artists is remarkable and this book is true to The South Bank Show's ethos of seeking out the highest quality whatever the art form. Melvyn Bragg's unique perspective makes this book indispensable for anyone interested in the work and lives of some of the best artists of our time.
Searching For Schindler
By Thomas Keneally
The extraordinary tale of Oskar Schindler, the Aryan who saved hundreds of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, is now legendary, but as Tom Keneally reveals in this absorbing memoir, luck and the dogged persistence of one of 'Schindler's Jews' were vital in bringing it to the world's attention through his Booker Prize-winning novel, SCHINDLER'S ARK and the subsequent film, SCHINDLER'S LIST.Entertaining, inspiring and filled with anecdotes about the many people involved, from the survivors Keneally interviewed to Steven Spielberg and Liam Neeson, Searching for Schindler gives a revealing insight into a writer's mind and the creation of a modern classic. It also traces what happened in the decades after the war to Schindler, his wife, and the people they rescued - including Leopold Pfefferberg, who made it his mission to repay his priceless debt to Schindler. Above all, it sheds renewed light on a fascinatingly flawed man, and an instance of exceptional humanity amid the greatest inhumanity mankind has known.
By Tim Ecott
A very different memoir about growing up in South Africa.'Funny, never self-pitying and a pleasure to read' - GUARDIAN'[An] affectionate, generous book' - IRISH TIMES'Both haunting and funny. [Ecott] writes with compassion and honesty to give us a truly memorable account of an extraordinary upbringing' - Fergal Keane'Unputdownable - never sentimental, extremely honest and with a positively Dickensian cast of characters' - Emma Thompson
By Nigel Hawthorne
Very sadly, Nigel Hawthorne died on Boxing Day 2001. He had just completed his exceptional autobiography about a life which had by no means taken a straight path. His ambitions to be an actor when a young man in South Africa were strongly discouraged by his father. He came to England alone and struggled for many years to make his name - eventually joining the Royal Court, starring in the West End, and finally having his great TV break in Yes, Minister.He also struggled with his sexuality and it was not until meeting production manager Trevor Bentham in l977 that he finally found his life partner. A naturally private man, his media 'outing' in the run-up to the Oscar Ceremony for The Madness of King George was the source of much pain, although ultimately it became a liberation.At the peak of his career he was struck by cancer and his battle with illness forms a moving final section of the book.
By John Gielgud