Are you talking to me?: A Life Through the Movies

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9780007139316: Are you talking to me?: A Life Through the Movies

Wit and heartbreak collide in a memoir of a life intertwined with an obsession with film. A ‘Fever Pitch’ for cinema lovers.

‘This book will consider the influence of movies on one life, the interaction of celluloid fantasy and the growth of a personality. It’s not just a film buff’s record of his enthusiasms. It’s about how some films do, weirdly, change your life.’

Beginning with his first cinema outing, ‘The Mutiny on the Bounty’, and tracing his passion through his growing-up years to adulthood, John Walsh weaves together his own life experiences with his rapturous dependence on key moments in film.

The result is a funny, personal, loving account of the magic and drama of the silver screen and its ultimate, all-encompassing power to become larger than (real) life.

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Review:

Are You Talking to Me? is a deliciously thoughtful piece of autobiography. Where, in The Falling Angels, journalist and critic John Walsh talked about how his life has been affected by his Irish parents' melancholy Catholicism, here he talks about how movies gave his adolescent and young adult self a vocabulary with which to create an adult identity of his own.

The Sound Of Music, for example, not usually high on any cineaste's list, taught Walsh a sense of sexual strategy; Cabaret was for him, as for so many of his generation, a touchstone of flirtation with decadence and sexual variety. In perhaps the most serious of these essays, he talks about how Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now gave him a sense of the impossibility of knowing one's own fate, a sense of the infinite precariousness of life, which has served him well as husband and father.

This is a likable piece of self-revelation because Walsh has forgotten no embarrassment of his past and has a real sense of how every gaffe or misstep helped put him on the path to adulthood, along with every enthusiasm for film and music and book. His honesty about himself makes him a reliable commentator on the films that helped him become that person.--Roz Kaveney

Review:

Praise for ‘Are You Talking to Me?’:

‘A very funny book, and also an unusually charming one.’ Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year

‘For entertainment value it would be hard to beat John Walsh’s Are You Talking to Me?’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year

‘Irresistibly funny.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Bittersweet in its nostalgia, and smarter and funnier and more moving than “High Fidelity”, this is a grown-up book about growing up.’ Sunday Times

Praise for ‘Falling Angels’:

‘A book to be relished.’ William Trevor

‘The reader should be warned that this is a book that makes you laugh out loud in public. A magnificent entertainment.’ Independent

‘A warm, seamlessly well-written memoir…the prose is fluent, its craftmanship meticulous. The dialogue is dead-on: the hungry father could “eat a reverend mother’s arse through a cane chair”…Walsh’s affection for his subject matter is infectious.’ Lionel Shriver, Guardian

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Wit and heartbreak collide in a memoir of a life intertwined with an obsession with film. A Fever Pitch for cinema lovers. This book will consider the influence of movies on one life, the interaction of celluloid fantasy and the growth of a personality. It s not just a film buff s record of his enthusiasms. It s about how some films do, weirdly, change your life. Beginning with his first cinema outing, The Mutiny on the Bounty , and tracing his passion through his growing-up years to adulthood, John Walsh weaves together his own life experiences with his rapturous dependence on key moments in film. The result is a funny, personal, loving account of the magic and drama of the silver screen and its ultimate, all-encompassing power to become larger than (real) life. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780007139316

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Wit and heartbreak collide in a memoir of a life intertwined with an obsession with film. A Fever Pitch for cinema lovers. This book will consider the influence of movies on one life, the interaction of celluloid fantasy and the growth of a personality. It s not just a film buff s record of his enthusiasms. It s about how some films do, weirdly, change your life. Beginning with his first cinema outing, The Mutiny on the Bounty , and tracing his passion through his growing-up years to adulthood, John Walsh weaves together his own life experiences with his rapturous dependence on key moments in film. The result is a funny, personal, loving account of the magic and drama of the silver screen and its ultimate, all-encompassing power to become larger than (real) life. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780007139316

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