Reviews elsewhere on the web:
guardian.co.uk
Gerald Peary

Ed Sikov

Mr Strangelove

Peter Sellers is well known, not only as the star(s) of Dr Strangelove, but in many other films including the Pink Panther series. And of course there's also The Goon Show. In Mr Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers Ed Sikov tells his story.

We hear of Sellers' early life, bought up in the world of show business, and as such never staying in one place for any amount of time. With the coming of the Second World War, Sellers soon was soon working as an entertainer, and meeting people who would be important in his future career. At the start of the 1950's came the Goon Show, which BBC executives had trouble making sense of, but which soon had an impressive following. Sellers thus gained the opportunity to move into ever larger film parts, and in the 1960's and 1970's he was the lead role in many well known films. The main reason I read the book was to find out more about Dr Strangelove. As this is just one of Sellers many films there isn't a great deal about it, but it does include some interesting information on the origin of the characters of the film.

This is a well written book. It could all too easily have degenerated into a list of films made and people met, but Sikov gives a readable account of Sellers' life, giving the reader an insight into his professional success, but also into his problems in keeping his personal life on track.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 448 pages  
ISBN: 0330482602
Salesrank: 5741057
Weight:0.7 lbs
Published: 2003 Pan Books
Marketplace:New from $51.58:Used from $1.47
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 448 pages  
ISBN: 0330482602
Salesrank: 104520
Weight:0.7 lbs
Published: 2003 Pan
Marketplace:New from £20.00:Used from £0.01
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback
ISBN: 0330482602
Salesrank: 2350208
Weight:0.7 lbs
Published: 2003 Pan Macmillan
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 65.28:Used from CDN$ 0.99
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Product Description
Peter Sellers was a genius, whose unique mastery created enduring comic characters. But behind the man that could make the world laugh was a tragic sadness. Employing his creations as masks to hide behind, Sellers was convinced his own life was meaningless and empty. Acclaimed ("On Sunset Boulevard" - the story of Billy Wilder) biographer Ed Sikov has spoken to many who knew and worked with Sellers, including Sophia Loren, Goldie Hawn, and Roman Polanski. Sikov reveals how Sellers was a casualty of his own insecurities and used his public persona to mask his tormented private life, littered with four marriages (and three divorces), countless affairs, and drug and alcohol abuse. This is the authoritative and touching story of a majestic comedian, showing the very private face of a man whose world was lived through the public arena. 'An authoritative biography and a compulsive page turner.' - Michael Palin, "New York Times". 'Sikov's book is often melancholy, but always informative, and entertaining...They don't really make 'em like that any more - you can't get the wood you know' - Simon Louvish, "Guardian".