Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life Cover Image
$26.95
Special Order

Staff Reviews


As the jacket states, this "brief life" Alfred Hitchcock provides the perfect introduction to the complex personal and professional history of the iconic filmmaker. Incidents experienced on the long road from his self-imposed isolation as a child to his status as the most recognized and celebrated movie director in the world provide clues to a mystery that is as fascinating as the stories he explored on the screen. — Alden Graves

As the jacket states, this "brief life" Alfred Hitchcock provides the perfect introduction to the complex personal and professional history of the iconic filmmaker. Incidents experienced on the long road from his self-imposed isolation as a child to his status as the most recognized and celebrated movie director in the world provide clues to a mystery that is as fascinating as the stories he explored on the screen. — Alden Graves

Description


A gripping short biography of the extraordinary Alfred Hitchock, the master of suspense.

Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century?
     As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait of him, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this quick-witted portrait, Ackroyd reveals something more: a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in his own films: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and James Stewart despair of his detached directing style and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts and bruises from a real-life fearsome flock of birds.
     Alfred Hitchcock wrests the director's chair back from the master of control and discovers what lurks just out of sight, in the corner of the shot.

About the Author


PETER ACKROYD is the author of London: The Biography, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination, Shakespeare: The Biography, and Thames: The Biography. He has written acclaimed biographies of T. S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Sir Thomas More, as well as several successful novels. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Award for Literature. His last book was a brief biography of Wilkie Collins.

Praise For…


"A smart, fluent overview of the director’s life and art, and the mysterious dynamic between the two.” 
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 

“Ackroyd’s volume is slim but insightful . . . guided by a novelist’s skills of characterization and texture . . . Ackroyd is thrillingly alive to what he calls ‘the true music’ of Hitchcock, with his Mozartian arias of pure flight and pursuit.”
—Tom Shone, The New York Times Book Review

"A masterful book on the Master of Suspense."
—Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times

“Immaculate and phenomenally readable . . . close to a minor classic of its kind.”
Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

"A superb, insightful short life . . . Ackroyd’s deft and moving biography proves that there is a fresh story to be told, and that he is the person to do it. "
—Bee Wilson, The Guardian

"If there is any writer capable of imaginative sympathy with Hitchcock, it is Ackroyd."
—Duncan White, The Telegraph

"An elegant and hugely enjoyable read."
—Alexander Larman, Sunday Express

"A nutritious, compact and superb critical biography."
—Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

"Shelves of serious biographies have been written on Alfred Hitchcock, but perhaps none as pleasurable as Peter Ackroyd’s."
—Kate Muir, The Times (London)


Product Details
ISBN: 9780385537414
ISBN-10: 0385537417
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Pages: 288
Language: English
Northshire Manchester Store

Northshire Manchester
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
ph. 802.362.2200
ph. (toll free) 800.437.3700
Daily 10pm-6pm
Directions to Manchester

Northshire Saratoga Store

Northshire Saratoga
424 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
ph. 518.682.4200
ph. (toll free) 855.339.5990
Daily 10pm-6pm
Directions to Saratoga Springs