SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Parky – My Autobiography, by Michael Parkinson

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Charming man, charming writing.

(Hodder Paperbacks, 14 May 2009)

If you have seen suave, funny and charming Michael Parkinson on TV, and you expect his autobiography to be like him – well, it is. His writing is quite elegant and his portrayal of his life is a bit like actor Dirk Bogarde’s – concise, drily witty, acutely observant and self-deprecating. I often laughed out loud at his recollections of the peculiar situations in which he and the famous guests on his talk show have found themselves, and was frequently moved by his affectionate descriptions of his family and friends. Parkinson candidly recounts his trend-setting career and the book’s photographs show him with a jaw-dropping range of celebrities and historical figures. John Lennon? I had no idea he had been on the show.

Having read the book, I can see why “Parky” is more a media phenomenon than a talk show host.

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