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My Father and Myself (1968)

de J. R. Ackerley

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463853,956 (3.88)20
J.R. Ackerley was born into a seemingly bourgeois family living in Richmond, Surrey. His mother was a frail ex-actress, his father a well-to-do, heavily moustached Edwardian paterfamilias. Only after his father's death did the author discover that Dad had long maintained a mistress and three daughters in Barnes. In unravelling the facts behind his father's duplicity - which include an odd relationship as a trooper with a mysterious Count de Gallatin and eccentric entry into the banana business - Ackerley also reveals much of himself: from schoolboy to frontline subaltern, from shiftless student to tireless searcher for the ideal friend in the twilight of homosexual London.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is an excellent memoir/book. Ackerley writes beautifully, he's open and honest (amazingly so for a Brit!) and joy to read. This could well be fiction, but it's not, or only so far as everything written has a trace of fiction. If you find, late in your life, that you didn't ask enough questions of your parents while they were still alive, you'll find you're not alone and in fact, in good company. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
Ackerley wrote nice sentences. And that's it; otherwise, this is not in the least interesting. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Art is illusion, of course, but this memoir gives at least the illusion of breathtaking candour and unflinching self-disclosure in which a desire for the reader's approval plays no part. The ostensible theme of the book, as the title suggests, is the author's lack of curiosity about or insight into his father's inner or indeed outer life, but in the process we learn more about the author's life than we probably know about most of our supposed intimates. I found it a consistently fascinating read.
  booksaplenty1949 | Mar 28, 2019 |
Understated. Filled something like father crush, but a bit more subtle. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
The author learns as an adult that his father had a second family. He puzzles as to why he had not been trusted with the secret. His own secret was that he was a homosexual. Unfortunately he could not reconcile his sexual attraction to working class men with his romantic desire for an Ideal Friend. Not perhaps unusual in the England of the time. His account of experience in WWI is harrowing. At one point his elder brother is lying wounded between the trenches. Official policy forbade forays to retrieve the wounded and he is torn between his duty as an officer and his filial feeling. Fortunately for the author his brother crawls back to his own lines, only to die later in a different attack. I was amazed to find that, according to Ackerley, His Majesty's Brigade of Guards has a long history in homosexual prostitution, given to hanging about in certain pubs waiting for some kind gentleman to stand them a few pints and the traditional tip of a pound (about $5) to provide a bit of fun. Horse Guards cost more--no explanation of why--were their uniforms more attractive, were they more attractive, did gentlemen enjoy a horsy aroma? Ultimately the book is sad. The author concludes that his happiest period was one in which he gave up the pursuit of human love for the faithfulness and uncritical companionship of a dog.
  ritaer | Sep 27, 2015 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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I was born in 1896 and my parents were married in 1919.
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J.R. Ackerley was born into a seemingly bourgeois family living in Richmond, Surrey. His mother was a frail ex-actress, his father a well-to-do, heavily moustached Edwardian paterfamilias. Only after his father's death did the author discover that Dad had long maintained a mistress and three daughters in Barnes. In unravelling the facts behind his father's duplicity - which include an odd relationship as a trooper with a mysterious Count de Gallatin and eccentric entry into the banana business - Ackerley also reveals much of himself: from schoolboy to frontline subaltern, from shiftless student to tireless searcher for the ideal friend in the twilight of homosexual London.

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