O'Toole gives an affectionate, beguiling and, above all, funny account of student life: the penury, the parties, the money-making schemes (balloon selling, constructing toy motor cars), the pubs, the potential of unwashed knickers to breed and, of course, the work. He takes his readers with him into Stretcher Fletcher's torturous ballet classes, into Miss Boalth's movement class in which O'Toole drifted as a bubble while Albert Finney spun about as a leaf. We shirl through the rehearsals, performances, the successes and the flops. O'Toole points out the influences that turned the erstwhile sailor into the internationally renowned actor that he became, and takes us joyously not only backstage, but into the core of the plays themselves. Peter O'Toole's first book was declared a masterpiece; in its mould-breaking originality, his second surpasses it.
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