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Summary

From poker to poetry, poisoners to princes, opera to the Oscars, Shakespeare to Olivier, Mozart to Murdoch, Anthony Holden seems to have rolled many writers’ lives into one.

Author of 35 books on a ‘crazy’ range of subjects, this cocky Lancashire lad turned bohemian citizen of the world has led an apparently charmed life from Merseyside to Buckingham Palace, the White House and beyond.

As he turns 70, the award-winning journalist and biographer - grandson of an England footballer, son of a seaside shopkeeper, friend of the famous from Princess Diana to Peter O'Toole, Mick Jagger to Salman Rushdie - spills the beans on showbiz names to literary sophisticates, rock stars to royals as he looks back whimsically and wittily on a richly varied anecdote - and action-packed career - concluding, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, that ‘Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well’.

©2021 Anthony Holden (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, UK

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  • AM
  • 30-06-22

A romp through a newspaper world gone by

Oh, this is fun. It's such fun. I love the voice, I love the world, I love the people, I miss them (true, I did know them), I miss the papers and the printing presses and the glamour of travel and parties and the 70s and 80s. I envy him for the taking part (I was too young), I hate him for the misogyny and the boys' club schtick and I just couldn't get enough of hearing all about it. What a life! What a ride! What a world!

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  • Thomas P. O'Connor
  • 03-02-22

A marvelous story

Anthony Holden, the versatile distinguished writer, has written a masterful biography.
Fast paced and witty,Tony’s fascinating life as a journalist, biographer, poet, critic and world class poker player led him around the world and to an astonishingly array of famous friends and colleagues. Great book. Great life!
Thomas O’Connor