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  • The Two of Us

  • My Life with John Thaw
  • By: Sheila Hancock
  • Narrated by: Sheila Hancock
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2005.

When John Thaw, star of The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, died from cancer in 2002, a nation lost one of its finest actors, and Sheila Hancock lost a beloved husband. In this unique double biography she chronicles their lives, personal and professional, together and apart, growing up and growing older.

John Thaw was born in Manchester, the son of a lorry driver. When he arrived at RADA on a scholarship he felt an outsider. In fact his timing was perfect: it was the sixties and television was beginning to make its mark. With his roles in Z-Cars and The Sweeney, fame came quickly. But it was John's role as Morse that made him an icon. In 1974 he married Sheila Hancock, with whom he shared a working-class background and a RADA education. Sheila was already the star of the TV series The Rag Trade and went on to become the first woman artistic director at the RSC.

Theirs was a sometimes turbulent, always passionate relationship, and in this remarkable book Sheila describes their love, weathering overwork and the pressures of celebrity, drink, and cancer, with honesty and piercing intelligence, and evokes two lives lived to the utmost.

©2004 Sheila Hancock (P)2005 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Constructed with considerable skill....A book of exceptional emotional candour." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"An impressive and affecting work of art." ( Spectator)

What listeners say about The Two of Us

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Rewarding & Poignant

A refreshing and moving love story. Simply lovely tale of two individuals who are bound together by destiny. Written by a lady who must have loved this man with passion, but who still held firmly onto her own personality. Inspirational insight into the life of John Thaw & Shelia Hancock while maintaining privacy.

My first audio book which will lead me to discover many more I am sure.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Two of Us

This was a real insight into the private relationship between two people who clearly adored each other even though they had their share of ups and downs. It shows that with patience and by brutally looking inside themselves how they overcame the difficulties which can be present in any marriage. Two artistic people at the top of their profession. You feel like writing to the author to say 'well done' but you wouldn't want to intrude on her. I loved this book.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Wonderful Story

This moving and honest account of two remarkable lives was gripping from beginning to end. A real love story that was delightful to listen to.

6 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and exquisitely read

Sheila Hancock certainly has a way with words. This is a beautifully written, exquisitely read book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her next book will be my next read.

1 person found this helpful

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A lesson for all

Simply bloody brilliant. A lesson for ALL.
Superb construction, in its jumping of time periods.
On to the next book asap

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Struggled

I struggled with this book, it really was not my ideal read for me

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Excellent

I loved it all. I loved their love ❤️. Would that we could all experience such a love.

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Moving and beautiful!

A fabulous book from start to finish, beautifully read. Moving and memorable. A comfort to anyone struggling with loss.

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Lovely couple

Great story Sheila tells it well john was a great actor very versatile well worth a listen they should have been honoured john should have had a knighthood

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poignancy and humour masterfully balanced

I liked the style of writing. a good balance between poignancy and dry humour. Effectively reflective

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  • Steve
  • 17-03-12

sad and enthralling

sheila hancock is quite brilliant in the way she switches between past and present and tells the story of her life, johns life, life together and apart, and then his death. Very moving.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 20-01-12

John Thaw

Would you consider the audio edition of The Two of Us to be better than the print version?

I have not read the hardcover book. I knew John Thaw primarily through movies and television. This is the reason I chose the audio version. He seems more alive on this format.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Two of Us?

I found the moment he found out he had esophageal cancer and the life he chose to live afterwards both brave and heart breaking. I still have his Morse episodes on CD. That is the beauty of this medium. He lives forever.

What about Sheila Hancock’s performance did you like?

Sheila Hancock's performance spot on. I can not envision anyone else recording this. The emotion she conveys truly moved me. I listened to the audio book twice. Wonderful

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

John Thaw's dignity through his illness and his relationships were inspiring.

Any additional comments?

I just loved getting to know John Thaw the man, it gives me more insight into his characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • manxie
  • 11-09-11

Interesting and enjoyable to learn more an icon

Excellent book and interesting to learn about such a famous icon and his life. Sheila has let us in to their life and experiences both good and bad. A loss for people that admired John this book has enabled the reader to learn more about John and add to the memories of his life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christine Bamberger
  • 26-10-21

I so enjoyed this!

Admiring both these actors, I found it fascinating to learn more about their lives together and their professional experiences. Sheila Hancock's honest, compassionate writing about struggles--but also joys--was just what I needed to distract me from the scariness of the world.