A Hell of a War


by: Fairbanks, Douglas
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description It was just six weeks before Pearl Harbor, and the star of Gunga Din and The Prisoner of Zenda, now a newly commissioned lieutenant, began his naval service, leaving behind his wife and baby daughter, as well as a prospering movie career. Unlike so many Hollywood heroes who never heard a shot fired, Fairbanks spent most of his time in harm's way, including gruelling experiences aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic, followed by combat in parts of the European Theater. Towering figures - FDR, General Patton, King George VI, Marshal Tito, the Mountbattens - play significant roles in this fast-paced, enthralling story. And there were lighter moments as well, notably in wartime London, where falling bombs took second place to frolics with old friends like Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Noel Coward, and David Niven. A Hell of a War colorfully ends with the return of the sailor to his wife and two daughters, Daphne and Victoria, to their California home, and their bizarre reception by the motion picture community, including Cary Grant, Barbara Hutton, and Fairbank's first wife, Joan Crawford: a fitting Hollywood finale to four years crammed with enough adventures to leave a screenwriter delightfully dizzy. From Publishers Weekly In this second volume of his autobiography, following The Salad Days , the eminent actor covers his career as a U.S. naval officer from six weeks before Pearl Harbor to the end of WW II. Downplaying his military achievements (including a mission behind German lines in Italy and his earning a Silver Star), Fairbanks delights the reader with anecdotes about his struggles to maintain a low profile, carry out his duties and convince military colleagues that he was not simply a rich, spoiled son-of-a-movie-star movie star. His evocative recollections of wartime Washington and London include tales of romps with such "fine old chums" as Noel Coward, David Niven, Laurence Olivier and Marlene Dietrich, plus encounters with President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Readers will look forward to the next installment of these elegantly written, witty and warmly entertaining memoirs. Photos. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal This second installment of the film actor's autobiography ostensibly begins in October 1941, when Salad Days ( LJ 2/15/88) ended. But first Fairbanks spends 60 pages recapitulating the earlier book, presumably since this enables him to entice readers with the engaging subject of Hollywood. He finally moves on to more serious matters, telling of his naval career and his ascent in rank from lieutenant (jg) to commander. Fairbanks is shot at a few times, and once the man standing next to him is killed, but for the most part he serves in staff jobs. Nonetheless, his naval experiences are fairly interesting--more so, certainly, than his fulsome accounts of time spent with the rich and occasionally famous. A marginal purchase. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/92. - John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews The follow-up to Fairbanks's first volume of memoirs (Salad Days, 1988) finds him as charming and debonair as ever and abrim with tales of his naval service during WW II. Born in 1909, Fairbanks is, of course, the son of movie swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks. Wisely, he reviews his first volume at length for those who haven't read it, and this proves a refreshing first course that sets up the reader for the author's hardships fighting his image as a glamour puss in uniform. With buddy and fellow-actor Robert Montgomery, Fairbanks enlists six months before the war, getting a Reserve commission from Secretary of the Navy Frank Know. Early duty as a deck officer finds him not only a greenhorn but green around the gills with mal de mer. He still moves among the famous when not at sea, being a great good friend of Lord Louis ``Dickie'' Mountbatten, who uses him as an ``Amer


Product Code: 9780312088071
ISBN: 0312088078
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Publication Date: 1993-03-01
Number of Pages: 278 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 6.42 x 0.91 x 9.41 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds