New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerrell

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New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerrell

PostPosted by The Purveyor » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:02 pm

It appears Viv was even closer to the character of Withnail than people may have thought:

http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/Ne ... ticle.html

(Though it will be news to me and others on this forum that the house BR, Viv and others shared in Camden was demolished because it was in such a poor state. We visited it a few years back, and it was in excellent condition. Would probably go for a fortune, too.)
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by The Purveyor » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:53 pm

Unearthed pictures of Viv:

http://www.anorak.co.uk/260468/celebrit ... hotos.html


It's true what they said: he was a handsome so-and-so. (And I'm heterosexual.)
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by McFuck » Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:23 pm

he had beautiful eyes
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by bastard behind the eyes » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:37 am

Fascinating - have any of you stingy fuckers bought it or read it yet?
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by The Purveyor » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:37 pm

Interview with author of 'Vivian And I':

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/id/3339

Note picture used to illustate piece. Almost identical to original film poster.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by Pod's Ennui » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:18 pm

It looks dreadful. This delightfully devastating review at Amazon seems to sum up that judgement pretty neatly:

"Originally, this book appeared exactly the sort of transient cash-in attempt that should be avoided, which is exactly what I did. However, with the best of intentions, my partner picked this up as a last minute Christmas present. Stuck in the house for several days, I thought I should read it, at least out of politeness . Both the author and I made a mistake, the difference being that mine was genuine.

Trite, lightweight, anodyne and utterly lacking in depth, this book illustrates little about Mackerrell that cannot be found elsewhere, such as friend Bruce Robinson's 'Conversations in Bed', or ex-partner Kate Stacey Lister's interview in 'The Scotsman'. However, it does illustrate much about Bacon's ineptitude as a biographical writer. To begin at the end, there is no index, which smacks of utter laziness. The hackneyed, pseudo-self deprecating way of referring to himself in the book shows an ego in inverse proportion to his ability.

The tone of the book suggests strongly that Bacon had little real interest in making any effort to uncover much about Mackerrell. His often-failed attempts to make contact with key figures such as Robinson give the distinct impression of a someone too ham-fisted in their approach to gain an interviewee's trust and too lazy to leave home to travel anywhere unless it was unavoidable. His approach seems to have been of the `have you got anything you could send me' sort, for which read a subtext of `because I can't really be bothered'.

Bacon ropes his wife into writing an account of how he and Mackerrell are related, presumably through the maternal line, although the connection is never made explicit. The writing is amateurishly adequate, but appears not to have been proof-read. Witness the use, or rather misuse, of the word 'antecedence' instead of 'antecedents'. Surely a difference a biographer should know. The repeated use of the word 'family', in one case five times in nine lines, can only lead me to hope that the Bacons have spent at least some of their earnings on a Thesaurus.

Despite the `me, me, me' of the very distant connection between Mackerrell and Bacon, the author, using the term in its most generous sense, gives no similar account of Mackerrell's family tree on his father's side. Yet more ego and laziness on Bacon's part.

Towards the last quarter of the book it becomes clear that the very few facts that Bacon has bothered to assemble are by now stretched almost beyond breaking-point across what is still an inadequate number of pages. The author is reduced to writing a fictional account of the end of Mackerrell's life, to fill out the pages. Although it becomes obvious very quickly, there is no signal to the reader that we are lurching from a biography to a novel. Perhaps he needed the practice, but why it should be inflicted on the general public is utterly beyond me.

As a closing example, Bacon's describing of Scotch whisky Bowmore as a `whiskey' seals the coffin of his credibility. Ultimately Bacon has bothered to do little more than the absolute minimum to hack together something he can use to cash in on the popularity of the film `Withnail and I'.

If all copies of `Vivian and I' were pulped, the quality of writing would improve slightly. The fate of my copy is sealed."
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by Making Time » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:19 pm

I bought it. I liked it. No, it's not the next "Hamlet", but I am glad to have it in my library of Withnail books notwithstanding. As for the author referring to himself in the book, I think that's natural when you're writing about something. If you can't detect the author's voice in a non-fiction work, then what's the point? Also, how much information is there, really, about someone not very famous who is now dead? If the family and friends are not willing to let you roam around in their attics and go through old photo albums, or sit down with you and give you a really detailed account of their personal memories, then what else can be done but gather together all the facts that are available? Let's face it -Mackerrell wasn't a huge star, and we only care about his life because Bruce said Withnail was based on him.
... followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by poppymoon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:03 am

Sorry, MT, I have to disagree with you there. I've always been aware of the film, but it was my interest in the wonderful enigma that was Viv that brought me here.

The book was self-indulgent crap.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by Making Time » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:20 pm

"There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so." - Hamlet - Shakespeare
... followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by poppymoon » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:38 am

"My friend Billy had a ten foot willy, and he showed it to the girl next door." Poppy, 3 and a half (grounded and in big trouble.)
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by Withwine and I » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:39 am

He'd have a hard time not showing it.
They found him wandering round Regent's Park with a cheap bottle of sherry...

And like a fool I mixed them and it strangled up my mind, and now people just get uglier and I have no sense of time...
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by poppymoon » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:09 am

God, yes. Especially after it was whacked with a rake.


That must have smarted.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by crooked » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:35 pm

But it was only 4'4" after it was hit with a rake. Much harder to spot.
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Re: New info and book ('Vivian And I') about Vivian Mackerre

PostPosted by Withwine and I » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:39 am

A copy has turned up, so far I've read a couple of chapters and it definitely needs proofreading. People 'hale from' places, and having a family can 'route' one somewhere. It does seem rather a lot about Mr Bacon so far, but we'll see.
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And like a fool I mixed them and it strangled up my mind, and now people just get uglier and I have no sense of time...
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