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What Fresh Lunacy is This?: The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed

Robert Sellers

6 Reviews

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Biography: arts & entertainment, Prose: non-fiction

The authorised biography of Oliver Reed, one of Britain's best loved actors.

Oliver Reed may not have been Britain's biggest film star - for a period in the early 70s he came within a hairsbreadth of replacing Sean Connery as James Bond - but he is an august member of that small band of people, like George Best and Eric Morecambe, who transcended their chosen medium, became too big for it even, and grew into cultural icons.

For the first time Reed's close family has agreed to collaborate on a project about the man himself. The result is a fascinating new insight into a man seen by many as merely a brawling, boozing hellraiser. And yet he was so much more than this. For behind that image, which all too often he played up to in public, was a vastly complex individual, a man of deep passions and loyalty but also deep-rooted vulnerability and insecurities. Why was a proud, patriotic, intelligent, successful and erudite man so obsessed about proving himself to others, time and time again?

Although the Reed myth is of Homeric proportions, he remains a national treasure and somewhat peculiar icon.

Praise for other books by Robert Sellers:

Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed:
'So wonderfully captures the wanton belligerence of both binging and stardom you almost feel the guys themselves are telling the tales.' GQ.

Vic Armstrong: The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman:
'This is the best and most original behind-the-scenes book I have read in years, gripping and revealing.' Roger Lewis, Daily Mail.

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down: '...a rollicking good read... Sellers has done well to capture a vivid snapshot of this exciting time.' Lynn Barber, Sunday Times.

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Praise for What Fresh Lunacy is This?: The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed

  • This is a brilliant and beguiling account of Reed s life and times - Mail on Sunday

  • There is a great feeling of loss and tragedy at the core of Sellers s biography. He is unflinching in the depiction of how awful Reed could be, but balances that with a strong sense of the love and affection he inspired in those around him. If nothing else, this highly readable book is a permanent reminder of just how exhausting it must have been to be Oliver Reed. - Glasgow Sunday Herald

  • For the first time, Reed s close family has collaborated on a project about Reed himself, revealing a complex man behind the fa ade, a person of great passions and loyalties underscored by deep-rooted vulnerabilities and insecurities. With never-heard-before anecdotes and new interviews with family, friends and peers, What Fresh Lunacy Is This? is a revealing examination of his mould-breaking personality - Sight and Sound

  • Like Reed himself, the book might not be subtle but in places it s hilariously funny and, by the end, oddly moving as well - The Observer

  • In this adulatory but always entertaining book, Sellers shows that Ollie was a more interesting figure than the cartoon drunk of the tabloids - Sunday Times

  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? is a nice, racy romp with Reed the rum-sodden rogue - Financial Times

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Robert Sellers

Robert Sellers is the author of the bestselling Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed and Hollywood Hellraisers. He has also written biographies on Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a history of the George Harrison/Monty Python film company HandMade, and the controversial Battle for Bond, which for a time was banned by the family of Ian Fleming. He was a regular contributor to Empire, Total Film, Independent, SFX and Cinema Retro and has contributed to a number of television documentaries, including Channel 4's The 100 Best Family Films.

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