A POSTILLION STRUCK BY LIGHTNING by Dirk Bogarde

A POSTILLION STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anyone hoping to meet up with the mysterious, brooding Dirk Bogarde countenance had better go see The Servant or Darling again, for this memoir of English childhood ends before Dirk's first film and is far more A.A. Milne--with a daub of Dickens--than Joseph Losey. Picking mushrooms, winning prizes at country fairs, entertaining an overly citified little-girl guest, longing for a pet canary, riding around France in search of a British soldier's grave--these are the wistful images of his sister and himself that Bogarde lightly laces together for a first half of ""Summer"" memories, dominated by nanny Lally, almost devoid of parents or pain. But ""Winter"" brings London and then hated Glasgow, as ""Late Developer"" Dirk is shunted from school to school, from uncle to aunt, in hopes of his showing some more useful talents than his instincts for drawing and playacting. Victim of schoolmate bullying, family rejection (the shocking birth of a much-younger brother), and one day of ""terrible and horrifying"" homosexual molestation while playing truant--Dirk begins to build a protective wall of ""Obsessional Privacy"" which, he says, has hampered him ever since. Theater finally creeps up, accompanied by WW II, with an assistant-designer job (under Tanya Moiseiwitch) leading to bit parts and, as army service beckons, a semi-successful West End debut. Except for a brief flash-forward to Hollywood for the making of the Lizst film bio, this is a resolutely gentle book, typified by Bogarde's boldy sentimental line-drawing illustrations--sometimes too teddibly British in its feathery sensibilities and unwavering reserve but precise and wry enough to make further, more cinematic installments an engaging prospect.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1977
ISBN: 0753819309
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston