HALLIBURTON: The Magnificent Myth by Jonathan Root

HALLIBURTON: The Magnificent Myth

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a persuasive (and often suggestive) biography of the author of The The Road To Romance and other books of outlandish ""true"" adventures. It was Richard Halliburton's misfortune to be cursed with a success that demanded he romanticize his eternally sophomoric stunts. Meanwhile, his one desire was to write a truly literary book that kept to facts. He was the darling of lecture circuits and ladies' clubs but was constantly beset by debts, despite his fabulous earnings. He collected much data and interviewed many people for a life of Rupert Brooke, his hero along with Byron. And like Byron, he proved his masculinity by swimming the Hellespont. The demands of his publishers never allowed him to write the Brooke biography. Halliburton's main trick was to retrace famous voyages and explorations, then pump them full of pink gas for his readers. He never married and preferred male companions about the house. He was lost in a typhoon at sea while sailing a Chinese junk from Hong Kong to the San Francisco World's Fair....Root presents him as a personable, rather harried and pathetic fellow who never really matured.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1965
Publisher: Coward-McCann