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Parky's People (2000)

by Michael Parkinson(Favorite Author)
3.63 of 5 Votes: 4
review 1: Maybe the main issue in my response to this book was a mis-match between the book and me, rather than any particular failing on either part. I've watched Parkinson on several occasions, although not regularly, and was more interested and entertained by the televised interviews than the printed version. Perhaps that says something about the importance of all the elements that don't translate across into book form: the timing, tone of voice, audience response, and also the response of guests to each other.Parkinson's manner alienates me, too. As an interviewer he is very much 'present' in the interviews. His introductions to the interviews in the book tended to tell as much about himself as his guest. Not that this is wrong - it's just an approach that disengages me (see ope... morening comment).And my final observation is in the choice of interviewees for the book. Parkinson comes across as quite star-struck, sometimes eager to let us know about his personal friendship with a particular guest, sometimes almost sycophantic. It's interesting to reflect on the gender balance in the printed interviews; if you take out the gender-specific chapters of 'Leading Ladies' and 'Leading Men', there are 10 female subjects in 78 interviews. It's also an almost exclusively UK/USA list. Aussie Shane Warne gets a look-in (so much I could say there about cultural representation, but not in this review!) but I think he's the only exception. Are there no interesting people in the rest of the world? Or are Parkinson audiences only able to cope with the familiar (famous faces from close to home)?That does all sound quite negative, but I wanted to unpack the reasons behind my emotional reaction to reading the book - it felt like a long slog and was sometimes downright tedious, particularly in Parkinson's apparent inability to introduce or interview women without referring to their looks and/or flirt with them (there's a fine line between courtly flirtation and drooling sleaziness, Parky). However, I'm glad I hung in there to the end, because there were a few interviews that I found very interesting, and they were almost all in the final chapters. Over all, if you like Parkinson you will probably like this book. If you want to learn about particular guests, there might be better ways to achieve that.
review 2: To be honest I didn't read every interview here, just dipped in and out of it, but I think it really is the kind of book you can do that with. Light and enjoyable. Although you do wish you got more interviews in detail. I suspect I ultimately prefer Andrew denton's Enough Rope. Will have to check if they have interviewed each other. I also suspect that you're better off watching Rather than reading the interviews. less
Reviews (see all)
Loved the interview with Bette Davis & Spike Milligan. Still 98 to go...
Enjoyed the memories it brought back of many of the shows I had seen
Brilliant read, fantastic interviews.
loved it
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