- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 280 pages, 16 pages of photographs
- Publisher: Mogzilla
- Publication Date: 01/09/2009
- Category: Individual actors & performers
- ISBN: 9781906132989
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Review by the.ken.petersen
Sometimes I find that I want things too much. I so wanted this to be a rollicking good read. I have long wanted to read a biography of Arnold Ridley, so much more than just a member of the cast of the excellent TV programme, "Dad's Army". I know that he had a distinguished war record and had a previous life as a playwright, most famously penning the Ghost Train.This book is written by his son, Nicholas. He has access to Arnold's attempt at an autobiography which, according to his son, failed to find a publisher because it fell to pieces as it approached the part of Arnold's life when he did the same. Extracts from Arnold's lightly self deprecating script are scattered through this work like juicy currants trapped in a too stodgy dough.Nicholas features a mite too often for my liking and the "one of the most tender portraits of a parent I have ever read" (A quote from the cover of the paperback version) lurches into the cloying, "He's my dad and you can't have him". I did not feel that I was getting any insight into Arnold, but plenty into Nicholas' feelings about Arnold, about the hard times after the playwright dried, about having to share the star of Dad's Army with the general public. Perhaps, this is my main complaint, a case of mis-selling: this is not Arnold's story, but Nicholas'.