Friday, April 29, 2011

Haunted Idol: The Story of the Real Cary Grant by Geoffrey Wansell

For Christmas Perry gifted me with a book. Oh how he knows me sooooo well *eyeroll*. However it was a book I could get excited about. A book that was written about my dead lover, Cary Grant. Haunted Idol was written while Cary was still alive and surprisingly with some support from the private man himself.

Being that I have difficulty reading, this book was just that, difficult. The chapters were monsterously long so it took me 4 months to complete. Now that says more about me than that of the author. Other than the long chapters the only other difficulty I had is that the author would side note talk about various people involved in that particular sequence of events making me lose direction and not quite always knowing of who he was talking about.

Other than that, it was quite an insightful read about a man that  makes me go pitter patter on sight alone. Unfortunately the insight was more depressing and shattering than anything. I believe the legend of Cary Grant is even bigger today than the image of Cary Grant was then. And it was pretty intense then! This book is not for anyone who wants to believe Cary Grant was anything more than the dashing man who was on the screen. If one needs that idol to look up to, leave it at just that. Don't read this book. Don't get me wrong, my Darling Grant was never a horrid man, but rather a weak man consumed with insecurities that left him bitchy, moody, cranky, and demanding. In other words... a mere mortal.

I could go on and tell you about him and what I have learned from this book, however I would then just be writing my own book. I don't wish to do that. If you are looking for an eye opening, bubble bursting account of a sex symbol whose presence is held in high regard today, read this book... I was left feeling a bit of pity for the guy. And not the pity you feel when you sympathize with someone... the pity you feel when you are left disgusted. Does it make me love him any less? No... he is still beautiful to look at. However, this fangirl's starry gaze has faded a bit. I don't think less of him... just different.  He will still be my number one fantasy man ;) maybe even more so now because he has become human... I am not sure. I am still letting all this sink in. Oh sigh...

In the end, I can only sum up this book with the statement, Cary Grant is proof that if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


  1. I think this is a wonderful review – and you give nothing but good reasons to go & read this book...! For indeed, reveries & idolization only become dangerous when one mistake them for reality. I think that it serves Grant's reputation immensely well, if he contributed actively to this biography, as you suggest. If there is anything I also admire about Grant, it is the almost constant, very subtle & very elegant self-irony with wich he portrays many of his caracters on the screen. A display of brilliant acting technique,of course, but maybe also more than that...?

  2. I'm not sure I want to read it. Cary is one of my perfect men and I think I will let him stay that way, too good to be true. I'm sure the book offered many insights into a man who was seen on the screen as elegant perfection.

  3. Jannie... I should say that while he contributed a bit to the book, it wasn't a whole lot. He allowed the go shead for the book and talked with the author directly in person for a short while and went back into his secluded nature. However it was more than anyone else has gotten from him. It's funny that you say what you do about the irony of Cary Grant... that is a common thought repeated throughout the book when referring to his various movies. It's just a humbling book. Cary Grant wasn't a bad man... quite the opposite, just a misunderstood cranky old man. :) He reminded me a bit of Hades the Greek God of the underworld. He wasn't evil, just a cranky old man that wanted you off his lawn. :)

    Jaede... Hehehe Just keep looking at his beautiful photos and think of him that way! That is all one really needs from Cary Grant.