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Download Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life Audiobook, by Peter Ackroyd Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Gildart Jackson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2016 ISBN: 9780735285156
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A gripping short biography of the extraordinary Alfred Hitchock, the master of suspense.

Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century?
     As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait of him, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this quick-witted portrait, Ackroyd reveals something more: a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in his own films: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and James Stewart despair of his detached directing style and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts and bruises from a real-life fearsome flock of birds.
     Alfred Hitchcock wrests the director's chair back from the master of control and discovers what lurks just out of sight, in the corner of the shot. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “With his warm baritone and cultured British accent, narrator Gildart Jackson provides an excellent narration. His understated and successful portrayals of key figures such as David O. Selznick, the producer who brought Hitchcock to the US, are marvelous…Both new readers and those familiar with Hitch’s life story will be entertained and informed.”


  • A smart, fluent overview of the director’s life and art, and the mysterious dynamic between the two. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 
  • Ackroyd’s volume is slim but insightful . . . guided by a novelist’s skills of characterization and texture . . . Ackroyd is thrillingly alive to what he calls ‘the true music’ of Hitchcock, with his Mozartian arias of pure flight and pursuit. Tom Shone, The New York Times Book Review
  • Shelves of serious biographies have been written on Alfred Hitchcock, but perhaps none as pleasurable as Peter Ackroyd’s. Kate Muir, The Times (London)
  • If there is any writer capable of imaginative sympathy with Hitchcock, it is Ackroyd. Duncan White, The Telegraph
  • An elegant and hugely enjoyable read. Alexander Larman, Sunday Express
  • A nutritious, compact and superb critical biography. Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
  • A masterful book on the Master of Suspense. Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
  • Immaculate and phenomenally readable . . . close to a minor classic of its kind. Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News
  • A superb, insightful short life . . . Ackroyd’s deft and moving biography proves that there is a fresh story to be told, and that he is the person to do it. Bee Wilson, The Guardian
  • A 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Critical/Biographical
  • An Anthony Award Nominee for Best Critical Nonfiction
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About the Author
Author Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd has written acclaimed biographies of T. S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Sir Thomas More, as well as several successful novels. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature’s W. H. Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Show Award for Literature.

About the Narrator

Gildart Jackson’s acting credits span the stage and screen. He is most often recognized for his roles as Gideon on Charmed and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital. He has also starred in numerous television shows, including CSI and Vegas, and he played the lead in the highly acclaimed independent feature film You, directed by his wife, Melora Hardin.