Book Review: “This Much is True”

Mariam Margolyes’s book has been called a “wickedly honest memoir.”

I can’t remember how I came to download to my Kindle, Mariam Margolyes’ book, This Much is True. Yes, I like non-fiction, but I knew nothing of Ms. Margolyes, maybe Amazon recommended the book.

At any rate, I started reading. In no time, I became intrigued, first of all because I found out that Margolyes was an actress, on radio, then on stage, TV and in movies. And then because I was reading about a well-educated, fun, funny, racy, award-winning and intelligent life.

I could easily follow Margolyes’ adventures because her decades and mine very closely coincided. I loved reading about the various paths her career took, to voice-overs, to documentaries, to teaching.

Margolyes’ professional life was serious business, but her writing style was at times hilarious and crude. She admits she loves being outrageous, making her a very popular guest at dinner parties and on British TV. She even has a section of he book at the end called “Dirty Talk.”

When I finished the book (428 pages on my Kindle), I wondered if I could see her on YouTube--Indeed I could and I became even more entranced. Her voice, diction and personality were so charming that I dialed up as many YouTube videos as I could.

Margolyes talks a lot in the book about her process as an actress. One bit of advice I loved was that she recommends reading lines with a sort of smile in your intention and the line comes out far better than simply reading with memorization. I tried it and she was right!

The actress is also quite a truth-teller as well. She talks about youthful “services” to young men, about her evolving lesbianism, her wife and their living arrangements, about homes in Great Britain and in Australia, and about her size. (Margolyes has always been rather plump — which, of course, made her perfect for a number of character parts.) She talks about other actors and actresses, and altogether tells a great tale. I definitely recommend her memoir, published in September of last yer. AND if you want to see and hear Margolyes (pay attention to her perfect diction) I recommend the video below.

***Diane Taylor will away from work until November 6th. Look for her next column then!***


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