Harold by Hal Holbrook
The Boy Who Became Mark Twain

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Synopsis

"Was it worth it, this awful struggle to survive, no matter what the cost?"


Harold is Hal Holbrook's affecting memoir of growing up behind disguises, and his lifelong search for himself. Abandoned by his mother and father when he was two, Holbrook and his two sisters each commenced their separate journeys of survival. Raised by his powerful grandfather until his death when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum, and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood. As the Second World War engulfed Europe, Holbrook began acting almost by accident. Thereafter, through war, marriage, and the work of honing his craft, his fear of insanity and his fearlessness in the face of risk were channeled into his discovery that the riskiest path of all--success as an actor--would be his birthright. The climb up that tough, tough mountain was going to be a lonely one. And how he achieved it--the cost to his wife and children and to his own conscience--is the dark side of his eventual fame from performing the man his career would forever be most closely associated with, the iconic Mark Twain.

 

About Hal Holbrook

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Hal Holbrook is a celebrated actor who has starred in such films as All the President's Men, Wall Street, and The Firm. He has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for his work in television, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 for his role in Into the Wild.
 
Published September 13, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 477 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Harold

Kirkus Reviews

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He opens with an incident in a principal’s office that would turn anyone from school, one of many acts of unrestrained evil that pop up from time to time in the narrative—besides, at his next school, he was filled with foreboding at the sight of “massive brick buildings resembling fortresses with...

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Publishers Weekly

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From a boyhood spent wondering about parents who abandoned him to his iconic portrayal of Mark Twain, renowned stage and screen actor Holbrook recounts his early life in this stirring memoir.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Harold: The Boy Who Became Ma...

Los Angeles Times

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Hal Holbrook's autobiography is more encyclopedic than narrative. Where's Twain this time?

Dec 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Harold: The Boy Who Became Ma...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The autobiography of famed actor Hal Holbrook, best known for his portrayal of Mark Twain on stage and screen, reveals a man who overcame both material and spiritual hardships to reach a level of self-knowledge and composure rare in any individual.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Harold: The Boy Who Became Ma...

Bookmarks Magazine

Raised by his powerful grandfather until his death when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum, and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood.

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Harold: The Boy Who Became Ma...

The Roanoke Times

If you haven’t thought about Hal Holbrook in some time, you can be forgiven.

Sep 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Harold: The Boy Who Became Ma...

Reader Rating for Harold
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