Hellraisers. I’ve not laughed at a book (as much as I did with this one) for quite some time. These four men were womanisers, adulterers, violent, drug takers and above all, boozers of the highest calibre. When Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton, Richard Harris or Oliver Reed approached, one never knew if one was going to receive a kiss, a bear hug or a punch in the teeth.
It must have been and indeed it was, Hell to be married to these men. However, it was never boring and proceeded to a soundtrack of smashed glass, the clink of glasses and the thump of bodies. Come on admit it, there’s a part of everyone who admires these guys for their unwillingness to compromise and their ability to have one Hell of a good time. Who would you rather spend an evening (or more likely a couple of days with) Richard Burton or the wreckage that is Elizabeth Taylor; Oliver Reed or Tom Cruise and his fifteen bodyguards?
No doubt about it these guys were talented. No forget it- they were stars. Only NZ’s finest Russell Crowe shows signs of being up to them and significantly, he was a big pal of Richard Harris. Towards the end it does get a little sad as the health scares mount up, but the photographs alone are worth opening up the book. As I curl up with it during one of my “early nights” I cannot but feel a twinge of envy.