The star of Lawrence of Arabia , Beckett and other films, O'Toole here offers a rambling narrative of his upbringing in northern England during the '30s and '40s. There are some entertaining anecdotes: O'Toole's auditions at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he charmed the Academy's director before he knew who the man was, or that the organization gave acting classes; his travels and bohemian adventures with friend O'Liver (sic); the peripatetic life of his father, a bookie, and his shady friends. Unfortunately, O'Toole's sentences run on, his narrative jumps confusingly in time and he uses slang and earthy metaphors to excess. The strangest part of the book is the many pages devoted to Adolf Hitler, about whom O'Toole writes with sloppy familiarity: "The dictates of Providence had Hitler clearly murmuring that his opponents all were little worms and, abstractedly perhaps, thinking of Danzig and Poland, he took his sheet of paper that Neville Chamberlain had signed and wiped his fearful arse on it." Reading this memoir is like sitting at a bar with a chatty drunk whose nearly incoherent monologue contains a few lucid, wonderful moments.