AUG 29, 2017 | 9781473663633 | RRP $29.99
Growing up the brilliant comic pairing of Laurel and Hardy were among my very favourites for viewing. Their completely in-sync timing was impeccable always and it was apparent that they shared a genuine bond. I find it strange that I don’t recall hearing about Stan Laurel’s death. Although I was only nine at the time, news of other well known people who passed away certainly entered my sphere. And though I have known a little of this great comedian’s history this novel has opened my eyes to the ongoing chaos that plagued his life.
Connolly’s novel presents from the PoV of Laurel in his retirement and nearing death recalling his life, his career, his train-wrecks of marriages, love affairs, drinking and financial troubles. But throughout his enduring love for his great friend and partner, Babe Hardy, shines through. When Laurel lost Babe he lost part of himself and it is as much this as his own personal history that the novel explores.
The author uses a style which I can only describe as almost a stream of consciousness and is perfect for the rambling recollections of a man who finds himself in his old age feeling vulnerable and lost, much as he often did all throughout his life.
Although fiction it certainly contains much information about the man from his early life to the heights of his and Hardy’s fame to the quiet retirement in the Oceania Apartments.
It intrigued me from the first and it gave me such pleasure to learn more about this fine comic though not without a sense of melancholy that imbues the entire text.
I highly recommend it to you if you are interested in the lives of others – albeit fictionalised.
Enjoy yourself finding about more about this two great performers here.