Looking Back

John Osborne
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ISBN 9780571196494 Format Paperback
Published 18/03/2004 Length 624 pages

About Book

When John Osborne died at Christmas 1994, his obituaries cited his autobiographical writings as perfect examples of undiluted talent and acerbic wit. Now, Osborne's superb autobiographies, A Better Class of Person: 1929-1956 and Almost a Gentleman: 1955-1966 (winner of the J. R. Ackerley Prize), are available for the first time in one volume, Looking Back.

'A brilliant, funny, melancholy and acrimonious book of memoirs . . . Almost every page confirms that his powers as an elegist, definer of the Zeitgeist and master of unforgiving disgust remain undimmed.' Observer

This volume also contains 'Bad John', a review by Alan Bennett of A Better Class of Person, and David Hare's eulogy for John Osborne at the memorial service for Osborne in 1995.

  • About John Osborne

    John Osborne was born in London in 1929. Before becoming a playwright he worked as a journalist, assistant stage manager and repertory theatre actor. Seeing an advertisement for new plays in The Stage in 1956, Osborne submitted Look Back in Anger. Not only was the play produced, but it was to become considered as the turning point in post-war British theatre. Osborne's protagonist, Jimmy Porter, captured the rebelliousness of an entire post-war generation of 'angry young men'. His other plays include The Entertainer (1957), Luther (1961), Inadmissible Evidence (1964), and A Patriot for Me (1966). He also wrote two volumes of autobiography, A Better Class of Person (1981) and Almost a Gentleman (1991) published together as Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise. His last play, Deja Vu (1991), returns to the characters of Look Back in Anger, over thirty years later. Both Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer were adapted for film, and in 1963 Osborne won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Tom Jones. John Osborne died on 24 December 1994.

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