My Word is My Bond, By Roger Moore

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Roger Moore, as the Saint, was a boyhood hero of mine, so I hoped to be able to give this a cracking review. And there are some good things about it. Moore is amiable, and seems to have met almost everyone in Hollywood; no autobiography with cameos from David Niven, Tony Curtis, Lee Marvin, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Princess Diana and Yootha Joyce could be entirely without interest. There are a few funny anecdotes, too: The Wind Cannot Read was apparently known as "The Illiterate Fart" in movie circles.

But there is little wit or insight. Moore owns up to a love of practical jokes, which has always seemed to me evidence not of a sense of humour, but the lack of one. (The story of Moore slipping another actor a powerful laxative left me indignant, not amused.) Finally, the writing so relies on off-the-peg expressions that one begins to feel as if one's reading Flann O'Brien's "Catechism of Cliché". In what way do great minds think? Alike. What sort of retreat did Roger make? A hasty one. And what was the duration of his gratitude? It was eternal.