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Reviews + Analyses

Aug 3, 2008

Blood & Tinsel: A Memoir by Jim Sharman

9780522853773, Miegunyah Press, August, HB (

9780522853773, Miegunyah Press, August, HB (Aus, US)

A version of this review was first published in the June 2008 issue of BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2008 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC).
Jim Sharman relays the story of his life rhythmically, like a play or film. Childhood memories of boxing sideshows are cut between information on eras, people, productions, and moments of inspiration. Images from Sharman’s plays, life, and from popular culture also transport the reader into his experience.
His writing is distinctly visual, poetic and personal. His recollections of people and moments that have inspired him (from Patrick White, to films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, to Dada and Pop Art) are endearing.
            Despite the few battles (with grief, a bout of depression, and the inevitable and sad end of relationships) Sharman has no complaints with life. His dark streak is transformed into unquestionable talent in daring shows, operas and films from Don Giovanni to Rocky Horror. His decision in later years to remain in Australia and assist the growth of quality theatre is admirable.
             The memoir is highly absorbing entertainment and has the potential to appeal to different ages and audiences, from those who will recognise suburban Australia, punk London, and hippie-era Tokyo, to those that only know Sharman through cult associations. Blood & Tinsel is an interesting and unique story of a personality with an original, genuine take on the world. Would sit well alongside Bruce Beresford’s or, Patrick White’s biography.

See my Q&A with Jim Sharman on Blood & Tinsel.
See the book’s website.

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3 thoughts on “Blood & Tinsel: A Memoir by Jim Sharman

  1. LiteraryMinded on Uncorrected Proof « ElephantBlog

    […] and unique story of a personality with an original, genuine take on the world.’ See full review, and the interview with Jim […]

  2. LiteraryMinded

    Really? That’s great – you will have to get the book for sure! He goes into vivid detail about that era and I think you would really enjoy it!

  3. michael pagonis

    love to get this book my father ran away from a boys home .and join jimmy sharman ,troupe in the 1930″s .they use to call him the golden greek .Tonyn kilonis .was a great friend of old jimmy sharman