Read an actor s life a short story by Duncan Whitehead Online

an-actor-s-life-a-short-story

Alternate Cover Edition can be found hereIt is Oscar night and Hollywood holds its breath to see if Sir Michael Brookes not only wins the best actor but also the best supporting actor award, which would take his tally of Academy Award wins to an unprecedented six....meanwhile his biggest fan and fellow actor Terry Sparkes watches the ceremony alone in his dingy London flatAlternate Cover Edition can be found hereIt is Oscar night and Hollywood holds its breath to see if Sir Michael Brookes not only wins the best actor but also the best supporting actor award, which would take his tally of Academy Award wins to an unprecedented six....meanwhile his biggest fan and fellow actor Terry Sparkes watches the ceremony alone in his dingy London flat unaware that this evening will change his life forever......but have Terry's and Sir Michael's paths crossed before?A short story of approximately 7,500 words....

Title : an actor s life a short story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17876895
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 28 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

an actor s life a short story Reviews

  • Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
    2019-01-12 14:30

    This is the story of Terry Sparkes. A failed actor, he is reduced to catching glimpses of his hero, Sir Michael Brookes on TV. Tonight he is watching him at the Oscars, hoping he will win the double of best supporting actor, and best actor...Right off the bat I will admit I find short stories really hard to review, its so difficult to give a quick synopsis without giving away the entire story! That being said, on with the review. This was a lovely quirky little tale. It made a passing nod to Duncan's full length novel, 'The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club', which I have also read and enjoyed. This story had the same offbeat, slightly flawed characters, and the same vein of dark humour running through it. I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to Duncan's work. A nice, light easy read over a cup of coffee.

  • Boyko Ovcharov
    2018-12-23 06:44

    This short story is more or less about everyone's life on this planet, as it reviews some common existential problems of a modern-day person, who wants to achieve something big, to become somebody and enjoy the 'cheers' of others. Apparently, the protagonist, has got a certain talent, but somehow does not quite manage to develop his full potential; or possibly - he is never in the right time, in the right place, and never makes the right choices. Whether the latter is accidental, we should judge for ourselves somehow. The reasons behind this sad storyline are presented in a rather humorous and amusing way.The plot is very natural, though with sufficient unexpected twists and surprises, together with a pinch of black irony. The style is really superb and enjoyable. Characters are quite realistic and oftentimes, allegedly, refer to real-life celebrities and events, without actually incurring any insult or overdone parody.In essence, the moral of this narrative is nicely interwoven into the plot, so that the reader could arrive at it without any additional 'push'. The author definitely implies some interconnectedness between humans, their talents, relationships, value systems and sacrifices on the way to success. The key word here is perhaps success, but at what cost? Are we prepared to bear the cost indeed? Whatever the cost?On the other hand, what are our priorities: family, career, friendship, success, fame? Could we always find the right balance between all those goals?In a way, it is a 'soul-searching' exercise, both from a Shakespearean perspective and a 21st-century viewpoint. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, whoever is not afraid of being sincere with themselves and wants to be a better person or more successful professional in the long-run, should read this great literary work.

  • Jeannie Walker
    2019-01-11 07:25

    How many of us have crossed paths with the rich and famous? I can honestly say I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with several rich and very famous people. I can also honestly say I have God to thank for granting me my wishes and blessing me so many ways.In this short story -Terry Sparkes is quite the actor. I also think the author, Duncan Whitehead is quite a talented writer in that he was witty enough to mention his other novel "The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club" in this one. In an "Actor's Life - A Short Story" the main character is an amateur, but he is smart enough to follow a successful actor in Hollywood. Not only is Sir Michael Brooks a renown actor - he is also the richest. Little does Terry know his life is about to change forever. Riches and Fame! How many of us wish for this, but so often never reach our goal - maybe it's because we quit trying and just give up on our dreams. I believe it is the irony to a lot of people in a lot of situations. But that doesn't mean we cannot be happy with what we achieve in our lifetime.I hope this author wins an Oscar for his performance. He has my vote and so does this short story that is witty and very well crafted.Jeannie Walker- Award Winning Author "Fighting the Devil" - A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and MurderFighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder

  • Ionia
    2019-01-03 07:24

    I loved this. This was one of those stories where you should be able to kind of see what is coming at the end, but somehow you don't until you actually get there. As one can expect from this author, the characters are quirky and the story is well written and intelligent.You can't help but feel a bit sorry for the main character until he commits the ultimate social no no to another actor and it backfires in his face. He is one of those characters that you know you shouldn't like, but you just can't help it.This ties into the book by the same author brilliantly. If you have not read Mr. Whitehead's work yet, you might want to give this a try. I loved it, and I love the Gordonston ladies dog walking club as well. This is short, entertaining and will make you laugh. I recommend it.

  • Steve Cohen
    2019-01-18 13:34

    This is a tight little story with a terrific twist at the end that's worthy of an episode from The Twilight Zone. It tells of a moderately successful actor who recalls his whole career while preparing to watch the Oscars on TV. The author writes very well, including seamless teasers for his novel, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. In this story, that book has already been made into an Oscar-caliber film. It's a clever device by a writer worth paying attention to. And since this short story is free, it's a nice way to sample this author's estimable goods before you plunk down cash for his longer work. Well done, Duncan. Highly recommended.

  • Sheila
    2019-01-14 11:35

    The American Oscars are on TV and the unknown English actor is hoping a rather more famous English actor will garner an award. There’s a nice touch of name-dropping and name-twisted in this short, neat tale, together with an all-too-plausible storyline of drama and soap.Oscar glamor contrasts brightly with an old has-been watching pay-per-view in the small hours of an English morning, a contrast that carries through to plausible hopes and lost dreams, and then to the story of that failed actor’s life. But success and failure are closer together than they seem. The old man, for all his losses, has achieved most of his dreams, and just one remains.There’s a sting in this tale that makes it well worth the read. And references to the author’s longer novel (fictionally turned into a movie) blend perfectly into the mix of real and imagined Oscar delights. A short tale filled with contrasts, sad and funny, sweet and sour, all perfectly combined.Disclosure: I’ve not read the novel, but I certainly enjoyed this free short story.

  • Gaele
    2018-12-26 09:30

    Written with the same style and offbeat darker sense of humor, Whitehead has crafted a short story of intersecting lives: two actors, one famous one not so. While Terry Sparkes is anxiously awaiting his own private Oscar viewing, the fickle hand of fate is highlighted in the contrast of the two careers. Duncan Whitehead has managed to cleverly integrate his full length mystery, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club in the Oscar story, and utilizes his humor and skill to craft a story that is the perfect accompaniment to savor with a cup of tea. A quick and clever short story that gives a nice feel for the author’s style, and should encourage you to read more of his quirky characterizations that can be found in his novel. I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions were my own responsibility.

  • Alana Woods
    2018-12-21 06:32

    This short story is cleverly tied to the author’s novel The Gordonston ladies dog walking club. The focus is towards Oscar night and one of the nominees for best actor in his role as one of the characters in a film adapted from the phenomenally-successful novel—you guessed it, The Gordonston ladies dog walking club. The story is carried by Terry Sparkes, a has-been actor who admires and envies the nominated Sir Michael Brookes. Unbeknownst to him he’s the person instrumental in Brookes becoming the top actor he is today.The story is terrifically told with the crescendo towards the denouement steadily building.Well worth reading and not dependent on having read the novel, although it may well spur you to do so.

  • Rebecca
    2018-12-26 14:17

    Although this short story isn’t an ‘edge of your seat’ mystery or crime drama, I really enjoyed the irony.The cleverly inserted references to the author’s novel, are brilliant. I now hope to read The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club very soon.With my being an author who has written and published a short story, I know just how hard it is to write one.I highly recommend this dark little tale.Rebecca Scarberry (Scarberryfields on Twitter)

  • Uvi Poznansky
    2019-01-01 13:40

    Success fades into oblivion, and failure--if used cleverly to fire your ambition--to eventual success. This story presents Terry Sparkes, a has-been actor whose face no longer adores the billboards. For as long as he can remember, he has felt the need to play a role. Most of all, he pretends to himself these days, thinking himself a celebrity despite that fact that he is no longer in the public eye. "At least he was still working and that, according to Terry Sparkes at least, constituted success.The story is set over the course of a Oscar night, during which Hollywood would give recognition to its finest thespians, and one of the contenders for whom Terry and others across Britain are rooting for is one of the world's greatest actors: Sir Michael. His name is in the limelight, much in opposition to his fan, Terry Sparkes, who has fallen into the shadows of obscurity. It is from there that he hopes to get the vicarious thrill of success. As the ceremony plays on his TV, his mind flashes back to his own past, back in the time he has won a role in the BBC's most popular soap opera. "Everywhere he went he was stopped in the street and asked for his autograph... His star was shining bright." Until, that is, the soap opera was axed, and Terry can barely find work anymore, because of having been typecast by it. Perhaps he should not have accepted that role in the first place, because it reduced him from being a character actor to a one-dimensional `bad-boy'.The author, Duncan Whitehead, invites us to compare the path of the two actors. They are similar in every way, so the only thing that separates them is their luck: "They were both sixty years of age and each had begun acting at roughly the ams time... Both actors were tall men and they each had striking features, coupled with neatly cropped dark hair."As the Oscar ceremony comes to it height, Terry sparkes sustains his attention by snorting some white powder. Will Terry come to realize that his meteoric rise inevitably brought about his fall? Will he hear Sir Michael's acceptance speech, upon receiving the golden statuette? Will he realize that it includes a tribute to one special man? Will he reflect upon the connection between the rise of one of them and the decline of the other--or is this reflection left, in the end, only to us?Five stars

  • OpenBookSociety.com
    2019-01-12 14:33

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/an...An Actor’s Life By Duncan WhiteheadISBN13: 9780982964910Author’s Website: http://www.duncanwhiteheadauthor.comReview brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra Synopsis: It is Oscar night and Hollywood holds its breath to see if Sir Michael Brookes not only wins the best actor but also the best supporting actor award, which would take his tally of Academy Award wins to an unprecedented six….meanwhile his biggest fan and fellow actor Terry Sparkes watches the ceremony alone in his dingy London flat unaware that this evening will change his life forever……but have Terry’s and Sir Michael’s paths crossed before?A short story of approximately 7,500 words.Review:An Actor’s Life is my first foray into the writings of Duncan Whitehead. This was a very quick read (under an hour) and I have probably pondered longer on what to write than how long it took for me to read.I really enjoyed Whitehead’s writing style. I was engaged and entertained throughout. As well, the story felt well rounded with a beginning, middle and end that fit together. Generally when I read a short story, I do not get closure on the story or feel like too much is left out….but in this instance….it is definitely not the case.The flashback from Terry’s days gone by was interesting and I loved how it was brought back in to play at the very end.I can say with no hesitation, I would definitely not want to be an actor. What they go through to even gain a modicum of success seems very difficult on one’s self esteem, as can be seen by the fate of all the cast members that Terry worked with.A well written short story which will definitely have me seeking out more of Mr. Whiteheads stories.

  • Graham Downs
    2019-01-04 12:42

    Hmm....This isn't a bad story, but it's wasted, because there are lots of problems with it.It tells of an Oscar-nominated actor, Michael Brookes, and his "biggest fan", fellow actor Terry Sparkes. All Terry wants to do is meet Michael, shake his hand, but they're on opposite continents.There's very little showing, and a whole lot of telling, in this book. Plus, the author seems to think an ellipsis consists of a random number of fullstops, anything more than five (it's exactly three. No more, no less. Plus an extra fullstop if the unfinished thought ends the sentence).It turns out that one of the characters is gay, and, when mentioning this character's boyfriend, the author puts the word "boyfriend" in inverted commas. Almost as if a man having a boyfriend is a strange thing, which makes me feel like the author is a bit homophobic himself. I'm not going to pass judgement on that, but if you really feel that way, then why go there to begin with?There are a few mildly amusing theatrical jokes, and a few more which I got the impression were meant to be funny, but weren't. Maybe I'd have appreciated them more if I had a better understanding of pop culture, but I don't think so.All in all, I'd give this story a miss. What a pity.

  • Gippy Adams
    2018-12-25 11:18

    Wow! There's so much power in this short story, it blows me away. Duncan Whitehead is a great writer and this story An Actor's Life is a quick read. You will want to put the time aside to read it through in one sitting once you meet Terry Sparkes, the actor. First I liked him. Then I disliked him. Then I felt sorry for him. My emotions were everywhere. It's amazing that a writer can create that much emotional turmoil in a short story. As a wordy person who has to edit a lot, I feel this is truly a gift.Why I think this story is a good read for everyone who breaths on this earth, no matter your path, is because there are many life lessons in this story. Of course, it depends on where you are in your life what you take from it. Throughout, Terry Sparkes is a huge fan of another actor, Sir Michael Brookes who is up for two more Oscars. He, of course, is rooting for Mr. Brookes and can't wait until Oscar night.The ending will throw you I'm sure. I love to guess the endings along the way not just of books, but also with crime shows. Sometimes I'm right on, but this time I have to say I was shocked. What a clever ending.This book has prompted me to definitely place Mr. Whitehead on my list of reading material. I highly recommend this short story. Don't miss it!

  • Andra Weis
    2019-01-11 13:23

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/an...An Actor’s Life is my first foray into the writings of Duncan Whitehead. This was a very quick read (under an hour) and I have probably pondered longer on what to write than how long it took for me to read.I really enjoyed Whitehead’s writing style. I was engaged and entertained throughout. As well, the story felt well rounded with a beginning, middle and end that fit together. Generally when I read a short story, I do not get closure on the story or feel like too much is left out….but in this instance….it is definitely not the case.The flashback from Terry’s days gone by was interesting and I loved how it was brought back in to play at the very end.I can say with no hesitation, I would definitely not want to be an actor. What they go through to even gain a modicum of success seems very difficult on one’s self esteem, as can be seen by the fate of all the cast members that Terry worked with.A well written short story which will definitely have me seeking out more of Mr. Whiteheads stories.

  • Elaine
    2019-01-13 13:27

    An Actor's Life by Duncan Whitehead is the tale of two British actors. The first, Terry Sparkes had his heyday in the 1970's when he played "Pete Lashmar" on the popular BBC soap opera THE BROWNS. The second is six time Academy Award winner and Terry's idol, Sir Michael Brooks.Oscar Night is a Holy Day for all actors. Even though Terry Sparkes ship has sailed so to speak, he cannot contain his joy watching it on TV. His idol Sir Michael is nominated in both male acting catagories. He is nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Elliot Miller in THE GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB (kudos to Mr. Whitehead!). His second nomination was for Best Actor in A ROOM WITHOUT A WINDOW , a British made period piece, as Arthur(hmmm mighty similar to Sir Anthony Hopkins role in A ROOM WITH A VIEW) the butler . Dane Judi Dench was his co-star.Duncan Whitehead is a gifted writer. AN ACTOR'S LIFE is filled with humor, irony and a certain sadness. I think everyone should read this touching short story.

  • Sergiu Pobereznic
    2019-01-12 10:19

    This is a short, fun read. Because of my own background in the theatre business as a stage performer, this story was interesting. There was an air of the old fashioned in the narration, loosely reminding me of Arthur & George by Julian Barnes. Reason being that the tale is about two people (actors) and their own personal career paths, which differ. Like Mr. Whitehead's other short story "Home for the Weekend", this tale could also be delved into further and extended. I should think that lots of readers would be interested in the life and journey of an actor, whether failed or famous – it matters not.Although it has plenty of humour, this tale is also a poignant one. A What If story, with themes about Providence, Consequence, Fame, loss of Fame and missed opportunities. It shows that the choices we make affects everything and more importantly, everyone around us. It is classically shaped in three chapters: Beginning, Middle and End and to good effect.Sergiu Pobereznic (author)amazon.com/author/sergiupobereznic

  • Mareena
    2019-01-02 06:41

    It is Oscar night and people all around the globe - fans and Hollywood A-Listers alike - wait with baited breath for the ceremony to begin. Tonight, Sir Michael Brookes, one of the most admired and courteous actors ever to grace Hollywood, is nominated for two Academy Awards. If he wins both the 'Best Actor' and 'Best Supporting Actor' Awards, Sir Michael will have an unprecedented six Academy Awards to his name...Meanwhile, sitting alone in his dingy London flat, is Terry Sparkes - Sir Michael's biggest fan and a fellow actor. As Terry watches the ceremony, he is completely unaware that this evening's telecast will change his life forever.I enjoyed this story very much. There was a twist to it that I wasn't expecting. I give the story an A! I'm looking forward to reading Duncan Whitehead's next book some time soon.

  • Marsha Roberts
    2018-12-27 07:25

    This short story is a quick, easy and very fun read from the author of "The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club," which I read a few weeks ago and just loved! His most recent story is written in the same dark comedy and at times tongue-in-cheek manner of his novel. And, like his Ladies Dog Walking Club, the characters are very vivid and no matter how flawed they are, he presents them to us without judgment and with a surprising amount of humanity. There is always the irony of the consequences of small moments in our lives in Mr. Whitehead's writing, and I like that. As in his Gordonston book, there is a mystery here, but it's not the focus of this entertaining read, however I won't tell you any more as I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Enjoy this short free read, then treat yourself to his full novel - you won't regret it!

  • GraceHeyward
    2019-01-02 10:37

    I was travelling via car to Texas over the past weekend. I had sync'd Duncan Whitehead's short story, An Actor's Life. It was a quick read and I finished it in 30 to 45 minutes. It held my attention. I enjoyed reading of the contrasting characters, Sir Michael Brookes and Terry Sparkes, both Englishmen and both actors, one being more accomplished than the other. Terry met Michael before he was famous and it was that little twist of fate that catapulted Michael forward and possibly held Terry behind. But, was it the competitive world of acting that pushed and pulled both men in different directions? I will caution the readers, this isn't a lite read, but, is dark and can be a bit heavy. That being said, I again, enjoyed reading An Actor's Life and am looking forward to reading other works from this author.

  • Cindy
    2018-12-21 09:38

    This was a great thought provoking book. It's a really short story to read in one sitting. When I finished reading it, the song "Isn't It Ironic" popped into my head. It will make you think of all the things that might have been changed by one simple little incident that you didn't even realize.We really got to know the main character, Terry, and I liked him. At the same time I felt sad for him. His life was one of those "if only" but we never know. If only I would have... You will also wonder why some people seem to be lucky at all the time while others have no luck at all.The twist at the end was excellent. I look forward to reading more from this author. I highly recommend reading this story that will leaves you with thinking how ironic life can be.

  • Elias Zapple
    2018-12-26 10:28

    Having enjoyed Duncan Whitehead's longer pieces, The Reluctant Jesus for example, you kind of know what to expect. Good quality writing, quirky characters with dark humour throughout. An Actor's Life is about two British actors, one at the Oscars hoping to score a double triumph and the other stuck in his dingy London flat. It reminds me of a film I once saw starring Peter O'Toole, an acclaimed actor who's assassinated and then spends his time with his assassin in a hotel in heaven. Can't for the life of me remember the title. I digress, this is another splendid story with a surprising twist at the end and, being a short story, perfect for a lunchtime read. 5 stars!

  • Iva
    2018-12-27 10:41

    U noci dodjele Oscara glumac s karijerom na zalazu Terry Sparkes sprema se gledati ceremoniju dodjeleu svom trosnom gradskom stancicu jer je njegov idol Sir Michael Brookes nominiran za najbolju glavnu i za najbolju sporednu ulogu sto ce ako ih osvoji biti cak sest Oscara na njegovoj polici. Tu pocinje prica o dvije glumacke karijere i zivota slucajnoscu jako razlicita i povezana. Kako su Sir Michael i Terry povezani i kako su im se putevi isprepleli procitajte i saznajte. Svaka cast piscu na vjernom docaravanju zivota glumca. OK kratka prica.

  • Lynn Dixon
    2018-12-22 07:16

    An Actor's Life reminds me of the O. Henry style, who was one of the masters of short stories. The ending of Terry Sparkes leaves the reader spellbound as the old adage says, "What goes around, comes around." Terry, a struggling actor makes one grave mistake when he thinks he outsmarts another fellow actor by deceiving him to get a role. As life would have it, Terry is a never-do-well and the other deceived one goes on to astronomical heights, even dedicating his newly earned Oscar to Terry. A real twist of irony!

  • Christoph Fischer
    2019-01-13 08:41

    "An Actor's Life" by Duncan Whitehead is a funny and sad short story about a failed actor. For anyone who lived in the UK at a similar time as the author will laugh out loud at the many references in the book to famous actors and TV soaps.On a more serious note the book works out well the element of chance in an actor's life and career path.Well written, entertaining and bitter sweet this is very enjoyable and recommended.

  • Richard Sutton
    2018-12-29 13:27

    An Actor's Life was an engaging read illustrating the promise of redemption, lingering just beyond the reach of the main character. When you choose to enter a life that's directed as much by luck as by talent, every single decision will bear fruit. Sometimes, the harvest isn't what you want or even what you need. A poignant twist at the end proves how tricky an actor's life can be. Author Duncan Whitehead has a wry way with words. I look forward to reading more of his work.

  • Susan Spira
    2019-01-04 06:37

    Just When You Don't Expect It Life Kicks You in the Ironic Butt A realistic story that could be about any of us and missed opportunities. Excellent character development, I really bonded to main character with all his flaws. The story had the tone and irony of a Twilight Zone episode. Easy to read, easy to identify with the characters, and a surprising ending. Delightful! Great Read. I highly recommend. Please write more.

  • Sheryl Seal
    2018-12-28 07:22

    An Actor's Life - A Short Story by Duncan Whitehead is another great read by this author! I have read The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by this author and thoroughly enjoyed it so I decided to get another book by Duncan Whitehead. All I can say is I will continue to buy and read books by this author!The characters are always a breath of fresh air and humorous and very creative.Great story-lines keeps this reader coming back for more books by this talented author!5 witty stars!

  • Anna Othitis
    2018-12-23 06:32

    This well-written short story of an actor who is self-seeking causing him disastrous choices in his career. One of his selfish acts helps another actor to have a great career. An actor's life and career path.I received this story as a free download. Duncan Whitehead writes numerous enjoyable short stories a talented witty writer

  • Gale Stanley
    2018-12-26 12:31

    I've been a fan of Duncan Whitehead since reading The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, and I was curious to read this short story because it references that longer work. Whitehead packs quite a punch in 7500 words. I loved this wonderful little tale about two actors, and their hopes and dreams. There’s a good mix of sadness and humor, and an ending I didn’t expect. Well done!

  • Kim Heimbuch
    2019-01-06 07:45

    This is a short story that easily rolls together into the author's other novel, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, which I read recently and with rave reviews. The cover is quite suiting with a close up of comedy and tragedy masks, giving a potential reader a glimpse of what the story entails. ...read more http://www.musingwithcrayolakym.com/3...