The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

By Edward White, Narrated by Qarie Marshall

Rating: 5/5 Stairs

Audiobook Expected Publication Date: 3 June 2021

This book has a very interesting take on the biography format, which I really enjoyed. Instead of just laying out Alfred Hitchcock’s life (or film career) in a timeline fashion, it is instead separated into twelve chapters, each of which look at a certain aspect of Hitch’s personality, and the impact that had on his films. It is set up so the early chapters coincide more with his early life, and later chapters the later years, so it is somewhat sequential.

I found this format very engaging and liked to exploring how his films and television reflect some of these different personality traits. I didn’t know a lot about Hitchcock as a person before listening to this biography. The author lays out the good and the bad throughout the novel. I really enjoyed some of the deeper dives on the different films, whether it was casting choices, or filming techniques, or what drove Hitch to create certain films. One of my favorite chapters was “The Dandy”, which focuses on Hitchcock’s sense of style both as a person and in the design and costuming of his films.

I liked the narrator; I think this is an enjoyable book to either listen to or read. If you want to know more about a specific movie, this may not be the right book for you as you can’t just open up to a single chapter discussing The Birds for instance. Many of his films are discussed across different chapters, as more than one “life” was an influence in their creation. 

This is a great read for movie buffs, and of course fans of Hitchcock. I realized as I was listening to this book that I’ve only seen a very small number of Hitchcock films (all of which I love), and it’s been many years since I caught a rerun of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I definitely need to remedy that.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this audiobook for review.

2 thoughts on “The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock

  1. Pingback: May 2021 Wrap-Up | Hidden Staircase

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