.....on my "to read" list!
The January issue of First Things has a review of the book Alec Guinness: The Authorized Biography by Piers Paul Read. Since it's $30 in hardback, I'll either be waiting til (if?) it comes out in paperback, or checking it out of the library.
Take this quote from the review:
Read [the author of the book] fully appreciates the centrality that Catholicism came to have for Guinness. Two years before he converted at the age of forty-two, Guiness confided to his diary: "My soul, my body, my brain longs for religion. The world is too bleak, and blank without a sense of worship." Even in his twenties, while an officer in the Royal Navy, he recognized Catholicism as "the crack regiment," though at the time he felt he could not afford its "expensive uniforms."
and then further on:
An unusually intelligent man, he reveled in the intellectual richness of the Catholic tradition. After converting, he wrote to his wife, "One of the recent things I've discovered is that now there is always something to think about. Never a dull moment in heaven or hell."
In "the minute details of daily life, where . . . men excel each other only by prudence and by virtue," Guinness did not altogether shine. Yet, to be fair, if at times he was insufferable, he was a loyal friend and a faithful husband. He was grandly munificent. He recognized his faults and sought to combat them. In summing up his character, Read compares him to Evelyn Waugh, who once said "I know I am awful. But how much more awful I should be without the Faith." Guinness could have said the same. As could many readers of this brilliant book.
Oh, man, I want to read the book NOW.