I'm never bored, never ever bored. If I've got a day off I'll sit in a cafe and watch and observe. I'm a great observer.
Behind the Lens - MY LIFE
A book which proves there is more to David Suchet than Poirot
For 25 years David Suchet played the role of Agatha Christie's Poirot and many people will only know him as such, but this book reveals he is also a very capable photographer and gifted story teller.
I was not curious about Mr Suchet but the cover of his book drew my attention by implying he maybe a photographer. My curiosity was richly rewarded with beautiful, varied and interesting photographs
alongside tales of London, Acting , Photography , Family and Faith .
The text is well written and very engaging with tales from his Grandmothers Music Hall Days to living on a canal boat in the 1970's, travelling the waterways with his Wife Sheila whilst working Shakespeare in Theatres.
"You will learn how I really feel about things - how I really see things - my London upbringing and love of the city, my Jewish roots and how they have influenced my career, the importance of my faith, how I feel about fame, my love of photography and music , and my process as an actor. And of course , we'll dig a little deeper on Poirot and how I feel about him now ".
This book is designed for readers to get to know the author through his photographs as much as his words, to see the world through his eyes .
It's not your run of the mill autobiography, there's genuine warmth and passion, inviting readers into a private life through personal photographs and memoirs.
Opening pages reveal a dedication to his wife Sheila but missing to my eye is a mention of Grandad Jimmy-
James Jarché the celebrated press photographer . From World War 1 to the 1950's who made countless front pages with iconic images, including a scoop on Edward and the then undisclosed Mrs Simpson.
Jimmy lived with David's family when he was growing up and taught him how to work a camera .
It is clear that he has shaped much of the author's life.
Jimmy always referred to the most important lens being our eye. It took me many years to understand what that meant.
David was gifted Jimmy's beloved Leica M3 which he took around Britain for an ITV documentary visiting the original locations of and recreating some of Jimmy's Monochrome Portraits. This included tracking down a row terrace of houses in a Welsh Mining Village and chatting to an elderly resident who recalls people from the original photograph over 60 years ago .
I found the book to be throughly enjoyable with a generous ratio of photos to words.
I was left inspired to take more thoughtful photographs, especially of my family after seeing the Suchet style of shots which go beyond that of pure documentary, showing it is possible in the everyday moments to capture a deeper meaning.
The insights of how David approaches his acting roles , the methods he employs to become a character, how he decides which roles to accept as well as filling "down time" with purpose were lessons in life and time management to be noted .
A essential read for Poirot, Leica , David Suchet , Photography Enthusiasts, and anyone who just wants enjoy feel good, life affirming story of a Londoner growing up in post war Britain.
Further Links of Interest -
Behind the Lens - My Life published by Hachette UK
I recommend also watching the accompanying documentary
Perspectives - The People I have Shot
Poirot fans will enjoy the chapter on Poirot and also may be interested to read
David Suchet Q and A - BFI - on playing Hercule Poirot in Dead Mans Folly
Leica M3 Camera History - all about