Arno O'Thames reviews Satan's Angel by David Bret…

23 Jan
1.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE, MR. BRET, WRITE NO MORE BOOKS!!!, January 17, 2008
By  Arno O'Thames (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

I hated this book. Hated it, hated it, hated it. It's a textbook example of how not to write a biography. The author's modus operandi appears to be as follows: do no real independent research, write at home and travel nowhere, quote only from other people's books and fan magazines, interview nobody who ever knew Errol Flynn, and, above all, make up as many salacious sexual quotes, allegedly spoken by Flynn and his associates, out of thin air as you possibly can. And do it all in the name of making money!

I thought Charles Higham's notorious treatment of Errol Flynn was the worst book I had ever read; however, this may give it some serious competition. And let's face it, at least Higham knows how to write. Bret must have been playing hooky, or was ill, the day his teachers taught basic English grammar in his school. And what's with the obsession with homosexuality? I was amazed at the sheer number of men the so-called bisexual Flynn is said to have sampled: Ross Alexander, Helmut Dantine, Bill Meade, Bruce Cabot, William Lundigan, Edmund Goulding, Tyrone Power, Truman Capote, and many others. Even poor Basil Rathbone is thrown into the mix – he was supposedly one who relished intimate oral contact with the male organ. Oh, right, Sherlock!

As many other reviewers point out, Bret provides no documentation at all for his lurid claims. Where in God's name did all this dialogue come from? As for accuracy, I started to make a list of all the factual errors in the book, but they became so many I had to give up when I ran out of room on both sides of an 8 x 10 sheet of paper. Where were the editors? Does this publisher even HAVE editors? And there are so many spelling blunders it is almost hilarious. This looks like a very hasty first draft of somebody's idea of a bad joke that nobody bothered to read. But there is nothing funny about this.

I doubt if anyone who ever actually knew or met Errol Flynn will recognize the central figure of this mess. I see from the list of Bret's other works that he has performed similar hack jobs on such celebrities as Valentino, Joan Crawford, Morrissey, and Clark Gable. This is so sad. I mean sad for everyone.

I saw David Bret interviewed on TV once, and I felt very sorry for him. From his appearance I suspect he has had a very rough life. But that's no excuse to take his hurt and anger out on Mr. Flynn and others like him. I therefore would like to issue to Mr. Bret a most fervent appeal: Please sir, write no more books! What you are doing is immoral, unworthy, and ultimately life-destroying. It sells short the unfortunate people you write about, the public who might unsuspectingly buy your books, and even you yourself. If you wish to be a biographer, then I beg you, by all means, be a biographer. But don't be what you currently are – a third-rate writer of unsubstantiated tabloid trash who is merely satisfying the evidently insatiable public thirst for titillating filth, all for the sake of a sleazy buck (or quid).

And for God's sake, why not try to find a way to make a dignified living without preying on the defenseless dead?

— David DeWitt


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  1. Anonymous

    June 1, 2009 at 6:12 am


  2. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Why did Bret try to convince readers that everyone in Hollywood was gay??

  3. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Maybe he is himself… It seems to be fashionable these days…

  4. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Maria and Inga;
    Here is the Beauty with Earring and all:

    And this is what he is saying about himself:
    “Even if my book IS rubbish, I am always going to be believed more than such people.”
    “I may be a fiction writer, but many more people believe my “made up” stories and buy my books”
    “My career will continue–I'll keep on “slandering” people and writing crappy books which sell by the shed load…”
    -David Bret
    There is a website “Boycott David Brett”…
    You can see how many stars he has slandered.
    Have some ugly fun!

  5. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I read someplace – I will look for it – that Charles Higham is!

  6. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I just read that David Bret is publishing a book now to slander Elisabeth Taylor – what a low creature from hell!

  7. Anonymous

    April 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Here it is I found it:
    “In and Out of Hollywood” by
    Charles Higham; Oct. 2009,
    As a best-selling biographer of
    numerous Hollywood greats-
    Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Errol
    Flynn, Howard Hughes, and Cary
    Grant among them-Charles Higham
    has been privy to the public and private
    joys, tragedies, scandals, and
    desires of many of the darlings of
    Hollywood's red carpet.
    In and Out of Hollywood is Higham's own life story,
    replete with a vibrant cast that
    includes stars from Marlene Dietrich
    to Clint Eastwood to Leonardo
    Born into a life of privilege in
    1930s England, Higham endured a
    difficult childhood. To escape a tortured
    family situation, Higham married
    early despite his awakening
    homosexuality and fled to Australia
    with his wife to begin a new life as a
    poet, journalist, and editor.

  8. Anonymous

    April 9, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Brrr…. how can any one person be so mean? Even admitting that he… no. He's not worth one comment here actually! But good to know that there is a website against him. Thanks Tina!

  9. Anonymous

    April 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Inga;
    Brrrr… is right!
    It is so sad that our society has one big draw-back it breeds as well “Satanic People” who have nothing else to offer to the world but “Venom!”
    In some cases even very visible!
    Take care,