“Everyone wants to be Cary Grant,” mused the world’s most famous leading man. “Even I want to be Cary Grant.”
It is 1959, the year of his greatest successes but also at the zenith of a charmed career, and the 55-year-old man who calls himself Cary Grant is on a deep journey into the self. Introduced to the wonders of LSD as part of his therapy at The Psychiatric Institute of Beverly Hills, he embarks on the hundred or more trips into his past, to the long-ago person he knows to be Archie Leach.
The Acrobat combines fact and fiction to explore the life of Cary Grant, from his start in English vaudeville as an acrobat and stilt walker to the pinnacle of his Hollywood success. Alternating between Grant’s past and his present in the late 1950s, the narrative brings to life the actor’s inner world and his relationships with some of the people that mattered most to him: Howard Hughes, Randolph Scott, Blake Edwards, Tony Curtis, and two of the five women he married.
Amidst the endless versions of himself and the characters that he played, who was Cary Grant, really? Who was he meant to be? Who in the end did he want to become? This riveting dramatization of the actor’s life and mind takes us beyond places that mere biographies have tread. It is an imaginative exploration written by a fiction master craftsman, and a must-read for classic film buffs, actors, and for all readers intrigued by radical journeys of self-exploration.
“A book for biography fans, for literary fiction fans, for movie fans, The Acrobat matches its graceful, stylish subject in style and grace. Delaney has both captured a man we know and given us a character by whom we are constantly surprised.”
—Darin Strauss, author of The Queen of Tuesday: A Lucille Ball Story