The Tom Hanks Enigma by David Gardner
Tom Hanks is one of my favourite actors. Like Michael Caine and Harrison Ford, if I see his name in the cast of a film, I know I will enjoy the movie. So, when I found this biography of Tom Hanks by David Gardner in my local library, I decided I should read The Tom Hanks Enigma: The Biography of the World’s Most Intriguing Movie Star. In a career spanning 25 years, Tom Hanks has cemented his position as one of the finest actors of his generation, but I knew very little about his background.
I certainly knew nothing about his difficult, almost bohemian childhood and the strength of character he brought to bear to achieve his goals. I liked this book about Tom Hanks’ life from his birth to The Da Vinci Code. The author, David Gardner is an English author who has written several books and biographies and I like the way he writes in a straightforward and informative manner. He is a talented journalist, and, looking at his sources, people like Tom Hanks. However, by the middle of the book it did read a bit like an extended celebration of Tom Hanks and how wonderful he is. Still, I forgave the author that.
Rags to riches always works in the right hands and Tom Hanks does come across as a good guy. David Gardner tells the story from “who-is-he?” to being “HIM”. Certainly the author has an array of stunning performances in blockbusters as diverse as Big, The Da Vinci Code, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, and Saving Private Ryan to draw on. His subject has an outstanding reputation as one of the world’s greatest leading men.
Still, behind the many roles lies an intensely private and complex figure. The Tom Hanks Enigma: The Biography of the World’s Most Intriguing Movie Star is a wonderful portrait of a dedicated family man and professional performer. It explores Tom Hanks’ fractured childhood, the breakdown of his first marriage, his friendship with Princess Diana, his relationship with Bill Clinton, his moral and political stances, his family life, and the highs and lows of his remarkable career. I found this book really interesting and, if you enjoy Tom Hanks’ work, I recommend it to you.