Closer to the Sun: An Autobiography


520 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-7710-5650-8
DDC 338.7'6179143092




H. Graham Rawlinson teaches history at York University.


Garth Drabinsky’s autobiography chronicles a profoundly un-Canadian
life. It races through the story of Drabinsky’s rise from small-time
entertainment lawyer to flamboyant head of the Cineplex-Odeon film
theatre chain. Drabinsky faced the stiffest challenge to his remarkable
ascent in 1989, when he was unceremoniously ousted from the company he
had helped found. He soon recovered, however, focusing his energies on
big-budget musicals and building his new company, Live Entertainment,
into an international colossus.

The person who emerges through all the adventures is full of paradoxes:
a passionate Canadian enchanted by Hollywood glamor; an unapologetic
showman with sincere concern for the arts; an individual at once
self-assured and easily bruised by criticism. Overall, Drabinsky’s
story—filled with Hollywood gossip, corporate intrigue, and the
politics of culture production in Canada—is a fascinating one,
providing a unique glimpse into a world often removed from

public scrutiny. What the book lacks are deeper reflections.


Drabinsky, Garth, with Marq De Villiers., “Closer to the Sun: An Autobiography,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,