- Copertina rigida: 465 pagine
- Editore: Alfred a Knopf; Stated First Edition edizione (maggio 2000)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0375402187
- ISBN-13: 978-0375402180
- Peso di spedizione: 839 g
Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx (Inglese) Copertina rigida – mag 2000
“Thoroughly absorbing.... Groucho has finally gotten a biographer worthy of him.”–The Wall Street Journal
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Stefan Kanfer's books include The Eighth Sin, A Summer World, The Last Empire, and Serious Business. He was the primary interviewer in the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Line King. A former writer and editor at Time and a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, he has been a writer-in-residence at the City University of New York, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Wesleyan University. He lives in New York and on Cape Cod.Visualizza tutta la Descrizione prodotto
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There are two main problems: one is that there are virtually no notes, despite the vast amount of direct quotes from various sources. There is a list of major published works on Groucho, with some given helpful annotation, but more detailed notes should have been present. The other problem is that, too often, Kanfer forgets to let us know what year he's talking about, or how much time is passing between sections. Several times, I found myself flipping back and forth, trying to place an incident in time. The book is strictly chronological, but the details get slippery. I would also have liked a few more photographs. Overall, recommended--almost certainly the best bio yet about a cherished and never to be forgotten man.
There are few faults this reader can report. It's clearly obvious that Mr. Kanfer leaned heavily on previous sources, but their precise origins remain unidentified. I wish the author had included more photographs, but I'm grateful for those chosen. There are, without doubt, other ways to see them. Marx's early life receives rather less attention than his late years, but I believe that's a consequence of the available information. Still, this reader remains unsure that Marx's mother Minnie can be blamed almost entirely for his phobias, neuroses and family antagonisms. Mr. Kanfer shares his understanding of the entertainment industry willingly with his readers without vanity or hubris. His remarkably deep knowledge base, obvious background friendships and Hollywood contacts no doubt assisted his writing. The reader gravitates to these points rather than being dragged or battered by them. In fact, I only questioned how the author included so many intimate details of Marx's life without being physically present, yet I never questioned if they were imagined.
The book's last section on the battle over Mr. Marx's fortune is reviewed in great detail. Fifty-five pages are devoted to Erin Fleming's influence and legal squabbles. They read rather like the script of a soap opera and are somewhat less satisfying than the prior 383 pages. That being stated, these incidents were still greatly important in Mr. Marx's life, death and legacy. His survivors and Ms. Fleming were left devoid of parts of their sanity and significant financial resources following this protracted battle. This reader was left saddened by the section, yet Mr. Kanfer never shirks from this sordid part of Marx's history.
In summary, there is much to praise and little to criticize. Julius (Groucho) Marx receives splendidly honest treatment and analysis as one of America's great comedians. His wit, intelligence, timing, work and devotion to his craft made him incomparable. And thanks to Mr. Kanfer, now I know where to find his star in the galaxy.