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Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 10 mag 2001

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Descrizione prodotto


“Thoroughly absorbing.... Groucho has finally gotten a biographer worthy of him.”–The Wall Street Journal


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.

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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 3.2 su 5 stelle 47 recensioni
34 di 35 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle A solid, readable account 2 giugno 2000
Di M. Ritchie - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
This book does a nice job of putting together bits of information and stories from a variety of sources into one volume. The author's style is strong and brisk and keeps you reading. The best parts of the book are his discussions of the plays and movies, although he pads things out with a few too many pages of direct film dialogue transcription. Even when the material was very funny on its own, the Marxes' delivery is what made their movies classics, and no amount of quoting can really bring Groucho's performances to life on the page. The first part of the book is, by necessity, also largely about Chico and Harpo, and Kanfer keeps all the brothers in focus as long as they remain important to Groucho; Kanfer also nicely charts the various rises and declines of Groucho's later life.
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.
4.0 su 5 stelle Great comic, not a nice man. 5 ottobre 2013
Di 39-0-13 - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
No doubt that Groucho left behind a legacy of being a great comedian, but reading his bio by Kanfer you can't help but think he was not a likeable man. No doubt his troubles as the neglected third son, maybe the most sensitive son, in Minny's brood had a lot to do with it; and his travails as a teen age vaudeville performer taken advantage of many times by all and sundry, including a gal who gave him a bout of VD, more than soured a personality otherwise attuned to more academic pursuits. His later treatment of the women who came into his life would give Dr. Oz many hours of counseling if Groucho were willing to accept it. Still, his sharp wit (the sharpest of all his brothers) kept him bobbling on the top waters of success from vaudeville days to his last appearances on TV talk shows and many a retro perspective. He could talk, and so glibly that his brother Chico reverted to dialect for his career and his brother Harpo kept his mouth shut till the very end, while Zeppo and Gummo left the field altogether. Anyway, Kanfer's bio covers the field, warts and all, and he is able to bring together some of the insights provided in the bios and memos written by others -- like Harpo's in his "Harpo Speaks." I recommend this book for those interested in knowing the man behind the comic mask. I think most readers will agree that Groucho was a great entertainer, a lively dinner companion, but a lousy lover and husband in his private life, a poor to middling father who left behind at least two children with some very conflicted opinions about him. Kanfer writes a very good biography, providing more details than reading other sources might provide; but his subject matter does not leave the reader feeling very edified. There are bios that you come away with feeling respect for the subject. That's not the case with this one. Groucho emerges as a much lesser man (as a man) than his image.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Splendid! 27 maggio 2001
Di Ancient_Fossil - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I learned of Stanley Kanfer biography through Dick Cavett's review in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Cavett was Mr. Marx's friend during his later years. His familiarity with Mr. Kanfer's subject only adds credibility to his praise. I was not disappointed. Simply stated, Kanfer's biography of Groucho Marx is superb. His book is one of the best biographies I've every read. It's extraordinarily precise, entertaining, readable and educational. His insights into Marx's personality are splendidly lucid and forthright. He holds no punches, much as he greatly admires Mr. Marx. I found his analyses of the entertainer's personality quick, frank and admirably honest.
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.
5.0 su 5 stelle well writen 18 ottobre 2016
Di gary a gallucci - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Interesting all fans need to have this book
5.0 su 5 stelle Good gift 2 novembre 2016
Di Amazon Customer - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This was a gift and it was a perfect choice.