In his widely praised biography of the cinema's greatest comic genius, Kenneth Lynn sets Chaplin's art, his public and private life and his controversial politics in the context of his times. Lynn's extensive research and critical acuity, coupled with his deep historical knowledge, have enabled him to produce a book that has been recognised as ...
In his widely praised biography of the cinema's greatest comic genius, Kenneth Lynn sets Chaplin's art, his public and private life and his controversial politics in the context of his times. Lynn's extensive research and critical acuity, coupled with his deep historical knowledge, have enabled him to produce a book that has been recognised as definitive and which brilliantly succeeds in separating the facts of his subject's life from Chaplin's own artful fiction and, in doing so, offers us a deeper understanding of both the bright and the dark side of this extraordinary man.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-01-21 The life of the movies' first superstar receives comprehensive treatment in this big-shouldered bio from Lynn (Hemingway, etc.). Although it's based largely on secondary sources (earlier Chaplin bios, the published memoirs of people who knew him, press accounts), the book provides a vivid portrait of Chaplin's intensely energetic working habits, his vaguely left-wing politics and his restless (to say the least) personal life, especially his huge appetite for young women. As every Chaplin biographer must, Lynn makes a stab at sorting out Chaplin's early life in Britain, all accounts of which are colored by Chaplin's own self-mythologizing and inconsistent versions. The text picks up momentum and authority with Chaplin's arrival in Hollywood. The book's chief claim to originality is summed up by the second half of its title: in nearly every chapter, Lynn provides quick and evocative sketches of important people or events that affected, or were affected by, Chaplin. These virtual sidebars include passages on the British music halls, Douglas Fairbanks and even Hitler (whom Chaplin parodied in The Great Dictator). Lynn is especially good on the controversies of Chaplin's later career, when problems with the Hays Office (the film industry's semi-official censor) and Communist-hunters in the federal government helped to destroy his career and drive him into exile. Although it lacks the scholarly authority of David Robinson's Chaplin: His Life and Art (1985) and comes rather hard on the heels of Joyce Milton's fine Tramp (1996), Lynn's book is a splendid popular biography, witty, engaging and informative. Photos. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.