A world class pianist, composer, television and film personality, Levant seemed to know everyone who was anyone. His career took him from the concert hall to Broadway and Hollywood, to radio and television, to drug addiction and the psychiatric ward of Mr Sinai hospital. Through a collection of anecdotal vignettes, Levant offers the reader a ...
A world class pianist, composer, television and film personality, Levant seemed to know everyone who was anyone. His career took him from the concert hall to Broadway and Hollywood, to radio and television, to drug addiction and the psychiatric ward of Mr Sinai hospital. Through a collection of anecdotal vignettes, Levant offers the reader a roller-coaster ride through the ups and downs of an often troubled, often brilliant artist and critic of the human condition, let loose on the uneasy ground where art and commerce overlap.
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Very Good in Pictorial Cover jacket. Paperback. 12mo-over 6¾"-7¾" tall. Clean, bright and tight. Minor shelfwear on cover; biggest flaw is bumped bottom corner denting the tip of the cover and the first couple of pages. Excellent condition.
Bought this for my husband, who, like me, remembered Levant's unpredictable and often hilarious appearances on the Jack Paar show when we were kids. Book did not disappoint.
May 21, 2009
My Favourite Neurotic
I really enjoyed this book, being just about old enough to remember, of have heard about, most of the showbiz people filling its pages. (Thanks to TCM for much of it.) I have read all Levant's books and this is probably the best - though the very best book on Oscar Levant is 'A Talent for Genius" by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger which is a sympathetic biography of this fast-being -forgotten musical and wise-cracking genius. A lot of the book consists of very funny quotes, from Oscar himself and various other people, and general stories of the entertainment industry of of 30's ,40's and 50's. The trouble with Levant is that you quickly get addicted and having bought all the books I could find on and by him, I then collected DVDs of all his films and all the CDs I could find of his musical endeavours, - he was a brilliant pianist and the CDs still sound good, even the ones with a few crackles. (They are re-mastered from the original 78s and LPs.) Parts of "Memoirs" are quite hard to read as Oscar becomes very ill with addiction and mental problems but he never loses his sense of the ridiculous, especially about himself. This is a fascinating book about an equally fascinating character. Time, I think for a re-discovery.
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