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Through Weisman's perspective, Chaplin’s genius as a comedian and iconoclast lay in his early relationship with his entertainer parents and his move to an orphanage at age seven. By age 28, the Vaudevillian known for his ballet dancer-like grace was a millionaire and worldwide celebrity. Chaplin’s later life included scandalous love affairs and political activism.
Narrator Steve West’s crisp, evenhanded reading, delivered with a British accent, allows the material in this eye-opening new look into a cinematic greats to take the spotlight.
At age 25, he was touring here with a vaudeville troupe when his talents caught the eye of entertainment entrepreneur Mack Sennett, who spirited him off to California and signed him to a film contract. Chaplin became Sennett's star comedian, and by 28 the actor had become a millionaire and the world's greatest celebrity.
Weissman traces Chaplin's life and the sources of his genius in fascinating detail, demonstrating how his tragic childhood shaped his personality and his art. Infamous for his politics and his scandalous sex life, Chaplin was a much more complex and contradictory character than has hitherto been known. Weissman brilliantly illuminates both the screen legend and the turbulent era through which he lived and worked.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Christopher on 10-18-13
Chaplin: 1/3 of a Life
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I found the story of Chaplin's early life and how it influenced his great films to be very interesting. The book covers his rise through the Mack Sennett Studios and going independent. The author then spends five minutes to wrap up the next 50 years of Chaplin's life in a brief essay, skipping his family life altogether. He then goes into a debate over the authenticity of an unpublished Chaplin book. Very disappointing. Apparently his book draws on research in David Robinson's Chaplin book, which I will track down.
This should be titled The Early Years, or The Rise of Charlie Chaplin. It's not a biography of his entire life.