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The reader/author does a pretty darn good impersonation of the characters in the book. It makes the audio book more enjoyable.
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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
As an Audiobook - this is a gem. S. Stoliar is an accomplished voice-over artist. I heard him on G. Godfried's podcast and knew that to hear his reading of his book would be fun. It's more than fun. At times it transcends you to be a fly on the wall during some of the events. Stoliar is imitating the voices he actually heard from the people. It is. Stolliar is able to effectively able to mimic the famous people quoted in his book. He's even able to mimic Groucho's voice at different ages - making it sound appropriate for Groucho at the time he's quoted. If you at all like the Marx Bros - listening to this is a must. Stoliar makes it into a true joy!!
Who was your favorite character and why?
I was sympatheic to Erin. When I heard SS on GG podcast - he made Erin sound like "a villain". And I understand that given the short form of that show - it was a synopsis. Erin was an obviously troubled person - who gave SS many great opportunities - and treated him well. If it wasn't for Erin - Stoliar wouldn't have gotten the job with Groucho, wouldn't have become part of the house-staff, etc. So, Stoliar owes a great deal to her kindness. Sadly, she's a complex, sad character, whose demons eventually take their toll on others, including Groucho; and upon herself.
Which character – as performed by Steve Stoliar – was your favorite?
Certainly, Groucho. I appreciate Stoliar's great voice-over/characterization abilities. He's able to make a 30 year old Groucho sound 30, and an 84 year old Groucho sound 84.This is the kind of book that makes me so happy to have Audible. Reading this book would have been fun - but listening to Stoliar "perform" his book - makes this a true joy.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes - it's like a great documentary - with first hand accounts of the waning years of Groucho's life - with flashbacks to earlier times in the Marx Bros/Groucho's history.
Any additional comments?
This is an important piece of Entertainment History. Stolair had FIRST PERSON access to Groucho for an extended period of time - becoming part of the story in the final years of Groucho's life - but also getting to hear repeated retellings of Groucho's life from Groucho, and also others around him. Usually biographies are interviews with people, who knew people, who knew the subject of the book - or based on other printed material.Here - Stoliar lived the story, and had extended access to the subject, and to those who knew the subject (Groucho). And even for the stories Groucho told, Stoliar was able to hear concurring or correcting input from others who knew Groucho for many years.As an Audio book - this becomes an invaluable source for those who want to know more about the Marx Bros., Vaudville, and early Hollywood. Both the Book and Audiobook need to be in the Library of Congress - for posterity.