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David M. Friedman's lively and often hilarious narrative whisks us across 19th-century America, from the mansions of Gilded Age Manhattan to roller-skating rinks in Indiana, from an opium den in San Francisco to the bottom of the Matchless silver mine in Colorado - then the richest on earth - where Wilde dined with twelve gobsmacked miners, later describing their feast to his friends in London as "First course: whiskey. Second course: whiskey. Third course: whiskey". But, as Friedman shows, Wilde was no mere clown; he was a strategist. From his antics in London to his manipulation of the media - Wilde gave 100 interviews in America, more than anyone else in the world in 1882 - he designed every move to increase his renown. There had been famous people before him, but Wilde was the first to become famous for being famous.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Natalie Bartels on 01-30-17
Full of amusing Wilde trivia
What made the experience of listening to Wilde in America the most enjoyable?
The style was vivid like a novel.
What did you like best about this story?
I loved getting to see how Wilde behaved in America - his reactions, his weekly routines.
Which scene was your favorite?
Wilde interacts with coal miners in Colorado. Classic Wilde.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
One of the most interesting threads throughout the story Wilde's photo-shoot in New York with Napoleon Sarony. I like the history of how those photos were misused and because of early copyright laws.
Any additional comments?
Not a fan of Friedmans' assumptions at the end of the book concerning Wilde's demise. It is one of my pet-peeves when critics try to pretend that they have a perfect understanding of Wilde's motives to take legal action against Queensburry.
It was a good read though. Loads of work went into researching