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Subtitle: His Follies and Fortunes The life of W.C. Fields is a striking endorsement of Shakespeare's thought, â€˜Sweet are the uses of adversity'. From infancy, Fields found life laborious sledding, and he took extraordinary measures to triumph over all. Nobody in our recent history absorbed such a buffeting as a child and emerged so relentlessly successful in after life. By the time of his death, on Christmas Day in 1946, he was widely acknowledged to have become the greatest comic artist ever known.-from the book Robert Lewis Taylor's masterly biography, first published in 1949 and long out of print, fully captures the perverse and cantankerous wit and charm of this great man, his films, and the exceptional life he led, all from his uniquely jaundiced perspective.
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One of the oldest biographies of Fields remains one of the most inclusive, even in this era of kiss-and-tell writing. Taylor introduces Fields as a deprived, neglected child who became tough and bitingly witty as a result of his hard life. The book ends with his alcoholism and death. However, neither author nor narrator becomes sentimental in retelling this almost melodramatic story. Parker takes the brilliant writing and relates it much as Fields himself would probably tell his own story. He not only recreates Fields's one-of-a-kind voice, but presents background text and glimpses of other stars of the era in an awesome range. The listener can imagine Fields's grumpy face and hear the ice cubes clinking in his beloved martini. S.G.B. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Library Journal:
A reprint of the 1949 publication on the turbulent life of the comic actor. LJ 's reviewer said then, "Highly Recommended" (10/15/49). Fields's everlasting popularity makes that just as true today.-- MR
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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