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Al Pacino: The Authorized Biography [Paperback]

Al Pacino , Lawrence Grobel
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Aug 2007
Not only is Al Pacino known as 'one of the greatest actors in all of film history', he is also considered 'one of Hollywood's most notorious bachelors' ( as well as being one of the most enigmatic and private celebrities in the world. For the first time, AL PACINO offers a deeply personal and revealing window into everything from his growing up in the South Bronx, where he shared three rooms with nine people, to his fabled studies with Charles Laughton and Lee Strasberg, his father's absence, his mother's early death, and how he bounced through a series of odd jobs until his first paid role at the age of 26. He reveals his childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player, describes his first drink at 13, and admits his once ate Valium like popcorn at the Academy Awards. Though he has been involved with women like Diane Keaton and Beverly D'Angelo, the mother of his three children, he has never married and here reveals why, and how his feelings have changed. Through it all, he has delivered some of the most seminal performances in film and theatre history and worked with most of its biggest stars. He was nominated for seven Academy Awards before winning Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman. AL PACINO is an intensely personal look at a creative genius at the peak of his powers who, after all these years, still longs to learn more about his art. And for now, it's a close to a memoir as we are likely to get.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (6 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416522875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416522874
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Lawrence Grobel has written for Rolling Stone, New York Times and many others. His previous books include THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW, CONVERSATIONS WITH BRANDO and CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 22 Aug 2006
Having avoided any previous book on Pacino - I was intrigued that this was the first one to have his full authorization. Notoriously press shy and as much an enigma as many of the varied characters he has immortalised on screen - this book is something of a gem. The writer - a long time friend and collaborator of Al - is candid and interested in the introduction which serves as a simple but definitive biography of the man's life and more deeply his career. After that the bulk of the book becomes more an 'in conversation with...' style as nearly 30 years of recorded interviews between the writer and subject are edited as themed conversations. For many this may not appeal, but as someone who likes the style it makes an incredibly easy and enjoyable read - very often showcasing a verbal wit and sardonic side to Pacino that escapes even his wittiest screen personas. As an avid admirer of Pacino the actor from stage to screen, I may be biased, but this 'authorized' biography offers a simple, interested, challenged and detailed look at the man behind Corleone. Recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! 28 Aug 2006
Having followed Al Pacino's career so far, I was intrigued by the fact that he had given his authorisation to this book. I have read many books on Al Pacino, he is after all a very talented artistical styled actor, but not many went into real depth on the man, on his achievements, success's, failures. Until I read this book that is.

For the most part he bulk of the book becomes more conversational including many years of recorded interviews between the writer and Al. This may not be appealing to many. Usually I don't enjoy parts like these either but as an avid Al Pacino enthusiast, I saw through this and became quite interested in what he had to say. None the less, this biography is very enjoyable, simple, that will have you reading for hours. Who wouldn't want to learn about this man, after all, he paved the way for some of the great actors you see today. Highly Reccommended
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, cool, sexy ......... 19 Aug 2008
By E. Heel
I just finished reading this book, and I loved it! I'm so glad that Al Pacino allowed this book to go ahead. It was a revelation to me to find out how thoughtful, intuitive and smart this really fabulous actor is. Because the book is made up mostly of his words, you get a real sense of his personality. And how wonderful to read what HE actually thought of Michael Corleone, Tony Montana, Frank Serpico. If you want an insight into one of the major influences on film in the last 30 years, read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars al pacino 8 Feb 2009
this book is more of a guarded interview than a story al pacino seems a very very private person
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT HAPPENED 7 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first 20 pages told you everything you could want to know. The remainder of the interview was 'one to one' question and answer. It was like the interviewer had a list of questions, and not that much to do with Pacino himself but more like he was remembering different occasions. I never finished the book lost interest. Even though as a actor he's right near the top for me. The book was good value for money. The content rubbish !!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two good friends 28 Sep 2009
By ttandto
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Larry and Al speak together like old friends in this excellent biography.
It's obvious this shy and reticent person is only comfortable in someone else's skin; and only examines his career as one would an old painting by the masters - with wonderment and detachment.
You should watch all of Al Pacino's films, listen to Beethoven, drink some wine; and reach for this great book while you fall asleep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning read 1 Aug 2009
I won't go into much detail, but basically the book is a collection of one-to-one interviews over a period of 30 years.

Pacino is my favourite actor and he reveals very personal and interesting trivia about himself, opinions and inspirations on his career as well as proving he is an absolute pro, a true actor. You can see how close the author and Al have become over the years and it is very touching.

Verdict: 5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interviews 2 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Extended interviews with the great man himself over a 40 year period. Incisive, entertaining, thought-provoking, eloquent, subtle, stylish, challenging, sound
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Al pacino.
Al pacino is the best actor of his generation.He has started to take over since the godfather he got better and better and he's stage work has been a big help to him too.
Published 2 months ago by stephen walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This was a present for my husband as he is a big Al Pacino fan and he was delighted with it!
Published 3 months ago by Rosie34
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interview with...
The book is more an interview with or a script of a radio or tv show - so the style can be disconcerting rather than revealing and energetic.
Published 6 months ago by 41
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Biography
I have read many biographies over the years inc. sports personalities, Film and TV personalities etc. This is by far the worst one I have read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by D J Maggs
1.0 out of 5 stars Al Pacino
Terrible reading material. It's is only for Pacino to read .It's a shallow conversation between one or two " Newyonkers , sorry I mean New Yorkers"......
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by stamatina
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Value
I bought this as a present and it came when I was told it would and it is value for money.
Published on 23 Dec 2010 by S M Chadwick
4.0 out of 5 stars An Honest biography from the Sexiest Man Alive !!
An honest biography. Al Pacino is also very respectful of any woman he has ever dated in his life. He gives you a little piece of information, but never too much. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2009 by G. Kyriacou
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