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Memoirs Of A Mangy Lover [Paperback]

Groucho Marx
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Feb 2002
Here are Groucho's improbable tales of true romance, narrated with his characteristic panache and illustrated with splendid New Yorker-esque cartoons.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; New e. edition (7 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306811049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306811043
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

As a member of the Marx Brothers, Julius (1895--1977), a.k.a. Groucho, enjoyed a sensational career on Broadway and in Hollywood with such comedy classics as Animal Crackers, Duck Soup, and A Night at the Opera. His solo career included work as a film actor, television game show emcee, and author of Groucho & Me, his autobiography.

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Until I was four I couldn't tell the difference between the sexes. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some old gold from Groucho 14 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Not many Americans make me laugh - intentionally! but the sorely missed Groucho has recently appeared in my sights as I hunt for examples of genuinely amusing literature. These essays and observational pieces are of their time (50's and 60's) but still shine with sharp-edged wit. Written with conciseness and lucidity he rarely misses the nail as he discusses his successes with women and money. Both rarities, apparently. Sharper than Thurber and less innocent than Wodehouse, but lighter than both - I can't recommend it enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Groucho 30 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
A highly amusing and very readable collection of observational tales on life, ladies, Hollywood dinner parties, and all manner of things - all in the familiar wry humour and snappy style of Groucho. For Marx brothers fans, there's even some tales from his career with his brothers, with Chico and Harpo featuring in amusing recollections of scrapes with card sharks, Mexican boarding houses, guinea pigs and more. Who knows how much of this is totally true, it's just an amusing and very enjoyable read. If you like any part of Groucho's work, you should really enjoy this book.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most disappointing 3 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
I expected to find a treasure trove of mordant wit from one of the masters of one liners but instead found a bag full of meandering musings from a has-been. Extremely dated and most disappointing. Stick to the film scripts or have your illusions shattered.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a Mangy Marx 8 July 2002
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's almost impossible to read MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER without hearing the distinct voice of Groucho Marx echoing in your head. The writing style in evidence here is very close to Groucho's unique manner of speaking that was so prevalent in his movie, radio, and television careers. His train of thought weaves dangerously, one moment he'll be discussing romance in the dark ages, the next he'll be looping back to earlier sentences, picking apart his own grammar or dragging a double entendre from the brink of reason. The narrative moves quickly and easily, but the reader should be careful, as speedy perusal will cause you to miss some of the subtler jokes.
The subject matter is very much a product of its era and its author. Most of the jokes revolve around how terrible it is to be married, how much of a pain one's wife is, and how much men like to sit around playing poker. Not to say that the anecdotes and remembrances aren't hilarious, because some of them are painfully funny, but the subject matter is fairly limiting. Fortunately, Groucho is clever enough to keep the jokes moving so that it doesn't feel like the same story repeated endlessly. The book is just the right length for the amount of material. Any longer and it would have seemed repetitious, any shorter and it would have been insubstantial.
Not surprisingly, my favorite stories of the bunch were the ones that included cameos from the author's famous siblings. Harpo and Chico do put in short appearances here, which would give one the impression that some of the stories that are written about here actually happened. To be honest, most of the anecdotes seem to have been fairly embellished, so to differentiate between what is reality and what is the result of Groucho's mad mind is a game that simply can't be won. If you're looking for an in-depth and accurate biography of Groucho Marx, then there are loads of other books you should be investigating. This tome may not tell you much about Groucho Marx, but it wasn't meant to. It's a cliché to say that a really funny book will cause one to laugh out loud in embarrassingly public places, but clichés like that come about because of hilarious books like MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Groucho 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fans of the Marx Brothers know that chasing women was a part of their comedy routines. Though Groucho didn't go "honking" after them like Harpo, he got the job done with rich widows (Margaret Dumont). In this book, Groucho tells about his own real life amorous adventures and gives us his priceless look at the history of love.
I'm a relatively new fan of the Marx Bros. and I absolutely fell in love with this book. Its a quick read, but extremely entertaining. Of course, there is plenty of humor throughout the book and I laughed out loud several times. Groucho's view of the opposite sex would be considered politically incorrect today, but it is hilarious (and I'm a woman!). He recounts a few stories about anonymous friends and their exploits, a few of his own exploits, as well as a few stories that aren't related to love but are still funny.
I recommend this collection to anybody that loves witty books (and isn't afraid of a few puns) and has an absurd sense of humor. Its a must for any Groucho fan.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groucho at his best. 3 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Groucho regales us with hilarity in intimate snippets from his life and his career. You don't have to be a Groucho fan to enjoy this collection. You simply just have to be alive.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER" has the zippy title . . . 29 July 2007
By Allen Smalling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
. . . but the better book of Groucho memoirs to begin with is GROUCHO AND ME, published in 1959, several years earlier than MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER (1963). In each book Groucho Marx's unique wordplay, jaundiced viewpoint and occasional tracks into surrealism entertain. But in GROUCHO AND ME there is no "me" other than Groucho himself, and not only is his wit enteraining, we get a coherent family picture of the Marx parents and their five boisterous children, growing up in near-poverty in the early 20th Century in the Yorkville (upper East Side, but too upper ever to be posh) district of Manhattan. Later on Groucho touches -- with some skips and jumps but chronologically -- upon the other places the gradually more successful family troupe lived, from Chicago to Broadway to Hollywood, where they hit the celebrated American "instant stardom" after paying dues for nearly thirty years, most of it not in the first-class venues.

Now, I will not maintain that MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER is "that's left-overs" in any derogatory way. Groucho's essays definitely entertain, but they are merely that, comic sketches or essays, usually arranged around the subject of Sex (Men chasing women, almost always), with occasional forays into politics and society, but only in an abstract way. Only the person with a flair for the artwork in this book and in Groucho's engaging but occasionally crotchety tone would put this book down as a product of the turn of the Sixties (as said, 1963).

The actual product I read -- the paperback edition from Da Capo Press -- has a printing error which is what led me to take my estimation from four stars down to three. The very end of the book is entitled "A Note on the Author by Groucho Marx," and it surely was meant to be short, but I can't say how short. My edition of MEMOIRS OF A MANGY LOVER -- the only edition available new that I know of -- snaps off at mid-sentence at the end of the page: turn the page and there is nothing there but the publisher's UPC code! Now, Groucho loves to talk about himself by talking around himself, so to speak; and he certainly had a talent for setting us up for puns, situational follies and quick turns of speech ("Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas; how he got into my pajamas I'll never know.") But it wouldn't in any way be a Marxian touch for a book to end in mid-sentence. Beyond transferring data, are these things still proof-read these days for line intergrity and page coherence? We, the reader, deserve more for our $15.95 than 213 pages that end with what could only charitably be described as a production blunder. After all, in memoirs as well as Vaudeville, the closing act has to be strong.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THINK HARD:Its Groucho,can it be bad?....NO 30 July 2000
By Dan Schreiber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
ladies and gentleman,its GROUCHO MARX the king of comedy ,the god of comedy.This book is very insightful ,it may not be his funniest or his best but its still one hell of a great book from a great man.In this book grouch speaks of life ,how sex evolved,who his best friend is ,how much chicos got in his bank acount .if you are a true marx fan ,you cant possibly over look this book,if your not a marx fan ....what the hell are you doing reading this review. all in all ,they only let me give it 5 stars ,truefully there is not enough stars in the universe to make up how good this book is .so if you bought the book because of this review .i hope you love it,and if you hated it well......please dont hurt me. LONG LIVE CAPTAIN SPAULDING......even though hes dead
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