I wish they'd put Stan and Ollie back on TV to show another generation how wonderful these two are. There's no doubt that they remain as funny today as they did back in their prime. I'm a big fan and have many of their DVD's. I wanted to know about the duo and this book informed me greatly.
Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy is a riveting biography of the two men. It took me only a few hours to get through. It concentrates mostly on Stanley who was the creative genius behind the pair, but this only heightens interest in the chapter on Ollie, which is written in interview form. I liked the way the book started with Laurel failing miserably on his first attempt at performing, with his Dad in attendance. His perseverence was incredible as he subbed for Chaplin during the early days before hard work and the luck to be partnered with Mr Hardy, finally garnered him some success.
The book, written after many interviews with Stan, has got a very appealing narrative. We get insights into the making of their films, answering questions about how the pair came together and how most of their routines got started. It's very enlightening.
What I found most surprising was the undercurrent of emotion throughout. Its author obviously had a wonderful adoration for the pair and Stan, while speaking to him is very nostalgic about the past. I love the parts where Stan met Chaplin after many years, after they both had made it. And where, years after their filmic success, when they were touring Europe, the church bells in Cobh played out their theme tune.
If you have any interest in Laurel and Hardy, you must get this book.