Raised Eyebrows was written from a unique perspective. Author Steve Stoliar was a fan of The Marx Brothers, and Groucho in particular, from childhood on. His dream was merely to see his idol in person, perhaps receive an autograph, or, if he was exceptionally lucky, have a brief meeting with the great man. Through an amazing set of circumstances, he accomplished all of that, and so much more!
I'm sure all of us have had dreams of meeting, and perhaps spending time with, a 'celebrity' you are a fan of, be it a singer, actor/actress, sports figure, etc. But how many of us have found ourselves working for that celebrity, and right in their home? Such is the case of Steve Stoliar, who served as Groucho Marx's secretary / archivist from 1974 until Groucho's passing in 1977.
Through his bird's eye view of life in the Marx household, he was able to rub elbows not only with Groucho, but with his legendary friends like Mae West, Bob Hope, George Jessel, George Burns, as well as the other surviving Marx Bros. Zeppo & Gummo, all of which are detailed in amazing clarity in this book.
By 1974, Groucho was 84 years old and in failing health, far past his prime as a performer. Yet, as Steve documents, his singular wit and comedic timing was still intact, making for some very amusing situations when the master would let loose those famous 'Grouchoisms'. But life wasn't all rosy during Groucho's last years, as Steve describes the oft-times turbulent relationship between Groucho and his "personal manager" Erin Fleming.
Raised Eyebrows is a highly recommended read if you have an interest in Groucho Marx, his brothers, classic films, or show business in general. No where will you find a more detailed, more accurate account of the final years of this comedy legend than you will within these pages. And it's done in a remarkably detailed, conversational style that will leave you feeling you're right there in the same room with the author. It's one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read from that standpoint alone.
The book was originally published in 1996, but this 2011 paperback edition has been expanded with a new 'Afterward' chapter that in itself is worth the price alone. Steve answers questions that Marx fans have been wondering about for years... not the least of which is what ever became of Erin? Do yourself a favor and give this book a chance. I guarantee you won't be disappointed and are sure to learn quite a bit of new information about the man rightfully known as 'The one, the only GROUCHO!'