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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Genius..........
In early Hollywood cinema there were only a few leading lights and Charlie Chaplin was one of them.Famous for his clowning and mime,he has been copied and imitated right into the twenty first century.This book take us by the land and leads us from the poverty of Victorian England to the glam and glitz of Hollywood.
Charlie was born in South London in the latter part...
Published on 28 Oct 2007 by S. Turnbull

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I love Chaplin, but he is quite boring
For a boy who grew up on the streets of London with little education Chaplin writes very well, the trouble is he does not go into any of the interesting things that happened to him; he speaks very little about his films and his relationships with his ex-wives and even some of the more personal things he does go into, are actually talked about in a boring way. At times he...
Published 2 months ago by Barlo


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Genius.........., 28 Oct 2007
By 
S. Turnbull (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
In early Hollywood cinema there were only a few leading lights and Charlie Chaplin was one of them.Famous for his clowning and mime,he has been copied and imitated right into the twenty first century.This book take us by the land and leads us from the poverty of Victorian England to the glam and glitz of Hollywood.
Charlie was born in South London in the latter part of the 19th century and both of his parents were music hall entertainers.He lived mainly with his mother and first stepped onto the stage as a young boy after his mother lost her voice and could no longer sing.After spells in Victorian workhouses and pauper schools,Charlie and his brother Sydney fell into life on the road as part of several troups of touring productions,one of which took them to America....
To review this book in total would take pages and pages.He writes beautifully and if selective memory kicks in on occasion, well,that's his perogative.His life story is a fascinating insight into so many things,Victorian London~Victorian Music Hall~Early Cinema and much more.He recounts conversations and meetings with many historical figures including Winston Churchill and Ghandi.
I would highly recommend this book for many reasons but to sum up ~ buy this book 'cause it's a thumping good read!!.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings a lost world into focus..., 16 Feb 2006
By 
P. White (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I've never been a fan of Chaplin but I watched the broadcast of 'Chaplin' the movie recently and I was sufficiently impressed to buy this autobiography upon which it was allegedly based. I thought the film to be quite good until I read the book and realised that much of the screenplay is invented or warped. Chaplins own version of events is informative, well written and engaging. He spends some time explaining his impoverished early years in Victorian London and its facinating stuff: really brings the era to colourful life. His mother, portrayed very negatively in the the film, was actually a warm and imaginative character who I would love to meet (way too late of course).
Chaplin describes the early days of movie making with great eloquence (he did NOT make his Keystone debut by walking into a shoot by mistake - that's pure invention for the movie) and again it is fascinating. If the past is a foreign country we can never visit then this is the definitive travelogue for early 20th Century Hollywood. Great stuff and recommended. I even might buy a Chaplin DVD!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 4 Dec 2008
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Charlie Chaplin's life story makes a real page-turner of a book. The misery of his first twelve years had me almost in tears; he lived with his mentally ill mother in an endless series of tiny rooms in the worst slums of Victorian London. Charlie lived on pennies a week and was eventually sent to a workhouse for over a year where the beatings were right out of Dickens. What a contrast to his adult life! While traveling in a vaudeville show in the U.S. he was invited to Hollywood where he created the character of the tramp and rose to international fame and fortune.

Chaplin writes in a very readable style, recounting the horrors and high points of his life with fascinating detail (except for his many love affairs and marriages which are barely mentioned). He socialized with royalty and traveled the world, yet he never forgot his humble beginnings. Highly recommended, especially for film fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My beloved book, 14 Aug 2011
This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I read it first when I was about 16-17 and even now after many years I sill like to come back to it to read it again. One can feel Chaplin's spirit of it and well writen book just invites you to spend a couple of nights with it instead of waching all the TV nonsense. The same as in his movies also in his writing Chaplin has the touch that can reach both viewer and reader/listener. Don't expet any wild actions or surprises to be revealed. It is simply a description of the guy's life both with his sorrows and joys. Rich life. Recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a lovely Surprise, 23 Nov 2010
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
A few months ago whilst on business on a rainy day in Kennington South London, I found myself standing outside a house with a blue plaque "Charlie Chaplin lived here ...".

I then saw this book "Charles Chaplin My Autobiography" and bought it out of curiosity and for something to read on the Tube-not expecting very much.

I was was completely wrong. It is brilliant so well written and the way Charlie writes is so vivid & engaging. He clearly was often very interested in the people he met and what motivated them and the situations in which he found himself.

It certainly pushed asided the preconceptions I had about him as just playing the "little tramp" and just being a silent movie star without much relevance to modern times. On the contrary his life was astonishingly rich and he was greatly loved and respected by people of all walks of life. But although he became very wealthly, he never forgot where he came from and he supported socialism. He suffered for this at the hands of the American authorities during the McCarthy Era and the anti communist witch hunts.

As regards the criticism by another reviewer of his film "the Great Dictator" and the way it pokes fun at Hitler and the Nazi's. Well seeing the funny side is a very English way of dealing with monsters. But when Charlie made that film he did not know about the concentration camps. We know about them but we still poke fun at the Nazis in comedies such as "Allo Allo"

This book is definitely a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Chaplin: showing today's 'stars' how it's done!, 27 Mar 2009
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
What a fantastic book! All you 20-something wannabes (Kerry, Chantelle, I mean you) take note - this is how an autobiography SHOULD be written: at the end of a long, fulfilling and fascinating life, not after a normal childhood and ten minutes on a reality TV show.

This is a sweeping and beautifully written story covering the entire span of Chaplin's life at the time of writing, from his poverty-stricken London childhood and his early theatrical career, through the evolution of Hollywood and the development of his most famous and well-loved character, the `Little Tramp', to his dazzling rise to fame and fortune, his brushes with the harsh face of American politics, and his final escape to Switzerland with his wife Oona and their large family, where he remained until his death in 1977.

Not only is this a wonderful journey through the world of theatre and the development of the film industry, it is also overflowing with interesting people, places and anecdotes. His was a golden era of sparkling society in which the aristocracy and the intellectual elite mixed on equal terms and travelled frequently. Thus Chaplin can legitimately name-drop a veritable wealth of friends, acquaintances and casual meetings, from Albert Einstein to Winston Churchill, Lord and Lady Mountbatten to John Steinbeck, Rachmaninov to Picasso. On top of all that there is a meandering thread of personal philosophy, politics and considered opinion, all of which come together to form a rounded picture of someone whose genius could otherwise have become buried under his comedy.

I picked up the book on the strength of the film `Chaplin' (starring Robert Downey Jr.), which I fell to watching on television one day and watched to the end, finding myself captivated by the life of this unique, intelligent little man and his consuming interest in entertaining the masses with his films, of which he was writer, director, composer, actor and everything in between. I have never seen a Chaplin film in its entirety, but after reading his autobiography I have a list of movies to see and enough knowledge to fully appreciate them. I didn't want the book to end, long though it may be, and as I closed its pages I was reminded of Truman Capote's famous remark about finishing a book being like you've taken a child out in the yard and shot it. That feeling of looking at your bookshelf, wondering what on earth could top that? Oh, and in case you were wondering - Capote gets a name-drop too...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read from start to finish, 20 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: My Autobiography (Paperback)
If you have an interest in Chaplin at all this book will do nothing but culture it. The book is well put together and has many many moments that allow you to bask in the greatness his comedy, wit and shear need to entertain. But make no mistake the book doesn't skate around the sensitive issues that it could have i.e the fact that chaplin was deported from America for being suspected of having communist ideals, the women in his life (quite a few) e.t.c. In summing up I completly and unaquivickley Recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good., 3 Jan 2014
This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I purchased this for my boyfriend as part of his birthday presents. Hes a huge chaplin fan and after looking at the massive choice of books out there about Chaplin, I soon realised that this was the only book Chaplin wrote himself. This was the selling point for me.Overall, the item arrived quickly, well packaged and it went down a treat with my boyfriend who managed to read it twice in one week.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin's My Autobiography - Life of a legend, 17 May 2012
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This book about the life of the legendary Charles Chaplin, through his eyes, is an essential read for Chaplin enthusiasts. Very interesting read.

The physical appearance of the book I received is not the same as the product preview photo, although, one should never judge a book by its cover... :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant read, 13 Sep 2010
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This review is from: My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This was a brilliant read, well written and vastly illuminating. I am so glad I found it. I certainly had no idea of the political furore that this creative genius engendered or how bigoted 1950's America was. It was a complete eye opener, from the start in late 19th century london to the end in 20th century Switzerland.
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My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)
My Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics) by Charles Chaplin (Paperback - 24 April 2003)
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