on 24 June 1998
Martin Gottfried has done a superb job of illuminating Fosse's life and work; I cannot imagine a better biography. He shows a complete understanding of the issues that informed Fosse's creative genius and creates a fascinating narrative which intertwines his life and his work. I picked this book up after having seen and loved the revival of "CHICAGO" on Broadway and have been transfixed by the book. I am a great admirer of Fosse's film work as well -- most notably ALL THAT JAZZ -- and found Gottfried's behind the scenes accounts of the movies gripping. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone who is interested in Fosse, choreography, or the development of an artist. I'd give it ten stars!
on 14 December 1998
"All His Jazz" is compelling for the blow-by-blow account that it gives of Bob Fosse's unparalled career. It is probably one of the more comprehensive and insightful books about show business that has been written. The main problem with the book lies in his subject matter, which one would think would be untenable for a biography. Bob Fosse and those around him (with the exception of very few) come across as arrogant, self-centered, and certainly self-destructive. Hey, let's face it. Truth certainly can be stranger than fiction, but it kept me from really getting into the book on a personal level. I ended up angry more than sympathetic and incredulous more than intrigued. The other problem I had with the book is a noble one, but exposes the flaws all the same. There really are not enough photos to supplement the narrative. The only reason I say this is because so much attention is spent on the details of Fosse's career, that it is a shame there are so few photos representing his amazing stage career. We can all go rent the movies if we want to see what they are about, and it might not be a bad idea to watch "All That Jazz" (which, by the way, is one of my all time favorites) before picking up a copy of this book.