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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY HA-HA AND FUNNY PECULIAR
`I love this book,' reads Johnny Depp's comment on the front dust jacket of I, FATTY. `I like it,' is mine. It's a great title for a book and a tremendous tale of early Hollywood, told with a verve and flair reminiscent of that which E L Doctorow's RAGTIME applied to the eastern seaboard of the US of A.
I, FATTY is a first-person narrative fictional reconstruction of...
Published on 1 Sept. 2005 by Bill Keeth

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2.0 out of 5 stars Not convincing
I was unsure what rating to give this book but in the end, I decided that the things that were good about it were the ups and downs of Arbuckle's life and the things that were bad about it were to do with Stahl's style. The trials following the death of Virginia Rappe are tense and probably the best part of the book. At times the rest felt like filler. Stahl's style is...
Published 20 months ago by Kath Page


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY HA-HA AND FUNNY PECULIAR, 1 Sept. 2005
By 
Bill Keeth (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I, Fatty: A Novel (Paperback)
`I love this book,' reads Johnny Depp's comment on the front dust jacket of I, FATTY. `I like it,' is mine. It's a great title for a book and a tremendous tale of early Hollywood, told with a verve and flair reminiscent of that which E L Doctorow's RAGTIME applied to the eastern seaboard of the US of A.
I, FATTY is a first-person narrative fictional reconstruction of the life and times of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, the first Hollywood star to earn $1M a year, only to find his fame turn to infamy and fortune slip from his grasp after a party resulting in the death of a female partygoer in Room 1221 of San Francisco's St Francis Hotel.
Revisionist in the sense that this is Arbuckle's personal take on his career and eventual disgrace, there is still no way the fat boy wasn't "at it" - whatever "at it" may mean, of course. He was not a rapist (for reasons revealed in the book), and he was certainly no murderer. But the precise details of Virginia Rappe's demise remain as unclear as they ever were. Fact: Fatty Arbuckle - a definite dipso and occasional drug addict - is caught in flagrante with a damsel in dire distress who subsequently dies.
So what is Fatty Arbuckle exactly? A voyeur? Maybe. A raver? Well, yes: he's no angel, that's for sure. But neither is Virginia (-in-name-only) Rappe, the professional lady who expires subsequent to Fatty's alleged ministrations with a Coke bottle. And neither are the press and public any more angelic than they.
Thanks to the concentrated attention of the Hearst press in the main (Buster Keaton apart, Fatty's friends are the kind best described as "fair weather") Fatty Arbuckle is a condemned man from the start, and his world caves in completely until, exonerated at last (after a trial and retrials), he makes a lacklustre, partial, almost hand-to-mouth comeback as William Goodrich.
On the minus side, Jerry Stahl's narrative is a bit too magazine-speak smooth for my liking. Personal pronouns appear to be anathema to him: a hostile witness instantly becomes "madcap Mabel", Fatty's car is christened "Big man-mobile", and an ill-favoured acquaintance attracts the soubriquet "Old Onion-Breath". Nor is the odd anachronism outside the author's remit: Fatty (dead by 1933) bewails the lack of the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS 20-odd years before its time. But on the plus side, though Chaplin is somewhat neglected due to Fatty's dislike of the man, there are wonderful characterisations here of Mack Sennett and Buster Keaton - in addition to which a young Bob Hope is glimpsed on stage with Fatty in Cleveland, Ohio - and Bogart on Broadway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Life's a pie-fight and then you die", 20 Oct. 2008
This review is from: I, Fatty (Paperback)
"I, Fatty" is one of the most intriguing books I've read this year. The book is based on papers citing the life of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, star of early 20th century cinema.
Arbuckle was a celebrated comedian who came from an extremely poor background and rose up to become one of the leading and highest paid stars of two-reel comedies and movies in the late 10's and early 20's. He was loved by all until one notorious night to be remembered in Hollywood for years to come led to his tragic downfall.
Here, Jerry Stahl has put together many of Arbuckle's diary entries charting Hollywood's former golden boy's enviable rise to fame and his inevitable ruin.
What makes Arbuckle's tale so compelling is how he conveys his emotions throughout his story with plain honesty and especially his childhood years which help the reader understand Arbuckle's state of mind and how he percieved himself and his situation. Stahl conveys a strong sense of pathos throughout which makes the life of 'Fatty' Arbuckle even more compelling and paints the image of a man who was a victim of circumstance, cheated and betrayed by those who made him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fatty Arbuckle, 8 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: I, Fatty (Paperback)
This book was brilliant - hard to believe it was 'faction'. It was incredibly sad too' it was so obvious that he was framed for the offence yet never seemed to have the right people to defend him. The only person who believed him and stuck by him was Buster Keaton. Gives an insight into the dissolute life Hollywood in the Twenties was. Compulsive read -it arrived on the Saturday and I finished it Monday afternoon!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not convincing, 30 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: I, Fatty (Kindle Edition)
I was unsure what rating to give this book but in the end, I decided that the things that were good about it were the ups and downs of Arbuckle's life and the things that were bad about it were to do with Stahl's style. The trials following the death of Virginia Rappe are tense and probably the best part of the book. At times the rest felt like filler. Stahl's style is inconsistent and not always convincing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars strangely compelling, 9 Feb. 2009
This review is from: I, Fatty (Paperback)
I decided to read this book on the strength of other reviews and I was not at all disappointed. From the very beginning, the author draws you into Fatty's world. Famous names abound and it's intriguing to find how they are connected to Fatty. If I had one criticism, it would be that I would have liked to see some photos.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 27 Nov. 2008
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This review is from: I, Fatty: A Novel (Paperback)
A must for all Hollywood afectionados. Like interviewing the man himself. I loved it, and like all good books will be re-read. Great narative and clever style. Perfect, My hands set like rigamortis around its cover until every last word was read and it was forced from my hands by my wife.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read., 29 Sept. 2009
This review is from: I, Fatty (Paperback)
Wonderfully written by Jerry Stahl,this may be a cliche but one of these books it's hard to put down,sad and very funny at the same time,also good insight into the world of silent movies and can't recommend highly enough!I, Fatty
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Insight full read, 6 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: I, Fatty (Kindle Edition)
Written from Arbuckle's point of view, from the rise to stardom to his life being destroyed by lies spread by the press and the lack of support by the film studios. Also his great friendship and support with buster keyton.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I. Fatty, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: I, Fatty: A Novel (Paperback)
Unfotunately, I can't agree with the other reviews on this book. I really did not enjoy it. Interestering in parts (beginning and end only). Disliked the style of writing and at times I couldn't understand what on earth was by said. It didn't give me only single laugh.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT TOO, 31 Oct. 2006
This review is from: I, Fatty: A Novel (Paperback)
As biographies go, this was a page turner, and I honestly loved it from the start, right the way to the end. I put it in my top three biogs that include David Niven's and Michael Caine's own self penned books.

So what if it's not 100% accurate? You get a bloody good seat, right next to the fatman, as he chews out his own version of his own life story, and by god does it make a good listen (read).

The two downsides to this book are as follows: 1. Lack of pictures, and lots of to see who we are dealing with. 2. The book ends.

Fear of fatty? Not after this read. Think his films were unbelievable, just dare to take the salt you'll need when revelling in his own story.

Thanks Fatty, here's one in the eye for you.
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I, Fatty
I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl (Paperback - 1 Feb. 2006)
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