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on 10 July 2009
Groucho and Me is just what it says: it's his own off-beat view of himself. Thankfully far from the 'celebrity' puff piece, this book digs deep into vaudeville history, immigrant city life, fast talking street smarts... and comes up with Groucho Marx' unique take on life. And what's more he wrote it himself. no 'ghosts' at work here.

When the Marx Brothers' films are seen today, they offer a different reality to what is available at the multiplexes. Although they were set in an equally make believe world -- where the studios decided what public taste probably wanted at the time -- the big difference between then and now is in the role of the throwaway gag; the one-liner; the quick riposte.

And here lies Groucho's special contribution. His wit, sharpened in traveling the vaudeville theater circuits with his brothers (an unlikely bunch of non-theatrical misfits who somehow pulled it together) is what remains, on celluloid, and in this book.

Groucho Marx is not widely known as a writer: but write he did for American periodicals of note in the middle years of the twentieth century. That skill is shown in this excellent, witty, history lesson. More a series of anecdotes than an autobiography in the boring old sense: it tells us much about the man, how he picked up the skills he needed, and then passed them back to us on stage, in films, and here.
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on 24 April 2002
Well, it's perfect isn't it. Simply very funny indeed. Perhaps a lot less acerbic than you might expect if you remember some of the dialogue he was given in the Marx Brothers movies; a lot less aggrssive. He wrote beautifully and self-deprecatingly. He narrates particular episodes (hugely embellished for comic effect I'm sure) so gently and then nails you with a wonderful non-sequitur or a pun out of nowhere. It's a joy. He was an incredibly funny man.
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on 11 February 2011
This is a well written,interesting and enjoyable autobiography.I ended up rocking with laughter a number of times during the reading of this book.Go on,buy it,just for the fun of it.
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on 4 March 2010
I RECEIVED THIS AS A PRESENT ABOUT 15 YRS AGO AND NEARLY HAD A HERNIA LAUGHING SO MUCH .

I LENT IIT OUT LOADS OF TIMES AND IT BECAME QUITE TATTY OVER YEARS AS I RE READ IT MANY TIMES AND MY FREINDS,SOME OF WHO DIDNT LIKE GROUCHO OR HIS BROS DOUBLED UP IN LAUGHTER ESPECIALLY THE BIT ABOUT HIS ESCAPADE CAMPING
I SCOURED MANY BOOKS SHOPS LOOKING FOR A REPLACEMENT FOR A LONG TIME WITH NO JOY, AND WAS ECSTATIC TO FIND I COULD STILL GET IT
ILL FRAME MY OLD BOOK AND GET ON WITH TURNING THIS ONE INTO THE SAME CONDITION
IF YOU LOVE A GOOD READ THAT WILL CHEER YOU UP THIS IS A MUST ITS A BOOK THAT WILL NOT DATE,I CAN SEE PEOPLE READING IT IN THE NEXT CENTURY
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on 17 January 2003
I am a huge Marx Brothers fan, but 'Groucho and Me' left me a bit cold. The humour in it is tired and the tone almost arrogant, and I got the impression that the whole book was simply a good idea for a last minute money spinner. It does reveal some interesting and funny anedotes about the Brothers, but these are retold better by some of the good biographiers out there. I would read Kanfer's 'Groucho' bio over this everytime.
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on 6 August 2013
My 2nd Autobiography and also, it just happened to be my 2nd Marx Brothers book too.
I found Harpo's Autobiography was better (but this likely comes down to favoritism. I like Harpo more)
However, that being said, from start to finish, this is a great book.

After reading his brother Harpo's book, as mentioned before, I learnt a great deal of their past, their childhood and up bringing and early stage careers. And even though Groucho also mentioned a number of things Id already read, he also went into greater detail that was missed in Harpo's telling of memories.

I personally preferred the first half of the book that focused on his early years and film career, to the second half that was more personal but all in all a great read for any fan of the Marx Brothers work.
It gets a grand *FIVE STARS*

A great book.
Not as great as Harpo's (in my opinion) but still great.
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on 23 January 2014
For one of the two funniest men in the world (Chaplin is the other) this is a really boring succession of anecdotes.
The book by his brother Harpo (the osilent one of the brothers) is far, far funnier.
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on 10 August 2004
Lets start with the positives. Well written, unique style, well presented. But these are what you would expect of any author whose book you have purchased.
I am a Marx brother's fan and I found that Grouchos autobiography was an overall disappointment, hence my title "Ouch! Oh & Me".
OUCH because it is hard to read a book that is written with such a condesending attitude towards the reader. I think he forgot who made him as famous and wealthy as he was. US THE FANS.
OH! because he seems to realise occasionaly what it is the reader expects from him and he throws in a few funny stories. I do not expect that an autobiography should be hilariously funny throughout, on the contrary it should have number of ingredients which I think this self styled money spinner is missing.
ME because of his over reference to his wealth his wages and his overbearing attitude, that I did'nt know he had before I read this book.
(I suppose that could be a positive, as I have learned something about the man)
I have to use two quotes from the book that for me sum up this book well. The first is from Groucho himself,
page 192 "As I get further along with this chronicle of trivia..." The book is trivial and in no way is a true autobiography. The next quote is from the editor of the book speaking to Groucho about the book,
page 209 "up to now you've written 80,000 words. And your readers still don't know a damned thing about you". After 100,000 words I felt the same way. This book is not the real deal its a raw deal from a GENIUS comedian that was out to make a few extra dollars on the fame he had acheived as an actor. Some people like spicy food some don't, if you are a Groucho fan buy the book and make your own mind up.
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on 31 July 2014
first half of book very informative then faded as if the remainder of the book was a pain to complete
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on 11 February 2013
Don't often see much on Marx Bros - good book If you like Marx Bros - great value too - very pleased
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