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Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat Paperback – 15 Sep 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (15 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571216137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571216130
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Tracing Keaton's beginnings in vaudeville and how he eventually applied that form's traits to cinema, McPherson creates an excellent portrait of a formidable talent, also addressing the private demons that accelerated his eventual slide.' Empire 'The author, rather like his subject, has the knack of sketching a poignant moment using a minimum of sentimental flannel.' Sunday Telegraph 'McPherson wins one over because of his loving fan's attention to, and lively evocation of, the core of Keaton's achievement.' Daily Telegraph 'Graceful and charming... McPherson's account is animated by the same sort of colour and vitality as Buster's best work.' Scotsman"

About the Author

Edward McPherson is a writer in New York City. Buster Keaton is his first book.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 3 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am not a silent film scholar (or even enthusiastic) and I only had a vague idea of who Buster Keaton was when I was given this book, so I had no real incentive to bother reading it. I looked up some reviews online, though, and it had been very well-received, so I figured I'd give it a try. By the time I'd finished with the prologue, I was already a fan -- both of Buster and the author. The writing is so alive, so intimate and engaging, that I couldn't help but rent some movies to see what the fuss was all about. And, having now watched my fair share of Buster features and shorts, I can say that the prose in this book replicates the vigor -- the fun! -- of the films. So glad I took the time, as this book actually inspired a new passion in me... (Now when is it going to come out in the US?)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Please note: this is a paperback with inferior paper and photographic quality (as often found in paperbacks). This is, however, reflected in the modest price.

However, the content was interesting in the way the author integrated Buster's personal life with the themes and styles of his films. The earlier part of his life was fascinating - I loved the collapsing outside toilet a teenage Buster rigged up for a neighbor - anticipating the famous scene in Mash by more than half a century.

It was also fun to read of the various practical jokes and antics that went on both in the studio and on location.

Altogether a good introduction to the man and his comedy.
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Format: Paperback
i enjoyed this recent biography on buster keaton. for one thing, this book will help introduce modern audiences to keaton's comedy.
i found a lot to like here as the author wisely avoids the more sensational and even downright ludicrous myths that surrounded keaton's childhood and the years when he was at M.G.M. instead, we are presented with the story of a highly original and creative artist who suffered at the hands of a rather vindictive wife and her snotty acting family and then of course, at the hands of M.G.M. happily though, the author has taken great pains in describing keaton's re-surgence in popularity at the beginning of the 1950s and which continues to this day.
the only slight negative comment i have to offer, is that the selection of photos is disappointing. i was expecting a lot more than the ones that were chosen. however, that's a mere quibble.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much about the films and not enough about the man himself which is a shame because that was the main reason I bought it. Is better for someone who is interested in the films and not about Buster Keating. A disappointing read.
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