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Louise Brooks: A Biography Paperback – 1 Jul 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 619 pages
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press; 1st University of Minnesota Press Ed edition (1 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816637814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816637812
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Barry Paris is an author and journalist based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His best-known works include acclaimed biographies of film stars Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo, and Audrey Hepburn. He is a movie reviewer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and cohost of a weekly radio show on WQED-FM. Paris has won multiple awards for cultural and investigative reporting.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Few biographers can get anywhere near as close to their subject as the author has done in this truly excellent book. It's a roller coaster ride from start to finish, as Miss Brooks travels from being a gifted dancer to devil-may-care actress, then from virtual prostitute to respected writer, and finally to the status of a 20th century icon. Theda Bara undoubtedly paved the way for Louise Brooks, but few Bara films have survived and her contemporaries had passed away before the biographers could get to them. Not so with Brooks - there's a wealth of material direct from her friends (and in some cases, her lovers) and a great deal of written material direct from the lady herself. She never actually wrote her autobiography, but this is surely pretty close to what it might have been. Even if you know almost nothing about Louise Brooks apart from her hairstyle, you'll find this (thick) book a fascinating read!
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At book group we read 'The Chaperone' - a novel based on the fictional character of a chaperone - from a reference by Louise Brooks herself to her chaperone when she (LB) went to New York at age 15. We'd never heard of Louise Brooks but I was led on to find out more. One of those follow-ups was Barry Paris's book of Louise Brooks (from the bibliography of the fictional book). I see now that he has written other biographies of the 'stars' and I shall now order more of his books.
I found 'Louise Brooks' to be extremely well researched, written and so informative about the development of films and the studios. It is also well balanced and not all entirely 'pro' LB. Having watched Pandora's Box I'm not so sure why LB gained the cult following that she did - but she did and Barry Paris tells her story so well. Whether or not you're interested in Louise Brooks is almost irrelevant to this book - it's so lively, interesting and well written - with lots of photos/illustrations.
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Format: Paperback
Prehaps even better than her own book 'Lulu in Hollywood', Barry Paris' book faithfully follows Louise Brooks' life from her birth in Cherryvale to her death in Rochester. During this incredible journey over six decades, we are not spared any detail - no matter how sordid or depressing - of a sadly unappreciated actress and author. By the end, the desire to know more makes the reader wish that they too could have been honoured to meet this remarkable lady. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who geniunely loves movies...
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Format: Paperback
Barry Paris is a great biographer. He not only conjures up the life of a fascinating woman, whose image is so well known although her name would probably escape most people, with the vividity and insight that a great biogrpaher should conjure, but he also paints a picture of a time truely changing and her place within it. Hollywood and the unrest that the talkies conjured up. Pre-WW2 German film industry and behemian society, European cinema and the effect that the war had on this society and also on American cinema. You might not have realised before reading this book how interesting a chapter in film history as well as cultural and polictical, this era was.
Most importantly you never get bored. Barry Paris is a gifted writer and a great biographer. Despite the weightiness of this book you would be happy to read on and read more. Testament to his subject matter and to his skill. If only other biographers could follow suit.
There are few biographies on the bookstore shelves, virtual or otherwise, that could ever rival this book.
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