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*Starred Review* Here’s something you can’t say about many celebrity biographies: at nearly 750 pages, it feels like it ends too soon. Wasson is such a lively, engaging writer that, as he takes us through the life and career of the multi-award-winning choreographer and director Bob Fosse, we scarcely notice we’re turning the pages—until there are no more to turn. Fosse is a fascinating subject: a perfectionist who seemed determined to drive himself into an early grave. He won numerous Tony awards for his stage work before segueing to the big screen, where—in a shocking surprise—he, not the favored Francis Ford Coppola, won the Academy Award for best director in 1973 (for Cabaret). Combining keen analysis of Fosse’s stage and screen works (Wasson rightly approaches Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz not so much as an autobiographical story as a fantasy) with a compassionate look at Fosse’s often-tumultuous personal life, the book is everything you could want in a celebrity bio, without any of the gossipy, trashy, third-hand-rumory rubbish that makes too many biographies so painful to read. This one’s a pure joy to read, cover to cover; you read it not merely for Fosse’s story, but also for Wasson’s inventive way of telling it. If this book doesn’t turn up on some literary-awards lists, it’ll be a serious crime. --David Pitt
'He thought he was the best, and he thought he was terrible.' The man in question is legendary choreographer and director Bob Fosse, whose celebrated life and career get their due in Sam Wasson's spellbinding 695-page biography, Fosse. You don't need to be a Broadway expert to enjoy this portrait of a man whose rise to power was famously fueled by insecurity. It's all here: accounts of his monstrous, masterful directing style; the explosive personal battles behind his Tony-winning triumphs; his incendiary relationship with Gwen Verdon. Wasson simply doesn't miss a thing. Give the guy a (jazz) hand. A-"
"The reason I picked up Fosse, though, has as much to do with its author as with its subject. . . . Wasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities. (The cast of characters is enough to recommend the book: Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Henry Mancini, Edith Head.) More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like his subjects, he has a flair for it."
"Sam Wasson’s Fosse is terrific in both senses of the word. It’s magnificent and frightening in equal measure, a biography so detailed and exacting that it makes you feel so close to Bob Fosse at all the major and many of the minor events of his life that you can practically smell the cigarette stink . . . Fosse is one of the best, most entertaining biographies I have ever read. . . . [Wasson's] intelligent prose flies off the page. He’s not only an impressive researcher—he interviewed more than 300 of Fosse’s friends and associates— but a wonderfully witty writer who chose every one of the book’s vast number of words with extraordinary care. And he’s got a killer sense of humor. Some sentences of this book are so damn funny that I laughed out loud." — Film QuarterlySee all Editorial Reviews
Exhaustive and exhausting. Impressive research in unearthing everything about this interesting man.
At times it just became too much, but then I was interested in learning... Read more
It got a little long winded but oh the other hand it was thorough and well organized. I now know a LOT more about Bob Fosse and Broadway shows in general.Published 1 month ago by Tracy Walvatne
I debated a lot whether or not to give it 4 stars or 3. I liked the book, but it was waaaaay too long. It could have been cut at least by a couple of hundred pages. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jo Flowers
A wonderfully researched and compelling biography of an incredibly complex showman. Bob Fosse revolutionized modern musical theater and was the perfect example of the bright light... Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Rudge
It was good fun reading about some of the Broadway greats and their relationships to each other and to Fosse. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you like the history of Broadway musicals and especially choreography, you'll love this book. A huge success story and a tragedy.Published 4 months ago by sharon decoux
Wonderful biography about one of the most influential Broadway choreographers.Published 4 months ago by Matthew J. Kilgore