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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
VINE VOICEon February 7, 2001
This collection of Groucho's correspondence illustrates a number of things about the man. His wit was not limited to performance, his relationships with his friends were long lasting, and he wrote a number of warm and humorous missives to his children. You get the feeling that this collection is just the tip of the iceberg and a more complete portrait of the man could be seen with a more complete collection of his letters. Until the day an unedited and complete collection is released, fans can make do with this look at some of the funniest letter writing ever to be printed for public consumption.
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VINE VOICEon May 3, 2009
I bought this book because I am a big fan of Groucho Marx (and his brothers). I found that I enjoyed the book but I wondered if there weren't a few too many letters included. Roughly half of the letters were written to Groucho as opposed to BY Groucho. These letters are helpful in a number of ways. For one, they give a lot of background on Groucho's life with the asides and recollections that they include. Secondly, they give better understanding to Groucho's letters in response to these letters that initiated the correspondence. Finally, some of them are, in themselves, rather interesting and often remind us of the times they were written in. Groucho's letters are generally funny and often generate a few chuckles. My two favorites served a a sort of bookends to the collection. The first one was a letter to Warner Brothers who wrote about their supposed copyright to the name "Casablanca". The second one was several pages before the end of the book and was written to Herman Goodman of the Franklin Corporation in which he disects his subject as only Groucho can.

The editor of this book, Arthur Sheekman (who has some of his Groucho correspondence included), acknowledges up from that not every letter is going to meet our expectations. He's right about that but it doesn't keep us from charging ahead with great expectations. Those expectations slowed down a bit as I delved deeper into the book. However, I now feel I know more about Groucho and that made this book worthwhile for me.
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