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Comment: Good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
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Keaton Hardcover – January, 1966


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company (January 1966)
  • ISBN-10: 0025115707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025115705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cheated on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Because Rudi Blesh's "Keaton" was published over 30 years ago and out of print, it's best to check the public library first, because trying to find it in a used bookstore may take till the 5th of never.
The book focuses on, in particular, his vaudeville days (1895-1917) and the silent film period that followed (1917-28). Little is written about the years after 1928. This may be because the book was written in cooperation with Buster, and it is likely that the years up to 1928 were the happiest of his career. Because it was written in cooperation with Buster, we get interviews, verbatim, straight out of his mouth. These unedited "tape recorder" parts are the best pages of the book because we get to hear his down-to-earth speaking style such as referring to his father as "the old man", his own face as "the puss", and the garbage as "the ash can" (several times), and also his abrupt incomplete-sentence style of talking.
However, there's much to be annoyed by here. The 60's began a nauseating self-awareness period that even spilled over into the subject of Buster Keaton. This era began the absurd psychoanalysis of his films and Blesh seems to endorse it ("the pale mask projected our own feelings"). These innocent films, which were only meant to make people laugh (and make a profit), are analyzed as being a study of Man's Competition with the Machine Age or blubbery about Man Against Modern Mechanisms ("the Keaton mythos is one more of being mastered than of being master"). The best way to really appreciate Buster is to ignore this hooey, and instead watch the unbelievable bravery that's proven in the deadly stunts he performed in the films made up to 1928.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TERRIE C MILLER on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend reading Mr Blesh's book basically because he gives us a better view of Buster's personal life. He particularly focuses on his childhood and the years prior to 1920. This I found very interesting. He does seem to completely avoid the period betweens Buster's first marriage to Natalie Talmadge and his third marriage to Eleanor. This was a bit frustrating since I am very curious about these years. Blesh skims over what I am sure would be fascinating if not depressing reading. Keep in mind that Mr. Blesh was a freind of Busters so he is more respectful of Buster than some authors have been. All in all the book is very good and comes highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn H. Sitaker on April 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This biography is a classic, and hard to find in print. Rudi Blesh has a folksy, conversational style that is fun to read. Lots of photos that aren't available elsewhere. His respect and admiration for his subject is obvious. It sounds like he was a personal friend of Keaton--so perhaps his source for the bio was personal knowledge rather than extensive research? Like most biographies of artists, the book tells the story of Keaton's life and reviews his work. Some of the details in Blesh's description of Keaton's films are inaccurate --he relied on his memory rather than viewing the films again. And, Blesh is a biographer, not a film critic, so the analysis of Keaton's films is not very deep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By saskrs on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're reading this review, then you're probably a Keaton fan like I am. Published in 1966 just after Keaton's death, this book is required reading. It's a great companion to his autobiography, "My Wonderful World of Slapstick." This was the first book I read about Keaton after I became a fan, and it increased my interest in him tenfold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phoenix Chagouris on June 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book written in the 60's before Keaton's death and the author collaborated (and quoted throughout) with Keaton himself, wife Eleanor, mother Myra, and hundreds of his closest friends, production team and co-stars. I am learning so many intimate details about his personal life that helps put into perspective how his life story played out the way it did. Many other novels about Keaton have many gaps, or just focus on the pictures (sometimes still with gaps). The photos are not of excellent quality but are very obscure, ones you haven't seen before, from his wife and mother's scrapbooks. His early childhood years I found particularly fun and informative.

This is one I'm keeping for my archives. No way I'll resell. Thanks so much!!
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