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Life on the Wire Hardcover – October 31, 1991


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Abandoned by his father shortly after birth in 1940 and "dropped off" with his maternal grandparents for several years, actor Al Pacino attributes both his drive and restlessness to his early childhood experiences. After leaving his Bronx, N.Y., home, he spent more than a decade on his own, holding a variety of odd jobs, struggling to make it as an actor. His break came with The Godfather in 1972; he cemented his reputation with leading roles in the two Godfather sequels, Scarface , Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon . Yule ( Fast Fade: David Puttnam, Columbia Pictures and the Battle for Hollywood ) relies primarily on interviews with Pacino's associates and material from other journalists to fill out this breezy biography. Covered are such matters as Pacino's "rivalry" with Dustin Hoffman and his liaisons with actresses Diane Keaton and Jill Clayburgh. Yule also quotes Pacino at length, lending evidence to the accepted wisdom that little is more tiresome than a Method actor talking about acting. For example, Pacino observes, "Doing a play like Richard III is being involved with words, with where we're from." Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

As one of America's most revered contemporary actors, Pacino is a dichotomy: acting in several disastrous films yet part of some of Hollywood's biggest successes; suffering from alcoholism yet possessing the ability to play roles of control; achieving his own star status yet constantly being confused with Dustin Hoffman. Author Yule, who also penned Fast Fade: David Puttnam ( LJ 1/89), takes the insider's view in writing this unauthorized biography. He chronicles Pacino's life, from his penurious childhood through last year's much-publicized Godfather III filming, relying on conversations with the actor's manager, acting teacher, closest friends, former lovers (including Jill Clayburgh and Diane Keaton), and at times Pacino himself. This is not as deep an emotional study as it promises to be, but ultimately it proves an interesting and entertaining work on a fascinating dramatic and artistic life.
- David Nudo, New York
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (October 31, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556112742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556112744
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RC on August 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a extremely well written book..andrew yule does a great job on this book which i can imagine was not too easy judging by how private al pacino is..al pacino is one of if not my favorite actor and i thought i knew about him but after reading this i feel like i really came way seeing al pacino in another light.
the book can be perceived as not a true bio by some as it doesn't go real deep into al's life...it mainly explores and reveals his work..but then you will find that al pacino's life is "the work"..al pacino is the definition of what a actor is..and you will see that after reading this book..the author yule is given access to lots of sources and it is a authorized bio..as he gives lots and lots of great quotes from marty bergman,charlie laughton,and pacino himself...which are great.
how it goes it is will basically go in order by all the work he's done and it will tell stories about what happened behind the scenes it will give quotes of all the people involved and will show what happened..then afterwards it will always show you what "professional" critics wrote about the work..which i think is a good idea..it sheds light into how the work was perceived at the time...
and what i really took to heart from this book is how much critics are scum..not that the author portrayed them as this..i just can't believe how much critics have without mercy assaulted and attacked pacino...pacino gives his blood to his work...he gives everything...he immerses himself so deeply into his characters that it is almost scary...and sometimes he will put so much work in and so much sweat and then you see these critics sitting on their fat butts just bashing his work..these talentless nobodies destroying all pacino has done..and it is really sad and really angers me..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By panagiota kambouris on February 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Al Pacino: A Life on the Wire is a great book! I am very impressed because even though Al Pacino went through a lot of hard times in his life, he made it. He is a real fighter, and he has proven that people should never give up; they must follow their dreams. Yule presented Al Pacino's life in general in an easy-to-follow way, and the reader can understand things well about Al Pacino as a person. I especially like Al's sense of humor, his passion for his job, and his attitude towards marriage. Al is definitely a free spirit and an accomplished actor!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie L. Dew on February 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a lifelong fan on Al Pacino, I purchased this book and could not put it down. It gives you private insight into a very private man and details the trials that he endured to get to where he is now. A must have for any Pacino fan!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In response to the Kirkus Review of Life on the Wire: The book does not report that Al Pacino's mother left him at three. She died when Pacino was 22 years old. Pacino's father left the family when Pacino was 3. The book clearly states these facts.
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By Sunny on April 29, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. I've been a huge Pacino fan for 40 years and this book gave some insight into the man. I love him even more after reading this book!
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