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O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo Hardcover – May 8, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 722 pages
  • Publisher: Applause Theater Books; 1st edition (May 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399146091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146091
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,597,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If at first you don't succeed... well, actually, Arthur and Barbara Gelb's 1962 book about Eugene O'Neill was a resounding success by any measure; for years, theirs was the definitive account of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and his work. Far from resting on their laurels, however, the Gelbs spent the next 38 years continuing their research, interviewing O'Neill's family and friends and digging up new sources of information. Now they've produced O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo, both a rewrite of their 1962 biography and a major literary event in its own right. The first installment of a projected trilogy, O'Neill uses the plays themselves as a jumping-off point for an exploration of the playwright's life, including substantial discussion of his colorful father, his Irish ancestors, and his troubled early years. This later work gains not only from its new source materials and widened scope but also from what the Gelbs note is a "changed sensibility"--both in themselves and the world around them. Those 38 intervening years have brought increased personal understanding and remarkable developments in O'Neill scholarship, they write, and O'Neill benefits from both. Marked by meticulous attention to detail and daring leaps in chronology, the Gelbs' biography is a remarkable reevaluation of one of our most violent and original American talents. --Greta Kline

From Library Journal

When the Gelbs"former managing editor of the New York Times Arthur and Barbara (So Short a Take)"published the first full-scale biography of Eugene O!Neill in 1962, they had the advantage of having interviewed many people who were close to O!Neill, including his widow, Carlotta. However, they had neither access to archival resources now open to researchers nor the freedom to reveal many of the secrets they had uncovered. Thirty years later, they asked Applause Books to bring their book into print after a minor revision, which turned into a complete rewriting that made use of quite a bit of new information and a more mature understanding of their subject. This maturity is particularly evident in their examination of O!Neill!s mother and her relationship with him. The book is an excellent companion to Stephen Black!s Eugene O!Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy (LJ 11/1/99), which employs a psychoanalytic approach in exploring some of the same archival material. Strongly recommended for all academic, public, and high school libraries; Volume 2 is scheduled for 2002."Susan L. Peters, Emory Univ. Lib., Atlanta, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This revised version of the Gelb's famous biography from the sixties is an incredible read. It traces the life of O'Neill from his early beginnings to his first Broadway play, Beyond the Horizon. One gets an in-depth view of his life with his parents and brother. Monte Cristo provides the modern reader with an enriched biographical background that really elucidates aspects of O'Neill's masterwork, Long Day's Journey Into Night. This biography is clearly written, thoughtful, provocative, and interesting. It's definitely one of the great literary biographies of an American writer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex Plainlater on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is no doubt the definitive biography of O'Neill's early life, but please note that this revision of their complete 1962 biography is only the first third of a planned trilogy, covering only the years up to 1918.

Reviews from the year 2000 mention plans to have the rest of the biography published by 2002 or 2004, but that doesn't appear to have happened yet. Does anyone know anything about the rest of the story with this?
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O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo
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