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Profiles Paperback – April 20, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, April 20, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As a prelude to the anticipated publication of three volumes of Tynan's theater criticism, the editors have gathered together 50 of his profiles of actors, directors, writers, etc., originally published in such disparate periodicals as Sight and Sound, Sports Illustrated , and The New Yorker. The collection traverses over 30 years. Although only 17 of the profiles appear here in book form for the first time, the earlier Tynan collections are out of print. Each of the essays exemplifies his criterion for drama criticism: that "it is not the opinion that counts so much as the art with which it is expressed." The Tynan touch is witty and elegant. Of Orson Welles he wrote: "A superb bravura director, a fair bravura actor and a limited bravura writer; but an incomparable bravura personality." Recommended for general readers as well as specialists.
- Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'Tynan was unique in that he combined the soul of an artist with the descriptive skill of a journalist... He was an ideal profile writer, as this book eloquently testifies' Michael Billington, Guardian" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 541 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (April 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679756396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679756392
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,022,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just as James Agee (deceased) and Pauline Kael (alive, but retired) remain the best writers on the Art of Film, so Kenneth Tynan (again, deceased) is still the best writer on the Art of Theatre. Tynan wrote so beautifully and wittily and lovingly about the stage and the people who inhabit it and he was also responsible in a major way for the success of the National Theatre of Great Britain along with his friend and professional partner, Laurence Olivier. (an essay on Olivier is one of the high-points of this book.) It was Tynan who "discovered" Harold Pinter, who "made the career" of John Osbourne and was a major factor in reviving the career of Noel Coward, after years of neglect: as Literary Manager of the National, it was Tynan who urged a revival of Coward's classic "Hay Fever."
This collection of 50 essays is absolutely essential reading for anyone who has a love of theatre or simply of celebrity and star power. No one writing today writes as well as Tynan did nor consistently shows his affection for Show Business. If you regularly read today's so-called critics, you come away with the feeling that they become INSULTED that plays they dislike were actually produced!
I highly recommend this book. It is passionate, charming and, at times, really funny stuff. But, please, do yourself a favor and haunt every used book shop you know to find a copy of Tynan's out-of-print collected theatre reviews from the U.S. (he wrote for "The New Yorker") and England called CURTAINS. It is absolutely the best book of criticism you'll ever read.
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Format: Paperback
Tynan was one of the century's great journalists, capable of capturing a performer in two paragraphs, yet equally adept at longer essays, several of which are collected here. The pieces on Stoppard and Louise Brooks are particularly fine. The reviewer below is right: the writing is to die for; but, compared to Epstein, Tynan is a super-hevyweight, with ten times the force and prose-potency.
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By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Enormously entertaining and the writing is to die for. Epstein regards Tynan as a lightweight and in a way I guess he is, but a skilled lightweight is still a thing of beauty and Tynan IS skilled. I stared underlining favorite passages but had to stop because I was underlining almost everything.
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