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After serving an apprenticeship under Sid Caesar and Phil Silvers in Los Angeles, Neil Simon returned to New York at age 30 to embark on a career as a playwright. Some 35 years and three dozen plays later, the most successful comedy writer in the history of the American stage is still at it. In Rewrites, Simon reflects on his career, his relationship with his older brother and mentor Danny, and the loss of his wife Joan to cancer. Along the way, he reveals the price he has paid for his achievements: "I felt like I had stopped relating to people as friends, relatives, acquaintances.... Instead they turned into my victims, as I ripped their private souls from their being, feeding my hunger, my insatiable desire to use them in my writings, in my plays, in my thoughts." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Simon has built his playwrighting career by creating funny, indelible characters. Who can forget Oscar Madison and Felix Unger? This illuminating memoir, which takes Simon into the 1970s, reveals his creative influences, as well as his personal triumphs and tragedies. He is brutally honest in describing his bouts with writer's block, and he's not afraid to admit that directors and actors have often helped him complete some of his most endearing plays. He confides, for instance, that the third act of The Odd Couple went through numerous rewrites and was salvaged only after director Mike Nichols suggested Simon not set the act in the middle of a poker game. Simon's forthright account of his work with Bob Fosse on Sweet Charity illustrates how two immensely talented individuals can work through their differences to create a highly successful show. Anecdotes about actors Simon has worked with make for particularly entertaining copy, and his description of George C. Scott's erratic behavior while he starred in The Gingerbread Lady shows how a playwright's success can hinge on the whims of a troubled actor. However, many digressions, though humorous, distract from the story at hand. Simon's account of his family and personal life beyond the theater lacks resonance, particularly when dealing with his experience with psychotherapy?the only section of the book written in the third person. While this memoir won't bring down the house, in general it's a well-told tale by a man whose talent, diligence and luck have made him Broadway's shining son. 100,000 first printing; Reader's Digest Condensed Book; Fireside Book Club main selection; first serial to Reader's Digest; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Neil Simon's memoir, REWRITES (1996), serves to support the theory that some of the best comedy is born of unhappiness and pain. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Timothy J. Bazzett
A winner of a memoir, Simon writes as though the reader is an intimate to his life, a life that is so interesting that one is drawn in
from the beginning to the end. Read more
Wisdom about life and writing...I think of it often as I sit at my desk.Published 9 months ago by E. Jahneke
Definitely on the short list of the best books I've ever read. Mr. Simon shows himself to be not just a wonderful author of plays, but of books also. Read morePublished 11 months ago by FMinParis
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learning about Mr. Simon's beginning as a playwright, I wish the ending had not occurred so abruptly. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Marcia Baumann
Interesting book about theater and film from one of Americas leading playwriters. Very funny , not only for
Once I got by the geriatric humor, I found myself mesmerized and actually laughing out loud. This book moves in both senses of the word. Read morePublished 16 months ago by William Duane Tucker
Good grief. I think I laughed and cried by page 10. I can't believe Neil Simon could create such a great best seller with his very first book, but than again this is a man who... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Andrea Simmons