During Orson Welles' tumultuous honeymoon in Hollywood 1939-1942, Thomson writes, he achieved "glory, but ruined himself; the one was not possible without the other." In this sweeping tribute to the man said to have "more genius than talent," Thomson chronicles the events that transformed Welles from Hollywood's bad boy into one of the most influential and enduring filmmakers. The accounts of Welles' intellect only serve to contrast with the self-destructiveness of his post-Kane years, and Thomson's analysis shows that Citizen Kane loomed over the actor-film maker, not just as an achievement he could never equal, "but as an underground presaging of his own destiny." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Welles is certainly enjoying a boom; soon after the first volume of Simon Callow's Orson Welles (Forecasts, Nov. 20, 1995) comes this study by the author of The Life of David O. Selznick and A Biographical Dictionary of Film. Thomson does not pretend to have done vast scholarship or delved extensively into original sources. As a boy in England, he says, he fell under Welles's spell, and his book is a sort of vast, almost novelistic examination of the showman's rich and ultimately deeply frustrating life; it is an attempt to come to terms with the fascination Welles continues to exert, although it is generally agreed that his last 40 years were an anticlimax. Determined to be compulsively readable, Thomson indulges in highly tendentious asides, interrupts himself with questions he imagines his publisher asking and works in chunks of scenes from Welles's movies and snippets from the interviews the star tirelessly gave all his life. The result is a vivid patchwork, a swift, impressionistic take on Welles that is also an often moving tribute to his oblique mix of genius and charlatanism. Not by any means the only book on Welles to read, but a stimulating and diverting one, with some unusual judgments: that his Macbeth, for instance, is better than his Othello, and that the late F for Fake is a neglected masterwork. Illustrated. 50,000 first printing.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have to say I found this an interesting read only because Welles himself was such an interesting, complex person. It's hard to mess that up when you're writing a biography. Read morePublished 7 months ago by A reader from California
Welles would adore this book. Audacious, unsentimental, stylistically bold as hell. It's entertaining and exciting to read... Read morePublished 7 months ago by edmond dantes
The least accurate bio of Welles, this book is widely discredited among film scholars. I would go one step further - it is poisonous to any study of the subject, perpetuating... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Justin K. Rivers
I am at a stage in life when I appreciate the rarity of quality biographies and autobiographies. With this creepy work of fiction, I can now say that I have been affronted by the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Camille
One of the better written books about one of our greatest actors and directors.Such a complex and interesting life.A very good read for Orson welles fans.Published on July 9, 2013 by steve w.strickland
I had to give the author two stars because there was obviously a lot of research involved. Too bad he blew it on cringe-inducing, pretentious, smug prose. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by brian edward caulley
David Thomson's ROSEBUD is like reading a movie script on LSD. Facts float in and out. Paragraphs are interrupted by a stream of consciousness dialogues that Thomson has with... Read morePublished on October 12, 2010 by olingerstories
A hard read.
I will not waste your time, but as an avid reader I have rarely had to stop in the middle of a book and give up. Read more