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Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography Paperback – October 7, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The title is "Schulz and Peanuts", but a more accurate title might be "Some Aspects of Schulz and How They Relate to Some Aspects of Peanuts". For an exhaustively researched 600-page book about a man who lived to be 77, Michaelis has written a curiously narrow book. Obviously, there's an incredible amount to cover in Schulz's life (Michaelis' rough draft was almost 1200 pages long and he briefly thought about dividing the book into two volumes), but Michaelis just keeps hitting all the same notes over and over: Schulz was unhappy, Schulz had a chip on his shoulder, Schulz never recovered from his mother's tragic death, Schulz used shyness as an excuse to avoid taking risks, Schulz had dysfunctional relationships with women, and on and on. And for a book about a humorist, there's very little humor in here, although some of the situations Michaelis describes play out like Peanuts strips involving adults. As for the complaints of Schulz's family, I'm obviously not in a position to say what's accurate in the book and what isn't. But I certainly can see where, as Schulz's son Monte has claimed, Michaelis might have ignored facts that went against his thesis. This isn't a Kitty Kelley/Albert Goldman hatchet job bio, but I think Michaelis' approach is a bit misguided.Read more ›
After reading this absorbing biography by David Michaelis, I now know that as a child I'd chosen the right person to provide a daily guide to childhood and the mysteries of adulthood. Michaelis provides a comprehesive back story, having spoken to amd corresponded with hundreds of Schulz's relatives, friends, neighbors, buddies from his childhood in Minnesota and during his stint as a "foot soldier" in World War II. After syndication made Sparky world-famous, writers, artists, and performers sought to meet Schulz, but his innate shyness made it difficult to reach out to other people. Michaelis hesitates to play snap psychologist with his subject, but does conclude that a lifelong unhappiness--despite his cataclysmic success--and intermittent agoraphobia encouraged Schulz to stay where he felt most comfortable: at his drawing board in his home studio.
Some of Schulz's intimates have expressed disappointment at the finished product, but any public exposure of mostly-private persons is difficult, no doubt about it.Read more ›
My wife, Donna, and I knew Sparky for many years. We began the relationship from a business perspective and it evolved into a personal friendship. Over time, we met most of his family and several of his close friends. Sparky exhibited the traits of a tremendous creative talent but often wondered why people liked this strip. Yet, no one worked harder or did a better job of delivering a final product that touched people and made them reflect, ponder or laugh. Underneath it all was a warm and generous heart. He gave so much to the world beyond a comic strip and his philosophy. By example, he sponsored an annual golf tournament in Santa Rosa from which all proceeds went to the Santa Rosa Hospice. After the tournament each year, he opened up the Redwood Ice Arena as a fund raiser, giving much of himself and his signed work, signing autographs, doing whatever he needed to do to ensure success. He and Jeannie were prime movers and donors for the Santa Rosa chapter of Canine Companions for Independence (acquiring and training assistance dogs then matching them with their new masters). The CCI campus would not exist without his contributions. An incredible number of people have been touched by his generosity over the years never knowing Sparky was the benefactor. There isn't enough room here to begin to list his benevolent deeds.
One of the things we loved about him was his humorous side.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book when it first came out and later I often I found myself thinking about it. I recently bought it for myself. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charles Krieg
Good read. A bit long winded, but if you like Peanuts and Charles Schulz, you'll like this book.Published 4 months ago by Durwin Sharp
Love reading snoopy books and about the author of all the books I read. It is an addition to my snoopy book collection.Published 4 months ago by William Macafee
I loved this biography, especially the way he relates to how Peanuts the comic related to his real life struggles. Read morePublished 4 months ago by DoodleLet
schulz himself is fascinating. a genuis. and then uses the cartoon strip
as his voice. there are many layers to him. schulz is a true
Billed as a biography and it did start out that way, but it then became more like tabloid journalism about Schulz's first marriage as well as became very judgmental. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carlo Ruggiero