Buy Used
$3.95
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is lightly used with little or no noticeable damage. Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx Paperback – August 21, 1994


See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, August 21, 1994
$6.14 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.48

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (August 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030680607X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806070
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Letters are often a window to a person's true self, or, in this case, selves. This "book of letters in the old tradition of correspondence" (LJ 2/15/67) displays not only the great wit of the one, the only, Groucho but also the private, serious side of Julius Marx. Recipients include fellow show business figures and family members as well as T.S. Eliot, President Harry Truman, and Edward R. Murrow.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"It is hard to keep from reading bits of this aloud to friends and relations. Groucho in letters is just as devastatingly witty as he was in the movies, to say nothing of other media."
-- Publishers Weekly

"...these letters are good reading, for out of the book Groucho emerges, eyebrows bounding, eyes rolling, cigar jauntily clamped between his teeth, the wisecracks coming a mile a minute. Even Calvin Coolidge might have smiled."
-- Book Week

"Written...with the impudence, irreverence and general lunacy that made Groucho the immortal wise guy of the American screen."
-- Newsweek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
8
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 29 customer reviews
There is always something to read, somewhere in the book.
D. Movahedpour
I read this book more than 30 years ago and wondered if it would hold up to time... not only did it but it's an even more enjoyable read.
Marcella, the Cheesemonger
The short letters make it easy to read the book a little at a time.
A. Bryant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By D. Movahedpour on December 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This classic collection of Groucho Marx's correspondence, which was donated to the Library of Congress, at their request, gives the best glimpse into who Groucho Marx was. Not only do we see his letters to his family and friends, who included some of the century's most famous people, but we get to see what people wrote in return. Groucho's personality and wit shine through, and these letters are a rare treasure.
With little formal education, Groucho could construct a letter better than most people with college degrees. He shows himself as witty, acerbic, sometimes sentimental and, yes, often grouchy. The book starts off with his infamous exchange with the legal department at Warner Brothers, who claim they own the rights to the movie title "Casablanca." Groucho responds that, perhaps, since the Marx Brothers were famous before the Warner Brothers, that perhaps they owned the rights to use "Brothers"?
We see Groucho's exchanges with many of his friends, but not much between the brothers themselves, since they were almost always together and there was no need of correspondence. We see Groucho's complaints and his praise. The most memorable part of the book is Groucho's legendary correspondence with the poet, T.S. Elliot. Groucho is clearly in awe of the poet, who seems equally in awe of the comic. It takes several years for this predecessor of the modern "Email friendship" to become a "real life friendship" when Groucho and his wife fly to London to meet "Tom" and his wife. We find out about the evening via a letter Groucho sent to another person. We also see a letter where Groucho mourns T.S. Elliot's passing.
This collection of letters is never out-dated, and never becomes boring. There is always something to read, somewhere in the book. It is not a book that you will read, then forget about. It's an amazing, historical collection of wit, sarcasm and genuine tenderness that is essential to any humor library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Diana S. Walsh on December 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
I received this book after major surgery some years back and Groucho's wit really helped pick up my spirits and take my mind off of my body. This was one of the best gifts that I've ever received and I'm pleased to see that it's back in print. If you could have a dinner party and invite any historical figures that you wanted, wouldn't Groucho be on the list? This collection of his intimate correspondence is the next best thing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Algernon D'Ammassa on July 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
For some, a criterion of great art is: it makes you feel creative. Reading Groucho's letters makes one look around for pen and paper.
It is a pity Groucho Marx's prose isn't better known, because it was quite good. He found a voice all his own, with due influence or inspiration from Robert Benchley and, most certainly, S.J. Perelman.
This collection of letters ranges from warm and teasing, to wry and satirical, to scathing (a section entitled "Short Shrift" showcases letters designed to sting and fly away, like a wasp). Yet throughout, Marx's wit is belied by a language that is literate and witty but uses an ordinary vocabulary. They reflect the man himself, who had a third-grade education and hit the books in later years. His willingness to address himself to unknown corporate officers, well-known politicians, or to put on a major film studio work the way much of Groucho's humor worked: he comes from the level of the ordinary person, caring not a whit for ceremony or status; and he is willing to talk circles around just about anybody, to their vexation and our delight.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
If you are a fan of Groucho Marx, this collection of letters to and from him will only deepen your appreciation of him. These are not the scribblings of a comic actor who is funny in his films merely because he can transform the writings of others into laughs. These are the letters of a deeply gifted and dedicated writer. In every letter in this collection it is clear that Groucho is striving to write as well as he possibly can. These are letters practiced as an art form. Or rather, art forms, since Groucho can adapt his letters to the demands of the occasion. A letter written to a friend has an entirely different tone than one written to someone he barely or does not know. He can write long, eloquent letters, or short, terse ones (my favorite in the later vein might be the one to the governor of Idaho, which begins, "Thanks for the potatoes.").

Groucho is at his best not when writing other comics (I found his correspondence with Fred Allen to be perhaps the least interesting part of the book), but other writers, like Norman Krasna, Harry Kurnitz, and Nunnally Johnson. There are also a number of unexpected exchanges of letters. The ones that he exchanged with T. S. Eliot are delightful primarily for the degree to which the two fawn over each other, with Groucho delighted that the great poet is a fan of his, while the poet is as giddy as the most avid devotee. They began their correspondence rather late in Eliot's life and as a result they did not write each other for very long, but it is one of the book's highlights to see how excited each was to know the other.

Many of Groucho's correspondents are well known, like Eliot, Fred Allen, James Thurber, James Reston, and Harry Truman, but some of the best are not famous today at all.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?