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Timebends : A Life Paperback – Bargain Price, October 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 860-1413984448 ISBN-10: 0140249176

6 New from $43.27 16 Used from $8.59 2 Collectible from $24.00
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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 1, 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1995)
  • ISBN-10: 0140249176
  • ASIN: B000GG4FDG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,713,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

America's most famous living playwright (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, Incident at Vichy, etc.) here does with his life story what nature does with rock strata, folding it back on itself to achieve the effects of many-layered richness and simultaneity that he aims for in his plays. It's a life as remarkable for its commitment as its achievement. Growing up on the edge of Harlem in the '20s and '30s, the son of a successful but semiliterate coat manufacturer, Miller discovered both his vocation and his leftist political convictions during the Depression and the rise of fascism. He achieved a moral victory against McCarthyism in the '50s; and it was under his presidency that PEN went from an ineffectual literary club to a real force for international freedom of expression. While covering these events, Miller traces the genesis of his plays in his life experience, provides vivid portraits of a host of notables in the worlds of theater, cinema and politics, including Elia Kazan, Lee and Paula Strasberg, John Huston, Clark Gable, Sir Laurence Olivier, John F. Kennedy and Mikhail Gorbachev, and a detailed, deeply touching one of his second wife, Marilyn Monroe, who finally slipped from his reach. Tough, compassionate, bristling with intelligence and profound reflections on the dramas of life and stage, this is one of the memorable autobiographies of our time. Photos. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This duo offer a vast array of the venerable Miller's life and work. The 1971 Portable includes his most famous plays?Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, etc.?while in his autobiography, Timebends, Miller unfolds his life "with sharp characterizations and vivid imagery" (LJ 10/15/87).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Not enough to divide the couple, it seems.
Elizabeth J. Brown
Miller's voice brings all of this varied material together, and so the reader might approach this book as if listening to a great storyteller.
William Kowinski
For those who think that if they buy this book that they will get the lowdown on Marilyn Monroe- forget it.
babyboomerlarry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth J. Brown on August 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was going to be a 5-star review. But I have learned this week while reading "Timebends" for the first time -- twenty years after its first publication -- that Arthur Miller and his third wife, Inge Morath, had a son, Daniel, who was born with Down syndrome in 1966. Daniel's name does not appear in the text or index of "Timebends." According to an article in the September 2007 issue of Vanity Fair, Miller had Daniel banished to a state institution almost immediately after birth, and that he thereafter completely excised Daniel from his life. It's heartbreaking. According to Vanity Fair, Daniel, who is now 41, is relatively high-functioning and a very happy, content and spirited person. But when Daniel's mother, Inge, (who was well-known in her own right as a photographer) died in 2002 and the New York Times called Miller for information about his family, he again omitted the name of his youngest son. Inge visited Daniel regularly until her death, and celebrated holidays with him. I wonder how much friction her refusal to simply throw him away caused in the Miller household? Not enough to divide the couple, it seems. They were married 40 years.

In my view, to have denied his son's existence is an unforgivable blind spot for an artist so widely revered and admired for his empathy and his brave stances as a moral force for justice and compassion. As the VF article points out, shame, selfishness and fear could all have been motivators for Arthur Miller's decision. Still, after reading more than 500 pages of musings and meditations by a truly masterful writer -- a man all too aware of his own humanity; both of his talents and his limitations, I feel betrayed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By William Kowinski on September 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
In an interview conducted before he wrote this book, Miller said, "I think memoirs, autobiography...can help to translate chaos into something that is a useable past. Give an image where there was only a blur." He suggests the kind of autobiography he would be interested in writing would be more about the time he was living rather than his life, so a reader would "come away from it somehow a little heavier than he went into it." In all of this, TIMEBENDS succeeds wonderfully. I learned a great deal more about the textures, realities and signficance of the 1930s, 40s and 50s through his observations and images than through any linear professional histories. A bonus for those who enjoy seeing and reading Miller's plays is his deliberate selection of significant events and people in his life that show up in the plays in one way or another. And he does have great stories and observations about famous people--Olivier, Clark Gable, etc.-- that are the more conventional pleasures of show biz autobios. Even if he wasn't among the most important American dramatists of our time--perhaps the most important--this book would be a significant literary accomplishment. Miller is a careful writer, so readers perhaps unused to tact and understatement in memoirs are advised to look beyond their expectations to what he actually says. Yet his chapters on Marilyn Monroe were vivid and gave me more of an impression of her as a person than anything else I've read. Miller's voice brings all of this varied material together, and so the reader might approach this book as if listening to a great storyteller. This is a book full of heart, humor, wisdom and perspectives not found elsewhere. It is a treasure and a gift.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Thomas H. Lynch on December 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This autobiography, written by Miller at age 72, strikes the reader immediately with his wonderful writing style. He does not march year by year through his life but bobs and weaves subtly bending time with his abundant dramatic talent. It is a pleasure to read. But so much in his life! It does go on and on. It is a book for leisure, not speed, reading. He brings to live the Depression Age, insight into our real life in World War II, the ugliness of the House un-American Activities Committee and McCarthyism (he was convicted of contempt for Congress for refusal to name names though the conviction was later overturned upon appeal), and of course he writes on his successes of his plays All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, the Crucible and of many others as well as his failures. All this with Marilyn Monroe yet to come! He seems continually embroiled in injustice and wrenching emotional turmoil. With his third wife, in his 40s, he gets his emotional life together but still pursues freedom for writers as a president of PEN. Miller, now 85, still writes and has recently published 60 years of collected essays entitled as Echoes Down the Corridor. Some of the material covers the events covered in TimeBends, but TimeBends is much more interesting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very detailed autobiography. I think the very best parts of it relate to the period of Miller's life when he was a young and eager playwright. The whole story of the first stagings of ' Death of a Salesman'is a truly fascinating one. One of the major problems of the work for me however was that Miller could supply tremendous detail and also insight about people without really probing inwardly very deeply . I also believe he held back a lot of punches, a lot of bitter truth in writing about people closest to him.

A great playwright it turns out may be a very good, but not a great autobiographer.
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More About the Author

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. He was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Playwrighting at University of Michigan in 1936. He twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, received two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, as well as a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also won an Obie award, a BBC Best Play Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, a Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Algur Meadows Award. He received honorary degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University and was awarded the Prix Moliere of the French theatre, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pulitzer Prize, as well as numerous other awards. He was named the Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001. He was awarded the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters and the 2003 Jerusalem Prize.

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