5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Well researched, average writing, average book,
This review is from: Bob Hope: A Life In Comedy (Paperback)
William Robert Faith's bio of Bob Hope was OK but I wouldn't break down the Barnes and Noble door to go get it. The author did a great job detailing the details of Hope's career, specifically his work with the USO and his work in film. Faith also did a great job in detailing Hope's early career on the road working for next to nothing in small comedy clubs.
My biggest hangup with the book is Faith didn't detail or analyze Hope's personal relations to the degree he should have. Infedility in his marriage and strain with his four adopted children are often referenced but there is no real in depth analysis of how this effected Hope. There is also no judgement passed which suggests to me that Faith may have been too close to Hope personally and didn't want to pass judgement while Hope was still alive.
The biggest shortcoming in the book was Faith's lack of commitment when it came to Hope's philandering. It was suggested that Hope wasn't unfaithful to Delores throughout the book and that Delores didn't mind but just how wide spread was it and who was it with. There was only one time where Faith suggests a specific woman that Hope may have had a relationship with. I wasn't looking for some Hollywood tell-all but I was looking for more of a definite stance on just how much Hope played around. For instance, I read a bio of John Wayne and it did detail Wayne's relationships but did so in a way that said... this is what the guy did and here is who he "messed around with" and it was wrong.
Again, not looking for Faith to muck rake but to me it was just vague when it came to Hope's personal relationships. It also talked about how several of his kids had issues with Hope and his constant travel or his celebrity. The book didn't really talk about what this was all caused by and how it effected Hope. It just mentioned "strain" with his kids.
To an extent, the book was almost a very long wikipedia article that detailed Hope's life's work and his love of the military and the USO but didn't really offer the sort of in depth analysis that you normally get from a bio.