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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable, of course, but not all that was promised, September 12, 2005
This review is from: Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios (Cappella Books) (Hardcover)
This book is heavy on argumentation. Whatever newly researched material it provides (and whether it provides much at all is debatable) is wound up in the fiber of a polemic the likes of which we haven't seen since the glory days of the Andrew Sarris-Pauline Kael Wars. I wish there had been a little less nonchalant jab-shooting at those with whom the writer doesn't see eye-to-eye, and a little more substance that was new.

That said, I will concede that this book is, naturally, highly readable. But bear in mind, it would be hard to imagine a book about any aspect of a life like Welles' being anything but readable. Having read Leaming's friendly biography and the Bogdanovich interview book (This is Orson Welles), however, I have to say everything here feels more than merely familiar, like something I (as a reader of books on this topic) have known for years now.

It begins to look as if a resifting through the same plate of sand is all we are going to get from further books about Welles, barring some sort of major uncovering of tapes, films or personal papers. And that doesn't appear likely at this point.
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