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Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo Hardcover – June 30, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Reveals Herzog to be witty, compassionate, microscopically observant and—your call—either maniacally determined or admirably persevering.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Stands alone as a compellingly gonzo piece of reportage. . . . As a read, Conquest flies along—but not because it’s especially plotty. Rather, it gathers its kick from the spectacle of a celebrity director escaping the late–’70s famescape into his own obsessions.” (Time Out New York)
“Those who haven’t encountered Herzog on screen will undoubtedly be drawn in by the director’s lyricism, while cinephiles will relish the opportunity to retrace the steps of one on the medium’s masters.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Urgent and compelling. . . . A valuable historical record and a strangely stylish, hypnotic literary work.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Top Customer Reviews
What he does dwell on is the Amazon itself. Herzog seems to enjoy love-hate relationships -- his relationship with the Amazon is much like his relationship with Klaus Kinski. At times he is repelled and rants against the jungle:
"The jungle is obscene. Everything about it is sinful, for which reason the sin does not stand out as sin. The voices in the jungle are silent; nothing is stirring, and a languid, immobile anger hovers over everything."
"Tumors form on the trees. Roots writhe in the air. The jungle revels in debauched lewdness."
Kinski appears, with his own rants, irrational behavior, just plain annoying, irritating behavior. He keeps insisting to Herzog that the jungle is erotic:
". . . Kinski amorously leaned his cheek against a tree trunk and then began to copulate with the tree. He thinks this is immensely erotic: the child of nature and the wild jungle. . . . . To me it was not erotic at all. I spat, only obscene."
Mick Jagger and Jason Robards also appear -- they were cast in Herzog's first attempt to film the movie, cut short by Robards' illness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was useless. Enjoy this required reading in college.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an amazing book, teeming with brilliant, lucid, no bull observations and storytelling. It’s mostly taken from the gritty, often grotesque diaries he kept while making... Read morePublished 9 months ago by A Reader
Notwithstanding the films he's created, Conquest of the Useless provides an amazing journey through the mind of Werner Herzog.Published 15 months ago by David Munoz
I am a Werner Herzog fan so I enjoyed the book. Absolutely must watch the movie Fitzcarraldo before reading the book.Published 16 months ago by Randall L. Barthel
This book truly gives one a glimpse into the mind of Herzog, who expresses himself with astounding acuity, and a sense for the hidden poetry in the unnoticed beauties of every day... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Beverly K Macri
Substantial addition to understanding of the circumstances, under which the film evolved.Published on July 19, 2014 by Ursula Hahn
Poignantly describes the trials of everyday life in the jungle and the physical and psychological effects on people. Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by Lowflyer