Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks Paperback – January 1, 2018
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Douglas Fairbanks was many things besides as swashbuckler, he was also a pioneer, astute businessman, ardent lover and husband, sometimes mostly absent father and indubitably, a star. Goessel has been researching her subject for over a decade and this shows in the depth of detail uncovered in this volume and also in the rarity of the images used in the book (because I am a photo maven).
One of the great strengths in this biography is Goessel's style of writing. Her prose is exuberant, buoyant and filled with humor, much like Fairbanks himself. Not only that, it's a very well written tome. It is rare in today's market for biographies to find one that is so scrupulously researched, so level-headed and crammed with details (especially in the footnotes, many of which made me laugh out loud). There is a lot of meat in this book, but, it does not feel like a heavy meal on your stomach. You (me) devour it with the relish of James Beard and are left hungry for more!
We are not weighed down with psycho-babble analyzing Fairbanks' thoughts and feelings, nor is there any imaginary dialogue. Quotes are are sourced directly either from the horse's mouth or the person in question. Goessel also does not shirk form calling shenanigans if the memories of some do not line up with the facts. Fairbanks had his flaws, and Goessel is not shy in discussing them. It's clear as mud she loves her subject (who can blame her), but, nothing ever descends to fangirl blathering. Again, at the risk of sounding like a fangirl myself, this book is a pure pleasure to read.
We are not also subjected to page after page of reciting of each lengthy plot from Fairbanks' equally long film career. This is a great blessing since the recitation of plotlines, today, often takes up a good portion of any biography. Now, not to say plotlines are not discussed, but, these are paragraph summaries, not page after page. (HOORAY). The various production details are fascinating.
The true gold in this book are the quotations from some of Fairbanks letters to Mary Pickford, which she kept in a box until the day she died. It's rare to have something so personal survive and to end up being curated in such good hands, well it's a miracle. 90 years on, it's still a great love story. I confess, I got to the last page and I did shed a tear or two.
It is a pity that Fairbanks is often relgated to a footnote, or only referred to as a swashbuckler from the silent era. Hopefully Goessel's fine book will do much to bring Fairbanks back to the forefront as a true pioneer (as his wife Mary Pickford is almost universally acclaimed to be) and remembered for his good works, as well as the incredible entertainment enjoyment his films bring to the viewer 90-100 years later.
NOTE: If you are reading the kindle edition, the photo inserts are AFTER the index and they're not listed in the TOC.
In short (or not), I give this book a healthy and solid ***** stars!