Growing Up With Chico Hardcover – February 1, 1980
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- Publisher : Prentice-Hall; 1st edition (February 1, 1980)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 181 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0133678210
- ISBN-13 : 978-0133678215
- Item Weight : 1.14 pounds
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I had just finished reading Harpo's book, Harpo Speaks before I started this one. In this one I learned more about Minnie, the mother of the Marx brothers too. In a less flattering manner that Harpo details.
I enjoyed the book and hearing about her growing up (mostly) but it also just left me sad. Sad that someone could have it all and yet ruin it all. I also thought that Groucho came off here as just mean and bitter; more so than in Harpo's book, but apparently he really was that way.
A good account of not just Chico, but her mom Betty and the Marx Brothers also.
Maxine, like most child of ruined marriages, tries to sort out blame, wants to repair the home, and reconcile the events. The editing isn't as good as it might be. We wander off into her near first sexual encounter in the bedroom of Ray Milland, and a few brief attempts to land acting roles. Maxine carved out a life and a family for herself, but the Chico story remains what we want to read about. I think it might be difficult to bring in hard facts as Chico was totally unaccountable to anyone. Groucho claimed that when Bugsy Siegel was shot, he had a bad check from Chico in his wallet, but while this is note mentioned in this book, Chico's dodging organized crime debts is mentioned. A great many of these little stories have been read before, but I give Maxine credit for making her father accountable in public. Chico was a mathematical genius, a brilliant comedian, a masterful pianist with his own characteristic style. The facts show that he squandered 90% of his genius and 100% of his fortune. While we will always love him for what he gave us, many others suffered or what he stole from those invested in his life.
I recommend "Growing up with Chico", if only to help students of the brothers, the comedy, the films, and artistry, better know what living offstage was like. Four stars, well earned.
It is great reading about the famous celebrities the Marx Brothers knew, and how Maxine remembers assorted anecdotes of these individuals.
A fun book to read, and one that takes you back to what show business and Hollywood was like in the 1920's and 1930's
Don't miss it.