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Harpo Speaks! Paperback – July 1, 2004
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To Marx Brothers fans who have yet to read this book: Put it off as long as you can, because once you are finished, you will wish you could read it again for the first time. Harpo's life was interesting in itself, but it also frequently intersected with the lives of other fascinating people, most notably his own brothers and drama critic Alexander Woolcott. Marx also was part of the legendary Algonquin Round Table; he's got plenty to say about that. Wait'll you hear about what it means to "throw a Gookie." You'll never be able to watch a Marx Brothers movie again without looking for the Gookie!
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If you like the Marx Brothers, or even if you only like one of them, get this wonderful book.
And btw, I ordered this book way over here in Israel, and it came with no problem, on time and no customs duties. Great.
And what about autobiographies, memoirs, and the like? With them it's all or nothing at all. Very few books can be more frustrating than a poor autobiography, in the same way as very few can be more delicious than a successful one. Fans expect their idols to display in their accounts of their own lives the same qualities of humor, lyricism, sensitivity, and sheer intelligence that made them be loved by so many people all over the world. When it happens, the book invariably stays in print for decades. When it doesn't, it dies the death. Not for anything "HARPO SPEAKS!" has been around for almost fifty years, the *sixteenth* printing having come out in 2010. Here is a gem of a book, one that couldn't possibly be more in accordance to everything fans might expect from Harpo Marx revisiting his own past. Credit must surely be given to his collaborator, Rowland Barber, who did a marvelous job of putting together Harpo's reminiscences. But this is unmistakably Harpo ... speaking! It becomes easy to understand why he was such a special part of the Marxes magic. His perception of life and the human condition is that of a genius. The book succeeds most spectacularly in preserving the essence of that genius. Needless to say, it's a must for anyone who loves The Marx Brothers. But beyond the realms of fandom, "HARPO SPEAKS!" should be read by anyone interested in what an extraordinary thing human life can be.
-- Leonardo Thierry (email@example.com)