- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (July 5, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582345821
- ISBN-13: 978-1582345826
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I, Fatty: A Novel Paperback – June 16, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Dedicated as ever to exploring life's dark and deviant sides, Stahl shows his heart in this sad, wild, uproarious faux memoir of silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Presented as if told to Fatty's butler—who wouldn't dispense his employer's heroin unless he coughed up the dirt—the book hews closely to the undisputed facts of Arbuckle's life. The forerunner of fat man comic actors ranging from Jackie Gleason to Horatio Sands, Arbuckle was most famous for being the center of one of the first celebrity trials: at the height of his film career, he was accused of raping an aspiring actress. The prosecution claimed that he crushed her with his weight during the act and she later died of the resulting internal injuries, while the papers suggested that when his "manly equipment" failed to function he reached for a Coca-Cola bottle. Arbuckle was acquitted at trial—but even the apology issued by the jury did him no good. Stahl's deep dedication to the whacked-out and marginalized helps him inhabit Arbuckle's character sharply and convincingly. Poor, huge, articulate Fatty realizes at one point, "Success and adulation turned out to be just a vacation from the jeers and ire I'd known before."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's life is the quintessential Hollywood rags-to-riches-to-rags story, following the silent-film actor from his youth in a one-room Kansas shack to wealth and international fame that rivaled that of Chaplin and Keaton (his proteges), from addictions to alcohol and heroin to his public disgrace in a rape-murder case of which he was ultimately found innocent. There is probably not much new material here--most of the author's sources are widely published--but in this "novel," told in Fatty's voice, Stahl gives Arbuckle a hard-earned humanity as well as explains the actor's incalculable contributions to film comedy. Along the way, Stahl also gives a good sketch of the early years of Mack Sennett's Keystone film studios, where Arbuckle got his biggest breaks: "Mack and the gang worked off a simple formula: create mayhem, and film it." And his account of the media hysteria over Arbuckle's criminal case, which led to the destruction of a man's career, not to mention the creation of reactionary and longstanding movie-censorship laws, finds harrowing resonance with our own modern-day obsessions with sex and celebrity. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It will have you crying and cheering for this now-little-known entertainer and comedian of the era of silent movies. At his height of fame he was making more than Charlie Chaplin. If you want a good historical read, treat yourself to this book!
The books were about the scandal that cut his career short, wreaked physical, personal, and financial havoc on the poor man. It took two hung juries, and a final 6 minute deliberation in a third trial to find him not guilty. The third jury issued an apology to Roscoe for the injustices he experienced at the hands of a bunch of Hollywood executives and an assortment of n'er do-wells - each having one purpose; to dismember Roscoe, and simply humble a man who began working at the age of five for a nickle an hour. At the height of his career, he earned one million dollars a year in 1920 dollars. In present day money, the value could be well into tens of millions of dollars.
His movies were burned, destroyed, and it would be difficult to find no more than clips of some of the most heartwarming, clean, funny, movies. He was the, Il est champion du monde, world champion, of prat-falls, screen jive-dancing, and credited with the creation of the pie in the face.
Okay, why do I tell you all of this? Presumably because I enjoyed both books; he was framed and each book made my sympathy even deeper