Customer Reviews for

My Autobiography

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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(7)

4 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Dear Ol' Charlie Chaplin

Charles Chaplin was born in 1889, in London - the son of struggling variety artists - his father, a vaudvillian who died young; his mother, a spirited music-hall soubrette who lost her voice and, eventually, her reason. His childhood was pure Dickons - in and out of the...
Charles Chaplin was born in 1889, in London - the son of struggling variety artists - his father, a vaudvillian who died young; his mother, a spirited music-hall soubrette who lost her voice and, eventually, her reason. His childhood was pure Dickons - in and out of the workhouse, then a hand-to-mouth existence as a juvenile actor. At 21, member of a traveling music-hall company, he came to America. And the infant movie industry stumbled upon the greatest star it was to ever find. Everything in his autobiography makes fascinating reading: his boyhood; the London theatre of Dion Boucicault and William Gillette; the early free-wheeling days of the movies; how he evolved his style, his plots; how he chose his leading ladies; his sudden, dazzling success; his encounters with great stars and world figures from Mary Pickford to Gandhi to Bernard Shaw to Gertrude Stein to Anna Pavlova to FDR; his emotional involvements and his four marriages. He sets it all down in extraordinary detail and in a manner intensely personal. He describes how suddenly, 'the tramp' was born... 'I was in my street clothes and had nothing to do, so I stood where Sennett could see me.. 'We ned some gags here,' he said, then turned to me. 'Put on a comedy make-up, anything will do.' I had no idea what make-up to put on... However, on the was to the wardrobe, I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat...I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was... When I entered [the hotel lobby set] I felt I was an imposter posing as one of the guests, but in reality I was a tramp just wanting a little shelter. I enetered and stumbled over the foot of a lady. I turned and raised my hat apologetically, then turned and stumbled over a cuspidor, then turned and raised my hat to the cuspidor. Behind the camera they began to laugh...' The great Hollywood days are recreated as never before.He speaks with candor of the stormy postwar years - the humiliations of the paternity suit brought against him on the eve of his marriage to Oona O'Neill, and the political accusations that made him decide to leave the United States. And in the finale he writes with evocative warmth of the happy ending - his serene, idyllic life in Switzerland with Oona and their eight children. Charlie Chaplin's autobiography will move you, just as it moved me.

posted by Anonymous on April 18, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

It's hard to give this 5 stars simply because it's Charlie Chapl

It's hard to give this 5 stars simply because it's Charlie Chaplin....but the fact is, this isn't great. Maybe it's because Mr. Chaplin, by his own admission (over and over) was practically illiterate up to the age of about 15 or he just really, REALLY wants to impress ...
It's hard to give this 5 stars simply because it's Charlie Chaplin....but the fact is, this isn't great. Maybe it's because Mr. Chaplin, by his own admission (over and over) was practically illiterate up to the age of about 15 or he just really, REALLY wants to impress the reader, either way this book is nothing more than a name dropping, congratulatory slap on the back...all mixed in with $100 words. It's page after page of, "I got a call from (insert someone famous's name) we met for lunch, he was nice. I was nervous...later depressed..and then they killed them self." All this using words like, "soubrette, braggadocio, drudges, dolorous, remuneration ,doleful, propinquity, solipsism,etc"

If you are looking for information on how or why he made the movies he did, you'll be disappointed as Mr. Chaplin only wrote about how much money they cost, how much he money he made, and how he would listen to everyone laugh...and that made him feel good, but inevitably his antisocial mind would kick in and then he just wanted to be left alone.  His family, wives and brother, are secondary and are barely mentioned or discussed. This whole book is one man trying to convince someone (you) that he's not a communist and that all Americans treated him wrong...although he didn't mind us while he was making money. And the constant name dropping...ugh.

This book reads like someone who is trying to convince people he's smarter than he thinks people think. If you ever wondered why Charlie Chaplin movies are only funny when he's not talking, this book shows why that was true.

posted by Macycarew on March 10, 2013

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    It's hard to give this 5 stars simply because it's Charlie Chapl

    It's hard to give this 5 stars simply because it's Charlie Chaplin....but the fact is, this isn't great. Maybe it's because Mr. Chaplin, by his own admission (over and over) was practically illiterate up to the age of about 15 or he just really, REALLY wants to impress the reader, either way this book is nothing more than a name dropping, congratulatory slap on the back...all mixed in with $100 words. It's page after page of, "I got a call from (insert someone famous's name) we met for lunch, he was nice. I was nervous...later depressed..and then they killed them self." All this using words like, "soubrette, braggadocio, drudges, dolorous, remuneration ,doleful, propinquity, solipsism,etc"

    If you are looking for information on how or why he made the movies he did, you'll be disappointed as Mr. Chaplin only wrote about how much money they cost, how much he money he made, and how he would listen to everyone laugh...and that made him feel good, but inevitably his antisocial mind would kick in and then he just wanted to be left alone.  His family, wives and brother, are secondary and are barely mentioned or discussed. This whole book is one man trying to convince someone (you) that he's not a communist and that all Americans treated him wrong...although he didn't mind us while he was making money. And the constant name dropping...ugh.

    This book reads like someone who is trying to convince people he's smarter than he thinks people think. If you ever wondered why Charlie Chaplin movies are only funny when he's not talking, this book shows why that was true.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    Dear Ol' Charlie Chaplin

    Charles Chaplin was born in 1889, in London - the son of struggling variety artists - his father, a vaudvillian who died young; his mother, a spirited music-hall soubrette who lost her voice and, eventually, her reason. His childhood was pure Dickons - in and out of the workhouse, then a hand-to-mouth existence as a juvenile actor. At 21, member of a traveling music-hall company, he came to America. And the infant movie industry stumbled upon the greatest star it was to ever find. Everything in his autobiography makes fascinating reading: his boyhood; the London theatre of Dion Boucicault and William Gillette; the early free-wheeling days of the movies; how he evolved his style, his plots; how he chose his leading ladies; his sudden, dazzling success; his encounters with great stars and world figures from Mary Pickford to Gandhi to Bernard Shaw to Gertrude Stein to Anna Pavlova to FDR; his emotional involvements and his four marriages. He sets it all down in extraordinary detail and in a manner intensely personal. He describes how suddenly, 'the tramp' was born... 'I was in my street clothes and had nothing to do, so I stood where Sennett could see me.. 'We ned some gags here,' he said, then turned to me. 'Put on a comedy make-up, anything will do.' I had no idea what make-up to put on... However, on the was to the wardrobe, I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat...I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was... When I entered [the hotel lobby set] I felt I was an imposter posing as one of the guests, but in reality I was a tramp just wanting a little shelter. I enetered and stumbled over the foot of a lady. I turned and raised my hat apologetically, then turned and stumbled over a cuspidor, then turned and raised my hat to the cuspidor. Behind the camera they began to laugh...' The great Hollywood days are recreated as never before.He speaks with candor of the stormy postwar years - the humiliations of the paternity suit brought against him on the eve of his marriage to Oona O'Neill, and the political accusations that made him decide to leave the United States. And in the finale he writes with evocative warmth of the happy ending - his serene, idyllic life in Switzerland with Oona and their eight children. Charlie Chaplin's autobiography will move you, just as it moved me.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2009

    this book is good for research!

    I love this book!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Most worthwhile read!

    Although he places a bit too much emphasis on naming the famous people who intersected with his life, the book gave a clear understanding of the man. Although chastised in his later life politically, he suffered unreasonably by the overly anti-communist stance of the time. Although I have always been fairly conservative, the McCarthy era went way overboard! I recommend this book to anyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Plot spoilers

    Well another book useless to buy because of plot spoilers telling everthing including the ending. Come on bn, when are you going to put a stop to these plot spoilers and ban them.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2000

    Charlie Chaplin strikes again!

    This book was outstanding. You would never guess how hard his life was! Go Broncos!

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Percys bio

    Name: Look!!, Age: 17 (book), Wears: Camp half blood shirt and jeans, Wepons: Riptide that transforms into a Broze sword, Girl friend: Annabeth Chase, Likes: Sword fightning, God parent: Posiedon, Uncles: Hades And Zeus, Siblings: Tyson, and Dash, Mother: Salliy(typo), Cosins: Jason, Maria, Thilia, and Nico di Angolis, Bianca Di angolis, and likes: Sword fightning

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    DJ $pirit's Bio ||| Version 1.0 |||

    DJ $pirit's Bio ||| Version 1.0 ||| <p> Name: Look up. Sometimes I wonder what gous through your head. <br> Age: DJ Pon 3's age <br> Gender: &female or Mare <br> Species: Alicorn <br> Coat: Rainbowdash Blue <br> Mane & Tail: DJ Pon 3 style, Red & Blue <br> Eyes: Icy Blue, DJ Pon 3 style, but wears sunasses like DJ Pon 3 <br> Cutie Mark: A Sterio and Pair of Flips Headphones <br> Personality: Mix of Rainbowdash & DJ Pon 3 <br> Symbol: &#28949 <br> Pet: A rattlesnale named Scales <br> Theme Song(s): I Can't Decide and Happy <br> Friends: Firework and Luna <br> Element: Music <br> House: Is Firework's roomie <br> History: (in flutterguy voice) I don't wanna talk about it... <br> Other: Just ask!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Darkmoon's Biography

    Name: <br> Darkmoon. <p> Clans: <br> BloodClan, Bonekit, & AshClan. <p> Gender: <br> &female <p> Age: <br> 18 Moons. <p> Looks: <br> Beautiful Dark Silver pelt, Dark & Deep Indigo eyes. <p> Kin; <br> Creator 1: The Moon-Flower. <br> Creator 2: The Darkness. <p> Kits: <br> Ragekit, Soulkit, Bonekit, & Ravenkit. <p> Crush: <br> Raven or Bloodlust. <p> Mate: <br> None. <p> History: <br> ... <p> Other: <br> Got forcemated by DeathScar.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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