Customer Reviews for

Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Good Grief!

I just finished reading this biography and I found it a compelling and entertaining read. After reading it I have rediscovered my interest in the Peanuts classic cartoon strip. Think what you may about the author's portrayal of Sparky, this is a good biography that pres...
I just finished reading this biography and I found it a compelling and entertaining read. After reading it I have rediscovered my interest in the Peanuts classic cartoon strip. Think what you may about the author's portrayal of Sparky, this is a good biography that presents a vivid portrait of a man consumed by his desire to be liked and his life long passion at being the best at his craft.

posted by Anonymous on June 20, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

An inaccurate portrayal

Michaelis had over six years to write this book with unfettered access to all of Sparky Shulz' papers and Peanuts-related materials from the family as well as friends and business associates. In the end, he focused almost entirely on what he perceived as a very unhappy...
Michaelis had over six years to write this book with unfettered access to all of Sparky Shulz' papers and Peanuts-related materials from the family as well as friends and business associates. In the end, he focused almost entirely on what he perceived as a very unhappy cartoonist who was lonely and aloof. Much of his writing seems to have evolved from the distortions and vapors of Shulz' first marriage. Furthermore, Michaelis never met the man. My wife and I got to know Sparky through a business relationship that grew into a friendship lasting many years. This was a man with tremendous humility but loaded with creative talent. He often wondered why people loved Peanuts but he was so pleased that they did. What's missing from the book is an accurate profile of a creative genius who loved life, had a phenomenal humorous side and kept you laughing with his witicisms. His family feels betrayed by this book and more about their feelings and those of others can be learned by going to Cartoon Brew and finding the discussion.

posted by Anonymous on November 28, 2007

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    An inaccurate portrayal

    Michaelis had over six years to write this book with unfettered access to all of Sparky Shulz' papers and Peanuts-related materials from the family as well as friends and business associates. In the end, he focused almost entirely on what he perceived as a very unhappy cartoonist who was lonely and aloof. Much of his writing seems to have evolved from the distortions and vapors of Shulz' first marriage. Furthermore, Michaelis never met the man. My wife and I got to know Sparky through a business relationship that grew into a friendship lasting many years. This was a man with tremendous humility but loaded with creative talent. He often wondered why people loved Peanuts but he was so pleased that they did. What's missing from the book is an accurate profile of a creative genius who loved life, had a phenomenal humorous side and kept you laughing with his witicisms. His family feels betrayed by this book and more about their feelings and those of others can be learned by going to Cartoon Brew and finding the discussion.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 20, 2008

    Good Grief!

    I just finished reading this biography and I found it a compelling and entertaining read. After reading it I have rediscovered my interest in the Peanuts classic cartoon strip. Think what you may about the author's portrayal of Sparky, this is a good biography that presents a vivid portrait of a man consumed by his desire to be liked and his life long passion at being the best at his craft.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 26, 2009

    How Schulz Became Peanuts

    Comprehensive biography, which includes numerous comic strips that further interpret the artist's life. Book shows major research work was undertaken. Highly detailed to give shy creator a complex history. Finally meet the "little reheaded girl." A life with a happy ending. Great gift for Peanuts fans. Especially for those going through a bumpy time---provides celebration at the end of the tunnel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2009

    Intimacy Defined

    This is a must read for any "Peanuts" fan! To learn just how much of Sparky's life made it into his strip, with little to no dilution, is truly remarkable. It's hard to believe that such a well-loved man felt so alone, even up until the day he died. The level of intimacy in this book, especially regarding such a beloved yet mysterious man, makes one feel as an accepted member of the family, and front-row-center throughout Sparky's entire life. I would like to have heard a little more from the children, but, all-in-all, a fantastic read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2009

    Exhausting--where's the cliff notes version?

    This is too much book--too many unimportant details. The amount of research that went into this book was incredible, and it shows. However, just because you interview everyone who ever talked to Schulz doesn't mean you need to include that information in the book. A more compact book would have been an easier and happier read because I found this book just too overwhelming and overreaching to fully enjoy. I think Schulz sometimes got lost within all the information about other people. Michaelis included mini-biographical sketches of many people Schulz had dealings with. It wasn't enough to just mention the name of his publisher, we also had to read about his background too. And did we need to know about every girlfriend Schulz ever dated or had a crush on? I am not interested in the drawing of comics or the comics business, so I found the many details about that boring. This easily could have been a 300 page book by simply compressing the themes that Michaelis explored over and over again. Yes, Schulz had parents who were cold and unable to express affection. Yes, Schulz himself was often insensitive and unable to express affection. Yes, he expressed his anxieties, depression, agoraphobia, etc. through Peanuts. He wouldn't get treatment for these conditions because he knew they fueled his art. These themes were explored over and over again. What I liked about the book was the inclusion of the comic strips and the exploration of Schulz's relationships/influence with/on later cartoonists (Lynn Johnston, Cathy Guisewitz (sp?), Bill Watterson). I can see why the Schulz family would not like the finished product of this book because it reveals Schulz as a complicated person with a charming, funny witty personality but who could also be needy, insecure, vicious, insensitive, and extremely unlikeable. Overall, the book has me more interested in re-reading Peanuts (I haven't looked at comics in years although I am a huge fan of Calvin & Hobbes), but I wouldn't recommend this book to someone unless he/she had a lot of time to read it and was really interested in biographies in general and Schulz in particular. While well-written and easy to read, it is exhausting and time-consuming to read. Even my friends and family were exhausted just by watching me read it!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Bio

    I was somewhat apprehensive about reading this biography after reading some of the bad reviews and found out that the Schulz family hated it. But it is a book, and I love to read, and I take it all with a grain of salt. I actually enjoyed "Schulz and Peanuts" and it didn't change my opinion of Charles Schulz. I feel that Mr. Michaelis did a fine job in researching Mr. Schulz's life. I enjoyed the insertion of the comic in relation to what was being written. What I didn't understand is why the biography stopped in the 70s and then picked up near the death of the artist. What happened in those few decades? I guess nothing important, according to Mr. Michaelis. I did learn much about Mr. Schulz's early years and his career that I had not know before and that made the book worth reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 23, 2008

    Happiness Is...

    Certainly not Charles M. Schulz, if you are to believe this new literate biography. He was allegedly cold and distant toward his children, harbored bitterness toward ancient wrongs both real and imagined, lacked even a meager semblance of self-confidence and was so anxiety-ridden that he had to take Valium in order to travel to Europe. He was strong and satisfied only at the drawing board. And from this supposed train wreck of a man emerged the most endearing, influential and popular comic strip of the twentieth century. Schulz' family and friends are fuming over this biography, and justifiably so--the author's psychoanalysis is interesting but overwrought at times, and he bases his research strictly on second-hand accounts which can be notoriously inaccurate, since he never had the opportunity to interview Schulz himself before the 'Peanuts' creator died. So if you doubt the premises of this biography, open the book only for the artwork, some of which I had never seen or don't remember--Schulz's early single panels of 'Li'l Folks' in the 'Saturday Evening Post' and the series in which Snoopy is teargassed while giving a speech at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm because the residents are rioting over the use of dogs in the Vietnam War. I don't know how tortured of an artist Schulz was, but it was wonderful to see orginal images of Snoopy when he was an ordinary dog and not a World War I fying ace and Charlie Brown when he was a smart-aleck rascal before he became the eternal dupe who could never kick a football.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 26, 2012

    When the family comes out and says the book is inaccurate, how c

    When the family comes out and says the book is inaccurate, how can you believe anything inside. It felt sensationalized too, so I question did I waste my time reading a less than mediocre work of fiction? Whatever I found interesting I found myself questioning so I struggled through and never found myself believing or enjoying it along the way. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2010

    America's beloved Schulz was VERY Complex!

    There are so many things to learn about Schulz from this book. Most of them are not very savory but they do offer tremendous insight into one of our biggest pop culture icons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2009

    Shulz & Peanuts a Review

    This book, Shulz & Peanuts is too detalied in some aspects. While I appreciate the in depth research of the subject and where he got his ideas for the comic strips. I feel that the coverage of early family life while germain to the book could have been less detailed. I found that part of the biography boreing. Charles Shulz's later life and career also interesting has as much detail about it as should be, anymore, if indeed there is anymore than is related in the book would have made it IMHO as mundane and plodding as the first part of the story. The chapters are much too long. I prefer a book of numorus short chapters or "breaks" within chapters, but that's just my druthers. All in all I'd give this book three stars

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 7, 2009

    From the perspective of a PEANUTS fan

    As a lifelong Peanuts fan, and native MN, I found it very intriguing. It totally gave me a different perspective of what I formerly new of Schulz, and definitely a better understanding of really how deep his cartoon is. I always knew it was a mature cartoon (even though marketed to kids), but this gave a definition to the inner suffering artist.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2