My Autobiography
  • My Autobiography
  • My Autobiography

My Autobiography

3.9 12
by Charlie Chaplin

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“The best autobiography ever written by an actor. An astonishing work.” —Chicago Tribune

Chaplin’s heartfelt and hilarious autobiography tells the story of his childhood, the challenge of identifying and perfecting his talent, his subsequent film career and worldwide celebrity. In this, one of the very first celebrity memoirs

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“The best autobiography ever written by an actor. An astonishing work.” —Chicago Tribune

Chaplin’s heartfelt and hilarious autobiography tells the story of his childhood, the challenge of identifying and perfecting his talent, his subsequent film career and worldwide celebrity. In this, one of the very first celebrity memoirs, Chaplin displays all the charms, peculiarities and deeply-held beliefs that made him such an endearing and lasting character.

Re-issued as part of Melville House’s Neversink Library, My Autobiography offers dedicated Chaplin fans and casual admirers alike an astonishing glimpse into the the heart and the mind of Hollywood’s original genius maverick.

Take this unforgettable journey with the man George Bernard Shaw called “the only genius to come out of the movie industry” as he moves from his impoverished South London childhood to the heights of Hollywood wealth and fame; from the McCarthy-era investigations to his founding of United Artists to his “reverse migration” back to Europe, My Autobiography is a reading experience not to be missed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The best autobiography ever written by an actor. An astonishing work.” Chicago Tribune

“A moving picture of the hero himself. A truly fascinating book.”
The New York Times Book Review

“The most original, virile book about the theater in a long, long time.”
Atlantic Monthly

“It holds the reader entranced. Every page can be read with pleasure.”The Times (London)

“The crucial artist of the twentieth century.” The New Yorker

“Among the greatest geniuses of film.” —Roger Ebert

“Few men in this century in any field attained his stature with the public.” The New York Times

“Chaplin was not just ‘big,’ he was gigantic. In 1915, he burst onto a war-torn world bringing it the gift of comedy, laughter and relief while it was tearing itself apart through World War I. Over the next 25 years, through the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler, he stayed on the job. . . It is doubtful any individual has ever given more entertainment, pleasure and relief to so many human beings when they needed it the most.” —Martin Sieff

“For me, comedy begins with Charlie Chaplin. I know there were screen comedies before he came along . . . But none of them created a persona as unique or indelible as the Little Tramp, and no one could match his worldwide impact.” —Leonard Maltin

“For a star who made his fortune in the silent movies, Charlie Chaplin has a surprising way with words. His My Autobiography, published in 1964 and recently reissued, moves along at a quick clip, lit up throughout its many pages by bright anecdotes, easy humor, and a confident way with a good yarn.” Biographile

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Product Details

Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
Neversink Series
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Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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My Autobiography 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Macycarew More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
AZSeniorette More than 1 year ago
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EARLY MOVIES, STARS AND CELEBRITIES AND EARLY MOVIE MAKING, THIS IS THE READ FOR YOU. So very interesting and nicely written. Chaplin had quite a vocabulary !! and what a life ! I enjoy reading about all the different kinds of history of America and this falls into that category. I didn't think I would like a "story telling" mode in a novel; however, Chaplin's easy style is easy to read and I cannot seem to put this down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
johnbender More than 1 year ago
I love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was outstanding. You would never guess how hard his life was! Go Broncos!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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