Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

by Simon Callow
     
 

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As a man and an artist, Orson Welles was larger-than-life--vivid, energetic, unpredictable, and riveting. But in this first volume of his masterful, highly acclaimed biography, Simon Callow finally captures the chameleonic genius whole, as only an actor/director deeply rooted in the entertainment industry could. Here, brilliantly placed in its historical and social…  See more details below

Overview

As a man and an artist, Orson Welles was larger-than-life--vivid, energetic, unpredictable, and riveting. But in this first volume of his masterful, highly acclaimed biography, Simon Callow finally captures the chameleonic genius whole, as only an actor/director deeply rooted in the entertainment industry could. Here, brilliantly placed in its historical and social setting, is Welles's prodigious childhood; his youth in New York, with its fraught partnership with John Houseman and the groundbreaking triumphs of his all-black Macbeth and his modern-dress Julius Caesar; the pioneering radio work that culminated in the notorious 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds"; and finally, Hollywood--with a fascinatingly detailed and authoritative account of the making of Citizen Kane, still regarded by many as the finest film of all time. Rich in detail, wit, and insight, Callow's Orson Welles succeeds in revealing a life even more extraordinary than the myths that have surrounded it.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Actor/director Callow (Being an Actor, St. Martin's, 1992) offers the first of two volumes on the life of Orson Welles, covering through the release of Citizen Kane. Callow's stated goal is to put Welles into the context of his times. He's also extremely skeptical at taking his self-promoting subject at his word, which places Callow at odds with previous Welles chroniclers Barbara Leaming (Orson Welles, Viking, 1985) and, to some extent, Peter Bogdanovich (This Is Orson Welles, LJ 11/15/92). This is by far the best-written and most balanced biography of the elusive Welles, though its massively detailed descriptions of his theater work will leave some readers behind (the author originally set out to cover only that aspect of Welles's career). Recommended for most film collections in public and academic libraries.-Thomas Wiener, editor, "Satelite DIRECT"
Booknews
A biography of the larger-than-life theater and movie actor, director, and producer, covering his prodigious childhood, his partnership with John Houseman, and his theatrical success and failures, and focusing on the making of Citizen Kane. Includes b&w photos, and listings of stage productions, radio broadcasts, and films. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099462514
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/26/1996
Pages:
640
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.87(h) x 1.38(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This riveting, revealing portrait of the legendary director and star is æunlikely to be surpassed.æ (Los Angeles Times Book Review) A wonderfully readable, sharp, shrewd and evenhanded biography... Callow is a witty and feeling biographer. (Chicago Tribune) Callow is in control all the way. (The New York Times Book Review, front page)"

Meet the Author

Simon Callow is an actor, director, and writer. He has appeared on the stage and in many films, including Four Weddings and a Funeral. His other books include Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu, Shooting the Actor, and Being an Actor.

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