by John Connolly


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John Connolly conjures the Golden Age of Hollywood in this moving, literary portrait of Laurel & Hardy—two men who found their true selves in a comedic partnership.




An unforgettable testament to the redemptive power of love, as experienced by one of the twentieth century's greatest performers.

When Stan Laurel is paired with Oliver Hardy, affectionately known as Babe, the history of comedy—not to mention their personal and professional lives—is altered forever. Yet Laurel's simple screen persona masks a complex human being, one who endures rejection and intense loss; who struggles to build a character from the dying stages of vaudeville to the seedy and often volatile movie studios of Los Angeles in the early years of cinema; and who is haunted by the figure of another comic genius, the brilliant, driven, and cruel Charlie Chaplin.

Eventually, Laurel becomes one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who enjoys both adoration and humiliation; who loves, and is loved in turn; who betrays, and is betrayed; who never seeks to cause pain to anyone else, yet leaves a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake. But Laurel's life is ultimately defined by one relationship of such astonishing tenderness and devotion that only death could sever this profound connection: his love for Babe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635060577
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 550,320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults, and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, is the coauthor of the Chronicles of the Invaders series. His debut, Every Dead Thing, swiftly launched him into the top rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award, and the first Irish writer to be awarded the Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America.


Dublin, Ireland

Date of Birth:

May 31, 1968

Place of Birth:

Dublin, Ireland


B.A. in English, Trinity College Dublin, 1992; M.A. in Journalism, Dublin City University, 1993

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He 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
BuckeyeGirlReads More than 1 year ago
I love tales of the golden age of Hollywood, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. Retelling the life of Stan Laurel and his rise to stardom with his comedic partner, Oliver Hardy, this title had great potential. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the writing style. I am a big reader of biographical and historical fiction so I felt this book would be right up my alley, but I was disappointed. There were very few details given throughout. Many of the characters in the book are well known and I could imagine them in the story, but other characters I had not heard of and there were very few descriptions given so I had a very hard time picturing these characters and immersing myself in the story. I found the writing style to be very disjointed and almost staccato in nature. Perhaps this was the author's intent, but I found it very off putting and made the book difficult for me to read. Unusual punctuation is used throughout, for example, no quotation marks are used in dialogue, again making the narrative difficult to read. The author also uses character names repeatedly in the same paragraph. If the author is making reference to Charlie Chaplin, his full name is used five or six times. I very rarely give up on books, but after getting about one-third of the way through this novel, I just couldn't finish it. It was not enjoyable to read, the lack of details, the repetitive nature of the narrative, and lack of normal punctuation made this a 1 out of 5 stars for me.
Laughing-Gravy 5 months ago
This book was a great historical fiction on Stan Laurel. I knew a lot about Stan Laurel from biographies, but this book made me feel I really knew him. In spite of his flaws and mistakes, I found that I understood him. The writing made it flow like a movie I was watching. If you are a Laurel and Hardy fan, read this book.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow... what a mess, and so difficult to read due to the just hodge-podge way it's been written. Difficult to follow, repetitive use of names in the same sentence over and over again, especially Babe. I tried, but after just 15 pages and feeling so confused and having learnt nothing, I put this book down, and there it will stay. Makes you wonder what the editors were thinking? They read this and felt it was ok? My high school teacher would fail me if I turned in a mess like this.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
This is a fictional biography of Arthur Stanley Jefferson, otherwise known as Stan Laurel of the infamous Laurel and Hardy. I have heard their names and seen a couple skits of Laurel and Hardy, but I’m sorry to admit that I don’t know much about them beyond that. I liked this book because you get to travel along with Stan as he comes to America and makes his break into Hollywood along with Oliver Hardy. This book was an interesting read as you follow along with Stan as he is in understudy for Charlie Chaplin, doesn’t make it, finds a grove with Hardy, and then makes it big with “talkies”. But just like almost all Hollywood stories, nothing stays the same and as fast as you rise you can fall just as fast. Stan has a lot of things that go wrong in his life including numerous marriages, the death of a child, losing fame, and of course the loss of money. His life was not easy, but throughout it all he always had Oliver to lean on. Now, having said that, I’m sorry to say but the writing style got on my nerves with the super short sentences, repetition, and use of full names. After a while you tend to get used to it, but it did make it difficult getting into this book. But overall it was a good read. It definitely made me want to learn more about Laurel and Hardy along with watching their movies. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.