Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences

Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947856059
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 257
Sales rank: 207,447
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Born in 1940 in Peoria, IL, Richard Pryor was one of the most important comedians of his time. Dealing with race, class, and sex with a voice that was, for some, too truthful, Pryor changed the comic landscape, breaking all the rules on what a stand-up should do or say.

Richard Pryor won an Emmy and five Grammy awards, and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1998. He had multiple gold and platinum albums of his comedy, including That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ...Is it Something I Said? (1975), and Bicentennial Nigger (1976). He wrote for film and television, including Sanford and Son and Blazing Saddles , and was a guest host on the first season of Saturday Night Live. His stand-up comedy concert films Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983) changed the comedy landscape and inspired a whole new generation of comics. As an actor, he starred mainly in comedies such as Silver Streak (1976) and Stir Crazy (1981), but occasionally in dramas, such as Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978).

Pryor was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis in 1986, and after suffering multiple heart attacks, died in 2005. In 2017, Rolling Stone  ranked him number one on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"If [Charlie Chaplin] had found the street language to match his low-life, tramp movements, he might have been something like Richard Pryor, who's all of a piece—a master of lyrical obscenity, Pryor is the only great poet satirist among our comics."
Pauline Kael

"Richard Pryor is an alchemist who can turn the darkest pain into the deepest comedy. His writing doesn't go for the jugular—it goes straight for his aorta. I laughed, I cried, I set myself on fire."
Robin Williams

"I loved this book. What would life be like without Richard Pryor and Mudbone? Dull, baby, very dull. There will never be another Richard Pryor. He is, and always has been, the funniest man alive."
Whoopi Goldberg

"To fully appreciate the power of Richard Pryor as a stand-up comedian, you had to follow him at the Comedy Store. I did once, and I'm lucky to be alive."
David Letterman

"Some people are born wearing an iron shoe. They're the ones who kick doors down and enter the places that before them have been untouched even by light. Theirs is always a mission filled with loneliness and broken bones. Richard Pryor is one of the bravest of them."
Jim Carrey

"I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying 'Ain't that the truth!' Richard Pryor is the truth machine. He has taken 'Black Street Humor' to its highest universal level. He writes as well as he talks. Read this book and you'll see. Richard Pryor is a funny mother-trucker "
Quincy Jones

"As if his body of work doesn't contain enough bone-raw truth and insight, here Pryor peels back the last layer of his battle-scarred skin to reveal the wretched demons that make him the true King of Comedy, and the rest of us just pretenders to the throne."
Denis Leary

"Profane, profound and poignant, this memoir manages to transfer much of Pryor's comic genius to the page."
Publishers Weekly

"...a vivid account of a comedian's slow demise and self-destruction. Not at all languid, Pryor's life has been a roller-coaster ride, and he describes it in the language and voice he is known for."
Library Journal

"...devastating and outrageous. This is a work that will be discussed, and also one that many will just recall every now and then, on gloomy days, on sunny ones, acknowledging Pryor's exhortation as we serve time."

Customer Reviews

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Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
clark.hallman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pryor Convictions, published in 1995, is a surprisingly candid autobiography written by the very successful and talented comedian and actor, Richard Pryor. In fact, some readers might describe it as shockingly candid. Richard Pryor covers the good and bad of his life. However, the good parts of his life seem to have been far overshadowed by an extremely lurid childhood environment and an extremely self-destructive lifestyle, which continued (really increased) even after he became famous and wealthy. He grew up in a rough area of Peoria, IL where racism was plentiful and he certainly experienced the consequences of racism from an early age. However, he states that he never knew he was black and didn¿t see color when he looked at people when he was a child. In addition, his father and other family members were associated with brothels (whorehouses as Pryor would say) and he lived and worked in those brothels throughout his childhood. Many people would suggest that that experience provided a very destructive viewpoint on sexuality and relationships with women. His environment also taught him much about violence, drugs, and other criminal behaviors. Pryor openly describes a very destructive lifestyle in this book. He admits to crimes and violent behavior, including abusive behavior toward women. He also admits that he was an addict. His many addictions included cocaine and freebase cocaine, which almost killed him during a fire while he was freebasing. However, sex was probably one of his most destructive additions. The book devotes much space to discussions of sexual behaviors. The book is not for the demure reader, but then the same is true about his comedy and many of his movie roles. While reading the book there were times when I found him to be a despicable person, but overall the book engendered my sympathy toward him. Although he was never able to achieve a monogamous relationship with women, he maintained ongoing affectionate relationships with all five of his ex-wives and his children. In addition, his grandmother really was his primary caregiver when he was a child and he remained close to her during most of his life. I have always enjoyed Richard Pryor¿s comedy acts and many of his movies, and this book explains much about his revolutionary approach to comedy and how he developed that approach and eventually achieved his success. The book also reveals a very confused, conflicted, imperfect, sad and self-destructive human being who recognized his many faults and regretted them. I¿m glad I read this ¿tell-all¿ book, and recommend it strongly to anyone who admires Richard Pryor¿s work.
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