John Connolly re-creates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists.
An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved and was loved in turn; who betrayed and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake...and whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe. he is Stan Laurel. But he did not really exist. Stan Laurel was a fiction.
With he, John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity, the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists, and one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel & Hardy.
I absolutely loved every word, totaly unmissable if you're a fan of Laurel and Hardy!
This was an interesting story , showing the platonic friendship between two men. A subject rarely written about so I found that refreshing. On the downside it was rather lengthy and the constant repeating of full names I found irritating.
Hats off to Mr Connolly, he uniquely captures the era; the characters; the build-up; the newness and energy of the infant film industry; the excitement of success; the regret of the ever changing cast of wives; the boredom of the wind-down and the inevitable mental and physical decay, exquisitely. On top of all of that he explains, quite possibly, the only successfully known retirement of any actor in history. And not an unnecessary word in sight..
A biography, but more importantly, a love story. I had no idea about the story of these two men, so familiar to my childhood.
A fantastic novel about loss, regret and life ofa great man. Love this authors work.
I rarely leave comments but have to for this. It didn't really demonstrate the connection and love between these men which is what I thought out was meant to be about, or anything meaningful about the work they did together - mostly about the endless pathetic marriages and affairs and how poorly people treat each other and suck the life and joy from each other with little consideration for others. I ended up not liking the main character..... few redeeming features he didn't like being alone and every time Babe had woman trouble Stan follows suit and he has no clue why he does anything. the narrative attempts to connect the timings of their sexual and marital escapades as the tie between them which is disappointingly shallow - I suspect the author simply cannot conceive of the importance and depth of friendship pure and simple. There was even a moment where I thought we were going to be treated to a full homosexual theory. I can't work out what the author was trying to achieve and suspect he wished he'd written it from Babe's perspective - at least he stuck by an alcoholic wife and made a hopelessly romantic and demure 3rd marriage although treated a long time lover poorly in the meantime. There is a really annoying stylistic device at the beginning of most of the early chapters with repetition of names or places or acts in every sentence which adds nothing you the tale. if you like Laurel & Hardy don't bother. if you are looking for a story about meaningful friendship give this a miss. If you like a soap opera of celebrity peccadillos from 1930s this may be for you.
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