“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.
I have to admit, the first quarter of the book is my favorite part--Charlie's impoverished youth in London. It is a very acute description of poverty in late Victorian days, with no self pity. His experience as a child performer in music halls obviously was an education that served him well in early Hollywood. He was basically self-taught but this does not get in the way of a well written autobiography--definitely better than most Hollywood memoirs. If he is to be completely believed, he was awfully politically naive as well as naive with the very young ladies he took up with. Charlie was certainly a celebrity groupie. He meets with Gandhi, Einstein, Churchill, H. G. Wells, Pola Negri and everyone in between. He never seems to have turned down a dinner or invitation of any kind. The book is a little too long (just say no to meeting another celebrity) and ends abruptly.
I can’t say enough good about this wonderfully written autobiography. Charlie is incredibly intelligent and well spoken. He paints vivid pictures with his words, and it’s next to impossible to avoid being sucked in to his successes, adventures, trials, and tribulations. From his humble beginnings on the streets of Victorian London to his home in Switzerland, it’s as if Charlie himself is sitting in the room with you sharing his story. This is by far one of the greatest autobiography’s ever written. This is the story of the one of the Founding Fathers of cinema, who helped mold and shape the very foundations of film as we know it. We are forever in his debt. 5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book.
Just a superb book of an amazing person.
Also enjoyed the photos at the end of book.