New Year, New Books: #8: Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd
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I have always loved old Hollywood and the history that came with it so when I saw this book at the Dollar Tree I knew it was worth picking up. (Side note: The Dollar Tree book section is well worth a peruse. I have found several bestsellers plus some other interesting titles and for a $1 it’s worth the gamble.)
In this work, Ackroyd paints a picture of Chaplin’s life from his early, impoverished days to his great successes and everything in between. You get to see Charlie as a person, actor, director and overall creator and what I found was that he was far more complex that I ever dreamed possible. In fact, he is just as tragic as the Little Tramp he is so famous for portraying. This book dives into his personal struggles as a son, husband and father. It shows the inner turmoil and insecurity he suffered throughout his life. It also follows how he created comedy in a new realm and transformed the film industry of the time.
Very different from the Little Tramp so associated with Chaplin!
I found this book to be incredibly well written with many quotes from Mr. Chaplin, himself, as well as his contemporaries. It also included several photographs that added to the over all color of the story. Ackroyd was able to seamlessly weave together Chaplin’s tragedies and triumphs into a story of artistic achievement and human failing. One reviewer spoke of Ackroyd’s ability to combine the writings of a novelist and a biographer into this book and I couldn’t agree more! Very informative but even more enjoyable!