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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399149120, Paperback)If at first you don't succeed... well, actually, Arthur and Barbara Gelb's 1962 book about Eugene O'Neill was a resounding success by any measure; for years, theirs was the definitive account of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and his work. Far from resting on their laurels, however, the Gelbs spent the next 38 years continuing their research, interviewing O'Neill's family and friends and digging up new sources of information. Now they've produced O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo, both a rewrite of their 1962 biography and a major literary event in its own right. The first installment of a projected trilogy, O'Neill uses the plays themselves as a jumping-off point for an exploration of the playwright's life, including substantial discussion of his colorful father, his Irish ancestors, and his troubled early years. This later work gains not only from its new source materials and widened scope but also from what the Gelbs note is a "changed sensibility"--both in themselves and the world around them. Those 38 intervening years have brought increased personal understanding and remarkable developments in O'Neill scholarship, they write, and O'Neill benefits from both. Marked by meticulous attention to detail and daring leaps in chronology, the Gelbs' biography is a remarkable reevaluation of one of our most violent and original American talents. --Greta Kline
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:33 -0400)
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