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Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu by Simon…
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Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu (1995)

by Simon Callow

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299258,194 (3.9)5
Traces the life and career of the legendary director, discussing the making of "Citizen Kane," his contributions to such films as "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "The Lady from Shanghai," and his efforts in radio comedy, spectacular theater, and newspaper politics

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The highest praise for this book is the sheer amount of research that went into its production. The book is extremely well researched, particularly with respect to the contemporaneous reactions to Welles' various projects. However, I found the book lacking in fluidity. Often times, it felt like the research was recited, rather than telling Welles' life story. The author's various personal agendas played a prominent role in the book; and, much of the time, the author inserted his own distanced subjective interpretation of the events. I found the author's personal agendas and subjective commentary to be distracting from what is a fascinating life. With those caveats, the book was so well researched and Welles' life so intriguing; I am continuing on with the 2nd volume. ( )
  RDHawk6886 | Feb 23, 2010 |
A huge, incredibly well documented account of Orson Welles's youth, from his birth until his completion of 'Citizen Kane'. The subject himself is fascinating. Welles displayed prodigious abilities from childhood onwards and Simon Callow tells of his numerous dabblings in art and theatre as well as his work on radio prior to his move to Hollywood. The research work is impressive. This is the most complete biography of Welles I have ever read. The second volume 'Hello Americans' is just as accomplished and fans of Welles can hope that Callow will continue his exploration of Welles's later life and works. ( )
1 vote anna_battista | Mar 13, 2008 |
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To Christopher

and in memory of Micheál Mac Liammóir (1899-1978) and John Houseman (1902-1988)
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