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September 14th, 2007


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10:22 pm - Books for today
An amazingly large biography of Fred Allen I hadn't seen before. Harv Book added a lot of new stuff recently! A quote on the cover from Fred:
Life\'lif\n. pl lives\`livz\ 1. A biological misadventure terminated on the shoulders of six strangers whose only objective is to make a hole in one with you.
Oh, and here's the paperback copy of "Hello, I Must Be Going", the story of the friendship between Charlotte Chandler and the aging Groucho Marx. Chandler had just contacted him for an interview; he declined but invited her over anyway. After four hours of telling stories, Groucho asked "How come you haven't been recording?"

Then there's a book on the "Lost Histories of San Francisco." I'm a sucker for books about the little-known bits behind cities, even if I'm not familiar with them. I'm sure this book will go totally beyond Emperor Norton I, as everybody knows him.

Oh, and then there's that copy of Michael Palin's Monty Python diaries. I grabbed a copy off the bestseller shelf and put it on the counter. The guy behind the counter goes "You know what? I think we've still got a few signed copies left. Let me go find it..."

Off he goes, and finds one behind the registers. "Looks like it's the last one." Opens the book to check. "Yup. Huh, he's got a weird signature."

I told him he just totally made my weekend.

And the book is entertaining, too.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sdn
Date:September 15th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
if you want to learn about cool san francisco stuff, ask jlassen. it's a hobby of his and he's very entertaining.
From:argentla
Date:September 15th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC)

"Portland!"

(Link)
Vat is name of Fred Allen book? I read a bio of Allen a couple years ago that was neither that big nor that great. Is this new?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 15th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)

Re: "Portland!"

(Link)
This is Fred Allen - His Life And Wit by Robert Taylor, copyrighted 1989. I haven't delved much into it yet, but the stuff I've already read is great. In describing vaudevillians' turns on radio, the book describes how Ed Wynn's first radio appearance gave him a severe case of mike fright -- not used to just reading into a microphone, he needed a makeshift audience of studio technicians, cleaning ladies, etc. to play to. (As the Texaco Fire Chief, Wynn also insisted on making physical gags part of his radio show, because he needed that audience validation.)

Five pages in on my T ride, and I've enjoyed it so far.

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