|Plot Summary of Harpo Speaks!|
|"Harpo's delightful autobiography tells of his life from childhood through the years of fame & fortune, including insights into his socialising at the famous Algonquin with greats such as Dorothy Parker. An honest & straightfoward autobiography with the sweet silly humour you would expect from Harpo. "
Claire Baldwin, Resident Scholar
|""Harpo Speaks" is the autobiography of Harpo Marx, the silent comedian of The Marx Brothers fame. Starting with events close to his birth in 1893, Harpo goes on to tell of his journey from poor student to famous movie personality. Harpo writes hilarious anecdotes regarding his schooling, his many different occupations, and the people with whom he shared the spotlight. He also accounts for his family's successes and sorrows in the vaudeville circuit and their rise to fame in the movies. He also writes about making the movies he is most famous for.
Fortunately, this book also details a lot of his private life, including the events surrounding meeting his wife and having children. It also details the enormous love and brotherhood he shares with his brothers, and the close friendships he forged. Written in 1961, this book was written not too long before his death, and covers the vast majority of his life.
Louisa Eggleton, Resident Scholar
|"Harpo Marx writes of his life before, during, and after he and his brothers became famous, with lovely and humorous stories and anecdotes. He tells of growing up in a rough neighborhood and being poor, being bullied and dropping out of school, teaching himself to read, write, tell time, and to play the piano and harp, as well as other things. He also speaks of his relationship with his family, and how he was particularly close to his mother and brother Leonard (Chico), whith whom he was closest in age.
There are tales of his antics on and off stage, how hard he and his brothers worked to get where they were, and what he thought of everything and everyone he worked with. He was truly gifted and a very talented man. He also speaks of the deaths of his mother, Minnie, and father, Sam, and how they affected him.
It also reveals his friendships and hardships in show business and of his marriage to his wife Susan Flemmings. They adopted four children and he eventually built a ranch where they all lived with many animals including horses, dogs, cats, hamsters, an aviary of birds, and a seagull with an injured wing. He also tells us how he achieved his dream of having a smiling face in every window of the house to greet him when he came home."
Patti Ford, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Harpo Speaks!|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Kind of living:
- general poverty story
Story of entertainer?
- Movie Comedy Actor
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 2 ()
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
- very happy
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very favorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of nearly entire life
- A ton 16-20 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 51%-75% of book