Lost in the Funhouse: The Life and Mind of Andy Kaufman

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9780385333726: Lost in the Funhouse: The Life and Mind of Andy Kaufman

From Bill Zehme, renowned journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin', comes this masterful biography of the late comic genius Andy Kaufman.

Based on six years of research, Andy's own unpublished, never-before-seen writings, and hundreds of interviews with family members, friends, and colleagues, Lost in the Funhouse takes us through the maze of Kaufman's mind to see, firsthand, the fanciful landscape that was his life.

Andy Kaufman was often a mystery even to his closest friends. Remote, aloof, impossible to know, his internal world was a kaleidoscope of characters fighting for time on the outside. He was as much Andy Kaufman as he was Foreign Man (tenk you veddy much), who became the lovably dithering Latka on the hit TV series Taxi. He was a contradiction, a paradox on every level, an artist in every sense of the word.

In Lost in the Funhouse, Bill Zehme sorts through a life of misinformation put forth by a master of deception to uncover the man behind the legend. Magically entertaining, it is a singular biography matched only by its singular subject.

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Review:

Bill Zehme's biography of comic actor/performance artist Andy Kaufman (subject of the feature film Man in the Moon) is a meticulously researched, eminently readable, and very strange book--this last being perhaps no surprise given its subject. Written over a six-year period, Lost in the Funhouse is crammed with details gleaned from interviews with the actor's family, friends, teachers, coworkers, and unwitting participants in Kaufman's pranks. In particular, the book provides great insight into Kaufman's early life in Great Neck, NY, his relationship with transcendental meditation, and his first forays into nightclubs in the early '70s. Zehme, author of The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin', weaves together multiple narratives from varying perspectives, including passages in which the author appears to have entered his subject's brain. Zehme did have access to unpublished letters and manuscripts (which fans would certainly like to see published on their own one day), but the only person who could legitimately verify the accuracy of these passages is no longer with us.

At its best, the book approaches that apex of artful celebrity bi-fiction, Nick Tosches's Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams. The transitions from one perspective to the next are a bit jarring at first, but once the reader gives in to Zehmes's collage of multiple personalities, one is considerably closer to understanding the book's subject. Kaufman was nothing if not a collection of various intense personalities: the young boy continually mourning his grandfather's death; the likable and naive Foreign Man; the talentless and irascible lounge singer Tony Clifton; the bliss-seeking student of TM; the devoted and loving son who never had anything to do with his own child; and world champion of inter-gender wrestling. Lost in the Funhouse is the one Kaufman tome that will please neophytes as well as those with their own Andy Kaufman Web sites. --Mike McGonigal

About the Author:

Bill Zehme is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin'. Recognized among the nation's more unique interpreters of popular culture, he is a longtime writer at large for Esquire, and his impressionistic profiles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Vanity Fair. During the six years of research for Lost in the Funhouse, he served as supervising producer of the network television retrospective Taxi: A Celebration and consulting producer of the NBC-TV special A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman. He lives in Chicago.

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Verlag: Delta Books, New York, (2001)
ISBN 10: 0385333722 ISBN 13: 9780385333726
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Buchbeschreibung Delta Books, New York, 2001. 384 Seiten, Einband mit leichten Gebrauchspuren, ansonsten tadellos. Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 505 Gr.-8° , ca. 23 x 16 cm, kartoniert. Artikel-Nr. 24144

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