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Inhaltsangabe: “Richard Pryor was chain lightning to everything around him. He shocked the world through with human electricity. He blew all our comfortable balance to hell. And Furious Cool captures it brilliantly.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor’s performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn’t just new—it was theretofore unthinkable. Now, in this groundbreaking and revelatory work, Joe and David Henry bring him alive again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2013: Richard Pryor was nobody's hero. The man sired accidental children, lived most of his life as a junkie, and even set himself on fire, but he was also one of the twentieth century's most notable American geniuses. With the release of Furious Cool, brothers David and Joe Henry have written the definitive tribute to Pryor's momentous cultural legacy. But this is no straightforward biography: structured as a long series of roughly chronological vignettes, the resulting impressionistic portrait mirrors the flights of fancy that marked Pryor's most memorable stand-up comedy performances. Like Lenny Bruce before him and Bill Hicks later, Pryor's fearlessness as a performer not only yielded incomparable recorded performances but also changed audience expectations and widened the art form forever after. Sensitive to this transformative import, Henry and Henry nevertheless portray Pryor the man with all of his failings in the full glare of the spotlight. In the 25 years between his self-immolation and his eventual passing, Pryor's creative output went from bad (The Toy, Brewster's Millions) to sad ("Richard Pryor at the Helm of Comedy"), but nothing in his long, slow fall from an admittedly twisted grace diminishes his accomplishments, and Furious Cool resists the fan's impetus toward hagiography in favor of an artistic performance of the written word that does lovely justice to a brilliant, tortured man. --Jason Kirk
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