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And it is their passionate belief in his transcendent status that energizes the book. But finally it is their affirmation of the influence Pryor had outside the black community and beyond comedy that perhaps most commends this book. It is a testament to his stature not only as an African-American entertainment idol but also as an American icon.

A review on Jan. She was his wife, not a former wife. Though their first marriage, in the early s, ended in divorce, the couple remarried in Part memoir, part biography, part poem, part history, part ballad, it manages to sing a wakesong for an incredible American.

With heart and grace and witnessing, they show us how and why this comic and tragic genius changed the culture of this country when he could not change himself. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly.

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him

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Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention richard pryor furious cool joe henry paul mooney well written henry brothers comic genius subject matter world that made good read comedic genius pryor life poorly written never knew much better cool about richard good book books about richard recommend this book lived his life. Showing of 83 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Off-beat and compelling look at an off-beat and compelling man. As others have pointed out, Furious Cool is more of a mood piece than a linear biography, but all of Pryor's highlights and lowlights are laid out here for those as interested in his life as his work.

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him by David Henry

It's well-written, though the authors' attempts to riff like Pryor and capture some of his improvisational magic on the written page meet with varying success. The authors are admitted fans and though they give a pretty objective account of Pryor's personal missteps and foibles, they are far from objective about his work. Pryor was a brilliant comic and an electrifying presence, but his brilliance as a screen actor, presented repeatedly in the book as inarguable, is arguable.

His screen performances can vary from can't look away to can't look.


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Also, the authors' admiration for their subject often leads them to adopt his stances without question as their own. If Pryor was contemptuous of another performer for example, Chevy Chase , that performer is presented unflatteringly in the book. The postscript that tries to tie in Pryor with Hurricane Catrina was gratuitous and maudlin, and if the authors were trying to present Furious Cool as a jazz composition, they ended it on a flat note.

With all that, I give Furious Cool four stars because it's a fascinating and very readable account that manages to do justice in a unique way to a unique talent. Not just an incredible biography of the man, but an outstanding reference piece about black comedy - and the growing influence of black culture - in America from the 30s through the 70s. This book is not a pretty picture - few people may know of the brutal history of domestic violence Pryor carried with him throughout his life - but it definitely offers a no-holds-barred commentary on so many things about Pryor, comedy, black history, and substance abuse it's definitely worth a read.

After I read through this entire book I couldn't sit through two minutes of that terribly smarmy compliment-fest. Very good book about the life and times of a very troubled Richard Pryor. He was open about his use of drugs and alcohol but desperately needed to be in treatment which he could never accept. He was very abusive towards others especially women and they apparently loved him maybe because he had money or they loved being victims of his abuse.

They knew he was mean and nasty as a person and tend to beat up women most of his life. He loved his family especially his maternal grandmother on the other hand he did not have a good relationship with all of his children.


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At the same time be brought so much to the history of entertainment with his wit, gifts and talents to make people laugh in spite of his personal pain. Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. The book was thoughtfully written and brutally honest.