This is part of a little series of post-Thanksgiving mini-posts I’m doing about items you might want to consider as Holiday gifts.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough! One of the best show biz bios I’ve ever come across. Steve Stoliar was a Groucho Marx fanatic as a kid. Then, when he was a young man, a miracle happened: he lucked into his dream job (truth be known, the dream job of many of us): he became Groucho’s personal assistant.
What makes this story so compelling is the high drama. Stoliar was there during Groucho’s last years, and thus had a front-row seat at the battle between apparent gold-digger Erin Fleming (Groucho’s “companion”) and the rest of Groucho’s family, an ugly tussle that took up the last eight years or so of Groucho’s life…and then several years afterward (there was a will involved). It’s the kind of book you just can’t put down.And don’t just take my word — Dick Cavett and Woody Allen think so too!
I’ve had my own copy of this book for years (I unaccountably found it in the remainder bin) but the good news is it’s just gotten a re-print, with updates by the author. It’s published by Bear Manor Media, the same folks who are publishing my upcoming book Chain of Fools (September 2012).
To get your copy of Raised Eyebrows, go here.
I worked with Steve Stoliar ten years ago, at a production company writing movie star bios. I learned so much from him on how to be a better writer (I had already been a member of WGA for 15 years. I showed Steve a theatre program my late mother had from seeing the stage version of Animal Crackers when it came to Chicago in the early 1930’s. My mother had written on the program “I laughed so hard, I almost fell out of the balcony!” Steve was a terrific co-worker and a great comfort to me, when my mother passed away when we happened to be working together. I think he shared my loss …as my mom had seen Groucho perform live in the show Steve particularly loved. Thank you for your post about Steve’s wonderful book!
Thank YOU for sharing these memories!