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Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!!

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The author of the bestselling biographies The Lives of John Lennon and Elvis explores the tumultuous life of one of the most controversial comics who ever lived. Lenny Bruce's life is reconstructed in dazzling sequences that capture his genius in the same lingo and rhythm, shtick comedy and junkie surrealism that characterized his imagination. 8 pages of photos.
Paperback, 700 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1974)
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May 31, 2008 Seán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasantly discursive, encyclopedic in scope, and written as if by some 50's hipster all growed up. Though perhaps a smidge over-long (it's 650 pages or so), Goldman doesn't waste the reader's time. The first section, a 60 page day-in-the-life composite of Lenny in his 1959-1961 prime reads a like a shot and could stand alone as a book worth copping.
Jul 09, 2010 Riley rated it really liked it
Two things about Lenny Bruce's life really stuck out for me in this book. The first was how unfair his arrests for obscenity were, and how little civil liberties were protected by the law as late as the early 1960s. The second was how sad and self destructive were Bruce's drug addictions.
Raegan Butcher
Apr 12, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it liked it
Lenny Bruce doesn't date well, he almost never makes me laugh, but Richard Pryor is indebted to him and Pryor is the best, so...This book reads like a wounded jewish junkie nigtmare.
Rose Kelleher
How can I dig this cat knowing that he narked on his wife? Later the authorities persecuted him for all the wrong reasons, but there's a certain justice in that.

It's weird how the hippest adults of that era remind me of my own classmates in junior high school. The drug humor, the in-crowd slang, the superficial and ruthless division of people into categories, the entrenched misogyny, the bullying, the callow obliviousness to how stacked the deck was - it all brings me back to ninth grade, and th
Apr 02, 2016 Erin rated it it was ok
I seriously doubt many people under the age of 40 will recognize the people or places mentioned in this book or have an interest in reading it. But they should. It's more than a story about Lenny Bruce. It's about sex, drugs, show business, and the first amendment. Although it is long, and the tediousness of it cost it a star, the book gives a front row seat to an era the likes of which we will never see again. It may not make you a fan but it will give you an understanding of why Bruce was, and ...more
Tom Schulte
Dec 29, 2015 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio
While Bruce is a big enough character to fill these eight hundred pages, we also get such colorful cats as alto saxophonist Joe Maini, dopeman cum informer chic Eder and cameos by Phil Spector and others. (Reading of Phil's late career business and logistical support for a Bruce mad with legal minutiae and yellow pads prompted me to reread this.) While Grossman is often maligned for quasi-gonzo fanboy salacious approach, this book really moves in its depiction of the rise and destruction of this ...more
Aug 12, 2016 Roy rated it really liked it
Lenny was before my time but this book told me everything I needed to know about the man and his work , Goodman leaves nothing back and at the same time makes us feel compassion for the man who was harassed and tormented by the US authorities at the time .
John Hardin
Jan 12, 2013 John Hardin rated it really liked it
Overly long and tedious in parts, but the only in-depth bio of Lenny Bruce out there. Maybe someone will write a thinner, but comprehensive bio of Lenny Bruce, but until then, this is it. If one should decide to re-read it, which I've done, they'd be best advised to skip over most of this to get to the gist of the story.
Jan 21, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
This is a great biography of Bruce ("from the journalism of Larry Schiller", my edition is subtitled - maybe some lawsuit action there?) but an even better book about the beat generation and the bizarre and eccentric characters who populated it.
Candace R
Apr 13, 2014 Candace R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goldman writes in an exhaustive, obsessive compulisve manner. This book details everything about Leonard Alfred Schneider, the man, as well as Lenny Bruce, the icon. Worth it.
Mar 05, 2012 Perrystroika rated it really liked it
scabrous, obscene and nasty, a prickly work of love and hatred, has the most lovingly detailed critical discussions of Bruce's routines and stand-up comedy.
Rey Dekker
Nov 16, 2012 Rey Dekker rated it liked it
...had no idea there were so many books written about Bruce...I think this is the one I read when I lived in St. Paul MN in the mid-seventies...
Michael Schleigh
Jul 20, 2013 Michael Schleigh rated it liked it
Tough to get through at times due to vivid imagery. I unfortunately relate to his late career where he became obsessed with law.
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