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Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue
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Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  29 reviews
As the first decade of the new century was getting underway, Spalding Gray worried that the joy he’d finally found with his wife, stepdaughter, and two sons would fail to fuel his work as a theatrical monologist the way anxiety, conflict, doubt, and various crises once had. Before he got the chance to find out, however, an automobile accident in Ireland left him with the l ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 20th 2005 by Crown (first published 2005)
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James Lundy
Mar 28, 2008 James Lundy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody with 5 minutes to read the unfinished monologue
Spalding Gray was way cool. Then he got in an accident, got depressed and killed himself. So now you're a publisher and you have a single, lackluster, unfinished monologue, what do you do? You publish it posthumously as his last book. Oh, it's too short? Ok, you add tons of filler and forewards and afterwards and eulogies and whatever else you can to get it to book length. And it's a damn pity because Spalding Gray was a national treasure and this cheapens his death.
Aaron
Mar 05, 2009 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard core fans of Spalding Gray only
Strangely, I found this book extremely worthwhile and yet supremely disappointed. I have been a huge fan of Spalding Gray for many years and used to run into him occasionally in downtown NYC when I lived there in the late 80s and early 90s. I had somehow missed this volume which includes parts of his last unfinished monologue as well as a lengthy introductory essay by the novelist Francine Prose and the text of numerous tributes that were delivered at two memorial services for Spalding after his ...more
Patrick McCoy
I was reminded of Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologues (2005) when I watched Steven Soderbergh's impressive documentary on Gray's life, And Everything's Going Fine. I think I had read everything in print by Gray up to his suicide, so I somehow had overlooked his last works. And as usual they were entertaining and full of witty observations and stories. However, the bulk of the book was tributes from friends in memorial services at Lincoln Center and in Sag Harbor, his home. Many are from ...more
Tommy
I hate how Spalding's life ended. Already a man known for fits of depression, a car accident in Ireland left him in grave pain with blinding headaches that wouldn't subside. So, one day, he stepped off the Staten Island Ferry and into the East River, ending a life of neurotic brilliance.

This book is a collection of a handful of scattered unpublished and unperformed works - mainly the monologue Spalding was working on at the time of his death, about the accident and his attempts to bounce back fr
...more
Fred
There's a fair amount of filler in this book, seeing as it's primarily composed of an unfinished monologue, a few short pieces, and many essays of appreciation from various people. I skimmed or skipped much of the ancillary material, but I enjoyed the central piece that relates details about the car accident that appears to have precipitated Gray's long depression that ended in his suicide. That bitter note is not present in the monologue, however, and it's a pleasant addition to his work for an ...more
Soonhar
Contains Spalding's last monologue -- including a description of the devastating accident in Ireland -- and then the rest of the book is made up of touching and well-written eulogies and tributes to Spalding from his friends and family. This book helps to shed a little light on why Spalding chose to kill himself but of course it is still incredibly sad. It seems like it's always the best lives, the smartest, most interesting, sensitive and talented people whose time on earth ends prematurely. A ...more
Kirsten
why do all my favorite writers kill themselves? This was a very moving book that i read through fits of tears and laughter, sometimes simultaneously. But he kind of had that effect on me in his later monologues. The monologue itself was maybe not his best but the comments and perspectives from his colleagues and friends was very moving and insightful. i have not yet come to terms with the idea that this is the last one :(

and another brilliant American artist goes finite....
Ghym
Huge fan of Spalding. Was devastated by his tragic death. Don't have the time or energy to go into what a fabulous monologist he was. Rent Swimming to Cambodia to get a sense. This book puts together his last monologue about the accident in Ireland that some would say led to his suicide. And there are also pieces read and written by others at his memorials. Very sad and fast read. Recommended for Spalding fans, but if you don't know who he is start with his films first.
Nick
No, this monologue is not tremendous. And the eulogies aren't absolutely perfect.

But it'll still make you cry, if you're in the vein. If you're tired and unhappy and angry at him for stepping over that rail. Goddamit, Spalding. He once said he never wanted children, he just wanted to be a "sort of uncle figure." He walked everwhere he could, taking as long as possible to get home to his wife and kids. He loved Sam Adams and himself.
Chris
I at last had a chance to review this volume. My wife and I had seen Gray perform this monologue a few weeks before his death and were startled by his appearance. This book collects not only that short in-progress piece but a couple of other short works as well as the eulogies delivered at his memorial services. I wish this were finished; I wish he were here working on another.
Heather Goff
The first part of the book is Gray's last monologue - originally called "Black Spot" - and published as Life Interrupted, it's the story of the car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and deterioration over the last two years of his life. Last part of the book is from the memorial service held after his (untimely) death.
Brandann
A poignant and sob-inducing look into the final thoughts of Spalding Gray. Grab the tissues and get ready to read the touching sentiments of those who loved him, and the way his life was touched by his depression, and fierce struggle to hold onto that happiness through his inner grief.

If you are a fan of Gray, this is a must-read.
Mary Margaret McLeroy
the work that Spalding Gray wrote in this book is a good read, but the rest...not really my style. If this is a favorite author of yours then this book would be a good way to say goodbye, since the last 1/3 of the book are excepts of readings from his memorial service.
Mark Victor Young
Not enough Spalding in this one and it felt kind of unedited, being unfinished and all. I still felt glad I had read it. The eulogies at the end were just heartbreaking. Love the wry look on his face shown on the cover - a picture from better days. A brilliant guy.
Karlton
A long introduction - a few pages of his last monologue and "Anniversary" both quite good - and then the second half consists of eulogies (many self-serving). I'm glad it's available because it does bring closure but the "extra" material takes away from Gray's.
Nancy
I loved watching him and hearing the monologues. His suicide was a huge loss to us all. He was a truly unique talent and I'm very glad I was able to see him perform live years ago on Lincoln Road in Miami.
Meghan
really depressing. It was the last book he was writing before he killed himself. But it did make me understand why he did and where the depression came from. It was a form of closure for a great author.
David
Felt sad opening up the last Spalding Gray book before I had even read a word...

Sad, but ends on positive notes with transcripts from his memorial service/celebration from his friends.
Jeff
Only a portion of this book was by Spalding Gray - more than half were reminiscences of friends. Overall a good read - but don't expect an entire volume of Gray's writing...
Kye Alfred Hillig
What can I say? How do you replace a man like Spalding Gray? I'm just sad that he didn't get to finish this before he died. All the same, I truly enjoyed it.
Andy
I just like this guy. He knows that light hurts your eyes in the morning sometimes. I couldn't read all the eulogies though, just silly for the most part.
Paul
It was good, made me want to go back and watch some more of his films, made me wish he was still alive.
Jess
I enjoyed the actual monologues more than the info behind them.
NYLon Carry On
He was awesome. And I miss him.
Karen
It's Spalding, I love him.
Linda
Or five stars. I can't decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, I'm sure Gray would be horrified that his unfinished work is published. On the other hand, it makes you understand the suicide more - even in its raw state, these fragments of pieces show how badly damaged he was following the accident, not what he once was, nor likely ever to return. The piece to New York is little more than two sentences and a quote from Wordsworth, and I'm not sure why it was even included except as padding. ...more
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Spalding Gray was an American actor, screenwriter, performance artist, and playwright.
More about Spalding Gray...
Swimming to Cambodia Impossible Vacation Monster in a Box Sex and Death to the Age 14 Gray's Anatomy

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