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Groucho and Me

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,768 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
With impeccable timing, outrageous humor, irreverent wit, and a superb sense of the ridiculous, Groucho tells the saga of the Marx Brothers: the poverty of their childhood in New York's Upper East Side; the crooked world of small-time vaudeville (where they learned to carry blackjacks); how a pretzel magnate and the graceless dancer of his dreams led to the Marx Brothers' ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published August 22nd 1995 by Da Capo Press (first published 1959)
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Classic Film Books
72nd out of 295 books — 65 voters
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Best Show Business Memoirs/Biographies
81st out of 213 books — 262 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Luis
Nov 21, 2014 Luis rated it it was amazing
Una genialidad del humor. Consiste en anécdotas de su vida, en orden mas o menos cronológico, salpicadas de observaciones agudas e irreverentes, totalmente un must read para cualquier aficionado al teatro o al cine clásico o simplemente para quien busque reírse. A través del libro se dibuja la época dorada del teatro de bodevil y la vida de sus artistas, los inicios de Hollywood, la radio y la televisión.
Harold
May 28, 2015 Harold rated it really liked it
Just what you would expect from Groucho. No revelations, very little about his life. Really just a series of anecdotes of show biz life, vaudeville, movies, tv, etc etc. All written in a highly humorous fashion. Those of us old enough to remember Groucho will hear his voice narrating it.
Mads
Jun 22, 2007 Mads rated it it was amazing
The best autobiography ever. I agree completely with what Mrs. Calabash says on the blurbs. I wish more people would write their autobiographies this way and enough of the oh-so-serious tones. Let's have no more of the endless boasts about illustrious ancestors and goody-goody anecdotes.
Wade Grassman
Mar 07, 2011 Wade Grassman rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I was a bit disappointed by the book only in that I had hoped to more of the history of the brothers and the act. On the other hand the humour that poured out on every page more than made up it. I laughed at nearly every turn of the page. This was a wonderful read and I whole heartedly recommend it for any fan of the brothers.
Danielle
Aug 02, 2008 Danielle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Folks wanting some Marx Bros history
I was really excited to read this autobiography of Groucho Marx and the majority of the book didn't disappoint. Groucho tells some terrific stories about growing up Marx with his brothers. I also loved his tales about Kansas City (it's neat to read what an important tour stop it was back in its hey-day) and what he had to say about living in Chicago for a little while as a teen.

But then...! Then it just turns into a GROUCHy old man (the book was published in 1959) griping about the way things ar
...more
Patti
Aug 31, 2008 Patti rated it it was amazing
A fun quick read. I read this book right after I read A tree Grows in Brooklyn, so I had a whole theme thing going with turn of the century.

The stories that Groucho tells about his family and himself are the types of stories that you would tell about the dinner table to tease each other. Groucho tells his stories without making himlook like a saint, too. In fact, it seems like he goes out of his way to show his faults.

There's no bragging in this book, or sugar coating. It's just a fun way to re
...more
Mary
Jul 14, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok
Only since I'm from the generation that watched Groucho's quiz show "You Bet Your Life" on NBC back in the day, was I somewhat amused to read his dyspeptic, cantankerous account of random events from his life which, he makes clear, is really not anyone's actual definition of an autobiography nor was it meant to be.
Rozonda
Nov 07, 2009 Rozonda rated it it was amazing
Not just humorous, but alos a down-to-earth account of Groucho's travel from rags to riches and a very revealing portrait of the real face of showbusiness.
Andy
Jul 30, 2008 Andy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: comedy fans
Shelves: hollywoodbabylon
Groucho's pretty amusing. He makes me grin abut he doesn't really make me laugh.
William J.Roby
This book exposes Groucho's close paternal relationship with his daughter. He writes to her at times as though she were a friend the same age, and is never condescending or authoritarian. He seems to be saying to her that her mistakes will be her own, nobody else's.
The book is littered with laugh-out-loud anecdotes and Marx family legends, some of which it has to be said feel a little 'embroidered.' Groucho has visceral opinions on many things but his affection for his brothers, especially Harp
...more
Puri Kencana Putri
Oct 25, 2016 Puri Kencana Putri rated it it was amazing
"He was a resourceful man and he finally solved his problem, though not entirely to his satisfaction. It was a compromise, but isn't life a series of compromises?" Indeed, Groucho. Indeed.
Juan Marín
Esperaba más... y no que, en algunos pasajes, encontrara al personaje desagradable por la facilidad con que juzga, y siempre para mal, a la personas...
Matthew Hervey
Nov 04, 2016 Matthew Hervey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's Groucho!,

A beloved and hilarious man. I've loved the Marx Brothers ever since I was a child. This book helps to fill in the blanks as to who Groucho Marx was off stage.
Martin
Nov 14, 2008 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
{This was to be intended to be a collective review of The Groucho Letters, Groucho and Me and Memoirs of a Mangy Lover collectively, but apparently I can't pull up more than one book in a thread. Why what appears to be the cover of an Agatha Christie biography appears in the window where Groucho's dust jacket should, I have no idea, I don't even think they have much in common}


Down below (ratatatatata)
Down Below(ratatatatata)
Sat the devil talking to his son
Who wanted to go
Up above(ratatatatata)
Up
...more
M. J.
Sep 11, 2015 M. J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Early in the book Groucho Marx makes the point that he does not believe it possible for anyone to write an honest autobiography, and he is not attempting to do so--not that he is not being honest, but that this is not a biography of himself. It is more a collection of events and anecdotes, many of them stripped of names and sometimes places (he makes a joke of the number of people in the book whom he calls "Delaney", and on one occasion names a man but calls him "Delaney" anyway). He gives us ...more
Sandra
Jan 26, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No soy de carcajada fácil cuando veo la televisión (ni cuando voy al cine). Sonrío, sí, pero no muchos consiguen que me doble de la risa. Shin-chan siempre me ha hecho reír (el manga más que el anime). Su humor chabacano y fácil hace que me desternille. Algún capítulo de la primera temporada de Friends también. La escena de Two Much en la que Antonio Banderas tiene que entretener a Melanie Griffith y a Daryl Hannah a la vez es otra más. Y en esa de Ocean´s Twelve en la que Julia Roberts se hace ...more
Brad Dugg
Sep 20, 2014 Brad Dugg rated it it was amazing
The wittiest, funniest and the cleverest autobiography I ever read.

You can read on Wikipedia page as to who Groucho Marx is but you must read this book to understand what a sense of humour he has. This is one of those books that seems more like a comedy movie than an autobiography. So little of his personal life is mentioned and so much of his personal experiences are fed which are mostly hilarious.

This book is path breaking in terms of autobiographical-writing. This does not follow chronology
...more
Clare Moseley
I've been a tremendous fan of the Marx Bros my entire life. I think they're genius comedians. Harpo Speaks, the autobiography of Groucho's silent brother is one of my favourite books of all time. For some reason, I've never been able to finish Groucho and Me, floundering in the first few pages. I finally sat down and read the whole thing and I realize why it took me so long to finish.

I really don't like Groucho at all. What comes off as amusing when being done by Captain Spaulding or Rufus T. Fi
...more
Casey
Jul 31, 2009 Casey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I treasure this book. The witticisms actually pour out of this book faster than the reader can savor them. Groucho Marx pens this memoir as only Groucho can, with the same insults and wisecracks that marked his uniquely superior brand of comedy for decades. For example, near the beginning of the book is this nugget of wisdom: "Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough."

You can actually hear his voice ringing through the text. It's d
...more
Joe
Sep 12, 2016 Joe rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable wit.
Tanzila Aslam
Jul 05, 2015 Tanzila Aslam rated it it was amazing
Not to trivialize the importance of history books, but I believe comedians are the best representation of a particular era or culture. Their jokes, references and social commentary often reflect the little nuances faced by the common man. The 70s/80s had George Carlin. Our generation probably has the likes of Louis CK, Jon Stewart. And the 50s clearly belonged to Groucho Marx. (Chaplin once said that if he could talk like Groucho, he would never shut up.) It’s safe to say that his wit has stood ...more
Aaron
Sep 04, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marx Brothers fans
Groucho states at the beginning of the book that he's only writing it at the coercion of the editor. This statement and pretty much every other statement on the 300-some-odd pages in this book should be taken with a salt lick. Julius Henry Marx is reticent to invade his own personal life and I would venture to say that of the 80000+ words in this book only a handful could be considered the bold truth. Which isn't to say that it's not interesting, it's just that the anecdotes may or may not have ...more
Perry Whitford
Jul 22, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it
I don't think Groucho wrote a great deal of the Marx Brothers material, certainly not the film stuff anyway (they had a team of Hollywood's finest scripting the gags for those) but by the time you get three pages into this autobiography it's pretty clear that he might as well have done.

Julius Henry Marx and Groucho Marx were undoubtedly one and the same!

Here's a sample from the very first page: "Although it is generally known, I think it's about time to announce that I was born at a very early
...more
Joe
Nov 20, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
I've never seen a Marx Brothers' movie. And, aside from an incident in the first grade, I've never had any circumstances in my life where Groucho Marx had even a moderately influential role on my day-to-day existence. So, I come to this book as neither a fan nor an enemy. Truly neutral on this one.

I found it to not only be incredibly funny but also interesting in an historical aspect. He was born just before the turn of the century, and lived through many of the significant moments of the 20th
...more
Farnham
Aug 14, 2015 Farnham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this wonderful book many years ago, while a student in Austin. Aside from the marvelous humor of this man and his whacky family, the book is a very brilliant historical account of the development of comic theater. From the boys growing up in immigrant NY, to their natural musical skills, and early failures in vaudeville, Mr. Marx takes us on a trip around the country, playing one horse towns and small venues throughout the south and west. By the time they got to Broadway, and Hollywood, ...more
Víctor Galán
Feb 28, 2015 Víctor Galán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una particularísima obra de su genial autor. Groucho desarrolla una autobiografía tan extraña como delirante, en la que narra muchos sucesos y en los que a la vez no cuenta nada. Su sentido del humor, alcanza cotas extremas, dotando a todo el libro de una sutil ironía y una marcada sátira de la sociedad estadounidense de la época.
Una obra ideal para desarrollar el ingenio y la mala leche humorística. Pero que adolece de una visión demasiado superficial de su autor y situada siempre en el enclav
...more
Kahn
Aug 04, 2011 Kahn added it
Groucho goes to great lengths to explain this isn't an autobiography, and he's not wrong. What you have are a series of anecdotes (some with a basis in truth, some without) and musings on such things as marriage and alcohol.
He also explains regularly that he keeps getting pushed by his editor, and that is also easy to believe, as this book runs out of steam two-thirds of the way through, and what starts out as a marvellous collection of Marx whimsy and tales of Delaney's doings finishes feeling
...more
Marivl
Apr 07, 2013 Marivl rated it liked it
"Esta obra empezó como una autobiografía, pero antes de enterarme comprendí ya que no sería nada de eso. Resulta casi imposible escribir una autobiografía sincera(...) En casi todos los casos, lo que el público acaba comprando es un discreto volumen con los hechos hábilmente encubiertos, lleno de bazofia y de ambigüedad"
Me encanta el sarcasmo cómico de Groucho Marx, he disfrutado mucho sus anecdotas y ocurrencias, aunque no devela demasiado de su vida personal, nos cuenta con su estilo único las
...more
Belinda
Apr 18, 2016 Belinda rated it it was amazing
True perfection. I am madly in love with the Marx Brothers (Harpo especially) so I am currently devouring anything I can find about them, however nothing can beat the stuff they have written themselves.
I was going through one of the most hellish time periods of my life while reading this and it was the only thing I could bring myself to read. The humor and the wisdom are spectacular. It just simplifies life in a way that no amount of philosophy could ever do and in a way that is deceptively simp
...more
Vania Liberoff
Jan 18, 2013 Vania Liberoff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-books
Me costó conseguir este libro. Mi papá me dijo que mi abuelo lo tenía y que decía que era una maravilla. Pero en algún momento de la vida, ese libro se perdió. Un día lo veo por PURA CASUALIDAD en una mesa durante una de las Ferias del Libro de Chacao. Milagro.
Adoro a Groucho Marx, y la biografía que él mismo escribió es asombrosa. Tiene un humor inteligente, un tanto negro y en ocasiones cruel, pero maravilloso al fin.
Expresa no sólo momentos de su vida, sino también su filosofía de vida. ¡Y q
...more
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Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, was an American comedian and film star. He is famed as a master of wit. He made 15 feature films with his siblings, the Marx Brothers, and also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show, You Bet Your Life. He had a distinctive image, which included a heavy greasepaint moustache and eyebrows, and glasses.

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“I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.” 1790 likes
“Any playwright who has been up against the agony of casting plays will tell you that the actor who can play comedy is the fellow to shoot for. The comic intuition gets to the heart of a human situation with a precision and a velocity unattainable in any other way. A great comic actor will do it for you with an inflection of voice as adroit as the flick of the wrist of a virtuoso fencer.” Nevertheless,” 0 likes
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