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Preview — Me Cheeta by James Lever
Me Cheeta: The Autobiography
Meet Cheeta: actor, painter, gossip, recovering addict, author and the best damn friend Tarzan ever had - oh, and it so happens this very talented star is also a chimp.
From Cheeta's 'liberation' from the Liberian jungle to the black-hearted jungle of Hollywood's Golden Age, Me Cheeta is an extraordinary tale of stardom, substance, abuse, paradises lost and found and, above...more
He wrote this in 2008 at age 76, after he had long outlived Tarzan (dead in 1984) and Jane (1998).
Whereas humans write their autobiographies to crow about themselves and their accomplishments this chimpanzee--one of the greatest animal actors of all time (think Rin Tin Tin, Lassie and King Kong for competition)--wrote this one to extol humanity, Hollywood, and the actors and actres ...more
Cheeta tells his life story from he was a young chimp captured in Africa, his movie career until his time as an old, retired chimp spending his time visiting hospitals and the like.
For me, this was a strange book. I enjoyed the intro note where Cheeta talks about his problems arriving at a title since all the good o ...more
The strongest portion of the book is when Cheeta is hanging with Johnny Weissmuller in 30’s Hollywood (the beginning and ...more
Ostensibly written by Cheeta the chimpanzee, bosom companion to Tarzan vis-a-vis the series of movies first produced by MGM then by RKO, the book reads like a Hollywood memoir of debauchery and hed ...more
Cheeta, the star of eleven feature films with the best Tarzan there ever will be, Johnny Weissmuller, tells us what it was like in Hollywood during the Golden Age.
While Me Cheeta is hilariously, laugh-out-loud funny in many sequences, there is a serious message under the chuckles; he was removed from his native habitat, along with thousands of other animals over the years, for the sole purpose of entertaini ...more
There are some descriptions of people that hit hard and hold nothing back which makes it entertaining and perhaps scandalous.
Who ever created the idea for this book really hit pay dirt and I hope we are not treated to the lost diaries of Rin Tin Tin or Trigger's life with Roy.
If you want something different to read then I highly recommend the book ...more
Several set pieces set in old Hollywood provide some funny commentary on celebrities of the 30s and 40s. Then there's a running summary/commentary about the Tarzan movies from Cheetah's perspective (Jane is the antagonist). There's also Cheetah's hilarious unexplained hatred of Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Rooney, and (especially) Esther Williams; the Esther Williams thing ...more
Me Cheeta is a glorious tell-all tale of the golden age of Hollywood from the perspective of the Tarzan co-star, perhaps the most famous of the Hollywood chimps, Cheeta.
In truth, this smart, witty spoof is the work of novelist James Lever (this is his first published novel). Literary fiction is not as marketable as non-fiction & biography – the publisher stuck with the conceit of this being an autobiograp ...more
That being said, this is a very confused b ...more
It had me laughing right from page 1. “Dearest humans, So, it’s the perfect day in Palm Springs, California, and here I am – actor, artist, African, American, ape and now author – flat out on the lounger by the po ...more
Hyvää kirjassa oli lähtökohta: Tarzan-elokuvien simpanssin näkökulmasta kirjoitettu omaelämäkerta. Ja satiirinen ote oli kivan terävä. Ja Cheetan läheinen suhde merkittävimpään vastanäyttelijään Weissmulleriin on kuvattu aika ...more
Basically, the author can't make the premise work. On the one hand Cheeta portrays himself as an intruder from the animal kingdom variably bewildered by human behaviour, and even more by artefacts (a strange bite-resistant wrist ...more
But this book is much more than ...more
The horrendous treatment of animals in Hollywood is made even more pointed by Cheeta's disingenuous narrative (animals are "rescued" from the jungle and brought to the USA for "rehabilitation" in cages - but it takes him a while to figure out where the a ...more
On the plus side, Cheeta's relationship with Johnny was much more subtly and affectingly dealt with, and I found it genuinely poignant. I also closed the book with a real hankering to watch some of those old Weissmuller/O'Sullivan Tarzan pictures; can't remember any of 'em eve ...more
This book reminded me of Glen Duncan's excellent "I, Lucifer" in t ...more
This is the autobiography of Cheeta, of Tarzan fame. It's up for the Guardian's "first book award".
message 1: by Robert 5 hours, 12 min ago
I remember (from somewhere) that Cheeta had the reputation for being an asshole: a total prima donna.
message 2: by R. 5 hours, 10 min ago
Aren't our best artists often cursed with the worst personalities?
message 3: by Robert 5 hours, 3 min ago
Indeed. And Cheeta was most definitely one of the best.
His performance in ...more