Erika's Reviews > The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx

The Essential Groucho by Groucho Marx
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: library-has, read-in-2012
Read from June 12 to 29, 2012

Very entertaining collection of scripts, letters, stories, quotes and anecdotes by, for and about Groucho Marx.

There's a little biographical information sprinkled in among the gags and witticisms, but this is largely letting Groucho speak for himself. Scenes from "Duck Soup" and "At the Races" are lifted in one chapter. Another uses Groucho's personal and public correspondence. A third curates quotes and out-takes from "you bet your life." There's one for his time on radio as well.

At no point is Marx ever truly serious. Even when consoling TS Elliott on his illness, he still manages an acerbic jab. His stories seem to like corkscrew humor and trying to get at bottled-up truth.

Nevertheless, as a Groucho fan, it was fun for me to hear Groucho's voice in my head as I read through his scripts and correspondence. A quirky and charming read, with a bit of an acid bite. Much like the man himself.

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