Corey Murray's Reviews > I, Fatty

I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl
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May 19, 09

Read in April, 2009

This is a great book. It's a fictional autobiography of the silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, whose immense popularity came to a screeching halt when he was accused of raping and murdering an actress named Virginia Rappe. Fatty was acquitted, but his career never fully recovered.

Everything about this book is colorful. The setting of 1920s Hollywood combined with Fatty's narrative voice make for a great read. A lot of silent film luminaries - Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett - put in appearances; but it's Fatty's voice that makes this book so irresistable. The voice is at once slick, sarcastic and self-depracating. We're listening to a man who's funny because that's all he knows how to be. And his clownish exterior hides a lot of dignity and pain.
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Corey Murray This is a great book. It's a fictional autobiography of the silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, whose immense popularity came to a screeching halt when he was accused of raping and murdering an actress named Virginia Rappe. Fatty was acquitted, but his career never fully recovered.

Everything about this book is colorful. The setting of 1920s Hollywood combined with Fatty's narrative voice make for a great read. A lot of silent film luminaries - Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett - put in appearances; but it's Fatty's voice that makes this book so irresistable. The voice is at once slick, sarcastic and self-depracating. We're listening to a man who's funny because that's all he knows how to be. And his clownish exterior hides a lot of dignity and pain.


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