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Jim Henson: The Biography
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Jim Henson: The Biography

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  9,247 Ratings  ·  1,081 Reviews
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For the first time ever-a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth-century's most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson.

He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ern
Hardcover, 585 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Ballantine Books
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Kristin I can see Beth's point in that there are some character flaws but no harsh criticism of Jim Henson in this book. The fact for me is that I grew up…moreI can see Beth's point in that there are some character flaws but no harsh criticism of Jim Henson in this book. The fact for me is that I grew up believing Jim Henson had the character traits of Kermit and after his passing, it's likely we all want to believe that he was simply an amazing man. The author does paint him in the best light, and since Jim Henson was like a father figure to me, I can understand that perspective. There is never too much detail when it comes to sharing about Henson, though. With all the juicy details about the creation of the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock, etc., along with the many, many characters, and after also reading and loving, "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street", I feel reconnected to my late 70's/early 80's childhood and have loved every minute of it!(less)

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Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
When people ask me why I became a writer, I often cite books that I read as a child, and authors, as being my inspiration. But that's not quite true. That's really what people want to hear (especially if those people are librarians and teachers). But if I had to really, really pick one person who influenced my life, whose work influenced my personality and my writing, I think it would be Jim Henson. I was lucky enough to grow up with parents (especially my mom) who loved Henson's work... all of ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it
While I can't exactly rave about the book, I can't deny having a goofy perma-grin on my face throughout most of the reading of it, and shameless tears through the brutal ending. The beginning definitely worried me--there's excessive indulgence in the dullard biographer's instinct to trace the family tree a few generations ahead of the subject and bore you with minutiae that won't be relevant to any later part of the book. Once Jim builds his first muppet, though, the story picks up.

This is defi
I feel like I read an entirely different memoir from most of the other reviewers on Goodreads, because this is not one I enjoyed. Granted, I did not finish it, but that was after multiple attempts at reading it. I usually force myself to finish all books, whether or not I really enjoy them, so this is rare that I am returning this one unfinished.

I think a major problem I encounter when reading memoirs like this, is that they are often not written from an objective point of view. Perhaps it's due
This is going to be one of those reviews that I constantly change as I think, "omg this part has really stuck with me!" and also because I'm typing on an IPAD that really doesn't show me when things are spelled incorrectly. Any ways...

Of my top five favorite movies of all time three are Muppet movies- THE Muppet Movie, Muppet Treasure Island, and Labyrinth. The other two are subject to change and are currently Pacific Rim and the Avengers, which probably shows that I haven't grown up that much b
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
My children grew up watching Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. Call the parent police if you must, but occasionally those shows were wonderful “babysitters” allowing me to get chores done and meals prepared. We once took my daughters to a presentation of a behind the scenes look at Fraggle Rock, where my eldest was kissed by a Fraggle – I think it was the highlight of her life up to that point. The chart toppers of the 1980’s are a blur to me (I call them my mommy years) by I can ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
How can you not love this guy?!
Jim Henson was a big part of my childhood from The Muppet movies, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and so much more! This book was so much fun reading about his life and how it ended so tragically.
Kerri Duff
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant biography of a fascinating man. I was familiar with a lot of Jim Henson's creations of course, but I really knew very little about his life. I found this book very compelling, informative and easy to read. I don't think it's a spoiler of any kind to say you follow Jim Henson to the end of his life and I found myself missing him terribly once we reached his death. However his legacy is incredible and Brian Jay Jones did a wonderful job capturing that.
Ilana Waters
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you want to get a deeper look at the fascinating man that was Jim Henson, this is the book for you. Just don't expect that look to be too deep. Although hundreds of pages are devoted to his artistic and business affairs, I would have liked to know more about Henson's family, how they were coping with his success and long absences, his numerous affairs.

Although well-written and certainly thorough, this biography seemed to be more about “Jim the mogul” than “Jim the man.” And although I know p
Shawn Granger
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought I knew Jim Henson, but I knew nothing. I've been a big fan of the work of Jim Henson, even going so far as learning to make my own puppets since I was 10. And I've seen almost everything that he and his family have done, at least with puppets. And now with my child I've seen most of the computer 3D shows as well. I thought I knew a lot about Jim Henson, but this biography made me realize how little I knew.

The book starts out with a very touching introduction and a glimpse into how the
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am a pretty big Henson nerd. In college I interned at the Henson Foundation where I was lucky enough to get to see Jim's office, complete with the light up paper moose that is described in the book, tour the creature shop, and to help the Foundation celebrate the craft of contemporary puppetry. I've also read the colorful and photo filled "Jim Henson: The Works", "The Art of the Muppets", which was a catalog for one of the first museum exhibitions. I've seen the more recent museum exhibition, ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Jim Henson: The Works: The Art, the Magic, the Imagination
  • Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal
  • A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley
  • Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
  • Sesame Street Unpaved: Scripts, Stories, Secrets and Songs
  • Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street
  • No Strings Attached: The Inside Story of Jim Henson's Creature Shop
  • The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
  • Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook
  • The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers
  • Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography
  • Fosse
  • It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider
  • Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist
  • Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space
  • Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel
  • Weird Al: The Book
  • American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell
Brian Jay Jones is a New York Times bestselling biographer and past-president of Biographers International Organization, the world’s largest organization of practicing biographers. A former policy analyst and adviser in the U.S. Senate, Jones took up biography in 2008, with the publication of his award-winning Washington Irving. His second book, Jim Henson: The Biography was a national bestseller, ...more
More about Brian Jay Jones...
“Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it.' - Jim” 16 likes
“When I was young," wrote Jim, "my ambition was to be one of the people who makes a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave this world a little bit better for my being here."

And he did.”
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