he: A Novel
John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists.
An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who lov...more
Stan Laurel seems an insecure man who doesn't really know how to live outside the theater. "All he ever wanted to be is like Chaplin".
Full review for publication.
I knew very little of the lives of Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, and was anticipating a fascinating, fi ...more
Harrumph! Or ZING?
I decided to return this Connolly book to the library before I got to the "scurrilous" parts as I actually have no real interest in Laurel and Hardy ...more
he, a fictionalized account of the life of Stan Laurel, is a work of genius worthy of its subject matter.
Laurel and Hardy are one of the most beloved comedy duos of all time, their films bringing laughter and joy to millions over the years. However, behind the scenes, their lives were dramatic, depressing affairs. he is filled with sadness, frustration and complex emotions, as Stan Laurel goes through his life, feeling inadequate, fighting with ...more
I am a great fan of John Connolly and so looked forward to reading his latest book; especially when it clearly differed markedly from the books I have read before.
The 'He' of the title is Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy, and Connolly attempts to write a novel of his life and experiences 'warts and all' from the viewpoint of his love of the duo. In doing so he encounters the greats of the silent cinema; Chaplin, Keaton, Fred Karno and of course Hardy who ...more
trying much too hard to be clever
actually rather clever
No, he and Babe were famous once. But now Babe is gone, and he is alone…
He and Babe.
Now only he.’
he:A Novel is a labour of love written by bestselling author John Connolly. John Connolly had a desire to write this novel after a meeting with book store manager, Sheldon McAuthur, while on tour in LA. Their conversation turned to Laurel & Hardy and so began, for John Connolly, a fascination with these two iconic figures, in particular that of Stan Laurel.
‘There seemed to h ...more
Later they make me smile and feeling nostalgic.
This novel is about Stan, the foolish, depressing person behind a comic genius.
The short sentences and chapters give the illusion of a fast paced novel. But it's full of repetitive. Their intention is not quite clear. They add a lot of fluff and they lack the human emotion. "He" is observed like a squirrel in a cage torn between his loyalty and affection for his partner Oliver, his harsh con ...more
I do have issues, however. This having been the only thing by Connolly I've ever read, I don't know if the stylistic choices he made here are typical, but a couple o ...more
This novel is a standalone, and I'm always nervous about taking on a standalone, because you know what to expect in the usual series - and it is scary moving outside the box and experimenting with your author's wayward effort!
However, I LOVED THIS BOOK! The title character 'HE' that John writes about is Stan Laurel of the famous Laurel and Hardy act. It is clear that Joh ...more
I've watched tons of Laurel & Hardy shorts but I never knew much about the men under the tiny bowler hats. This is a fictionalization of Laurel's life (and end of life), true, but it really brought both funnymen to life. And their lives were not funny. This is a sad and melancholy. The ending was crushing. But despite all of Laurel's marriages and love affairs, this novel has "Babe" Oliver Hardy as Laurel's one true love -- their friendship and partnership bei ...more
Remarkably even-handed in it's portrayal of Stan and the people he knew, offering up the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, the human side of the equation with an openness and respect that reveals the man behind the legend.
f word. Maybe it was the vernacular of the day, I just found it tiresome after awhile.
Not really knowing who Laurel and Hardy were, I didn’t know what to expect. This book, however, is so beautifully written, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know these ...more
I will let you know more after I finish.
This is a beautifully written book about Stan Laurel, a brilliant mingling of fact and fiction. Having laughed at the antics of Stan and Ollie when I was a child, this book brought a tear or two to my eyes.
With "He" John Connolly has proved that he is a master storyteller in any genre.
The writing style occasionally annoyed me in bits but I couldn't put it down until I finished it and was in tears at the end so felt really immersed. It did well to put an insight into some pretty bizarre decisions in Laurel and Hardys private lives and also gave a good look at the beginnings of Hollywood & the characters invol ...more
But hope is a candle.
Hope burns, and then it is gone.”
But not before Babe conspires with Death in his own dissolution.
Babe opens the door, and Death steps through.”