AUTHOR : GROUCHO MARX
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE : ENGLISH
The wittiest, funniest and the cleverest autobiography I ever read.
You can read on Wikipedia page as to who Groucho Marx is but you must read this book to understand what a sense of humour he has. This is one of those books that seems more like a comedy movie than an autobiography. So little of his personal life is mentioned and so much of his personal experiences are fed which are mostly hilarious.
This book is path breaking in terms of autobiographical-writing. This does not follow chronology as a pattern and flows freely with time.It does not boast of accomplishment and does not have any serious tone either.
This is the only autobiography where the author does not seem to be serious and more-so pulling the leg of editor and even the readers at times.
There are many Delaney moments (Delaney is the name Groucho uses to refer someone about whom he does not want to reveal). So a friend, a co-film producer they all are named Delaney. The name itself evoked laughter for me.
Groucho Marx is one of the cleverest comedians of his time and he rates his fellow comedians like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and others greatly. There is a sense of gratitude that this book brings. Also, there are umpteen hints of the state of economy of the country USA. Also, the hints of history like prohibition in america are fun.
There is also something I learnt about love. Here are a couple of lines from the book
"I believe, however, that real love only appears when the early fires of passion have cooled off and the embers just lie there smoldering."
Let's turn the whole thing over to the master, G.B.S (Shaw to you), and I quote: "When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive and most transient of passions, they are required to swear they will remain in that excited, abnormal and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part."
It's funny, witty, charming and there is a profound smile all through and also there are enough laugh out loud moments. A masterpiece in itself from the master of humour. It's a 5/5. I wish this is taken as a sample to write autobiographies.
Here I am just giving a glimpse of Groucho in his own words in the book.
“I once asked, "Mom, why do you wear that tight corset and that silly wig? They're uncomfortable and, besides, everybody knows they're phony."
"Julie," she would answer, "you don't understand. When a lady goes out for the evening she likes to look nice."
"I know, Mom, but as soon as you get to someone's house you remove the wig and corset."
"Naturally," -she replied. "I take them off because they're uncomfortable. But look how nice I look when I arrive!"
I couldn't follow this logic, but to her it made sense.