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Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and The World That Made Him | [David Henry, Joe Henry]

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and The World That Made Him

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic in his lifetime, Pryor's performances opened up a new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn't just new - it was heretofore unthinkable. His childhood in Peoria, Illinois, was spent just trying to survive.
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Publisher's Summary

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic in his lifetime, Pryor's performances opened up a new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn't just new - it was heretofore unthinkable.

His childhood in Peoria, Illinois, was spent just trying to survive. Yet the culture into which Richard Pryor was born - his mother was a prostitute; his grandmother ran the whorehouse - helped him evolve into one of the most innovative and outspoken performers ever, a man who attracted admiration and anger in equal parts. Both a brilliant comedian and a very astute judge of what he could get away with, Pryor was always pushing the envelope, combining anger and pathos, outrage and humor, into an art form, laying the groundwork for the generations of comedians who followed, including such outstanding performers as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Louis C.K.

Now, in this groundbreaking and revelatory work, David and Joe Henry bring him to life both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

©2013 David Henry and Joe Henry (P)2013 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A beautifully written account of the troubled life of a manic genius." (Booklist Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (34 )
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3.8 (29 )
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4.2 (29 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Incarnated Soul 07-10-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't Bother"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Original material; not material from other books.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Henry and Joe Henry again?

    Probably not; it is NOT original material.


    Which character – as performed by Dion Graham – was your favorite?

    Richard Pryor


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a huge disappointment. The author jumps from past to present and vice versa.
    Not a biography at all...just a collection of practically incoherent bunch of paragraphs put together.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 03-28-14
    John 03-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some insight but thin"

    Interesting story with some insight into Pryor's life and times but thin in many places. Lots of repetition of Pryor's classic routines. I agree that he was a special talent but the genius term was thrown around ad nauseam throughout the book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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