Raised Eyebrows is the bittersweet story of the last years in the life of Groucho Marx, told by a young Marx Brothers fan who was fortunate enough to work for Groucho as his personal secretary and archivist, right inside Marx's Beverly Hills home. In addition to getting to know his hero, the author was able to spend quality time with Zeppo, Gummo, Mae West, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, SJ Perelman, Steve Allen, and scores of other luminaries of stage, screen, TV and literature. The downside of this dream-come-true was getting close to his idol as the curtain was coming down, and dealing with Erin Fleming - the mercurial woman in charge of Groucho's personal and professional life.
Raised Eyebrows is filled with never-before-heard anecdotes, with an introduction by Dick Cavett. The author has written a new Afterword chapter, detailing events and experiences that have taken place in the years since the book was originally published. The audiobook showcases the author's entertaining knack for impressions, as he provides the voices for all of the various celebrities and characters in his book.
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"It's one of the best books about a show-business icon I've ever read.... It makes Groucho live so much more than the conventional bios." (Woody Allen)
"Raised Eyebrows is an intimate account of one of our national treasures - Groucho Marx. It's written by a young man who was fortunate enough to live with and work for Groucho, and if he doesn't know what he's talking about, who would? It has a unique insider's point of view and is a fascinating study of a man who was one of the kings of comedy." (Jack Lemmon)
"In this delightful report, Mr. Stoliar brings the real Groucho alive with wit, tears and all." (Steve Allen)
Very hard to compare this to other books of this type as most celebrity "tell alls" are from the point of view of "another celebrity." I was Steve's age at the time Steve went into the rabbit hole of Groucho's life. And while Steve, like any young fan of Groucho was smitten with the man's charm and talent, after a time Steven was able to see, quite clearly, the sad side of this man's life and talk to us(the fans) as one of us.
There is a moment in the middle of the book where Steve, as Groucho, sings an old song (one of Groucho's favorites) Father's day. this is really a silly song -but Groucho does it in such a sad, honest melancholy manner, that moment in many ways summed up for me the silliness and the sadness of the great man's final years.
the book, in many wyas, becomes something of a horror story towards the end as we reach the final descent of Erin Fleming (Grocho's keeper of sorts) into her narcissistic neurosis-many parts of the story are funny but this is a very honest, and very sad portrayal of a great man at the end of his years coupled with the manipulations of many fighting over the Groucho legacy (and his money).
I read the book many years ago, and picked this version on a whim just to "hear it." I'm glad I did. Steve has expanded his story in a very meaningful way, but his voice acting (as many celebrities not just Groucho) was quite mesmerizing for me. It certainly brought back the era of Grouchomania that I remember as a fan and as much as I wanted to meet the great man in my youth,, I feel through this book, I really did. The book and the performance are that good.
Fascinating insights into celebrity lifestyles and values—not just Groucho, but his Hollywood friends as well. Of course, Groucho fans will be enthralled from cover to cover.Steve Stoliar lived with Groucho and his circle for several years, right up to the end. He tells it in his own words, in his own voice, and his admiration and respect for Groucho comes through despite Groucho's warts and flaws that make everyone human. Steve is the narrator, and as he mentions in his book, there is something special about an author reading his own words.As a bonus, steve does a great job of impersonating Groucho as he was at the time of the exchange he is quoting. His Cavett voice is also perfect. So I have to assume some of the lesser-known characters are also well impersonated. It could have been tacky if done wrong, but his characterizations are spot-on.
It was like sitting down with an insider and listening to his experiences with stars, wannabe stars and their friends and family, but told without malice.
It was interesting to see how Groucho's and Erin's friends and family acted and interacted when they were at parties in Groucho's house.
Like many people, I was totally confused about who Erin Fleming was and whether she was good or bad to/for Groucho. The reader will have an opinion after reading the book.
Steve Stoliar is great guy, a great Groucho fan and a nice human being. He is someone many people would like to have as a friend.
"Steve Stoliar brings Groucho back to life!"
I've been a huge Marx brothers fan for many years and I've been reading most of the books written about them. Still somehow Steve Stoliar's book 'Raised Eyebrows - My Years Inside Groucho's House' had slipped under my radar.
This is a book which is written by a man who witnessed firsthand the final years of the legendary Groucho Marx. During his 3 year tenure as Groucho's secretary he saw the highs and, unfortunately, also the lows of the aging comedian.
As a fan I've always wanted to know the real story behind Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming and I'm happy to say that after listening to this audiobook, I can finally say I know what happened.
Steve Stoliar has a wonderful voice and it is a pleasure to listen to his reading. He also has an amazing ability to impersonate Groucho Marx's voice, so whenever there is some kind of dialogue, you feel like you're listening to recorded interviews of Groucho.
After 15 years, Steve Stoliar added some afterwords and brings us up to date what has happened after he wrote this book.
Highly recommended for all Groucho Marx fans.
"Entertaining, warm, touching and funny."
By far the the one I have enjoyed most.
Interesting story of what Groucho was like towards the end of his life, what his friends were like, how they related to him and him to them. The story is so well told and Steve takes you right into the story with him. I actually felt very sad when this was over as I was really enjoying my time in Steve and Groucho's world back in the mid 1970's.
Steve reads this so well. His voice is excellent throughout, but when he quotes things in Groucho's voice, its like you are listening to Groucho himself. I believe that I enjoyed the book immeasurably more listening to Steve read it than if I'd read it myself.
I have never heard a book performed so well.
I can't recommend this enough. Even if you only have a passing interest in Groucho like me, you will love this book.
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