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Publisher's Summary

In his bravura account of Warhol's life and work, scholar and culture critic Wayne Koestenbaum gets past the contradictions and reveals the man behind the blond wig and dark glasses. Nimbly weaving brilliant and witty analysis into an absorbing narrative, Koestenbaum makes a convincing case for Warhol as a serious artist, one whose importance goes beyond the '60s. Focusing on Warhol's provocative, powerful films (many of which have been out of circulation since their initial release), Koestenbaum shows that Warhol's oeuvre, in its variety of forms (films, silkscreens, books, "happenings", and so on), maintains a striking consistency of theme: Warhol discovered in classic American images (Brillo boxes, Campbell soup cans, Marilyn's face) a secret history, the eroticism of time and space.
©2001 Wayne Koestenbaum (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Koestenbaum's highly regarded biography makes its way onto [audio] courtesy of the excellent narration of Arthur Addison." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but not discriminating

Wayne Koestenbaum looks past Warhols blond wig but he sees through rose-colored glasses. This worthwhile and entertaining book fails to balance criticism of Warhols failures with its gushing praise of his successes. Koestenbaums analysis of Warhols work in various media does not substantiate his wholesale acceptance of them. Nevertheless, the book orients the wide spectrum of Warhols prolific vision and influence in Art History.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

about movies, not paintings

What did you love best about Andy Warhol?

Ability to make money.

Would you ever listen to anything by Wayne Koestenbaum again?

Never

What three words best describe Arthur Addison’s voice?

Put your into sleep while driving long distance.

Any additional comments?

This book is mostly about Warhol's movies, not 2D work. His movies were extremely boring, so the book is boring too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Shallow

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I expected some enlightenment regarding the art of Andy Warhol in this small book. I heard a lot about his relationship with his cats, his mother, his objects of voyeurism, but regarding something deeper, more meaningful ... very little. Is there an effort to express deeper concerns? Metaphysics, questions of meaning, reality, sources of human knowledge are left unasked and unanswered.

This account is filled with allusions to depth of expression, but plumbs little deeper than his mother's colostomy bag and its possible metaphorical significance to his art. Don't get me wrong, its not that I would object to achieving even some small epiphany through a colostomy bag (metaphorically speaking); its that no significant enlightenment was forthcoming. The verbalization of the meaning of Warhol's visual work by this author expressed only a profound shallowness, leaving this listener bored. Unfortunately, not being satisfied with boredom, the author also effectively elicits annoyance by his pretentious, overblown, but ultimately empty style. I am unwilling to extend this critique to the object of this biography, Andy Warhol, but this book leaves much to be desired.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a thought provoking synopsis of the enigma

Having read every book about Andy paper bag, I was pleased and excited to hear Mr. Koesrenbaum's insights into the symbolism of Andy's works and life. I enjoyed every word.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Koestenbaum's mind undulates magnificently

A terrific essay of pathos and intellect, Warhol is discovered well. From home and family to work and sex, cats and boys, Andy Warhol is all the more mysterious having churned up this layer.