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Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

Callow, a British actor and author of several books on acting and actors (best known as the man eulogized in _Four Weddings and a Funeral_, and Tilney, Master of the Revels -- "That woman ... is a woman!" -- in "Shakespeare in Love") presents here the first of a projected two-volume bio of the great American actor and director. Most people tend to regard Welles's life from the perspective of "What went wrong after 'Citizen Kane'?" Callow observes, but he tries asking what might have gone wrong BEFORE Kane. He catches Welles out at countless instances of self-mythologizing, yet never gloats or condemns. His descriptions of Welles's stage productions in the 1930s and 1940s make you wish video technology existed then. This is fine research and writing. Let's hope volume 2 doesn't take too long.
This report prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   actor/actress Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Story of entertainer?    -   Director/Producer

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor/actress/producer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   Los Angeles Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful    -   like laughing How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

Simon Callow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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