Robert Altman An Oral Biography
Robert Altman--visionary director, hard-partying hedonist, eccentric family man, Hollywood legend--comes roaring to life in this rollicking oral biography. After an all-American boyhood in Kansas City, a stint flying bombers in World War II, and jobs ranging from dog tattoo entrepreneur to television director, Robert Altman burst onto the scene in 1970 with "M*A*S*H." He reinvented American filmmaking, and went on to produce such masterpieces as "McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville," "The Player, Short Cuts, " and "Gosford Park." In "Robert Altman," Mitchell Zuckoff has woven together Altman's final interviews; an incredible cast of voices including Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Paul Newman, among scores of others; and contemporary reviews and news accounts into a riveting tale of an extraordinary life.
"Scrupulously intelligent and entertaining. . . . Noisy, funny, slightly ill considered, a bit chaotic, and wholly believeable. In short, Altmanesque." --"The New York Times Book Review"
"[Zuckoff] uses a light editorial hand, allowing a wide range of contributors to have their say. . . . A comprehensive, 360-degree look at a complicated subject." --"Wall Street Journal"
"[There are] many surprising and revealing comments that Zuckoff has assembled in his fittingly rambling book. . . . Life is complicated, often messy--as Altman showed us--and his life, as seen in Zuckoff's book, was no exception." --"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A brilliantly researched, near-cinematic evocation. . . . Altman never gave up creating his cinematic portraits of people on the margins--con artists, prostitutes, gamblers, theives, clowns, movie executives--if only to shed light on the falsity behind his country's seemingly indefatigable, desperate pursuit of success." --"The New Yorker"
"[Zuckoff] doesn't try to resolve the many contradictions surrounding Altman's life and work, but lets them stand awkwardly beside one another for the reader to sort out. . . . As a form, the oral biography is well suited to a director who loved the sound of noisy conversation." --"The New York Review of Books"
"Splendidly well-assembled. . . . Altman made amazing films, which Zuckoff's far-reaching interviews illuminate, and by all the included accounts, he led an amazing life." --"The Morning News"
"Like Altman's signature soundtracks, this babel of transcripts offers a panoramic portrait." --"Chicago Sun-Times"
"[A] marvelous, epic, tapestry-like life-scape of Robert Altman. . . . Witness by witness, Zuckoff constructs an exemplary and cautionary American life, and with the funny, tragic, and compelling tales they tell, he has made something like a print version of the Last Great Robert Altman movie." --"Directors Guild Quarterly"