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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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Jim Henson: The Biography

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Jim Henson: The Biography Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE

For the first time ever—a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson

 

He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.

 

This extraordinary biography—written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family—covers the full arc of Henson’s all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi, through the years of burgeoning fame in America, to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives, Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson’s non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson’s dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.

 

An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as “the new Walt Disney,” and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson’s intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing, his love of fast cars and expensive art, and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded.

 

An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.

  

Praise for Jim Henson

 

Illuminating . . . As Jones expertly shows, Henson remained throughout his life an artist who was continuously in motion, conceiving, pitching, and managing multiple projects at once.”The Atlantic

 

“Consistently surprises . . . Highly readable and never long-winded (even at nearly 600 pages), Jim Henson joyously documents its subject’s knack for combining old-fashioned puppetry with the world’s newest entertainment medium to forge a kind of furry, felt-covered vaudeville.”The Wall Street Journal

“This is a biography that earns the label definitive.”The Dallas Morning News

 

An exhaustive work that is never exhausting, a credit both to Jones’s brisk style and to Henson’s exceptional life.”The New York Times

“An insightful look at the gentle artist.”—Parade

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Brian Jay Jones is an award-winning writer and biographer and presently serves as vice president of Biographers International Organization, the world’s largest organization of practicing biographers. Jones is a devoted member of the Jim Henson generation, having been two years old when Sesame Street premiered in 1969 and nine when The Muppet Show debuted in 1976. A former policy analyst and advisor in the U.S. Senate, Jones abandoned politics for the pen in 2008, with the publication of his award-winning biography, Washington Irving. He lives with his wife and daughter in Damascus, Maryland. His favorite Muppet is Rowlf (thanks for asking).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780804128643
Author:
Jones, Brian Jay
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Author:
Heyborne, Kirby
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Edition Description:
Seventeen CD
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
COMPACT DISC
Language:
English
Dimensions:
5.9 x 5.07 x 1.63 in 1 lb

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Audio Books » Nonfiction

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