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This title in other editions

I, Fatty: A Novel

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I, Fatty: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The strange, compelling, and occasionally hysterical story of Hollywood's first celebrity scandal-as told by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, the star at its center.

Abandoned as a boy in Kansas, Fatty Arbuckle found adulation first onstage, and then in the new medium of the cinema. In his day, during the second decade of the 1900s, Fatty was more popular than Chaplin; he became the first screen actor to make a million dollars a year. But in 1921 he was accused of the rape and murder of actress Virginia Rappe, whom he encountered at a party in San Francisco and who died a few days later. Though he was eventually acquitted by a unanimous jury, the virulent speculation by the press ultimately destroyed Arbuckle's career for good. Framed for a crime he didn't commit, and demonized by conservative powers that hyped the case as emblematic of all the evils of show business, Fatty Arbuckle was the O.J. Simpson of early Hollywood, the first modern celebrity whose presumed guilt - and alleged innocence - galvanized a nation.

In I, Fatty, Jerry Stahl, the celebrated author of Permanent Midnight, tells the story from Fatty's own perspective. This is an incisive and sympathetic look into the life of a man whose astonishing rise and fall set the precedent for the scandals that still shake Hollywood today.

Review:

"Dedicated as ever to exploring life's dark and deviant sides, Stahl shows his heart in this sad, wild, uproarious faux memoir of silent film star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. Presented as if told to Fatty's butler — who wouldn't dispense his employer's heroin unless he coughed up the dirt — the book hews closely to the undisputed facts of Arbuckle's life. The forerunner of fat man comic actors ranging from Jackie Gleason to Horatio Sands, Arbuckle was most famous for being the center of one of the first celebrity trials: at the height of his film career, he was accused of raping an aspiring actress. The prosecution claimed that he crushed her with his weight during the act and she later died of the resulting internal injuries, while the papers suggested that when his 'manly equipment' failed to function he reached for a Coca-Cola bottle. Arbuckle was acquitted at trial — but even the apology issued by the jury did him no good. Stahl's deep dedication to the whacked-out and marginalized helps him inhabit Arbuckle's character sharply and convincingly. Poor, huge, articulate Fatty realizes at one point, 'Success and adulation turned out to be just a vacation from the jeers and ire I'd known before.' Agent, Chris Calhoun. (July) Forecast: Stahl's near-ventriloquism and immersion in the mystique of Hollywood will remind readers of Joyce Carol Oates's Blonde; silent film fans will relish the period flavor." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"As show business 'reporting' grows more sensational and less reliable, Stahl again turns to fiction, creating an illuminating story about actors, studios, and audiences." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"There is probably not much new material here...[but] Stahl gives Arbuckle a hard-earned humanity as well as explains the actor's incalculable contributions to film comedy." Alan Moores, Booklist

Review:

"Readers have to get past [Stahl's] wise-guy, self-hating tone and cliched period slang, while the narrative's repetition and heavy-handed prefiguring remove any suspense. Still, it's worth the read." Library Journal

Review:

"I, Fatty sometimes feels a bit stately, a methadone version of Stahl's other work....But Stahl remains a writer who delivers, every few pages, a bit more than a reader expects." Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker

About the Author

Jerry Stahl is the author of the bestselling memoir Permanent Midnight, which was made into a movie starring Ben Stiller, and the novels Perv - A Love Story and Plainclothes Naked. His fiction and nonfiction have been featured in magazines including Esquire and Playboy, and he writes the monthly Culture column for Details. He has also written extensively for film and television. He has one daughter and lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582342474
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Stahl, Jerry
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Trials
Subject:
Motion picture actors and actresses
Subject:
San francisco
Subject:
Motion picture industry
Subject:
Comedians
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Hollywood
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
July 23, 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

I, Fatty: A Novel Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582342474 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dedicated as ever to exploring life's dark and deviant sides, Stahl shows his heart in this sad, wild, uproarious faux memoir of silent film star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. Presented as if told to Fatty's butler — who wouldn't dispense his employer's heroin unless he coughed up the dirt — the book hews closely to the undisputed facts of Arbuckle's life. The forerunner of fat man comic actors ranging from Jackie Gleason to Horatio Sands, Arbuckle was most famous for being the center of one of the first celebrity trials: at the height of his film career, he was accused of raping an aspiring actress. The prosecution claimed that he crushed her with his weight during the act and she later died of the resulting internal injuries, while the papers suggested that when his 'manly equipment' failed to function he reached for a Coca-Cola bottle. Arbuckle was acquitted at trial — but even the apology issued by the jury did him no good. Stahl's deep dedication to the whacked-out and marginalized helps him inhabit Arbuckle's character sharply and convincingly. Poor, huge, articulate Fatty realizes at one point, 'Success and adulation turned out to be just a vacation from the jeers and ire I'd known before.' Agent, Chris Calhoun. (July) Forecast: Stahl's near-ventriloquism and immersion in the mystique of Hollywood will remind readers of Joyce Carol Oates's Blonde; silent film fans will relish the period flavor." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "As show business 'reporting' grows more sensational and less reliable, Stahl again turns to fiction, creating an illuminating story about actors, studios, and audiences."
"Review" by , "There is probably not much new material here...[but] Stahl gives Arbuckle a hard-earned humanity as well as explains the actor's incalculable contributions to film comedy."
"Review" by , "Readers have to get past [Stahl's] wise-guy, self-hating tone and cliched period slang, while the narrative's repetition and heavy-handed prefiguring remove any suspense. Still, it's worth the read."
"Review" by , "I, Fatty sometimes feels a bit stately, a methadone version of Stahl's other work....But Stahl remains a writer who delivers, every few pages, a bit more than a reader expects."
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