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  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Written by Peter Ackroyd
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780385537377
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  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Written by Peter Ackroyd
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780385537384
  • Our Price: $12.99
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Charlie Chaplin

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A Brief Life

Written by Peter AckroydAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Peter Ackroyd


List Price: $12.99


On Sale: October 28, 2014
Pages: 304 | ISBN: 978-0-385-53738-4
Published by : Nan A. Talese Knopf
Charlie Chaplin Cover

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A brief yet definitive new biography of one of film's greatest legends: perfect for readers who want to know more about the iconic star but who don't want to commit to a lengthy work.

He was the very first icon of the silver screen and is one of the most recognizable of Hollywood faces, even a hundred years after his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? Peter Ackroyd's new biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin's life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamor of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. There are charming anecdotes along the way: playing the violin in a New York hotel room to mask the sound of Stan Laurel frying pork chops and long Hollywood lunches with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. This masterful brief biography offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp vividly to life.
Peter Ackroyd

About Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd - Charlie Chaplin

Photo © Charles Hopkinson/BBC Worldwide

Peter Ackroyd is the author of London: The Biography; Shakespeare: The Biography, Thames: The Biography; and Venice: Pure City; acclaimed biographies of T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Sir Thomas More; and several successful novels. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Award for Literature.



"Detailed yet breezy, full of sharp insights into Chaplin’s public and private personas ... Expect plenty of interest in this fine biography."
Booklist, starred review

“Chaplin's rise makes an enthralling story, and it’s one perfectly suited to Peter Ackroyd’s prodigious and idiosyncratic talents ... Ackroyd acknowledges Chaplin’s many human failings, while at the same time giving us a vivid sense of what made the man a genius.”
The Telegraph
“[A] fine biography ... The luxury of a short book about a vast life cannot be overestimated.” 
Financial Times
“Ackroyd has turned in the best account of Chaplin’s formation beneath the teetering chimney stacks of Victorian London, fragrant with the odours of dung, smoke and beer ... Ackroyd is just the man to puncture the whoppers with which Chaplin embroidered his past, without being too much of a scold.”
New Statesman
“Ackroyd brings a novelist’s as well as a biographer’s eye to the story of a man who ‘seemed to epitomise the human condition itself, flawed and frail and funny.’”
“Compact, engrossing, intelligent.”
Sunday Times

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