CHARLIE CHAPLIN by Gloria Kamen

CHARLIE CHAPLIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the author of last year's Little Flower, a similarly respectable biography of the ragged street boy who won hearts and fortune, who sang and danced to make his emotionally fragile mother laugh--and needed, later, the approval of laughter. Kamen tells of Chaplin's early poverty, before and after he was left on his own at age 12; the shrug that got him a job with the British Karno clown company; his summons by a movie agent during an American tour with the Karno company; his difficult adjustment to filmed comedy on the chaotic Sennett set; and the impromptu birth of the Little Tramp when Sennett needed a moment of comedy. She takes him through the subsequent success, vilification, and belated Academy Award, noting his demanding perfectionist directing and considering the base of the Little Tramp's appeal--as she sums it up, he expressed underdog fantasies and recognized ""how close laughter is to tears."" Kamen's drawings throughout lighten the text, project the Little Tramp's persona, and pinpoint stages of Chaplin's life and career.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum