“Addictively readable . . . Someday, when fewer people know Richard Pryor's name, Furious Cool will be the best defense against the worst sort of forgetting--the kind that involves who we are now, who we loved once, and why.” —Esquire
Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor's performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn't just new--it was theretofore unthinkable. Now, this groundbreaking and revelatory work brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.
“A testament to [Pryor's] stature not only as an African-American entertainment idol but also as an American icon . . . The Henrys' exuberant tribute may well evoke renewed interest in a performance genius who remade the face of American stand-up comedy.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A sleek, highly literate biography that places the comic in the pop-cultural context of his times.” —Bloomberg News
“Richard Pryor was the most free black man of the twentieth century. He also was a comic genius. This book gives the definitive reasons why he was so free and so sublime.” —Dr. Cornel West
“David Henry and Joe Henry have brought Richard Pryor back to pulsating life, affirming both his humanity and his immortality as a comic--and tragic--genius . . . Furious Cool is a fabulous history, alive with fascinating characters.”
—The Huffington Post