Orson Welles: the road to Xanadu

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Jonathan Cape, 1995 - Performing Arts - 640 pages
28 Reviews
A vast, magnificent book about a vast, magnificent man, the first volume of Simon Callow's biography takes us from Welles' birth and prodigious boyhood to CITIZEN KANE. Pronounced a genius from the age of two, by ten was an artist, an actor and a poet, by thirteen - when he was already six foot tall - he was directing theatre and reviewing opera. At sixteen Welles set off to travel round Ireland on a donkey; he ended up in Dublin at The Gate Theatre and became, overnight, a star. A star he remained, a brilliant actor and director and a supremely talented writer. Simon Callow writes with great insight and refreshing verve, of Welles' career in the theatre, in radio (the notorious broadcast of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, and finally in the cinema, where at the age of 23, with no previous experience in the medium, Welles made the greatest film the cinemma has ever seen, CITIZEN KANE.

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Review: Orson Welles, Vol. 1: The Road to Xanadu

User Review  - Bm - Goodreads

A thorough disappointment. Callow defines his role in the preface as fully outlining the times and events Welles lived through, in order to give a better understanding of his subject. That he does but ... Read full review

Review: Orson Welles, Vol. 1: The Road to Xanadu

User Review  - Allan Konopka - Goodreads

Some interesting sections, but I found this to be quite a slog. It is a large book, with too much detail. Lot of it requires prior knowledge of the people involved to really appreciate. Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Simon Callow is one of Britain's foremost stage and film actors. He has written acclaimed biographies of Charles Laughton and Orson Welles.

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