Harpo Speaks!

Harpo Speaks!

by Harpo Marx, Rowland Barber

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(Limelight). "This is a riotous story which is reasonably mad and as accurate as a Marx brother can make it. Despite only a year and a half of schooling, Harpo, or perhaps his collaborator, is the best writer of the Marx Brother. Highly recommended." Library Journal "A funny, affectionate and unpretentious autobiography done with a sharply professional assist from Rowland Barber." New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787203891
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
Publication date: 03/17/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 439
Sales rank: 120,435
File size: 23 MB
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About the Author

HARPO MARX (born Adolph Marx, later Arthur Marx; November 23, 1888 - September 28, 1964) was an American comedian, actor, mime artist, and musician, and the second-oldest of the Marx Brothers. In contrast to the mainly verbal comedy of his brothers Groucho and Chico, Harpo’s comic style was visual, being an example of both clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish blonde wig, and never spoke during performances (he blew a horn or whistled to communicate). He frequently used props such as a horn cane, made up of a lead pipe, tape, and a bulbhorn, and he played the harp in most of his films.

Born in Manhattan, New York City into a Jewish family, he left grade school at age eight and began working numerous odd jobs alongside his brother Chico to contribute to the family income, including selling newspapers, working in a butcher shop, and as an errand office boy. In January 1910, Harpo joined two of his brothers, Julius (later “Groucho”) and Milton (later “Gummo”), to form “The Three Nightingales”, later changed to simply “The Marx Brothers”.

His first screen appearance was in the 1921 film Humor Risk, with his brothers. He was often cast as Chico’s eccentric partner-in-crime. In addition to films, he also made numerous television appearances in the 1960s, including The Today Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and Candid Camera.

He died in 1964 at age 75 in a West Los Angeles hospital one day after undergoing heart surgery.

ROWLAND BARBER (April 14, 1920 - September 5, 2012) was an American author, journalist, editor and teacher. Born in Portland, Oregon, his books include The Night They Raided Minsky’s.

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Harpo Speaks! 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book back in the mid-70's when I was in my early teens. Even tho I cherished it, I always borrowed it from the library '2 or 3 times' and dutifully brought it back. Well, it is now my 46th birthday, and a friend gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card. Guess what I'm going to buy with it? It's going right up there in my collection of old time comedians. YAY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am impressed every time I read this book. The silent and sweet Marx brother is also the witty and wise. This book is insightful, incredible, and hillarious. This gentle telling of a most amazing life is one of the greatest autobiographies ever written. You will feel as if Harpo himself is whispering a great secret to you when you read of a man who never graduated from grade school but grew up to be close friends with such luminaries as Alexander Woollcott, George S. Kaufman, Dorathy Parker, and Alice Duer Miller. I laugh, cry, and marvel every time I read it. I also really enjoyed the 'Afterwords'' written by the late Mrs. Susan Flemming Marx and Harpo's eldest son Bill Marx.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, to me, has been so much fun to read. Not only because I love Harpo but it's like watching a comedy movie just reading instead. If you like Harpo and want to know more about him this is the book you would, without a doubt, want to read. You'll laugh until you cry. I recommend this book to any Harpo fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No other biography captures the world of entertainment of the day (1900-1950s) as well as Harpo does in this book. Not only that, but it gives us a glimpse into the life of one of our most underappreciated comic treasures. A remarkable story of where you can start out from, and how you can work to become anything you wish to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had trouble putting Harpo Speaks down. It is a brilliant memoir which id recommend to anyone esp. Marx brothers fans
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harpo Speaks! has given me a whole new respect for the wonderful Harpo Marx. His autobiography narrates his life, from his childhood on the Lower East Side to a mansion in Hollywood. After quitting school in the third grade, he taught himself how to read and write, and then taught himself how to play the piano and the harp without being able to read music. As a Marx Brother, he moved from the vaudeville circut to Broadway and finally to movies, and he narrates it all with warmth and humor that makes for an extremely compelling read.
brnoze on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book follows the life of Harpo Marx. He has a way of seeing the good, overlooking the bad and riding the waves of his life. I was moved by the man and couldn't help comparing living today with his life. The exploits of the characters in his life were amazing and at times criminal. It was a very good read, with insights into the men who were the Marx Brothers.
johndec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a Harpo fan, this is one of the best books I have read. Harpo had such a vibrant and amazing life; his off-screen persona was just as interesting and witty as his on-screen one. Well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book more than expected. Learned a lot about Harpo the person as well as the Marx brothers start and road to success. A likeable person and book with insights as well as laughs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. However the number misspellings is unbelievable. How dis an editor not catch this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always been a sucker for comedian bios, and this is one of the best ever. I highly recommend.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harpo's a real name? Wha? I call my enemy harpo!