My Lunches with Orson by Peter Biskind
Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles

68%

6 Critic Reviews

While his one-liners can be amusing...the book is frustratingly hard to follow.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Based on long-lost recordings, a set of riveting and revealing conversations with America's great cultural provocateur

There have long been rumors of a lost cache of tapes containing private conversations between Orson Welles and his friend the director Henry Jaglom, recorded over regular lunches in the years before Welles died. The tapes, gathering dust in a garage, did indeed exist, and this book reveals for the first time what they contain.

Here is Welles as he has never been seen before: talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets, reflecting on the highs and lows of his astonishing Hollywood career, the people he knew—FDR, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, Rita Hayworth, and more—and the many disappointments of his last years. This is the great director unplugged, free to be irreverent and worse—sexist, homophobic, racist, or none of the above— because he was nothing if not a fabulator and provocateur. Ranging from politics to literature to movies to the shortcomings of his friends and the many films he was still eager to launch, Welles is at once cynical and romantic, sentimental and raunchy, but never boring and always wickedly funny.
Edited by Peter Biskind, America's foremost film historian, My Lunches with Orson reveals one of the giants of the twentieth century, a man struggling with reversals, bitter and angry, desperate for one last triumph, but crackling with wit and a restless intelligence. This is as close as we will get to the real Welles—if such a creature ever existed.

 

About Peter Biskind

See more books from this Author
Peter Biskind is the author of three previous books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation saved Hollywood. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine. He lives with his family in Columbia County, New York.
 
Published July 16, 2013 by Metropolitan Books. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for My Lunches with Orson
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Michael Levin on Dec 31 2013

Fortunately for us, and thanks to Jaglom, Welles has indeed left a legacy, and now this fascinating and highly entertaining narrative has become an important part of it.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Levin on Dec 31 2013

Fortunately for us, and thanks to Jaglom, Welles has indeed left a legacy, and now this fascinating and highly entertaining narrative has become an important part of it.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Tonguette on Jul 11 2013

While his one-liners can be amusing...the book is frustratingly hard to follow.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NPR

Good
Reviewed by John Powers on Jul 24 2013

If you love old movies, My Lunches with Orson is like being handed a big tin of macadamia nuts — you just keep devouring it.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from NPR

Kirkus

Good
on May 05 2013

...filled with insights and good dish that movie buffs will relish.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from Kirkus

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Robert Fulford on Jul 23 2013

I’ve never been with anyone with whom I could be exactly who I am.” That’s the saddest paragraph in a book that’s brimming over with sadness.

Read Full Review of My Lunches with Orson: Conver... | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for My Lunches with Orson
79%

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