cover image Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him

David Henry and Joe Henry, read by Dion Graham. Tantor Media, unabridged, eight CDs, 9 hrs., $42.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-1557-8

The Henry brothers cover the life of Richard Pryor from his childhood in a flophouse to his final days in a mansion. Focusing mostly on his comedic genius of the 1960s and 1970s, the authors trace his progress, his set-backs, his influences, and his more extreme mishaps. Cumulatively, they show both the greatness and limitations of Pryor and his lasting impact on comedy and culture. Narrator Graham provides an standout, moving performance. His deep and projective voice commands listener attention and guides them through the highs to the lows of Pryor’s life. Graham also nails the emotional tension of the book, and provides solid voices for the different people quoted throughout the book. However, most of Graham’s impressions of Prior are so perfect that listeners may wonder whether they are listening to Graham or Pryor. This blend of narration with impersonation makes the audiobook successful. An Algonquin hardcover. (Nov.)