cover image Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence

Lee Siegel, read by Joe Barrett. Tantor Audio, unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $32.99 ISBN 978-1-5159-0248-5

Much has been said about the vaudevillian Grouch Marx (1890–1977), the third-born and most famous of the five Marx Brothers, but Siegel manages to add new insight into the entertainer. He explores the philosophical questions underpinning his subject, interpreting the content of Marx’s films in relation to the content of his life. Barrett is a perfect choice for narrator. His raspy voice has a natural old-timey style, which perfectly suits the book’s subject matter. Barrett comfortably jumps from discussions about Duck Soup to recounting interactions between Marx and T.S. Eliot and anecdotes from the Marx brothers’ chaotic childhood. He thankfully avoids Marx impressions but maintains the right points of emphasis for similar effectiveness. [em]A Yale Univ. hardcover. (Jan.) [/em]