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If you are at all interested in the art of his contemporaries, such as Odd Nerdrum, Alexis Rockman, Vincent Desiderio, or Bo Bartlett, you should certainly check out this inexpensive introduction to his work.
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The Lucy in this book comes across both as a scrappy fighter early in her career, and a hardened soul at the end of it, which may very well be true, or not. It was difficult to discover the viewpoint of Lucy that the author was trying to take. At times, it was clearly injected with personal opinions and commentaries not warranted in the biography of someone else's life, both glowing and scandalous. And whereas the majority of the book takes up the years of Desilu's powerhold on the television industry, from I Love Lucy to Star Trek, it shortchanges both her early career and later career, almost as insignificant bookends to her highest pinnacle in the 1950's. Certainly, Lucy had a full, complete life, only some of which is shown here.
However, there were some parts I did enjoy. Lucy's less-than-impressive movie career which eventually gave birth to her TV persona was interesting, as you root for her to make the transition earlier. Her undying devotion to Desi in the early years, despite mutual fits of jealousy and rage, made for a deepening look at their marriage. And the occasional parts that show her softer, kinder side were warm to read.
Which leads to this thought. Clearly Lucy is loved country wide; were we ready to learn some negative things about the woman we cherished? Certainly not unknown, nor surprising to anyone who's read other things. The issue perhaps comes in balancing all viewpoints to present a clearer one, rather than being all over the board haphazardly.
As for Lucie and Desi Arnaz, Jr.'s objections to the book were clear to me as I read through to the end. Kathleen Brady seemed to have a personal vendetta against these two, as she paints them very unfavorably as spoiled Hollywood rich kids. Nary a kind word was said about these two, which leads me to think they offered no assistance in creating this book, so a price was paid for their silence.
In the end, I did not feel closer to Lucy than I had before reading this. I may suggest grabbing a bowl of popcorn, putting up your feet, and watching some classic episodes of I Love Lucy, to remember Lucy the way she wanted us to remember her, with a smile and a laugh.
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