Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him

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Algonquin Books, Nov 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages

“Addictively readable . . . Someday, when fewer people know Richard Pryor’s name, Furious Cool will be the best defense against the worst sort of forgetting--the kind that involves who we are now, who we loved once, and why.” —Esquire

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor’s performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn’t just new--it was theretofore unthinkable. Now, this groundbreaking and revelatory work brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

“A testament to [Pryor’s] stature not only as an African-American entertainment idol but also as an American icon . . . The Henrys’ exuberant tribute may well evoke renewed interest in a performance genius who remade the face of American stand-up comedy.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A sleek, highly literate biography that places the comic in the pop-cultural context of his times.” —Bloomberg News

“Richard Pryor was the most free black man of the twentieth century. He also was a comic genius. This book gives the definitive reasons why he was so free and so sublime.” —Dr. Cornel West

“David Henry and Joe Henry have brought Richard Pryor back to pulsating life, affirming both his humanity and his immortality as a comic--and tragic--genius . . . Furious Cool is a fabulous history, alive with fascinating characters.”
The Huffington Post


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - book_in_hand - LibraryThing

I can't remember why I wanted to read this book, I really didn't know much about Richard Pryor apart from seeing a few of his movies and knowing he was a stand-up comedian. For whatever reason I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cjsdg - LibraryThing

A well written, easy to read, engaging work of hagiography. A gold ring bio in a pig's snout life. Pryor was a wicked person who was extremely gifted at making people suffer. And laugh. The Bros ... Read full review


Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Going to Meet the Man
Joes Postscript
About the Authors

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About the author (2013)

David Henry is a screenwriter, and his brother Joe Henry is a songwriter/singer as well as a music producer. Furious Cool is their first book. They are also at work on a screenplay based on Pryor’s life and career. 

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