Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him

The Henry Brothers have done the world a favor with this beautiful book. It is a work of history, sociology, a critic of pop culture, and a prose poem, and it is very readable with poetic moments. It is unsentimental about its subject, the brothers are unapologetic though in their defense of Pryor’s genius though. They are equally unapologetic about Pryor’s dark side, his damaged psyche, abuses of woman and drugs. This book enters some almost terrifying moments, but it never feels exploitive, just the bitter truth. Paul Mooney as usual almost steals the show. The book in the end is a celebration of an American genius and his brief fulfilling of his promise and his long decline and neglect of his vibrant and important voice. He spoke a truth and then silenced himself with money and terrible movies.  This celebrates that short moment when Pryor showed us something about our country, the people he worked with and knew (and abused), and the world that created him. This book is must for fans of Pryor, standup comedy, pop and social culture of the 60’s and 70’s, and historians of those turbulent decades. It also stands as terrific literary artifact worthy of its subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment