With the same gusto, humor, and dazzling description that light up his fiction, Sid Fleischman produced a quartet of books profiling figures whose talents set the world abuzz—including this one of Charlie Chaplin.
There he was, that little tramp twitching a postage stamp of a mustache, politely lifting his bowler hat, and leaning on a bamboo cane with the confidence of a gentleman. A slapstick comedian, he blazed forth as the brightest movie star in the Hollywood heavens. Everyone knew Charlie Chaplin.
Abandoned by his alcoholic father, neglected by a mother fighting insanity, Charlie Chaplin had escaped the London slums of his tragic childhood and gone on to take Hollywood like a conquistador with a Cockney accent. With his gift for pantomime in films that had not yet acquired vocal cords, he was soon rubbing elbows with royalty and dining on gold plates in his own Beverly Hills mansion. He was the most famous man on earth—and he was regarded as the funniest.
Yet Chaplin rose from the slums to the heights only to be driven from the country that had brought him worldwide fame. Never were tragedy and comedy so inextricably mixed as in his too-outlandish-for-fiction life, told with Sid Fleischman's trademark wit and verve.