Download Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life Audiobook

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life Audiobook, by Peter Ackroyd Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Ralph Lister Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9781483024721
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A brief yet definitive new biography of one of film’s greatest legends, perfect for readers who want to know more about the iconic star but who don’t want to commit to a lengthy work.

He was the very first icon of the silver screen and is one of the most recognizable of Hollywood faces, even a hundred years after his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? Peter Ackroyd’s biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin’s life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamor of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. There are charming anecdotes along the way: playing the violin in a New York hotel room to mask the sound of Stan Laurel frying pork chops and long Hollywood lunches with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. This masterful, brief biography offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp vividly to life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Quietly enthralling…Ackroyd’s coolly perceptive literary style and equally devastatingly effective observations suggest that he doesn’t care a fig about pleasing geeks or fans or anyone else.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Chaplin’s rise makes an enthralling story, and it’s one perfectly suited to Peter Ackroyd’s prodigious and idiosyncratic talents…Ackroyd acknowledges Chaplin’s many human failings, while at the same time giving us a vivid sense of what made the man a genius.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “[A] fine biography…The luxury of a short book about a vast life cannot be overestimated.”

    Financial Times (UK)

  • “Compact, engrossing, intelligent.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Ackroyd brings a novelist’s as well as a biographer’s eye to the story of a man who ‘seemed to epitomize the human condition itself, flawed and frail and funny.’”

    Independent (London)

  • “Ackroyd rewards his readers with a tale fit for a Chaplin film, featuring humor, tragedy and a poignant fade-out.”

    Associated Press

  • “Apparently, Peter Ackroyd can do anything. In the past, he’s written artful novels and books of poetry; adept biographies of Sir Isaac Newton, Chaucer, and Shakespeare; and encompassing histories of whole cities and civilizations, ancient and modern. Now he has keyboarded a brilliant little biography of Charlie Chaplin. Having been raised on silent films, I had already read Chaplin’s autobiography and another biography, but Ackroyd’s brief life kept me enraptured throughout its 273 pages. His well-turned anecdotes and judicious insights taught me things about the great comedian and filmmaker that I had never even suspected and sent me off to the internet, searching for his films—and more of Ackroyd’s books.”

    Barnes&, editorial review

  • “Ackroyd’s writing is masterful—elegant, pitch-perfect, a pleasure to read—and his timing is as impeccable as Bob Hope’s …Chaplin [is a] small gem.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • "[Ackroyd] deftly navigates the myriad facets of his subject.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • “In his typically elegant and measured prose, prize-winning biographer Ackroyd brilliantly brings Chaplin to life…Ackroyd’s book introduces the Little Tramp in such a charming and candid fashion that it will drive movie buffs to watch Chaplin on screen once again.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Detailed yet breezy, full of sharp insights into Chaplin’s public and private personas…Expect plenty of interest in this fine biography.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Award-winning author Ackroyd exposes the hidden truths in Chaplin’s life that help us to understand the artist both personally and professionally. An exceptional read for those who love Chaplin, film, history, and gossip.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator Ralph Lister is well matched to this biography of film star Charlie Chaplin. His English accent reflects Chaplin’s place of birth and gives dialogue added realism while setting it off with oral quotation marks. Though his facility with American accents is less polished, his overall narration matches the author’s writing style effectively: He delivers the numerous simple declarative sentences with emphasis and pauses after each…This is an interesting book, well read.”


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About the Author

Peter Ackroyd has written acclaimed biographies of T. S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Sir Thomas More, as well as several successful novels. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature’s W. H. Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Show Award for Literature.

About the Narrator

Ralph Lister is an actor, voice actor, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He spent fifteen years in London theater before moving to the United States to focus on film and television. He has held numerous roles in Shakespeare and modern dramas, as well as starring roles in independent films. His voice and character work can be heard in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearland 13 Going On 30. He lives in Los Angeles.