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Download Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World, by Sid Fleischman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sid Fleischman Narrator: Fred Sullivan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fleischman, who died in March at age ninety, left readers with this delightful and informative homage to one of his idols, the silent screen star…‘[whose]s footprints were everywhere.’ Those footprints turned ‘outward so that each angled off like opposite hands of a clock, at ten past ten,’ the duck-footed waddle of the Little Tramp, Chaplin’s most famous character.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This lively and engaging account of a poor Cockney boy who became the world's greatest silent-movie comedian is a must for biography collections…Brief, easily digestible chapters…make the book’s well-researched content accessible and appealing. Add to that Fleischman’s playful narrative tone and you have a book as entertaining as Sir Charlie himself.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “With a straightforward chronology, the chapters follow the famous comedian from his impoverished childhood in London slums through Hollywood stardom and his final years, when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. As in his previous books about famous lives, Fleischman infuses the narrative with energetic charm, and although the book is thoroughly documented with exemplary source notes, playful metaphors lend an almost tall-tale tone that echoes the humor of Chaplin’s work…The author also deftly integrates details of early moviemaking into the colorful accounts of Chaplin’s tumultuous personal and professional lives, and he writes with unabashed enthusiasm for Chaplin’s work…Young people with a noncurricular interest in Chaplin may be few, but once led to this fascinating, well-shaped, and entertaining title, they may well discover a curiosity about and appreciation for the films that made the great comedian famous…[A] standout portrait.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Fleischman's unabashed adoration for the duck-footed comedian, filmmaker and movie star effervesces from this fascinating…biography. How a nearly illiterate Cockney boy born to London vaudevillians in 1889 became a Hollywood movie mogul is truly one for the storybooks. The author is almost giddy in the telling, as if Chaplin’s flair for hyperbole and comic timing were contagious…Movie-history buffs will learn about the effect of ‘talkies’ on the silent-film industry—and on the pantomime master’s ego…[A] colorful homage to ‘the funniest man on earth.’”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Will appeal to fans of movie history and surely inspire readers to seek out Chaplin’s films.”

    VOYA (starred review)

  • “Drawing the reader in, this author of four true tales of famous entertainers, once again captures interest with tales of exploits, hardship, and success. Written in child-friendly language, one still learns about Chaplin’s numerous wives, the claims of anti-Americanism against Chaplin, and more. Mixed in with this biographical sketch are pieces of cinematic history…This is a valuable addition to biographical and entertainment collections, providing not only a biography of a famous actor and director but also a history of cinema at a time when the talking pictures were coming into favor.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “A solid success.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • “A book as entertaining as Sir Charlie himself.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Fred Sullivan instantly creates an emotionally engaging connection with the listener in this eye-opening and affectionate biography of Charlie Chaplin for children. Sullivan’s soft-spoken voice reveals the bittersweet sources of inspiration for Chaplin’s famous moves, such as the stumbling modeled by his drunkard father. Well-placed pauses emphasize the moments of heartache, tenderness, and joy as Chaplin is repeatedly separated from and reunited with his brother and beloved mother. Sullivan’s deft timing is best seen in his narration of Chaplin’s intricately choreographed and often slapstick sequences, which make Chaplin’s every flick of the wrist and facial expression easy to visualize. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author
Author Sid Fleischman

Sid Fleischman (1920–2010) wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid.