Harpo Speaks! First published in 1961, this is the autobiography of Harpo Marx, the silent comedian of The Marx Brothers fame.
Writing of his life before, during, and after becoming famous by incorporating lovely and humorous stories and anecdotes, Harp Marx tells of growing up in a rough neighborhood and being poor, being bullied and dropping out of school, teaching himself to read, write, tell time, and to play the piano and harp.
He speaks of his close relationships with his family members, particularly his mother and brother Leonard (Chico), who would become his partner-in-crime on screen, and the profound effect that the death of his parents Sam and Minnie had on him.
Filled with insider tales of his antics on and off stage, and the hard graft he and his brothers put into reaching their level of success, the reader becomes privy to a rare glimpse into Marx’ thoughts on everything and everyone he had the privilege of working with.
The book reveals the friendships he forged and the blows he was dealt in show-business, and of his marriage to his wife, actress Susan Fleming, with whom he adopted four children and built a ranch on which they lived happily ever after, along with numerous animals.
A thoroughly enjoyable read.
“This is a riotous story which is reasonably mad and as accurate as a Marx brother can make it. Despite only a year and a half of schooling, Harpo, or perhaps his collaborator, is the best writer of the Marx Brother. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“A funny, affectionate and unpretentious autobiography done with a sharply professional assist from Rowland Barber.”—New York Times Book Review
“This is a racy autobiography by the mute Marx Brother with the rolling eyes, oversized pants and red wig who could send a glissando reeling over his harp.[…] It is enjoyable reading and polished writing...”—Kirkus Review