Act One - By: Moss Hart
By: Moss Hart
(Random House. No stated edition. Without dust jacket. A solid reading copy. Beige cloth cover has a few small stains, light foxing, and endemic soiling from handling. Binding has deepened in color. Text pages are creamy and without underlining, notations or highlighting.)
As a rule, I don't like autobiographies. They are often not well written. But I found this one very gripping and very nicely written. It's a rags to riches story, one that would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read about the pursuit and capture of the American Dream.
Here are the things I enjoyed the most: the description of his collaborative process with George S. Kaufman; the ups and downs of the writing and staging of "Once in a Lifetime," his first Broadway hit; the ending, which was deeply satisfying; his concern and affection for his brother and aunt; the humor that infuses so much of the descriptions of his struggles.
What I wished was different: Oh my goodness, were there typos and formatting problems in this Kindle edition! I reported a lot of them, so I'm hoping they will be fixed. Most of the time I could figure out what was meant to be said: many times the word "die" appeared when the word "the" was wanted and many times a paragraph was broken in the middle and a few times the first word was truncated from the opening sentence of a paragraph. I also wished that he had described the plot of the play "Once in a Lifetime." And for me, the times he spent as a camp director were agonizing because they were agonizing for him. I know a lot of people found these passages very funny, and I understand that, but it was all too real for me. But these are very minor quibbles.