Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century,and certainly he was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic in his lifetime, Pryor's performances opened up a new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn't just new-it was heretofore unthinkable. His childhood in Peoria, Illinois, was spent just trying to survive. Yet the culture into which Richard Pryor was born-his mother was a prostitute; his grandmother ran the whorehouse-helped him evolve into one of the most innovative and outspoken performers ever, a man who attracted admiration and anger in equal parts. Both a brilliant comedian and a very astute judge of what he could get away with, Pryor was always pushing the envelope, combining anger and pathos, outrage and humor, into an art form, laying the groundwork for the generations of comedians who followed, including such outstanding performers as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Louis C.K. Now, in this groundbreaking and revelatory work, David and Joe Henry bring him to life both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the influences that shaped both his persona and his art.
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by David Fulmer
by Dave Eggers
by David Dent
by Joe Henry
by Henry David Thoreau
by Timothy Zahn
by Jonathan Nasaw
by Shelly Stewart
by Darryl Wimberley
by Dinaw Mengestu
"Comedian Richard Pryor was as screwed up as he was gifted, or perhaps his immense talent was born of his unendurable pain. This work allows listeners to peek into the soul of one of the funniest, and saddest, men who ever lived. Narrator extraordinaire Dion Graham has the ability to become Pryor in all his incarnations: comedian, tortured cocaine addict, loving husband, abusive husband, victim, and tormentor. Graham even imitates Pryor, and mimics Pryor as he mimics the voices of other characters in his act. One thing is for sure, Pryor was best appreciated at a distance because he hurt the ones he loved the most, often physically as well as emotionally. This is the work to hear in order to truly understand the source of Pryor's pained humor and to accept that we may never see anyone like him again. M.S. 2015 Audies Winner © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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