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*Starred Review* Here’s something you can’t say about many celebrity biographies: at nearly 750 pages, it
feels like it ends too soon. Wasson is such a lively, engaging writer that, as he takes us through the life and career
of the multi-award-winning choreographer and director Bob Fosse, we scarcely notice we’re turning the pages—until there
are no more to turn. Fosse is a fascinating subject: a perfectionist who seemed determined to drive himself into an
early grave. He won numerous Tony awards for his stage work before segueing to the big screen, where—in a shocking
surprise—he, not the favored Francis Ford Coppola, won the Academy Award for best director in 1973 (for Cabaret).
Combining keen analysis of Fosse’s stage and screen works (Wasson rightly approaches Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz not
so much as an autobiographical story as a fantasy) with a compassionate look at Fosse’s often-tumultuous personal life,
the book is everything you could want in a celebrity bio, without any of the gossipy, trashy, third-hand-rumory rubbish
that makes too many biographies so painful to read. This one’s a pure joy to read, cover to cover; you read it not
merely for Fosse’s story, but also for Wasson’s inventive way of telling it. If this book doesn’t turn up on some
literary-awards lists, it’ll be a serious crime. --David Pitt
Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2013
Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2013
NPR’s Best Books of 2013
Los Angeles Times Best Seller
Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2013
Newsday’s Top 10 Books of 2013
Los Angeles Public Library Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013
Kirkus Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013
"Mr. Wasson is a smart and savvy reporter, and his book abounds with colorful firsthand tales—required reading for
anyone eager to understand his brand of — to use a term that appears here constantly, and can’t be outdone —
—Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Fascinating and exhaustive biography...Mr. Wasson has taken complete control of his subject."
—Wall Street Journal
''He thought he was the best, and he thought he was terrible.'' The man in question is legendary choreographer and
director Bob Fosse, whose celebrated life and career get their due in Sam Wasson's spellbinding 695-page biography,
Fosse. You don't need to be a Broadway expert to enjoy this portrait of a man whose rise to power was famously fueled by
insecurity. It's all here: accounts of his monstrous, masterful directing style; the explosive personal battles behind
his Tony-winning triumphs; his incendiary relationship with Gwen Verdon. Wasson simply doesn't miss a thing. Give the
guy a (jazz) hand. A-"
"The only thing that could have been better than Sam Wasson's page-turning, comprehensively rendered biography of
choreographer-director Bob Fosse would have been Fosse's own memoir...Wasson's own narrative style has a jazzy,
discursive and relentless energy well aligned with its subject."
"Thorough and lively biography."
—New Yorker, Briefly Noted
—New York Journal of Books
"Unlike countless biographies of artists and performers, "Fosse" does not rely on dime-store psychoanalysis in
explicating its subject and his flaws...Wasson, so skilled at providing a macro overview -- he seamlessly outlines the
history of both the American stage and the American movie musical to better foreground Fosse's transformations of each
-- has also written a book filled with dazzling aperçus."
"Wasson's biography is richly researched and passionate, and while Fosse's film pursuits are only a part of the story,
his life had a cinematic sweep."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"The reason I picked up Fosse, though, has as much to do with its author as with its subject. . . . Wasson is a canny
chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities. (The cast of characters is enough to recommend the book:
Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Henry Mancini, Edith Head.) More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like
his subjects, he has a flair for it."
"Scintillating . . . There's an enormous amount of scholarship here, yet the story never drags, so adroitly does
[Wasson] blend his material into a fluent narrative around evocative scenes where character emerges novelistically."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Here's something you can't say about many celebrity biographies: at nearly 750 pages, it feels like it ends too soon .
. . A pure joy to read, cover to cover."
"Lushly researched . . . [Wasson] has amassed a mountain of data about Fosse but has sculpted it into something moving
and memorable. . . . Graceful prose creates a richly detailed and poignant portrait." —Kirkus (starred review)
"Deep inside this comprehensive study, Sam Wasson uses a phrase to describe the movie Cabaret: 'the bejeweling of
horror.' Bob Fosse's whole life was something like that, a man who created magnificent, bejeweled art at personal cost.
It's an American story, powerfully told."
— Paul Hendrickson, author of Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost
"I tore through this masterful biography, loving it from beginning to end. Wasson writes with a verve ideally tuned to
his subject, sparkling with wit and fresh insight. . . . This is a life lived large — and dangerously — amid cultural
currents that propelled and inspired Fosse as a dancer, choreographer, and director. In Fosse, Sam Wasson energetically
and authoritatively brings it all into sharp focus, with uncanny depth and perception."
— Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen
"Hard work is evident in the intricate depiction of a complicated, brilliant man...A thoroughly researched and
fascinating look at Fosse, viewed through the relationships and work that defined him. Highly recommended for theater or
movie aficionados, aspiring performers, and fans of engrossing biography."
—Library Journal, STARRED review "Sam Wasson’s Fosse is terrific in both senses of the word. It’s magnificent and
frightening in equal measure, a biography so detailed and exacting that it makes you feel so close to Bob Fosse at all
the major and many of the minor events of his life that you can practically smell the cigarette stink . . . Fosse is one
of the best, most entertaining biographies I have ever read. . . . [Wasson's] intelligent prose flies off the page. He’s
not only an impressive researcher—he interviewed more than 300 of Fosse’s friends and associates— but a wonderfully
witty writer who chose every one of the book’s vast number of words with extraordinary care. And he’s got a killer sense
of humor. Some sentences of this book are so damn funny that I laughed out loud." — Film Quarterly
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