Stefan Kanfer


Genre: Biography, Nonfiction; Author: Stefan Kanfer; Publisher: Knopf

It’s hard to write a great book about Marlon Brando, who, four years after his death, remains the most elusive of subjects. Even Brando himself botched the assignment; his 1994 memoir, Songs My Mother Taught Me, is famously kooky but unreliable, written to pay the bills. Somebody is the first major bio to appear since the star died, but it shows, like other books before it, that we may never get a full handle on the legend. Both Brando’s neuroses and his genius were so singular as to be almost incomprehensible, and while Stefan Kanfer concisely runs us through the actor’s life, he — like most of us — can only guess at what really drove this most quixotic of superstars. For a fuller sense, seek out Lawrence Grobel’s Conversations With Brando. C+

Originally posted November 19 2008 — 12:00 AM EST

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