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Me Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood por Cheeta
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Me Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood (edição 2009)

por Cheeta

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2722173,846 (3.4)47
Cheeta tells it all? a life lived with the stars? a monkey stolen from deepest Africa forced to make a living in the fake jungles of Hollywood. He tells us too of his journey beyond the screen: his struggle with drink and addiction to cigars; his breakthrough with a radical new form of abstract painting? 'Apeism' his touching relationship with his retired nightclub?performing grandson Jeeta? now a considerable artist in his own right; his fondness for hamburgers and his battle in later life with diabetes; and? through thick and thin? carer Dan Westfall? his loving companion who has helped this magnificent monkey come to terms with his peculiar past. Funny? moving? searingly honest? Cheeta transports us back to a lost Hollywood. He is a real star? and this the greatest celebrity memoir of recent times. -- Publisher details.… (mais)
Membro:lasomnambule
Título:Me Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood
Autores:Cheeta
Informação:Ecco (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Me Cheeta: The Autobiography por James Lever

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» Ver também 47 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 21 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book was something of a word-of-mouth hit, a spoof autobiography by the chimp which played Cheeta in the Tarzan films of the Thirties, and was recommended to me by my husband. It sat on my to-read shelf for a long time, until I had a tired day when I needed something easy to read.
It had me laughing right from page 1. “Dearest humans, So, it’s the perfect day in Palm Springs, California, and here I am – actor, artist, African, American, ape and now author – flat out on the lounger by the pool, looking back over this autobiography of mine. Flipping through it more than reading it, to be honest…”
Okay, the laughs don’t come every page, and the section where Cheeta journeys from Africa to New York then Hollywood could perhaps have been shorter. But it made me laugh. The portrayal of some Hollywood stars is wicked, and there are very familiar names: Flynn, Niven, Dietrich, Rooney, Sanders, Chaplin, the Barrymores, and of course Johnny. Johnny Weissmuller.
At times, I forgot it was a spoof, so delicious were the laughs. “It would be true to say that I spent at least sixty-five per cent of 1935 masturbating in a cage. But, you know, a cage is a cage is a cage, as Gertrude Stein might have said.”
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 30, 2015 |
A ridiculous idea, really - a wicked autobiography from a chimp at the heart of the Golden Age of Hollywood, replete with bitchy asides about so-and-so's sexual history. Despite the campy concept, it still manages to pack a sweet love story amongst the dark humour. ( )
  alexrichman | Jun 20, 2011 |
I had this book on hold for one and a half years and thanks to the TIOLI challenges picked it up again. I am very glad I finally finished it and don’t have to busy myself with it anymore ever. The review is so long because my disappointment was so big.

Me Cheeta is the pseudo-autobiography of the chimpanzee that starred in the Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller (in reality there have been several animals playing the part of Cheeta). As a baby chimp in an African jungle Cheeta is stolen by hunters and then is lucky to make a Hollywood career instead of ending up in a zoo (or being eaten during the great depression). Along the way he meets all the then famous movie stars and now he shares his intimate knowledge of them with us. The whole thing sounds like an original and funny idea. It is obvious that the author, James Lever, did an incredible amount of research – both on the Hollywood of the 1930s and 40s and on the behavior and characteristics of the animals. His effort was rewarded with a nomination for the Man Booker Prize 2008 where the book was even shortlisted. I read about it in the Times (when it was still available online for free), and the review was convincing enough for me to buy the book. Obviously the book was so funny that reviewers couldn’t stop laughing when discussing it.

I didn’t laugh once. I got terribly annoyed after 50 pages and took my long break after 150 pages/ half of the book. This is not a bad book technically, but it’s a book like elevator music. You can enjoy it without thinking for a very short period of time before it gets on your nerves. Reading 5 pages of this book was okay, even entertained me. Reading 10 pages at once always was hard work. I don’t know how to say it, but there’s just no substance, this is all like a big empty bubble. We all know the Hollywood glamour is and has always been superficial. There are drugs, violence, sexual abuse, insanity… no unexpected and scandalous surprises here. But as James Lever can’t really have his information from any of his characters (they are all dead by now) I was asking myself how much of all that is fiction and what is real or at least gossip, just to decide I didn’t really care.

The last quarter of the book is mostly (except for two nice scenes) filled with useless and again completely unfunny babble about life in a sanctuary for chimpanzees. I admit I only skimmed over them, otherwise I’d thrown the book against a wall. You know those movie scenes where someone is fatally wounded but blabs on and on and on? It’s exactly like it, including the longest ficticious Oscar speech ever. I admire Lever for his patience when he was writing it.
Overall the book is much too wordy, Cheeta might be remembered as the most talkative animal in the history of pseudo-autobiographies. The one and only moving element is Cheeta’s attachment (‘love’) to Johnny Weissmuller and it’s quite sad reading about the time after Cheeta has been removed from a Tarzan set for misbehavior and is forever waiting in vain for his beloved Johnny to come and get him out of his cage and back into ‘the Dream’.

I’d very guardedly recommend this book to people who really know and like the Tarzan movies but don’t mind if the image of some stars gets shattered. Everyone else should better stay away from it. ( )
1 vote Deern | Dec 6, 2010 |
It's a good job this book was written by a monkey or the lawyers would be beating a path to the authors door!

This is a very sad, very funny book which gives an insight into the Hollywood scene of some years ago and a chance to step back and realise what a ridiculous species we are. I would love to know who wrote this and grassed-up so many 'stars'. ( )
  Heptonj | Nov 19, 2010 |
I should have known from that opening paragraph that I wasn’t going to enjoy this book. It has that “amn’t I amusing and witty” narration style that, for me, simply fell flat. Perhaps it is just that I don’t know enough about the stars of the 1940s & 50s to get all the hilarious references and anecdotes. Or maybe it was just written in a style that left me uncaring. Who can say.

Actually, it was probably the fact that I was on the train that led to me reading this. I’d asked Himself if he had any book for me to try, and although he hadn’t read this one he said I could borrow it. So I read it for an hour and a half, and got so far through that I figured I’d try and finish it. But the second half, at least, of my reading was reduced to a skim through every second page. It just didn’t hold my attention in the slightest. ( )
  Fence | Aug 10, 2010 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 21 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
When I first heard about this book, the publicity spin on it suggested that it was going to be little more than a tiresome rip-off; ooh, the chimpanzee who starred in the Tarzan movies has - ho ho! - written a book! I didn't even bother filing this away under "books that should not be".

And then I was sent the hardback, and urged by a colleague to read it. And since then, I have been urging it on anyone who has cared to listen, for it is by some margin the most audacious, funny and even moving novel that I have come across in years.

The conceit is, it is true, that Cheeta the Chimp has written his Hollywood memoirs. But, after a throat-clearing "Note to the Reader" that is much funnier once you have read the book than before, you soon realise that the extraordinary nature of this autobiography extends beyond the premise that it was written by a chimpanzee. We begin in the grounds of a country house in England, where Rex Harrison, his wife Rachel Roberts and Dickie Attenborough are taking a break from filming "Fox's disastrous megaflop Doctor Dolittle", and taking bets on whether Cheeta will be able to get down from a monkey-puzzle tree. "Why don't we forget the money?" asks Rex of his wife. "If the monkey makes it you can sleep with Burton, if he'll have you, and if it doesn't, then I can divorce you but you have to promise not to kill yourself." A couple of pages further on, and Cheeta is describing Harrison as "universally despised, impotent, alcoholic, cruel, vain, brittle, snobbish and mephitic but still, under that carapace of protective acerbity, [a] very gentle and insecure human being".

This, then, is an alternative take on Hollywood's golden age; the place where, as Cheeta describes it, the actors perform dreams which are soaked up by the public watching them being played out on the screen. And the price of this is that the "dreamers", as Cheeta sometimes calls the stars, lose their minds. Cheeta works the grimmest parts of the fairytale even into his similes: "But that was as foolish a dream as Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl's hope that her stepfather Lex Barker would stop raping her." There is plenty more near or even past the knuckle like that, and James Lever knows how funny this can be when he writes "Chapter 8 has been removed on legal advice", yet allows us some clue, in the index, of what the chapter might have consisted of: look under "Williams, Esther" - "nauseatingly self-justifying autobiography of, 225", and so on.

But this is far more than a wicked spoof tell-all. It operates, and works smoothly and well, on several levels: it is a Swiftian satire, as Cheeta walks through the world observing human foibles and, often as not, getting them exactly wrong, as when he imagines that the stuffed animal heads adorning the walls of one actor's house are all old pets, lovingly preserved. It is a textbook example of the unreliable narrator ("Incidentally, during this conversation, Marlene [Dietrich] and Mercedes [de Acosta] were stimulating each other's sexual organs. You can well imagine how bored I was watching them ..."). It is also deeply funny. The story of what happens when Johnny Weissmuller and David Niven borrow Douglas Fairbanks's Rolls-Royce, and rig it up so it looks as if Cheeta and Jackie the MGM lion are driving it, will have you laughing out loud for 10 pages.

But it is also a love letter to Weissmuller, the original star of the Tarzan films; a tribute that bursts its own narrative confines, and stands the novel on its head, to become a hymn to a certain kind of beauty and innocence. Weissmuller is as much the star of the book as Cheeta.

And the prose ... well, no wonder people were wondering whether Will Self or Martin Amis were behind the pseudonym (only revealed some time after publication. There are signs, incidentally, that Lever has read, and tried not to overlap with, Self's splendid Great Apes). The prose is impeccable - supple, intelligent, penetrating, vigorous. A delight to read. Lever couldn't have got away with this without it.
adicionada por kidzdoc | editarThe Guardian, Nicholas Lezard (Jun 6, 2009)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (8 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Lever, Jamesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lever, Jamesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
CheetaAutorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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'A movie star is not quite a human being.'

MARLENE DIETRICH
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Dearest humans,
So, it's a perfect day in Palm Springs, California, and here I am - actor, artist, African, American, ape, and now author - flat out on the lounger by the pool, looking back over this autobiography of mine.
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'Me Cheeta' was originally published as the work of 'Cheeta' himself, leading to great speculation as to the true identity of the author . It was subsequently revealed that English screenwriter and reviewer James Lever was in fact responsible.
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Cheeta tells it all? a life lived with the stars? a monkey stolen from deepest Africa forced to make a living in the fake jungles of Hollywood. He tells us too of his journey beyond the screen: his struggle with drink and addiction to cigars; his breakthrough with a radical new form of abstract painting? 'Apeism' his touching relationship with his retired nightclub?performing grandson Jeeta? now a considerable artist in his own right; his fondness for hamburgers and his battle in later life with diabetes; and? through thick and thin? carer Dan Westfall? his loving companion who has helped this magnificent monkey come to terms with his peculiar past. Funny? moving? searingly honest? Cheeta transports us back to a lost Hollywood. He is a real star? and this the greatest celebrity memoir of recent times. -- Publisher details.

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