Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu

Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140254563
  • 688 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • 18 and up


In this first installment of his masterful biography, Simon Callow captures the chameleonic genius of Orson Welles as only an actor/director deeply rooted in the entertainment industry could. Here is Welles’s prodigious childhood; his youth in New York, with its fraught partnership with John Houseman and the groundbreaking triumph of his all-black Macbeth; the pioneering radio work that culminated in the notorious 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds; and finally, his work in Hollywood, including an authoritative account of the making of Citizen Kane. Rich in detail and insight, this is far and away the definitive look at Orson Welles—a figure even more extraordinary than the myths that have surrounded him.


This riveting, revealing portrait of the legendary director and star is æunlikely to be surpassed.æ (Los Angeles Times Book Review) A wonderfully readable, sharp, shrewd and evenhanded biography… Callow is a witty and feeling biographer. (Chicago Tribune) Callow is in control all the way. (The New York Times Book Review, front page)”
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