Orson Welles, Volume 2: Hello Americans

Orson Welles, Volume 2: Hello Americans

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140275179
  • 560 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


“Unfailingly intelligent and well written . . . Vivid and three-dimensional.”Variety

The first volume of Simon Callow’s magisterial biography of Orson Welles was praised as a “splendidly entertaining, definitive work” by Entertainment Weekly. Now, this eagerly anticipated second volume examines the years following Citizen Kane up to the time of Macbeth, in which Welles’s Hollywood film career unraveled. In close and colorful detail, Callow offers a scrupulous analysis of the factors involved, revealing the immense and sometimes self-defeating complexities of Welles’s temperament as well as some of the monstrous personalities with whom he had to contend.


“Unfailingly intelligent and well written . . . Callow’s portrait is so vivid and three-dimensional.”
“His project will not only the best book on Welles but also one of the great biographies in the field of cinema and the performing arts.”
—The Observer (London)
“Simon Callow is to be commended for Hello Americans, as it is not only the best biography of Welles that we can possibly have, it is also one of the best biographies of any field I’ve read in years.”
—The Daily Express (London)
“A ravishing read, brilliantly allusive, with lightning leaps of insight . . . With this book, Simon Callow has proven himself entirely worthy of our trust and admiration.”
—The New York Observer
“Mr. Callow, a divine and witty actor, is also a gifted writer. . . . Hello Americans, the sparkling second volume, is a rollercoaster covering most of the 1940s.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Hello Americans is gripping, thanks partly to stellar writing, access to memos and telegrams, and the kind of insight into an artist that can only come from a fellow artist. Callow not only investigates all strands of Welles’ life, but he also weaves them together. Does the world deserve biographies this good?”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“One of the year’s best full-bore biographies. . . . Volume 2 took [Callow] a decade to complete, but it was worth the wait. . . . It’s intricately detailed but never dull.”
—Town & Country
“If the galumphing enigma of Orson Welles is to be resolved, we may have to look to Simon Callow, whose multivolume biography is shaping up to be a major acheivement.”
—The Washington Post
“Animated by a brisk intelligence . . . He shapes and interprets his material and with panache places his story in rich context. . . . Callow is as indefatigable a researcher as he is a stylish writer.”
—The Atlantic Monthly
“Scintillating . . . Callow’s is a superbly written account of a magnetic personality and towering talent plagued by internal weakness and external friction, one that manages to shape the ‘Orsonic tornado’ into an engrossing tragicomedy.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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