As the title suggests, this book is a collection of letters sent to and from comedian and actor Groucho Marx. Groucho was a prolific letter writer, and corresponded with friends, colleagues, politicians, other writers, and many more.
I am not going to list the many people who received or sent the letters in this book – it would take too long, for one thing – but the book is a shining example of Groucho’s wit and wisdom, his acerbic sense of humour, and (to a lesser extent) his beliefs.
My favourite exchange was between Groucho and T.S. Eliot. It was clear that Groucho was much in awe of Eliot’s work, and when the two met for dinner, he hoped for a ‘literary evening’ – only to discover that Eliot was equally in awe of Groucho, and just wanted to discuss Marx Brothers’ films!
I liked this book, and thought that it was great to dip in and out of – there were some extremely funny one-liners, and Groucho was also clearly a very astute man. My only criticism is really an editorial one – a lot of the correspondents may not be known to people reading the book (I know that I certainly had to look some of them up to see who they were, and how they were connected to Groucho), and therefore, the context of the letters isn’t always entirely clear.
Nonetheless though, this was highly enjoyable read, and one that I would definitely recommend.
(For more information about Groucho Marx/The Marx Brothers, please click here.)