For a book about a legendary funny man, this book doesn't have lots of laughs. For one thing, Pryor's humor doesn't always come across well on the page (and never as effectively as hearing and seeing the lines being delivered by the comedian himself). For another, the outrageous and risky humor was a product of his painful coming of age-often as an outcast even among his own community, not to mention the dominant society. Still, it makes for compelling reading, and the author has done a great job of pulling it all together. Anyone familiar with Pryor's routines from his bestselling albums or movie roles will hear them in their heads as they read the stories behind their creation.
Draws upon interviews with family and friends, court transcripts, unpublished journals and screenplay drafts, to trace Richard Pryor's journey from his rough childhood to his ascent in the "New Hollywood" of the 1970s and his struggles with drugs and fame.