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A.E. Hotchner's memoir of Paul Newman is an eloquent tribute to the man and artist, written with grace, modesty, and wit. Decades ago, Hotchner wrote "Papa Hemingway," one of my all-time favorite memoirs. While “Papa Hemingway” traced an ominous arc--you knew Hemingway was headed for self-destruction-- “Paul and Me” follows an almost joyous trajectory, from Newman’s ascent in Hollywood to his unlikely successes as champion race car driver, food icon, and philanthropist. (The glaring exception is the tragic death of Newman’s son, Scott.)
The book is packed with anecdotes that portray Newman as feisty, fun-loving, and complex. As he did with Hemingway, Hotchner personifies for Newman both Sancho Panza (the sidekick) and Boswell (the memorist). But he goes them one better—he plays a vital role in helping Newman turn popcorn dreams into business and philanthropy realities.
Although Hotchner never states it, his friendship seems to represent an anchor to Newman’s sail--a needed stabling influence. It’s easy to think how lucky Hotchner has been to pal around with Hemingway and Newman, but one ends “Paul and Me” thinking this as well—how lucky they were to have him as a friend.
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I enjoyed listening to this book, and was fascinated with their close relationship. The author reading it made it more personal, although his voice was sometimes distracting. A great audiobook on how Newman's Own and the Whole in the Wall camp was created.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful