Saturday, May 24, 2014

March Book Club: Jim Henson the Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Jim Henson: experimental film maker, puppeteer, father, variety show performer, friend, creative innovator, director, actor, inspiration. From his earliest work with puppets in high school to his final negotiations to sell a now world-famous company to Disney, Jim Henson never settled for anything less than his best and he brought out the best in others as well. Whether it was making commercials for coffee, collaborating with Brian Froud on The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth, or becoming Kermit Jim continually pushed the boundaries of what TV and Film could do. This biography traces Jim's life and, inevitably, becomes almost a biography of the Muppets as well. Jones weaves the story of a man who will never be forgotten in a well-written, engaging, and fascinating style.

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Rebecca T: I loved this biography so much. I got it on audio knowing I would have limited time to read and the narration is phenomenal. I highly recommend it. The book itself is fascinating. I grew up with the Muppets so learning more about their inception and development was very interesting. I also really enjoyed learning more about Jim's other projects and his innovative film-making side. Over and over he would look at the way technology was developing and want to do something that wouldn't be feasible for 10-15 years. He was always looking ahead and pushing boundaries. Reading this also made me want to go watch every Jim Henson related film or tv show. I've since watched The Dark Crystal, the first season of The Muppet Show, and Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas. After reading the biography I felt like watching the credits of these shows was like seeing a list of friends. You feel like you really get to know them because Jim was so close to the people he worked with. If you like biographies, are a fan of any of Jim's work, or just want to read a fascinating book you will love this.

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