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Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy

By Simon Louvish
Faber and Faber Ltd., 3 Queen Square, London WCIN 3AU
518 Pages; 2001
ISBN 0-571-20352-3 (Hardbound)

Covering the lives of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy from birth to death, this biography attempts to offer the complete story of Laurel & Hardy. As such, personal lives are scandals propel the story, with films serving as illustration for some of the author's points. The book is written in the style of a collegiate essay, and suffers a bit from being too long. Some new research by the author sheds light on the boys' lives, particularly before they were stars. Many previous books are cited. If you know very little about Laurel & Hardy, this is not the best book to start off with.

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