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Al Pacino: In Conversation with Lawrence Grobel
Al Pacino: In Conversation with Lawrence Grobel
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BOOK DETAILS

Lawrence gives an overview of the book:

  For more than a quarter century, Al Pacino has spoken freely and deeply with Lawrence Grobel on subjects as diverse as childhood, acting, and fatherhood. Here, for the first time, are the complete conversations and shared observations between the actor and the writer who, over the years, have become close friends; the result is an intimate and revealing look at one of the most accomplished, and private, artists in the world. Grobel and Pacino leave few stones unturned, touching on the times that Pacino drank and played piano in jazz clubs until four a.m. before showing up on the set of Scarecrow a few hours later for a full day's work; when he ate Valium like popcorn at the Academy Awards; and when he realized he had been in a long pattern of work and drink. As the pivotal character in The Godfather trilogy and the cult classic...
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For more than a quarter century, Al Pacino has spoken freely and deeply with Lawrence Grobel on subjects as diverse as childhood, acting, and fatherhood. Here, for the first time, are the complete conversations and shared observations between the actor and the writer who, over the years, have become close friends; the result is an intimate and revealing look at one of the most accomplished, and private, artists in the world.

Grobel and Pacino leave few stones unturned, touching on the times that Pacino drank and played piano in jazz clubs until four a.m. before showing up on the set of Scarecrow a few hours later for a full day's work; when he ate Valium like popcorn at the Academy Awards; and when he realized he had been in a long pattern of work and drink. As the pivotal character in The Godfather trilogy and the cult classic Scarface, Pacino has enshrined himself in film history. He was nominated for eight Academy Awards before winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Scent of a Woman.

Al Pacino: In Conversation with Lawrence Grobel is an intensely personal window into the life of an artist concerned more with the process of his art than with the fruits of his labor, a creative genius at the peak of his artistic powers who, after all these years, still longs to grow and learn more about his craft.

Take a Peek Inside:
Front Cover | Table of Contents | First Page | Index | Back Cover

What the Reviewers Say

Authors and members of the media had these comments to say about the book:

  What the Readers Say

Readers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's said:

Joyce Carol Oates
"Al Pacino in Conversation with Lawrence Grobel is excellent and illuminating. The conversations come alive on the page. Genius takes such odd, quirky leaps. Pacino is a truly 'driven'—impassioned—artist. So unpredictable, unexpected."

Library Journal
"The book almost serves as an autobiography of Pacino as he discusses his early life, family, first acting jobs, and craft ... What emerges is the intellect, skill, and passion of a man who conveys these very traits on the stage and on the screen. Grobel's interviews offer a unique portrait of a man at the forefront of late 20th – and early 21st century American cinema. High recommended."
– Jim Collins

eFilmCritic.com
"Pacino describes himself as a man who will pass days reciting Shakespeare to himself, losing track of time by getting wrapped up in the words of the Bard. This is a man with a passion (he detests the term “obsession”) for Shakespeare, and it shows throughout this set of interviews. He’s at his most energetic when discussing theater (especially, but not only, Shakespeare), and Grobel’s book comes to life most during these passages. Pacino’s passion is infectious."

Sunday Express (U.K.)
"This absorbing book is compiled from over 400 hours of taped conversations, conducted between 1979 and 2005. Lawrence Grobel is Pacino's loyal Boswell. The result is a rich and fruitful interchange, a classic account of the acting process."

 

Fascinating Look at Pacino & His Craft
"For some reason, Pacino and Grobel struck up a real friendship. Through that friendship, Grobel was able to get a decent insight into Pacino and actually get him to answer some questions ... All in all, it's an interesting look at a powerful actor and his craft. Anyone who's ever been moved by a Pacino performance or is fascinated by the craft of acting would enjoy this book."
– Timothy Haugh

Moving Bio
"I bought this book @ the Dubai duty free airport shops. I may sound like a little boy who rediscovered reading and books again! This book totally took me into the mind and heart of this amazing man. I think I will now consider reading more stuff like this and change my reading material. In this story like bio the reader (especially the fans) will completely get an idea of how and where and when and what this actor was going through. Best bio book I ever picked up!"
– Saeed A. Siddiki

A great reading
"Pacino reveals himself as a down to earth guy who cares a lot about his craft and about doing his job well(no more,no less) and shows an amazing sense of humour at times.This is the portrait of a true artist who loves his art. Lawrence Grobel many times insist in questions that Mr. Pacino does not want to answer and many times out of insistence get an answer from the actor."
– Alberto M. Ramos

 

Read an excerpt »

FOREWORD BY AL PACINO

I met Larry Grobel in 1979. He came to interview me. I was of course mistrustful of him since he was a journalist interviewing me and at that time, I had never done an interview. I have since come to know him very well. We've shared many things over this period: successes, failures, encounters with situations both wonderful and unthinkable. Our friendship has survived it all. And, for that I am very grateful.

I had not yet said yes to our first interview but when I read his interview with Marlon Brando on Brando's island in Tahiti I was impressed. Knowing Marlon as I did, if he liked Larry, if he could speak to him so openly, I felt that I could. Larry walked into my apartment which was in shambles. I offered him my half eaten doughnut. He enjoyed it. We sat down to talk. And what was remarkable about Larry is, at the end of the interview I knew more about him than he did of me. I have learned to appreciate his manner, his style over the years. Some of which is shocking. But, you accept it because it's Larry. He persists but never with guile. He has a genuine interest in people which is why he's such a good writer. He has taken an interest in me for some reason.

Still, I'm trying to figure out why it's so easy to talk to him, to confide in him. That's his talent, I guess.

Larry and I know each other very well (as well as anyone knows anybody). We have forgiven each other many times. I have forgiven him for writing this book. I hope he forgives me for writing this foreword.

lawrence-grobel's picture

While you can get some insight into the life of Al Pacino that you will not find anywhere else--whether it's his going into detail about Scarface or the Merchant of Venice or Oceans 13--what makes this book a perfect holiday gift is that it is the story of a friendship. Our friendship. And in this day and age, it's encouraging to know that it's still possible to make new friends as adults.

About Lawrence

Lawrence Grobel has been a freelance writer for more than thirty years. He has written for numerous national magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Newsday, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Reader's Digest, Details, TV Guide, Redbook, Cosmopolitan,...

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Published Reviews

Nov.05.2008

"Al Pacino has been on of America's most versatile and dynamic actors for more than 35 years. In 1979 Lawrence Grobel (Conversations with Brando) began interviewing the reclusive Pacino while in turn...