"A testament to [Pryor's] stature not only as an African-American entertainment idol but also as an American icon . . . [An] exuberant tribute" (The New York Times Book Review).
Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor's performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in a way that wasn't just new--it was theretofore unthinkable. Now, this groundbreaking and revelatory work brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.
"Addictively readable . . . Someday, when fewer people know Richard Pryor's name, Furious Cool
will be the best defense against the worst sort of forgetting--the kind that involves who we are now, who we loved once, and why." --Esquire
"A sleek, highly literate biography that places the comic in the pop-cultural context of his times." --Bloomberg News
"Richard Pryor was the most free black man of the twentieth century. He also was a comic genius. This book gives the definitive reasons why he was so free and so sublime." --Dr. Cornel West
"David Henry and Joe Henry have brought Richard Pryor back to pulsating life, affirming both his humanity and his immortality as a comic--and tragic--genius . . . Furious Cool
is a fabulous history, alive with fascinating characters." --The Huffington Post