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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A silent comedy star whose legendary slapstick routines are recognisable to this day, Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin's My Autobiography is an incomparably vivid account of the life of one of the greatest filmmakers and comedians, with an introduction by David Robinson

As a child, Charlie Chaplin was awed and inspired by the sight of glamorous vaudeville stars passing his home, and from then on he never lost his ambition to become an actor. Chaplin's film career as the Little Tramp adored by the whole world is the stuff of legend, but this frank autobiography shows another side. Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin's father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered from bouts of insanity. From a childhood of grinding poverty in the South London slums, Chaplin found an escape in his early debut on the music hall stage, followed by his lucky break in America, the founding of United Artists with D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, the struggle to maintain artistic control over his work, the string of failed marriages and his eventual exile from Hollywood after personal scandals and persecution for his left-wing politics during the McCarthy Era.

Sir Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin (1895-1976) was born in Walworth, London. Best known for his work in silent film, his most famous role was the Little Tramp, a universally recognisable and iconic character who appeared in films such as The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925) and City Lights (1931). His other films include Modern Times (1936), a commentary on the Great Depression, and The Great Dictator (1940), a satirical attack on Hitler and the Nazis.

©1992 Charles Chaplin (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Tells so much about this curious, difficult man...a wonderfully vivid imagination." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about My Autobiography

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  • The Laurel & Hardy Blog
  • 01-14-22

Utterly Compelling!

I have owned Chaplin’s autobiography in hardback for decades and have never sat down to read the whole thing. Now, I’m glad I waited for this audiobook. The narrator is excellent, his delivery perfect! A great choice to read the words of this unique and incredible genius! Even though my interest in Chaplin is mostly around his film career, I found the early chapters of his boyhood utterly compelling. I know there is doubt surrounding how accurate Chaplin’s account is, or that he appears
to have been very selective about what he included and what he left out, but even so, this audiobook is wonderful!! Highly recommended.

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  • Dizzy Rascal
  • 06-01-22

Fascinating insight

Fascinating insight into a man who fought extreme poverty as a boy to become the world's highest earning actor. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

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  • Rebecca Roncoroni
  • 04-02-22

Living history

This is a fascinating account written by Chaplin and beautifully narrated.

Chaplin is incredibly discreet about his role as a husband to four wives and father to eleven children as well as friendships with the great and good of the time. He gives little insight into himself, little reflection on any mistakes he made and so therefire little remorse. which is a a shame as it would have made him a little more human. Chaplin writes this as a 'rags to riches' story with a fair bit of artistic license.

However, his story covers how Hollywood was formed, the change from silent to sound movies. How various alliances were formed that have led to where film making stands today.

Chaplin's views on machines dehumanising people ring as true today if not more so. His views on war and man's inhumanity to man make me wonder if, 100 years later we have learnt anything at all.

Listening to his speech from 'The Great Dictator' is especially poignant right now as Russia wages war on the Ukraine.

When will we ever learn?

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  • Nigel
  • 07-29-22

Engaging, candid and inspiring throughout.

I knew something about Charlie Chaplin’s life but this supplies fascinating details about his career and personal life, his thoughts on the crafts of acting and film-making, and his thinking on politics and philosophy.

I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in Chaplin (obviously), and an interest in the history of cinema.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-22

Brilliant

This was brilliantly written a fantastic story of hope and dedication to brilliance. It shows how the American government wants their own way even if you’re not even against them they can make it up. Things haven’t changed look at what’s happening in the world today everything is getting banned there should be a warning for people for the present time

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  • marie power
  • 05-16-22

really enjoyed a genius such an interesting read

Charlie's a clearly interesting deep thinker very broad thinker and describes poverty in London he endured as a child

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  • Gary Gunn - Social Attraction Founder
  • 03-23-22

Must read book

Amazing book full of great stories. Glad they have created an audible version as it's a different experience to reading the physical book. I love Charlie Chaplin, he is an inspiration.

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  • Purchaser
  • 03-19-22

really great story

Really great story. One feels one is listening to Charlie Chaplin himself in person.

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  • LaurenceCousin
  • 02-28-22

Enjoyable informative- a hard listen as I want along but so rewarding-

I had to know more I wanted to here about the work he magically made for us all to enjoy … the story is full of names and personal events as I now understand why it is this way having got to the end …
There is little in-site to the films but a good all round listen. - I can not compare to any other but would say a more uplifting listen would be the amazing Norman Wisdom or the spectacular Sammy Davis junior- I say this only because I found the listen a long long one. But in the end rewarding

Please enjoy this listen I did in the end

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  • A.MICHALAK
  • 02-22-22

Enjoyed a lot reading this book.

Loved it! So good to know more about this fantastic comedian.Used to watch his films