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Calcium Made Interesting: Sketches, Letters, Essays & Gondolas: Sketches, Letters, Essays and Gondolas [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Graham Chapman , Jim Yoakum


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Kurzbeschreibung

19. August 2005
Graham Chapman was more than a professional jokester. Like those other outstanding comics Spike Milligan and Peter Cook he had an innate belief in absurdity as a way of life - his humour and sheer joy in madness for its own sake was as likely to find its outlet on the street as on the stage. The other Pythons often said that just listening to Graham tell them about one of his wild evenings out was fodder for a dozen sketches. He was inventive, fearless, willing to take chances and make stands. Openly gay, capable of outrageous alcohol-fuelled behaviour, Graham Chapman lived an untidy life, and in some respects this book mirrors that. Inside is everything from television scripts and sketches to humorous essays on serious topics, comic flights of fancy that serve no purpose except to elicit a laugh, letters to friends and fellow hellraisers like Keith Moon and Ringo Starr, his behind-the-scenes account of the filming of Life of Brian, his views on fellow Pythons, letters to God, and much more. Most of the material has never before been published and offers unique insights into Chapman's life as well as his lasting impact on British comedy. With an introduction by Jim Yoakum, archivist of the Chapman estate, 'Calcium Made Interesting' is a celebration of the best of Chapman's work, and is as funny, innovative and surreal as any Python sketch.

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Synopsis

Graham Chapman was more than a professional jokester. Like those other outstanding comics Spike Milligan and Peter Cook he had an innate belief in absurdity as a way of life - his humour and sheer joy in madness for its own sake was as likely to find its outlet on the street as on the stage. The other Pythons often said that just listening to Graham tell them about one of his wild evenings out was fodder for a dozen sketches. He was inventive, fearless, willing to take chances and make stands. Openly gay, capable of outrageous alcohol-fuelled behaviour, Graham Chapman lived an untidy life, and in some respects this book mirrors that. Inside is everything from television scripts and sketches to humorous essays on serious topics, comic flights of fancy that serve no purpose except to elicit a laugh, letters to friends and fellow hellraisers like Keith Moon and Ringo Starr, his behind-the-scenes account of the filming of Life of Brian, his views on fellow Pythons, letters to God, and much more. Most of the material has never before been published and offers unique insights into Chapman's life as well as his lasting impact on British comedy.

With an introduction by Jim Yoakum, archivist of the Chapman estate, 'Calcium Made Interesting' is a celebration of the best of Chapman's work, and is as funny, innovative and surreal as any Python sketch.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Graham Chapman wrote for a number of radio and television shows such as The Illustrated Weekly Hudd and The Frost Report before he was commissioned, along with Cleese, Palin, Idle, Gilliam and Jones, to write and perform Monty Python's Flying Circus. He died in 1989.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  3 Rezensionen
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If You Can Imagine The Size Of Nelson's Column, Then This Book Is Much, Much Smaller 14. November 2006
Von Robert I. Hedges - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Of all the Pythons, Graham Chapman was the most anarchic in his comedy. He excelled at stream-of-consciousness humor and non sequitirs, and made a permanent mark on the comedy landscape with a stature rivaling anyone in the last fifty years. This book can be viewed as a companion to Graham's earlier work, "A Liar's Autobiography," as it contains a lot of material that didn't make it into that book, as well as many diverse pieces such as screenplays and correspondence, most of which appear here for the first time.

Graham was a complex person, and this book gives an outstanding view into the workings of his mind. His struggles are well detailed here, yet he always made the most of any situation, especially if wild parties with the likes of Keith Moon and Ringo Starr were involved. I was pleased that the bulk of this book dealt with Graham's life outside of Python, as that has been very well documented elsewhere.

The book itself has the feel of a mixed-media contemporary art piece as it is from so many diverse sources. I must admit that the title drew me in: it is taken from a piece on page 88 in the essays section. The essay does, in fact, make calcium much more interesting than in any chemistry class I have had, to wit: "Calcium...occurs naturally as the carbonate CaCO3 in limestone, chalk, marble, and in brothels...." Graham's medical training (he was a doctor, after all) comes through in other places as well, as on page 189 where he discusses disorders of the trachea and bronchial tree in a musical adaptation called "The Ciliary-Mucus-Escalator Dance." Of course, the weirdness doesn't stop with scientific and medical humor, but dwells in both the mundane (a pompous man who brags about his "fleet of atomic-powered Silko-Glyde lawn mowers - each with a sauna bath, a cocktail lounge with three adjoining cinemas, and a discotheque", page 235) and the surreal (an insurance salesman selling a man a "special Being Nibbled To Death by Okapia Policy," with correspondingly odd terms on page 245.)

My two favorite parts of the book are the monologues and the personal letters. My favorite monologue concerns riding down a black diamond ski slope in a "wretched wooden gondola" with the Dangerous Sports Club, a piece that opens and sets the tone for the book. (I recommend the DVD, "Looks Like a Brown Trouser Job" which recalls this among other strange occurrences.) The letters are all fairly deranged, but my favorites are the letter reproduced in the dedication, which is an apology to a pub owner ("Words alone will have to express my profoundly abject apology for my behavior in your pub last night. I will have the shelf repaired, and I have already bought a half pound fillet steak for Dennis's eye...") and the condensed letters of E.P. Snibbet, Esq., which conclude the book.

Graham was a genius and a loony, and I miss him. This is a brilliant book and is not to be missed by anyone fond of insane humor; I recommend it highly.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A genious at play 24. September 2005
Von Book Maven - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Even though he died almost 2 decades ago, Graham Chapman's comic genious continues to awe and inspire in this wonderful volume of letters, essays and skits. Chapman was always the most Pythonic of the team, a wild man who was the re-incarnated spirit of Oscar Wilde. Both were touched with erratic brilliance and a lust for living and in this book we get to see the inner workings of Chapman's "wild(e)" side at work and at play. Not everyhting in here is hilarious, some things might raise only a smile, but taken as a whole this book is an amazing collection of items that fans of Python will want to treasure--and laugh at--for years to come. "Calcium" is a welcome addition to the Python legacy and a wonderful way to spend a few more minutes with

Chapman.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting? More like Riveting! 17. Dezember 2010
Von Anne Avaid Reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I thought I knew all about teeth and calcium and bones and such... but was I ever wrong. This book opened my eyes to so many facets of calcium and it's amazing effects that I spontaneously performed a joyous little dance right in the bookstore as I read the dust cover. Oh my, I can scarcely wait to get this tome back home, you know. The pages look so well cut and joined into the spine... And I could tell from my brief peek that the page numbering was both bold and consistent. If this is anything like Mr. Yoakum's other works, I will carry it with me (along with his other books) in the special knapsack I always wear (even when sleeping, as I am now) and speak of it proudly to my many friends with whom I share the subways and busses of New York City every day. Yipee!!!
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