Drawn entirely from secondary sources, there is nothing new to be found in this biography. I wouldn’t even recommend it to someone who has read no other biography of Ball, as it is filled with the most elementary mistakes. The author doesn’t even describe the “Lucy” episode with William Holden accurately. Just skip this one.
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correctly, you have no business being a Ball biographer. (Lucy had an ‘argument’ with Holden at the Brown Derby? As Ricky would say “Whaaaa????”)
A tepid rehashing of every Lucille Ball book ever written. We know every story by now, and his one original thesis )that she was more successful on television than in the movies) is never really argued or clarified.
Rent it at the library if you must but I would save my dough.
Ball of Fire concentrates on the I Love Lucy show, how it came about (and almost didn’t get off the ground), behind the scenes tidbits, its effect on America. Kanfer doesn’t stint on the rest of Lucy’s life, both before and after the Show, but I Love Lucy really is the star of this book.
Never having read a biography of Lucille Ball, this was all news to me, and I enjoyed discovering that Vivian Vance loathed William Frawley, and that Ball was such a stickler and control freak. Kanfer’s style is easy and very readable, and there are plenty of photos to round things out, including an unexpected one of a young topless Lucille Ball.
If you are in the mood for an entertaining and, let’s face it, unimportant, book, this one is worth the money.