Peter Biskind is the acclaimed author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Down and Dirty Pictures, and Star, among other books. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. He is the former executive editor of Premiere and the former editor in chief of American Film, and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. He lives in upstate New York.
"Addictive and entertaining." --Vanity Fair"Welles was obviously uninhibited by the invisible tape recorder. The book is a trove of classic-era Hollywood gossip, but if it were only that, it would be, at best, candy. Instead, it's a treasure, both as a portrait of the artist and as a copious record of his ideas--it is, in fact, a key source for understanding Welles, the director and the man." --Richard Brody, The New Yorker"If it wasn't bad enough that I--and every other director--have to compete historically with Orson as a filmmaker, now we have to compete with him as a pure storyteller and a true raconteur, a man whose breadth of knowledge and experience may never be equaled again in this industry. The good news is that his declamations on every subject are alternatively penetrating, illuminating, shocking, rude, funny, true, or all of the above. I read this in one sitting; I can't imagine anyone doing otherwise." --Steven Soderbergh, director of Side Effects"My Lunches with Orson offers the experience of sitting in on a particular historical-cultural moment. Read with your Netflix on hand, as Welles's wealth of knowledge inspires re-viewings of both his own films and those of his favorite actors like Buster Keaton and Carole Lombard." --The Christian Science Monitor"A wonderfully fluid peek into Welles' mind. Rich with acerbic observations about cinema, theater, filmmakers, actors, politics and the essence of storytelling, My Lunches With Orson might be the elephantine storyteller's last great work." --Indiewire"It's time to add another line of adjectives to our descriptions of Orson Welles. In this remarkable collection of conversations, we come upon Welles the conversationalist provocateur who can't open his mouth without saying something outrageously funny, fiercely opinionated, and always off-center about the men and women he claims to have known, played with, worked for, slept with, been courted and betrayed by, and admired or detested (often simultaneously) during his half century in show business. I laughed so hard I had an asthma attack." --David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch"We don't often get close to a legend, but here we have lunch with one week by week, in the last years of his life. Welles's conversations with Henry Jaglom glitter with memory, intelligence, and malice, and above all offer a magnificent act of self-impersonation: Orson Welles playing Orson Welles." --Michael Wood, author of Film: A Very Short Introduction"When Henry Jaglom sent me the galleys, I was skeptical about their entertainment value. But as soon as I picked them up, I was hooked. Welles was an ornery, sometimes unpleasant genius, but his opinions on just about everything and everyone were unvarnished. You can almost hear the silverware clinking and the waiters delivering lunch as the likes of Richard Burton drop by to pay their respects...For those not fortunate enough to have Hollywood running through their family tree, this book may be the next best thing." --Ralph Gardner Jr., The Wall Street Journal