Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

'Marvin: Based on The Way I Was by Marvin Hamlisch' is adapted by Ian David Marsden and has art by him as well.

This is the story of young Marvin Hamlisch.  At age 6, he entered Juilliard.  His Jewish parents had fled Vienna and wanted their young child to be successful.  All the pressure caused Marvin to have stomach problems.  Also, he preferred playing show tunes.  This is how he got his first jobs composing and the famous people he met along the way.

It's a pretty great story.  I was inspired by this talented man's story.  The illustrations are fun.  For a graphic novel, it's quite wordy, so if this if for younger readers, they may become bored with the word to graphic ratio.  I still really enjoyed reading this one.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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In 1950 at age six, Marvin Hamlisch was the youngest student to be accepted to Juilliard, the famous New York City music school. He auditioned with a then-modern pop song, Goodnight Irene, instead of the usual classical music selection. Marvin was the American son of Jewish Austrian immigrants forced out of Vienna by Hitler. His parents assumed that his future is made after his acceptance at Juilliard. However, Marvin was wracked by stage fright before each recital. He quickly realized that he wasn’t the next world-famous classical pianist. For Marvin was interested in pop music that was playing on the radio in the 1950s and 60s.

Marvin’s first stage production was H.M.S. Pinafore with his sixth grade classroom. Around the same time, Marvin found his first lyricist, a distant relative who would soon marry his sister. Soon they were popping out top 40 hits and eventually whole scores of musicals.

Marvin’s story is a typical American rags-to-riches based on chutzpah and talent alone. However, the best part of this graphic novel for me was the story of his parent’s life in Austria pre-Hitler, post-Hitler, and how they individually escaped to Liechtenstein and eventually America. Their story is an heartwrenching tale of risking it all for love and freedom.

I remember many of Marvin’s plays from my youth. He wrote the scores of The Sting and Chorus Line. For his work in many environments, he won a coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). A lot can be learned from Marvin’s life and especially about the racism his family endured under the Nazis. 5 stars!

Thanks to Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley for granting a wish for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Totally captivating graphic biography of the composer Marvin Hamlisch, it starts with his going to Julliard aged 6 and his struggles with her nerves. His parents fled Austria to escape the Nazi's and this section of the book is gripping and informative. The story then continues with how the teenage Marvin started his career and worked with Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland and Liza Minelli, a clear talent he could play any song on the piano often by ear after hearing it once. The excitement of how creative New York was in the 60-70's comes through, the book ends as he wins his first award a golden globe and I was left wanting to know more and hopefully there will be a second volume.

With thanks to Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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If you know anything about movie soundtracks or musical theater in the last 50 years, then you'll know the name Marvin Hamlisch. He's probably most famous for writing the Tony award-winning show A Chorus Line and Academy award-winning scores for The Sting and The Way We Were. He's one of only 16 people who have earned the infamous EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards).

This book is less about the work that Hamlisch is actually known for and more about how he got there. This delightful graphic novel discusses Hamlisch's immigrant family and how he came to be one of the most revered composers in the 20th Century. 

As a whole, I really enjoyed the book. Graphic novel adaptations of larger works are often difficult, and I think this one does a pretty good job retelling Hamlisch's life. My biggest complaint with the novel is that there are jumps in time that are really not explained or transitioned well. I just wish the novel had a bit more linearity and consistency in how approached the story. 

I do want to thank the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to review this book prior to publication. The review is completely mine, however.
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I wished to receive the graphic novel, #Marvin, and I got it! What an incredible talent Marvin Hamlisch was born with, but, his success did not come to him on a magic carpet. Under the guidance and loving attention of his parents, who themselves were forced to escape Nazi occupied Vienna, Marvin was accepted to Juliard at the tender age of 6. He spent many many hours practicing piano, and although he truly loved "pop" music, it was the classical pieces that took up the majority of his time, and that caused him "stress and bad stomach aches".
Thanks to hard work, perseverance, some lucky connections, and most importantly, a unique talent (and an incredible ear for music), Marvin Hamlisch as able to do succeed at what he loved doing the most. He is only the second person in history to receive a #PEGOT (#Pulitzer, #Emmy, #Grammy, #Oscar, and #Tony).
This is a concise and easily readable graphic novel that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to read about Marvin Hamlisch. Thank you #netgalley for this early edition of #Marvin in return for my honest opinion. #5stars
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5 stars! 

I'm a big musical theatre fan and thought I knew quite a lot about Marvin Hamlisch, but how wrong I was! 

This is a beautiful book, with the first two thirds concentrating on his youth starting with his acceptance to Julliard at aged six then through his early achievements. 

A brilliant book for children interested in music and musical theatre. But also a great story that shows how anxiety and fear can get in the way with talent. 

Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.
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This is a very well done story of the early life of Marvin Hamlisch, whose family escaped the Nazis just in time, to come to America, where Marvin could carry on the music career that his father had had to abandon in Vienna.

Quite amazing, as it always is in the music and film industry, how he came across the jobs he did get, and how he got where he eventually landed, which was writing music for the movies, amongst other things.

He wasn't self taught. He went to Juliard School in New York, but instead of going classical, he went popular music.

This graphic novel has a good voice, and you feel as though Marvin is telling the story, it is, at times, so close, such as when he says how much he relishes the time he spent with his father.

Good middle-grade level book to introduce kids to this great man, and very informative as well.

THanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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