I continue to work on my readers' advisory guide to biography. This is one of the books that I have enjoyed most so far. Not many libraries in my area have it, but they should. It will definitely be in my guide.
New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams was not a person to stop rumors. Let the public believe he slept in a coffin, owned his own guillotine, and dropped eyeballs into martinis. He cultivated his aura by wearing antique clothes, driving classic cars, and cracking morbid jokes. Did he really laugh at funerals? Did he really have love affairs with actresses? Yes and Yes.
In Chas Addams: A Cartoonist's Life, biographer Linda H. Davis looks behind the Addams legends. She tells how he always drew a variety of cartoons, but the morbid ones got all of the public attention. She also describes his high life in New York, where he hung out with celebrities and wooed actresses. Best of all, she includes several dozen classic Addams cartoons.
Readers who enjoy this book will also like Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America’s Laureate of Light Verse by Douglas M. Parker. Though Nash was more of a family man. both could be wickedly funny. Book books are admiring accounts of funny men who entertained Americans for decades.
Davis, Linda H. Chas Addams: A Cartoonist's Life. Random House, 2006. 382p. ISBN 0679463259.