In honor of Orson Welles birthday, here is a list of books I’ve read about him over the years.
I owned Pauline Kael's Citizen Kane Book for years before finally reading it. I remember it as an evisceration of Welles and epistle to writer Herman Mankiewicz.
Then I read Road to Xanadu by Simon Callow and was just completely mesmerized by it. The book is amazing, as was Welles’ early life. Absolutely essential reading.
I loved the book and Welles so much afterward that I started seeking out more about him.
This is Orson Welles is a compilation of interviews Welles did with director Peter Bogdonavich. Amusing and anecdotal, like sitting in a room with Welles for a few hours.
Moby Dick – Rehearsed is a play written by Welles, an adaptation of the novel which I bet made for a riveting evening of theatre.
The Big Brass Ring is a screenplay by Welles that got made by others after his death.
Orson Welles by Joseph McBride is one of the other main bios of Welles and I don't recall a lot of details about it, but know I enjoyed it.
The Theatre of Orson Welles by Richard France was more of an academic book, one I got through interlibrary loan. Callow's book made me really wish I could have seen Welles' live productions with the Mercury Theatre and this helped flesh out more of that.
I got Callow’s second volume, Hello Americans, shortly after it was released but I’m just now getting a chance to read it. Can’t wait.
Well, there you go. I told you it would be pretty much a list.