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Your Thoughts: "Jim Henson: The Biography" by Brian Jay Jones

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Phillip, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Great Gommzo

    Great Gommzo Active Member

    I picked up a copy yesterday so hoping to start reading this weekend! Always used to watch Jim whenever he was interviewed on TV when I was a kid and have watched lots of behind the scenes documentaries over the years but still feel I know very little about him as a person so it will be great to get to know him better.
  2. brkndwnbus

    brkndwnbus Well-Known Member

    My copy came last night; and I just finished "The Mucking Fuppets" chapter. I can't wait to get into the "Muppetmania" chapter next. The book's been very enjoyable so far. The book's really hit on how dedicated Jim was to his work, and how he never gave up on the dreams he wanted to accomplish - no matter how many times he hit roadblocks.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I haven't gotten this book yet. I think I'll wait and ask for this for Christmas (though if I see it in the store I'll probably look through it in the store, chances are I'll look in the index, if there is an index, and read about certain productions or characters I want to know more about).
  4. brkndwnbus

    brkndwnbus Well-Known Member

    Finished the book Saturday night. I was very impressed with it. While I knew about a lot that was talked about in the book already, it was nice to read things in more detail and with quotes from those close to Jim. This is definitely a book I will be recommending to my friends and family who may not even be huge Henson/Muppet fans. I think the casual fan will find it very interesting.
  5. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    Got the book last Monday as a (day early) birthday present. It was a great read, a nice addition to my library as well. Jones' elaboration on Jim's career, especially his early start on Sam and Friends, while also doing more experimental film and animation work, really interested me. For the most part, I had been used to getting my information on Jim scattered though sites like MC, Muppet Wiki, and the like, but having a comprehensive narrative like this is just so great. I'm surprised how much focus Jones gave to Jim's personal/relationship life, but not in a bad way. Again, learning new things is always a treat when it comes to people I am interested in. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn a bit more about the creative mind of Mr. Jim Henson.
    Phillip likes this.
  6. Shawn

    Shawn Member

    I cannot wait to read this book! I will love to read more about this remarkable man's life. I have always put Jim on this huge pedestal, but also realize he was a human being with flaws and mistakes in judgement just like everyone else. I'm sure I will see him in a new light after reading this. Not a particularly bad light, but not the saint I always make him out to be. So glad a book like this is coming into existence. Every other Henson book I have goes into depth about his works, but don't really let you see the people that made this happen in their private lives. The closest book I have that did this was Street Gang.
  7. Reevz1977

    Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

    I've got to admit, rather lazily I opted to listen to the audiobook. Whilst I own the book also, due to work commitments, I have very little in the way of spare time. My thoughts? Please forgive the excessive dramatics but I feel like I've lost Jim Henson all over again. Don't get me wrong, this is an amazing piece of literature and I have loved every single second. It's just that there was soooo much I didn't know that, by the time the end came, I felt like I had gotten to know Jim inside and out and, as what happened back in 1990, I wasn't ready to have him taken away again. His warmth, generosity and humanity all come through in this book and it truly shows what an exceptional human being he was and humble to a fault. There is an abundance of truly incredible anecdotes that every Muppet fan must hear. I just feel so moved by the whole book and have spent the last day or so in a state of shock, almost like Jim's passing happened in the last week. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their status as a Muppet fan, purely for the insight of one of the twentieth centuries true greats. It really was a reminder of just how much this one individual made my life a little better for him being here!

    MANY Thanks Mr Jay-Jones!!
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, I found a copy at Books-A-Million yesterday and glanced in it a little. I mainly looked in the index, looking for a few particular productions, and it looks like most of the ones I was hoping would be talked about don't appear in the book (according to the index).

    Glancing in there, it was interesting reading the part about licensing the Sesame Street characters, with Joan Ganz Cooney initially saying no to Jim's request to be in control of the Sesame Street merchandise. And I read a little of the part about The Jim Henson Hour where it said that Jim was undecided on the shows format even when he made his pitch for the show.

    I plan to hold off on getting this until Christmas. I can still look at bits of it in the store (though I can't just be in the store for several hours reading it), and maybe my local library has a copy, but it's going to be a long wait until Christmas.
  9. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    I didn't know what to expect when I picked up the book, but I gotta say-it was definitely worth the week-long search to track the book down. Finding a copy of it in Australia is like finding a stick after its been burned to ashes.

    The first thing I loved about it was the input from Jim's friends and collogues. I learned about things I never knew, but when I read it, it seemed quite obvious of Jim to do so. The whole scenario with Richard Hunt bad mouthing a guest-star and David Lazer tearing through him was my favourite anecdote. Jim really was a loving person of both people and nature. Don't even get me started on the women!

    I felt like I was really getting to know this guy and it was almost like he sitting by my side as I read. Even when I put the book down (a tremendous effort was needed to do so), I could've sworn that Jim's presence was following me around the house. As the ending of the book came closer, I started to dread it and sure enough I burst into tears. Jim had disappeared right in front of my eyes.

    It really did feel like I was intruding on something special and I was honoured to be apart of this secret little world that existed between the words. The praise for Jim was deserving and yet his flaws were still shown in earnest. His faults just seemed to emphasise his brilliance even more because Jim never let them slow him down.

    Congratulations to Brian Jay Jones for a spectacularly written and portioned book. Brilliant-Simply Brilliant.
    Muppet fan 123 and dwayne1115 like this.
  10. Muppetto

    Muppetto Active Member

    Sadly, I just learned that this event has been cancelled since Brian Jay Jones will be making an appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", which typically films in the late afternoon/early evening of the day each episode airs. I guess there wasn't a big enough response and an opportunity to be on a popular TV news program was a better opportunity to get the word out about the biography.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    So has anybody found any known factual mistakes in this book yet?

    It seems like not much from this book has been sourced onto Muppet Wiki yet. I know that some info regarding Tales of the Tinkerdee has, but otherwise I don't think any info has. And there is a thread on the Muppet Wiki forums about what to do regarding sourcing (for those who ordered digital copies).
  12. LaRanaRene

    LaRanaRene Well-Known Member

    I have to say, this book made me feel like Jim was a best friend of mine. Brian Jay Jones is amazing.
  13. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    Because MuppetWiki is more accurate than the Henson Archives, right? :p
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, the author did interview a lot of people who knew Henson, and it's possible some of the people interviewed misremembered things that we already know.

    The books Jim Henson: The Works, Sesame Street Unpaved, Street Gang, and Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street all have their fair share of mistakes, and all those used materials from the Henson/CTW archives (Sesame Workshop does have an archive, besides the CTW Archives at the University of Maryland, right?). Though last years Imagination Illustration had very few mistakes.
  15. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm prematurely old fashioned. I'll trust a book before I'll trust the accuracy of a fan-maintained wiki page.
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  16. MuppetGeek

    MuppetGeek Active Member

    Im getting the book. Should have it next week,i'll tell you what i think when i read it. Looks really good :)
  17. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Now for the most part I absolutely agree with you, lol. But it is also true people's personal recollections are subject to failure from time to time. ;)
    LaRanaRene and MrBloogarFoobly like this.
  18. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    I'm nearly at the "Sesame Street" chapter (and have had to really hose myself down from skipping ahead to it) and so far I'm enjoying this immensely. Jones' writing style alternates between breezy and colourful to detailed and serious when necessary - not unlike his subject matter!

    I'm portioning out the biography in an interesting way, partly because of the way it was given to me.

    You see, the lovely Mrs. Otter gave me Jim Henson: The Biography and Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journals for my birthday in September (which also featured a day-long Muppet movie marathon). So I've been reading a few sections of the biography and then going to the corresponding Imagination Illustrated pages. What a treat to read about Jim's early work and then shift to colorful photos and sketches of those endeavours - it's like having a living history of Jim for my very own.
  19. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    What I love about the book is how human it makes Jim. It makes me love him more. Very powerful and just an outstanding piece of literature.
  20. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    i cant wait to get it. i will have it soon

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