Paul Newman Unplugged

Paul and Me is more a series of first-person stories than a conventional biography of a star who hated the hype and artificiality of Hollywood,” USA Today reported earlier. For the intimate tone of the book we have author A. E. Hotchner to thank. Hotchner first met Paul Newman in 1955 when the virtually unknown actor assumed the lead role in Hotchner’s first television play, The Battler. The project elevated both men from relative obscurity to recognition and began a close and trusted friendship that lasted until Newman’s death in 2008. “I wanted to re-create Paul as I knew him,” Hotchner told USA Today. “Mercurial, mischievous, thoughtful, generous. All the things you don’t associate with movie stars. We think of stars as celestial beings. And once in a while, they smile at us from the pages of People magazine.”

In The New York Times Janet Maslin called the book, “A tribute to Newman’s fun-loving spirit and fiscal generosity . . . . There’s not a self-righteous moment in Mr. Hotchner’s jokey, anecdotal account of their camaraderie . . . . They clearly shared a lot of good times over Budweisers and burgers, and Mr. Hotchner has the quotes and photos to prove it all . . . . The fun they had is unmistakable in these pages.”