A quick pre-review preview.
I’ve noticed that the main problem with with writing a biography, or any non-fiction, is the separation of author from the subject, specifically maintaining that distance so the biography remains impartial and in such, pure. When the author and the subject are intertwined, the bias is unavoidable. It’s impossible for one of the characters of the story to judge whether or not the entire account is told, since they’re partial to their own side.
‘Goodnight, Whatever You Are,’ the official John ‘Zacherley’ Zacherle book, written by Richard Scrivani and published by Dinoship Press. A third-of-the way in so far and I’ve noticed that this isn’t a straight up biography of the former horror host. The book’s biline, “My Journey with Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul” aptly sums the book up. Zacherle gave total cooperation and the book does provide a good visual history of the Cool Ghoul from start to the near present.
It doesn’t start with Zacherle’s birth. In fact, the earliest we see of him is a picture of him during his WWII period. But we do know of Richard Scrivani growing up with Zacherley on television and the author’s love of monster movies. I don’t know much of Zach’s father but I do know that Richard Scrivani’s father passed away due to cancer. It’s probably in the book, which I haven’t even finished yet. I’d make a poor reviewer for the New York Times.
It’s a good dynamic between author and subject, with the distance between the reader and the subject created with the author acting as a filter. Or, to put it simply, because Richard Scrivani has a natural distance between him and Zacherley, that distance is reproduced in his biography. The distance between him as a television viewer and Zacherley’s program is in this book. It’s kind of frustrating because I want to see the screen but I have to shout ‘DOWN IN FRONT.’
But, as I said, only a third through. It’s a pretty fun read. You can find a copy here or on Amazon.