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Guru: My Days with del Close
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About the Author

Jeff Griggs was born in Quincy, Illinois, and attended Illinois colleges before becoming a radio host and weekend TV weather forecaster. He quit the media to study improvisational theater at ImprovOlympic. He is now an actor, director, and improviser in Chicago.

Reviews

I loved it. Truly. God bless Jeff for hitting the mark. It manages to be so happily depressing and miserably funny at the same time. Del was such a complex character that I always thought you would need 5 books to show people how Del worked and lived. But Jeff does it in under 300 pages. Every improviser should read this book. Twice. -- Ike Barinholtz, MADtv Get inside the brain of Del Close and witness the evolution of comedy. -- Matt Besser, Upright Citizens Brigade One day he was ranting and raving and the next day he was the genius of improvisation-some days he was both. Del Close was a guru to so many of us. He directed brilliant shows for The Second City and once walked many miles in the snow in bare feet to kill me. What can I say, I respected this strange man. Jeff Griggs treats us to the inside story of a man who was complicated, larger than life and murderously entertaining. -- Andrew Alexander, Second City Del Close was a certifiable 'genius.' Brilliant, maddening, knowledgeable, funny, passionate, perverse-beyond comprehension, beyond capturing in a few words. Jeff Griggs has done a better job of it in Guru. It sounds like Del, it feels like Del. Hell, it IS Del-one of the most influential people in modern American comedy. It's good to hear his 'voice' again. -- John Ostrander, author of such comic books as Grimjack, Legends, Firestorm, Suicide Squad, Hawkworld, Wasteland, The Spectre, Martian Manhunt, Author of such comic books as Grimjack, Legends, Firestorm, Suicide Squad, Hawkworld, Wasteland, The Spectre, Martian Manhunter, The Kents, Blaze Of Glory, Star Wars, Apache Skies, Batman: Gotham Nights, and JLA Incarnations As Socrates was to learning, Lenin was to communism, and Al Sloan was to General Motors, so Del Close was the force which impelled Second City and improv to its present standing. Griggs's portrait is touching, funny and captures Del's essence beautifully. -- Dan Aykroyd, Second City 1971-75 Toronto/Chicago/Pasadena Griggs's timed and textured prose is anything but improvisational.... Sensitive, discerning, and deeply affectionate without ever slopping over into hagiography. * Kirkus * Offers insight into the world of improvisational theater. Recommended. -- Rosellen Brewer * Library Journal * Guru is a fitting homage to Close's place in the comedy pantheon. -- Jonathan Messinger * Time Out Chicago * Griggs' prose...is...energetic and heartfelt, honest and utterly riveting. -- Jack Helbig * Booklist * A particularly detailed and complete picture. * Kopete.org * This book succeeds as a personal tribute to a tortured but beloved friend. * Second City *

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