RaveBookforumButler writes with such awe, compassion, and conviction about [Kim] Stanley that despite having only seen a few of her performances, I felt deeply connected to her artistry, cheering her triumphs, empathizing with her struggles, wincing at her failures. That he achieves this effect not only in his portrayal of her but also with the cavalcade of characters both famous and forgotten in The Method is nothing short of extraordinary. Every vignette springs from the page ... As an author, Butler accomplishes what the Method’s devotees sought to do in their performances, bringing color and dimension to figures who might have been boxed into archetypal roles (omniscient godhead or exploitative charlatan) and presenting them to us in all their brilliant, infuriating complexity. The scope of the book is sweeping, the figures entering and exiting the narrative often larger-than-life, but each quote and anecdote Butler chooses to include draws them close enough to touch.
RaveBookforum... so engrossing an exploration of its subject that to call it a \'biography\' feels somehow inadequate ... a meticulously researched romp, a harrowing excavation, an emotional séance, and a glittering family reunion, with the author playing game outsider at the gathering, enthusiastic to find out everything she can ... Jacobs’s rigorous fact-checking of Elaine’s tales (some taller than others) is masterful. The way she incorporates her interview subjects’ contrasting versions of events never undermines the satisfaction of the anecdotes, but rather fleshes them out and encourages us to think about why the storytelling might have been fudged ... Jacobs deftly weaves Stritch’s yearning for validation into the fabric of the book, so that to us, her increased earnestness and emotional availability to the public seem foregone conclusions.