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Richard Pryor Set the Comedy World on Fire With N-Word

Right this minute, no doubt, somebody is working on a 700-page doorstop that will chronicle every wound Richard Pryor ever inflicted on the people who loved him.

David Henry and Joe Henry (they’re brothers) have a different aim. “We didn’t set out to write the definitive cradle-to-grave biography,” they explain in their introduction to “Furious Cool,” a sleek, highly literate biography that places the comic in the pop-cultural context of his times.