I realize this is an old thread, but in the interest of continuity, I thought it best to go ahead and post here.
I read Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy first, and completely enjoyed it. It's the perfect coffee table book, since it's full of cool photos, is really an excellent, light read, and it perfectly matches our red table. It's the sort of work the average fan enjoys, especially the interviews and insights from people actually involved in the production and period.
This week, I finally decided to tackle Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone.
Chances are good I'll be on Chapter Three sometime before December, and I have a degree in English Literature. I do know how to read...
It's laborious and not well written in my opinion. Well, not bad. It just could have been much better. Not that it doesn't contain a lot of interesting information. It certainly does, and since I'm a huge fan, I'll read the entire book, make notes and go back to it as a reference over the years. You just have pick through Frayling's endless rambling, which includes unnecessary descriptions of scenes. He'll being a sentence discussing one subject, then jump entirely to another, back to the original and then get lost in 300 words of gobbledegook.
This happens when you get lost between two worlds. On one hand, he's trying to write an academic-type of work (less the footnotes) but sell it to mass audiences. So, what you end up with is an unnecessarily long movie review. And we all know how movie reviewers write. Too many words, a lot of abstract reasoning, etc. Get on with it. Make your point.
As my high school English literature teacher used to say "Don't use a lot of unnecessary words when writing. Make your point, and make it interesting, with as few words as possible."
He would have been better off going the academic route and inserting the footnotes. Otherwise, too much of it ends up being simply his "opinion."
Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to grasp it, but I grasped Coleridge and Keats pretty well.