Just wanted to put a few quick notes down about this recent book on Welles, published last month by Cambridge UP, as part of their ongoing series about various directors. Garis was an English professor best known for ballet criticism, publishing a book about George Ballachine among other works. He also wrote about Preston Sturges, Ophuls, and Frederick Wiseman. He died a couple years ago after finishing this book.
Anyhow, it's a slim volume, covering Welles' major works, with emphasis given to Kane, Ambersons, Shanghai, Touch of Evil, and the Shakespeare films. Pictures are mediocre, consisting of shots most of us have probably seen before, on more than one occasion.
Garis will no doubt still some readers up, because, even though he is sympathetic to Welles overall, he has some controversial opinions. I'll add the exact quote later, but it's hard to take Garis seriously when he claims that after Chimes, Welles made nothing that mattered. He also describes the footage he viewed of The Other Side of the Wind as "technically incompetent" and embarrassing. But his most controversial statement for some may be when he argues that the primary damage to Ambersons was not the loss of 43 minutes, but the change in the ending. He describes some of the changes made, based on Carringer's book, and argues that they likely didn't add much, just re-iterated points already made in the film. His contention that the change in the ending is most damaging overall is one I tend to agree with, but I think he's off base in regard to the rest of the cuts.
My main problem with the book is Garis' apparent lack of research; he has, based on the bibliography, read only the main books on Welles, ie the major biographies and a couple other works. He discusses Lady From Shanghai, for example, without considering any of the behind the scenes goings-on, such as the footage chopped out of the film.
All that being said, there are some interesting points to be made, but this isn't an essential book on Welles based on what I've read so far. I should note I have yet to read the Shakespearean films chapter, which looks to be the most substantial in the book.