I was a huge fan of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and this is an absolute essential for anyone who enjoyed the TV show as much as I did. You really get a great perspective of all the backstage problems that the writers had with the studio executives, something I don't think a viewer really thinks about when you watch an episode. He also talks a lot about his own family and parents, who were the inspiration for Frank and Marie, so he really gets into specific incidents that ended up as episodes. There are also several points in the book where he references specific speeches he gave at award shows/banquets. But instead of just reciting them, he plays the actual recorded audio from that night (I thought that was a real treat).
What a great book! Interesting, funny, good pace. The inside information and stories are just hysterical and now you can understand why this show ran 9 seasons. Phil Rosenthal is a guy you would want to get to know. So worth the listen.
Only drawback are the long silent gaps that hinder the enjoyment of the book and throw the pace off - I don't know why they did that.
Laughed out lout throughout. I hadn't watched that many 'Raymond' episodes before listening to this book, but it didn't matter as his own comedy writing and delivery was hilarious. Great summer read.
I don't think this book would have been nearly as interesting or funny as a traditional book - Phil Rosenthal does a fantastic job narrating! Plus, there are some audio clips inserted throughout this audio book.
My one criticism is the **frequent** gaps where there's no sound. At first they had me wondering if the book had stopped. They're particularly annoying because they often occur in the middle of the story. I've never experienced an audio book with gaps like this before. And, in another type of book it would have been a serious flaw. But, this book is so much fun that it's just a mild annoyance.
I never heard of Rosenthal and "Raymond" was a show I watched only when the wife had it on, but this book, and especially Rosenthal's reading of his book, is just wonderful. Hilarious at times, moving at times, it moves along at a good clip. It offers mostly good information on how he and Ray Romano and the 5 men and women writers in the backroom worked together to mine their lives. You can get a good sense of the acting skills, too. I can now see the soul that was intentionally placed in each episode. One boring part about a boring vacation, and yes, there are many mysterious spots of silence throughout this audio. Yet overall one of the best audiobooks I've heard. And I have heard dozens.
I've never seen an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, I gave away my television in 1990 before I moved to California. What irony, since tv shows come from here.
Anyway, I bought this because it was about writing. I'm into the fourth hour, and I can't turn the iPod off. Phil is funny and honest and insightful and kind. This is the first five-star rating I've given an audiobook. It's brilliant and genuine. I just wish somebody had written a book about my favorite tv series, Cheers, and done what this writer has done.