I purchased this book because I have been a Gene Wilder fan since I saw him in Willy Wonka. I specifically bought the audio version of the book because it was narrated by Gene himself.
That it was narrated by Gene Wilder.
His dry sense of humor.
I started this book with hopes of humorous anecdotes from the making of his more memorable films such as "Young Frankenstein" & "Blazing Saddles" and possibly a glimpse into is life with the comic genius Gilda Radner. What I got was a look at what many would perceive as a life filled with sorrow and melancholy. This autobiography portrays Gene not as a movie star or comedian but as a human being with many hurdles in his life both mentally, physically and creatively. The final chapters, his first meeting with Gilda and all they went through and ultimately the loss of her life along with how he met his current wife and his own personal struggle with cancer were the ones that really grabbed me and kept me glued to the book. I will never look at Gene Wilder the same way again. While I did not agree with his every philosophy especially those concerning marriage and family, I have a greater respect for him as celebrity and human being.
This is a wonderful book, filled with emotion from the author. I have enjoyed his movies and now I feel like I know him even better. Never a dull moment-- a great book.
Something made me want to listen to this; maybe it was seeing Blazing Saddles again. Gene Wilder has a terrific background in the theater that I was totally unaware of! It brought back a lot of the Seventies and what they represent for us baby boomers. I looked especially forward to the chapters about Gilda and was not disappointed. I had heard that he had some sort of illness but I am glad to know he is still among us and with a wonderful wife of about 20 years. Watch Blazing Saddles or Silver Streak again, you will see what I mean.
... with Gene while sitting on a swing bench on a backporch in Conneticut. That's how I felt after listening to him recount his memoirs. Even with all the bizarre trauma, he was able to muddle through and luck out into a good life. He read the book as deadpan as his delivery with just a sparkle of emotion here or there which was enough to peak my interest further. Good job.
Gene bears all while recounting his life. Nothing is held back as his warmth and comic genius is woven into the fabric of the story. My expectations were high and they were exceeded. It was a wise choice to have Gene narrate the book and he pulls it off flawlessly.
Gilder Radner does not consume the contents of the book. That was a shock but does not detract from the tale in the least. Also, Gene's interesting experience with Peter Sellers was a treat to hear. Confirms some of things often said about Sellers.
Warning, there are some tear jerking moments in this book for the more sensitive types out there. It is very funny too, of course. That being said I highly recommend this book to any Wilder fan. You will gain a great deal of insight.
...then you'll really enjoy this selection. It was really interesting to hear Gene Wilder recall these stories from his childhood and theatre/movie career. You realize just how neurotic such a talented person can be. After listening the first time, I went back and listened to a few parts again, because it's really very interesting. I recommend it.
I so enjoyed this audiobook that I ended up listening to it twice. I truly loved it, and the narration done by Gene Wilder himself only adds to the experience. What a great way to spend time finding out about such a great actor.