The audio is DEFINITELY better than hard copy would have been for this book, with Billy Crystal reading.... it was like an 8 hour AMAZING show.
He was genuine, funny, transparent. I'm not sure if I sniffled and got choked up any less than I laughed out loud. Very moving story, wonderful writing, incredible performance. Highly recommend.
Billy Crystal! He gave a private performance for me as "we" walked the causeway and while "we" drove to Ft. Lauderdale for my own gig. What a delight hearing his tales in his own voice! I'm new to audio books and I haven't stopped talking about how great it was to have this book read by the author himself. I believe, especially after hearing his book, it was just like him to want us to get the full meaning of each story... that might have been lost with someone else voice. I'm in the middle of listening to it for the second time and I marvel at how pleasant his voice is and the care he put into each chapter. He wanted to get it right...and I believe...well, lol, he did!
One? ONE? That's tough...Well, one was his conversation with Charles Bronson-nothing like the exact words to get the point(s) across... Then there's his 40th birthday, and when he met his wife, and lost his father and mother...
The warmth in his voice...he is talking to you one-on-one like a friend.
Both...tears all the way around...I laughed out loud, and at many points, tears were evident -which could have been embarrassing had I not had my ear buds in-and with some of the sadder moments my eyes filled with tears and made me feel the emotions those moments were meant to share.
There's not enough time or space...just listen to it...you'll fall in love with Billy if you're not already!
Billy Crystal's performance in this book was perfect. I often listen to books while at work and I found myself laughing out loud while my co-workers looked at me as if I were loosing my mind. I could relate to many of the situations in the book. I will definitely listen to this book more than once. I plan on sharing the audio as well has purchasing the book to give as gifts.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Just like any book, this book isn't for everyone. If you don't love Billy Crystal, then don't bother. If you don't love learning about the amusing and most likely embellished reflections of an aging comedian, then don't bother. If you don't enjoy a good guy talking about his positive relationships with his family, friends and other celebrities, then don't bother.
If you do enjoy Billy Crystal's work, then spend time with this book, which is even better on the audio version because Crystal narrates it and his impersonations and voices only enhance the experience.
Crystal's reflections of his 65 years are both touching (I cried at times) and hysterical (a big belly laugh at the gym had people looking at me). As he describes his relationships, he is respectful of most everyone, and you can tell how important his family and friends are to him.
His life, for the rest of us, is fairly surreal. Who gets to throw themselves massive birthday parties that involve celebrities, playing for your favorite baseball team, etc.? The answer is: almost no one. But Crystal can, and has, and his stories of them are enjoyable and heart-felt.
I look forward to his next book.
Yes. I think he is a brilliant funny guy. Not here !
I'll give him one more shot.
I listened to half the book and could not stomach this fawning confection.
Save your money. Save your time.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
I listened to this book because, like Billy, I grew up in Long Beach in the fifties and sixties. He is three years older than me and was in my late brother's class at Long Beach High School. I remember playing softball with Billy at the East School playground. He was short back then too. I was hoping he would make a reference to the temple across the street from East School on Neptune Boulevard. A long softball drive would make it across the boulevard and hit Temple Emanuel. "Hit Emanuel" was one of our war cries. In softball terms it was the equivalent of a tape measure homer by Mickey. The book was memorable because I could personally identify with many of the references Billy made to his hometown. Beyond that, I learned many new things about Billy and the trip that brought him to where he is today. A funny and talented guy, he made me laugh, cry and remember. The live portions of the narration before an audience were like listening to new material in comedy record albums. Overall, a great listen.
The delivery was too fast, as if he's trying to read the book as quickly as possible. But the worst part is that you start disliking Billy, as he comes off self centered...and not in a good way.
Relax a bit and slow down the delivery.
He worships Ali and Mickey Mantle. Great, but he does it repeatedly. I know it's his book and his life, but it just wasn't an enjoyable read for me. But other people might like it just fine, it's just not my cup of tea.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I wasn't sure, at first, if I could enjoy 8 hours of Billy Crystal. The beginning of the book had many laugh-out loud moments as Billy discussed growing old. It particularly resonated with me, as Billy and I are very close in age and grew up in nearby Long Island towns. Billy alternated chapters of his autobiography with standup comedy routines about the joys (or horrors!) of getting old. He also ranted about people's behaviors that frustrated him, many of which I could identify with.
Billy is a very likeable guy. He couldn't have made so many wonderful and amazing friends without having a genuinely great personality. I really liked his ability to look on the bright side of life and not focus on the negative. I also found it amazing that Billy has been married to his sweetheart, Janice, since 1970! You just don't see this happening in Hollywood any more.
This was a fun, easy listen for me, and I am glad I purchased this book. It was an unexpectedly pleasant listening experience.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I'm a Billy Crystal fan. I enjoy his movies, and I liked this book.
That being said, I think that it got a lot more praise than it deserved, and I think that reading the book in front of a live audience should have disqualified it from being eligible for "best narration". It was amusing, but half of it was essentially a comedy album. Not really a fair competition.
Anyway, I enjoyed Crystal's stories, but like all comedians of a certain age, his humor frequently felt flat. It was rehashed jokes I've heard other places for years now.
Crystal's life was interesting, and the book held my attention. But the book was also about growing old, and was frequently depressing and sad. Like the movie "Mr. Saturday Night", referenced in the book with much self-awareness, I found it depressing to see a comedian I love grow old. Maybe that's not fair reason to downgrade my rating... and maybe it's a reflection of my age that I'm just not ready for a poignant swan-song from one of my favorite celebrities.
Anyway, It's an excellent performance, and pretty good story. If I didn't feel it was being vastly overrated, I would have given it an additional star, but in this case, I do feel it needs to be knocked down a peg.