This is a terrific book! Now, admittedly I'm over 50 so I found the humor most poignant... For younger readers this may be harder to relate to, but I would still recommend as it foreshadows what you're in for! In short- this is hilarious!
Say something about yourself!
Chapters one and two are awesome standup. I laughed so hard I accidently woke my husband sleeping next to me, then pulled off my headphones so he could listen too. After a minute or two he was laughing with me--it was great! However, as the chapters went on it became less funny and turned ranty, you know, like grandpa does.
By chapter 14 he was literally bellyaching about what he doesn't like e.g. "fat" people, airport searches, politics bla, bla, bla. I couldn't believe it and, for me, comedy that puts down people or is just angry (for the sake of it) it's funny. Some parts of the book were amazing. One part about a boxer (I wont say more) was incredible. However, for the most part--he sound old and just not as funny anymore.
Also, he kept saying tits over, and over, and over. Even time I cringed. I know he's from an older generation (I just turned 30 and was reading it for fun) but tits? Tits! Tits! Tits! He sounded like he was 13 or something and it was endless. I just thought he'd be a little more polished. He curses throughout the whole thing which I don't mind but his obsession with tits did bother me, in a creepy way.
Like others have said, he reads this book like he just can't wait to be done with it. I think he could have slowed down a little. Some parts of the book are recorded live and those are really exciting! No matter what anyone says, in these live parts where he is on stage preforming he's a total natural!
If you are a huge Crystal fan then you will probably enjoy this. If you are in your 60s and want to go back to the generation and culture of the 60s then you will most likely enjoy this book. He really did capture the "spirit" of the 60s and 70s in a way I have never heard before. Happy readings!!
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.
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.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Mom to his 11-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.
Boy! This one was tough. After reading a few of the reviews and from how I remember many of his on-screen performances I really thought I was in for something enjoyable. This book was disappointing to say the least.
To be honest, the book as a whole was a bit difficult to swallow. I loved the dialog in regards to Mr. Crystal's success, and how he got to where he is. That sort of stuff fascinates me! How he went from a struggling stan-up comedian to hosting the Oscars had my ear. Each step of the way was brilliant. His stories about his love for his parents and his own family were great and his relationship with the New York Yankees and baseball and the game of baseball was priceless. I just didn't enjoy the quips and jokes. They were stale and (I think) really took away from a very good autobiography. Maybe it was just me.
I have always liked Billy Crystal and his career has been amazing. I could've done without the humor and on-location stand-up used to augment an otherwise excellent story about his success.
Great Autobiography...but not very funny.
Suburb walk through the life of Billy Crystal, with laughs all along the way.
I was surprised by how many celebs Billy knew as he rose to fame and yet he presents them with grace and humility.
Also he faces his age with a joke and a smile and helps the listener do the same.
What other author can poke fun at his own life with such style?
This is the only way to get through all the books I want to enjoy...and still I'm behind!
Educational, Wise and Entertaining
There really was only one character with this book and HIS world of characters.
I liked that he was so personable. Besides just reading from his book, parts are taken from live performances he has done-you can hear the live audience. I love the fact that he's famous and all but he has the same "kid issues" that we have as parents/grandparents-just a regular guy, but knows so much. Is it from growing up in Brooklyn where sports, music and family were all rolled into one and makes you wish you'd grown up there too, 'cause you might have (and probably did) missed something?
This was a book we listened too mostly all in one sitting-on a long drive heading to New York.
Sometimes the recording was a little difficult to hear-especially when he was whispering a thought.
Billy Crystal has always been one of my favorite entertainers. Reading the book might be fine and well, but listening to him in the studio or to an audience reading the chapters of this spirited biography is a joy and good medicine. I hope he feels like writing and reading what he writes more and more. Also, I hope he brings his play to San Francisco. I had to work over the holidays with hardly anybody in the office. Having his voice in my head for the last 3 hours on the Friday after Christmas while I worked on org charts and calculated numbers made me happy and sorry it ended. I love hearing about his family and famous friends. I had a ball listening to him describe meeting his dream girl (You will have to read or hear it. I am not spoiling anything.) He is so poignant it imitating people to comic and poetic effect. I didn't want to miss a word and will listen again.
This whole book is wonderful. He is a talented, rich, famous guy who has talented, rich, famous friends. However, he is a guy who loves his family. Also, I giggled a lot when he talked about his dream girl.
You want to hear him reading this book. He has a great voice. Then there are all the other voices - including his dream girl. His writing communicated love and joy, but you hear him live it.
I love what he writes about his mom and how she would call him on his birthday. I love every mention of his wife. What a partnership! That had me welling up while I was trying to move an org chart around. I giggled a few times and imagine giggling more when I remember him meeting his dream girl. I felt chills in the chapter about "letting him go."