I enjoyed this book, and as expected, I laughed out loud multiple times. I can't imagine "reading" this book when you have the opportunity to listen to Billy Crystal read it to you. Having his voice truly made all the difference and brought the laughs.
The insights into the sports figures were especially interesting and getting a peek behind the scenes of movies like When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers was a treat.
Going back and forth between Crystal reading the book and reading it live in front of an audience was a really nice touch, I especially loved that.
Because Crystal is reading it to you, it feels intimate. So occasionally he drops facts, or lines, that are surprising, like how rich he is, or how much he dislikes someone, things that were really, very honest. I loved it. I love being surprised, and I love being surprised that I'm surprised.
I recommend this book.
Recent college grad who studied creative writing... now I bum 'round listening to other's works. Not a bad life :)
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!!
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I hesitated at first because I really don't need a comedian, even an excellent one like Crystal, to tell me what aging feels like. This is much, much beyond that. Truly laugh out loud funny and surprisingly poignant, the decades of Billy's life are full of colorful (and often famous) characters that will fascinate you if you're acquainted with them or not. Yes, there are the old guy jokes, and they're funny, but it's when he's playing straight man to what is happening to him and around him when this book really zings. This is a book that you should NOT read on paper (or screen), but listen to performed by a master joker. Great fun.
I thought all good comedians were the product of dysfunctional families. This is a very moving (if the last chapter doesn't get the waterworks going, see a professional) and enjoyable account of a family man and entertainer that thoroughly disabused me of that notion. Mr. Crystal's loving musings about his family--whether blood relatives or lifelong friends--nearly made a convert out of this sworn single person. Now there's the kind of success anyone would envy! The narration went by so fast that I had to be on the edge of my seat not to miss a single detail, but I doubt any other reader could have done the impressions or the tender memories justice.
Fans of Billy Crystal could not ask for more -- everything you love about Billy Crystal is here. The sensitive, sometimes cranky, occasionally outrageous, intelligent, thoughtful and always very funny comedian-actor-director shares his life with us as you'd expect him to -- honestly, lovingly and with sharp wit. Happy I bought the audiobook version since the stand-up chapters recorded before a live audience added so much to the experience.
I very much enjoyed this book. Billy Crystal reads the book, and it is like an 8 hour performance from him. In fact, several chapters were recorded live as performances. Billy Crystal goes through his life and his loves with his unique perspective with warmth, wit and love. You'll laugh, you'll cry . . .oy vey, what else do you want?
What a great book! Funny, authentic, and much of it feels like you are in a live audience hearing it straight from the man himself. Wonderful stories about Billy Crystal, his kids, family, Ali and the Yankees. I hope he lives another 50 years, so that I can listen to him narrating the sequel.
Unless you're use to people looking at you like your crazy be careful because you WILL laugh out loud. Billy Crystal has been a constant favorite of my family since Soap and continues to be with my kids. His life has been full of ups and downs just like everyone else only he doesn't run to the bottles & drugs like so many others. He has been blessed with talent, a wonderful family, and the chance to become friends with people he admired as a child and you're so happy for him. This book is light hearted, funny, and overall amazing. A MUST GET.
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.
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!