When I started this book I was concerned it was just going to be a long stand-up act. Then I thought, well how bad could that be if it were? As it turns out, Crystal brilliantly mixes the story of his life, with humor and some good advice. This is a book where the audible format far out performs the printed word. He keeps you on your toes all the time, chapters vary widely in length which I liked because he spent whatever time necessary to convey a thought. I laughed through the entire book but in the end I realized that I knew so much about Billy Crystal. I would summarize him as a bright man with all the insecurities of most comedians, who loves his wife, children and grandchildren deeply, he looks for humor in everything that happens and is an expert in finding it.
I read many good books but this is the first one that I said to myself that I needed to listen to it again in a year.
Good job Billy!
Shirley has a wonderful voice and this book is a very pleasant listen. The content however is often uninteresting. Much of the book she describes her relationship with her first husband Jack Cassidy, she always claims he was the love of her life but really cuts him to shreds. He seems to have had many affairs with both men and women, ignored his wife and children and was very jealous of their accomplishments. Shirley on the other hand did everything to please him from ignoring his affairs to participating in a threesome. That's basically the book. She often goes into lists of movies that either she or Jack had acted which are very long and boring. I found it strange at first that she would quote things she had said to others or letters that she had written but when I realized she is essence is an actress and probably have scripts for everything she ever said I guess it is to be expected. Shirley claims to still be that small town girl and I challenge anyone who listens to this book to agree with her at the end. She seems to be a very self centered person who was very superficial in all of her relationships. The men in here life were all successful perhaps the least of which is her current husband Marty, whom she has no trouble debasing by declaring that Jack Cassidy is still the only man she truly loved. One line stuck in my mind in it she says Jack and I knew our son was on drugs but weren't sure what specific drug it was. Yikes, a normal person would certainly find out.
With all of the recent biographies like Steve Jobs and Carson which really let you know the person this is more like sitting in the living room having Shirley tell you her version of her life.
I think the die hard Shirley Jones fan would like this book otherwise I would pass it by.
I have read (or listened to) almost all of John Grisham's books and I found Sycamore Row to be one of his best. It was easier to follow than many of his books with only one character with two different names. This book really dove into the inner legal proceeding of a contested will. The characters were interesting as well as the social issues addressed.
Michael Beck uses different accents throughout the book to distinguish between characters, at first I thought this was a little corny but I soon learned to appreciate it because it really helped me keep track of the characters. I found his reading excellent.
This would be a great place to start for someone who has not read Grisham.
Maybe the best indicator of a great book is how you miss it after you have finished, I really felt a void for a few days after this novel.
Growing up watching Johnny Carson gave me a quest for more information about him. This book certainly provided an insight into the very private Johnny Carson. Henry Bushkin is fair in his comments on Carson, he certainly credits him for making his career and describes the wild ride they took together. I don't know if I should envy Bushkin or pity him and that's is exactly what Bushkin was trying to explain. Imagine you're just a regular person who happens to a an attorney and at a very young age you are thrown into the deep end of the pool rubbing elbows with television and movie stars, jetting around the world with Carson as his best friend/personal assistant, it was certainly a 24/7 job.
I was very interested in the deals Johnny turned down regardless of money either because he didn't feel it was worth the trouble. At the end of the book I didn't think any less of Carson if anything I learned just how generous he was which in a strange way balanced, in my mind, the many mood swings his followers had to endure.
The book moves very quickly and I was sad when it ended. It is easy to follow. It took a short while to get use to the narrator's voice but once I did he was fine, he was easy to understand but his voice is a bit scratchy.
Although this book follows the life of this amazing person, it's much more, it explains why Arnold made all of the major decisions in his life. He is extremely fair pointing out all of the both his bad points as well as the good. Here is a man who came to the United States with next to nothing and became a successful business person, the world's best bodybuilder, one of the world's top grossing actor, led the nation in a push for physical fitness and became the governor of California. He has mingled with Presidents, business giants and celebrities and yet in his mind he is still a regular guy who just worked extremely hard and did well. It's truely the best example of the American dream. You can't listen to this book and not be motivated. Arnold did more than say that the United States of America was the greatest country in the world he proved it.
The book is read by both Arnold and Steven Lang. It's a great mixture. It's great to hear Arnold tell his story and Lang jumps in for the bulk of the book.
I was so impressed with a young Arnold buying an apartment building when most everyone else would have waited until they were better suited. He did plenty of research and began his empire when the rest of us would have still been dreaming. He is a man of action and this more than all of his other accomplishments demonstates this fact.
As Arnold indicates, don't copy all of his actions, learn from his example and improve your life and the lives of those around you. He gave up countless millions to be governor of California so he can give back to the country that allowed him to be such a success, we can all learn from his example.
This book is easy on the ears. It really lets you know this man flaws and all. Biographies are usually written slanted one way or the other but not this one. Leave it to Jobs to change the way biographies are written. It was the perfect length not too long or too short. After listening to it you will know Steve Jobs too.
At first, I was concerned that a book of such great length would too quickly loose my attention. I was surprised how interesting the book remained throughout the many chapters. Washington was such an interesting person. The author takes us through his life, exploring both his many accomplishments and the man himself. I have to admit that after listening to this book, my admiration for our first president grew quite a bit. The narrator has a clear and pleasant voice. I highly recommend this book.
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