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The Garner Files: A Memoir | [James Garner, Jon Winokur]

The Garner Files: A Memoir

After suffering physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother, James Garner left home at fourteen. He became Oklahoma's first draftee of the Korean War and was awarded with two Purple Hearts before returning to the United States and settling in Los Angeles to become an actor. Working alongside some of the most renowned celebrities, including Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, and Clint Eastwood, Garner became a star in his own right, despite struggles with stage fright and depression.
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Publisher's Summary

After suffering physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother, James Garner left home at fourteen. He became Oklahoma's first draftee of the Korean War and was awarded with two Purple Hearts before returning to the United States and settling in Los Angeles to become an actor. Working alongside some of the most renowned celebrities, including Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, and Clint Eastwood, Garner became a star in his own right, despite struggles with stage fright and depression.

In The Garner Files, this revered actor and quintessential self-made man recalls "trying to decipher" William Wyler with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, breaking Doris Day's ribs, having a "heart-to-heart and eyeball-to-eyeball" with Steve McQueen, being "a card-carrying liberal---and proud of it," and much more. This audiobook features an introduction by Julie Andrews read by Wanda McCaddon.

©2011 MGB Productions, Inc. (P)2011 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (71 )
5 star
 (28)
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4.1 (65 )
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3.9 (66 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marian BOZEMAN, MT, United States 01-12-12
    Marian BOZEMAN, MT, United States 01-12-12 Member Since 2007

    Oldies Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    "The Real James Garner"

    I've always loved James Garner, the actor and the man he appears to be--and I still do. His
    life story gave me a window on a different age in a small Oklahoma town. Those experiences created the man we have all come to know.

    I admit that I'm not interested in either golf or in car racing but, whether it was the narrator or the author's words, I listened with interest and laughed.

    One of my favorite areas of the book were the brief stories at the end told by some of his family and closest friends. I felt that I had a much deeper look into the kind of man James Garner was and is.

    The only thing that was jarring to me, being of a different political viewpoint than Garner, is his heated distaste for those of the opposing party. He is, of course, welcome to his viewpoint. All that I'm saying is that I wish he (and other actors) would understand that there are two differing viewpoints in this country and we, who don't accept his premise, are rather tired of reading negative comments directed at us. It's just my opinion and it didn't change my overall thoughts about the book.

    I still recommend this book and the narrator. James Garner really IS a curmudgeon!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 08-05-13
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 08-05-13 Member Since 2001

    Letting the rest of the world go by

    HELPFUL VOTES
    714
    ratings
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    184
    161
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    "Book moves smoothly"

    If your a fan, you'll like it. If not, you won't. I'm fan and liked it. He tells a good story and keeps the book moving at a smooth pace and does reveal things about who he really is.

    The narrator was so good at capturing what my imagination thinks of as the essence of who James Garner is I would often have to remind myself that it wasn't James Garner narrating the book himself. I know darn well months from now my memory will make me forget that it wasn't James Garner who narrated this book because the narrator does such a good job.

    In addition to Garner fans, golfers and race car enthusiast will appreciate this book since they are both a large part of what made Garner's life complete.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Bethel Park, PA, United States 05-15-12
    Bruce Bethel Park, PA, United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2003

    Retired Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Now I Know Why I Liked Him So Much!"
    If you could sum up The Garner Files in three words, what would they be?

    Great Life Story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garner Files?

    I thought the info on his military experience was honest and gave some insight into what makes Garner Garner.


    What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

    At times I thought Jim Garner was telling the tale - not a narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My strongest reaction was probably shared anger at some of the jerks that Garner met with and had to deal with along the way.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this - I have been a huge fan of his work, and while I often felt he was playing himself - not really acting - I always thought he gave his audience way more than their money's worth!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Markham mn 05-07-12
    A. Markham mn 05-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Country music fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "A very good book. It told his whole life story"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It was interesting and never dragged down. I thought his life is very interesting. I have always enjoyed watching his movies and TV programs


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 11-14-11
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 11-14-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a disappointment."

    James Garner has always been a favorite of mine. I was looking forward to hearing more about him. Mid-way through the first download I gave up. I almost didn't buy the book because Michael Kramer was the narrator. I should have gone with my first thought. His delivery came across as snide and gossipy, picture the person at the edge of the room full of people leaning into the person next to him and whispering behind his hand. The sonorous voice and flat affect were just too much to continue listening to. What a disappointment.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marty Williamsburg, VA, United States 11-29-11
    marty Williamsburg, VA, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Disappointed in Narrator"
    Would you try another book from James Garner and Jon Winokur and/or Michael Kramer?

    Not likely.


    What could James Garner and Jon Winokur have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    different Narrator.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Kramer?

    will check before I get another book with this narrator


    Any additional comments?

    Probably will not be able to finish listening.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amanda 08-25-14
    amanda 08-25-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    3
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    "just ok"
    What did you like best about The Garner Files? What did you like least?

    Interesting take on Hollywood establishment.Pretty liberal for a guy of his generation, especially pot smoking reference.A great family man.


    Would you ever listen to anything by James Garner and Jon Winokur again?

    Probably not


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    should have been read by the author


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norvin redding, ca, United States 08-05-14
    Norvin redding, ca, United States 08-05-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "very poor bio"
    Would you try another book from James Garner and Jon Winokur and/or Michael Kramer?

    not if my life was on the line this book was a bore from the time i picked it up till i turned it off


    What was most disappointing about James Garner and Jon Winokur ’s story?

    2 chapters of golfing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Morgan Porterville, CA USA 09-30-12
    Randy Morgan Porterville, CA USA 09-30-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Engaging and thougtful read"

    I loved having the opportunity to hear stories of Garner's experiences in the tv and film industries and his interaction with other personalities. A totally enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judelon Ingram Chicago, IL 06-22-12
    Judelon Ingram Chicago, IL 06-22-12

    kindlivy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Michael Kramer is the perfect choice"
    What did you love best about The Garner Files?

    James Garner's voice and personality come through completely, and unvarnished. What you see, is what you get.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was surprised to hear about some of the company he's kept over the years, and what he had to say about them.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

    Doesn't really apply, since it's a bio.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but I was eager to get back to it.


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the best material comes in the outtakes, where friends, family, and associates are telling stories about James Garner.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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