Kiss Me Like a Stranger is an intimate glimpse of the man behind the image on the screen. In this audiobook, Wilder talks about everything from his experiences in psychoanalysis to why he got into comedy (his first goal was to be a Shakespearean actor) to how a midwestern childhood with a sick mother changed him. He writes about the creative process on stage and on screen, and divulges moments from life on the sets of some of the most iconic movies of our time.
Wilder also opens up about his search for love and his marriages, including his marriage to comedienne Gilda Radner. But the core of Kiss Me Like a Stranger is an actor's search for truth and a thoughtful analysis of why the choices he made, some of them so serendipitous they were practically accidental, changed the course of his life.
Listen to a Fresh Air interview with Gene Wilder.
©2005 Gene Wilder; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"A gracious, endearing book....[Wilder] writes with striking candor." (The New York Times)
"Pure Gene Wilder! Uproarishly funny and at times very moving. It made me want to go out and see every Gene Wilder movie again." (Mel Brooks)
Gene Wilder, in telling about his career, leaves enough hints for the aspiring actor, director and producer to better themselves. There are joyous moments and there are sad moments. But there isn't a moment where you'll lose interest.
I don't know why but I am always surprised to find that even the rich and famous are plagued by the same problems and insecurities everyone else has. Yes, certain parts of the book are painful to read but who's life story is without pain? I was very touched and found it moving. And yes, it did bring to mind the many funny movies Gene Wilder has been in and I hope they have made it to dvd because I wouldn't mind seeing them all over again.
It becomes clear that the early segment of Wilder's narrative parallels years of sessions with his therapist--touching and painful and ultimately leading to growth as an artist and as a man, flawed but fascinating. I can't imagine this book read by anyone but the author, especially given that his credo as an actor is to make it real. It definitely makes one want to go back to a number of his movies, especially some of the lesser-known ones.
Gene Wilder discusses his childhood; his parents, his marriages; with brutal honesty and charm. Truly an unexpected glimpse into a great mind; more than I expected in some areas, less than I wanted in others; Bravo Mr. Wilder-- would like to read more of your writings!
In spite of Mel Brooks review, the book is not funny. It occasionally reaches for amusing. It did make me want to see a few of Wilder's movies again. Mostly the stories are painful to hear but they were interesting enough for me to finish the book.
I purchased this book because I have been a Gene Wilder fan since I saw him in Willy Wonka. I specifically bought the audio version of the book because it was narrated by Gene himself.
That it was narrated by Gene Wilder.
His dry sense of humor.
I started this book with hopes of humorous anecdotes from the making of his more memorable films such as "Young Frankenstein" & "Blazing Saddles" and possibly a glimpse into is life with the comic genius Gilda Radner. What I got was a look at what many would perceive as a life filled with sorrow and melancholy. This autobiography portrays Gene not as a movie star or comedian but as a human being with many hurdles in his life both mentally, physically and creatively. The final chapters, his first meeting with Gilda and all they went through and ultimately the loss of her life along with how he met his current wife and his own personal struggle with cancer were the ones that really grabbed me and kept me glued to the book. I will never look at Gene Wilder the same way again. While I did not agree with his every philosophy especially those concerning marriage and family, I have a greater respect for him as celebrity and human being.
This is a wonderful book, filled with emotion from the author. I have enjoyed his movies and now I feel like I know him even better. Never a dull moment-- a great book.
Something made me want to listen to this; maybe it was seeing Blazing Saddles again. Gene Wilder has a terrific background in the theater that I was totally unaware of! It brought back a lot of the Seventies and what they represent for us baby boomers. I looked especially forward to the chapters about Gilda and was not disappointed. I had heard that he had some sort of illness but I am glad to know he is still among us and with a wonderful wife of about 20 years. Watch Blazing Saddles or Silver Streak again, you will see what I mean.
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