Once called a legend in his own time slot, Garry Marshall has been among the most successful writers, directors, and producers in America for more than five decades. In My Happy Days in Hollywood, Marshall takes us on a journey from his stickball-playing days in the Bronx to his time at the helm of some of the most popular television series and movies of all time, sharing the joys and challenges of working with the Fonz and the young Julia Roberts, the “street performer” Robin Williams, and the young Anne Hathaway, among many others.
If you’re looking for something trashy-tell all behind the scenes Hollywood saga, then you’ll have to keep looking because this isn’t it. But this is a good book, enjoyable really even if it skates on the surface at very quick pace, in fact, so fast it barely scratches the surface. In fact, a better descriptive name for this would have been “My life in Hollywood, an overview without depth and insight”. However the central problem with this with book is no conflict. Good stories have conflict. And it doesn’t matter what kind of story it is, you gotta have conflict and there ain’t no conflict here, which is surprising from a man who has earned his living by writing and filming conflict driven stories. Again I have to say, the near perfectly written autobiography, in or out of Hollywood, is Frank Langella’s Dropping Names. So while this book isn’t bad either and although it drops enormous names it’s no Frank Langella telling the tale.
For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation’s most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. In this humorous and evocative book, we get to hear Cavett's best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics.
I found Dick to be flaccid and angry. He dislikes fat people, conservatives and Republicans but mostly the Dick dislikes Americans. He seems upset that we aren’t French, or, at the least, European.
I have an idear…yeah, that’s right idear and I’m proud it. I know who I am. My idear is for the Dick to move to Europe and when we Americans finally snap out of it and become the effete whine lovers he wants us to be, we’ll call him and he move back and disapprove of us from another angle. But don’t come prematurely, Dick. We’ll call you when it’s safe.
The good news is Dick writes for a newspaper so his babbling will go unnoticed. Now if we could just get him to stop writing books. Well I’m being generous. This isn’t actually a book its mean spirited hissing of an old guy stuck in 1970 something. I’m an old guy too. I was there in the 1970 somethings. The entire decade dreadful. Move along. Get new stories. But he doesn’t and with the Dick’s second cheap shot at Richard Nixon within a few pages of the first one, you think “Oh come on Dick, straighten up. Dick Nixon was a dick we all know that. Get over it, or on it, or whatever you’re pleasure is with that sort of thing, but again, move along.”
He does move into more recent times by going on about the word “nuclear” and George Bush. What about Jimmy Carter’s repeated malicious attacks on the word. Remember that? “Nu-ca-Lar”. It took the world an entire year before we figured out he wasn’t talking about a newly discovered planet. But Carter and his God awful diction doesn’t get rammed by the dick. That would be politically incorrect.
Isn’t that so very sad? Dick Cavett has joined the ranks of scared, thin lipped set. In his prime Dick Cavetti was a cool breeze. He defined politically incorrect AND he was likable and independent we rooted for him because he seemed to be amused by it all. What happened to that guy and who the hell replaced him with this mean spirited little twerp? For those of you don’t know…and you won’t learn this from any of his recent writing…Dick Cavett was a very funny guy. Very funny. And a rapid fire witty as well. Where did that go? It’s not in this compilation…that’s me being polite and calling this a compilation but not discribing what it is a compilation of…..that would be mean spirtied. That doesn’t mean that everything the guy writes has to be funny and so on, but it doesn’t have to be this tripe either.
Anyway, back to dick pile, he might have fired more shots across poor Nixon’s coffin, I don’t know. I stopped reading after the second groin punch at a guy who isn’t here to defend himself. Besides, life is too short for this short of limp wristed snippiness of a pompous angry little man. On the up side, Cavett does go on to tell us about his battle with depression which he apparently won, but I don’t see how that give him the right to dishearten the rest of us with this ingratiating writing.
Here is the problem with the dick. He’s a very smart, funny, observant self-made man of incredible accomplishments and he can do better than go on with these smarmy swipes at the human race.
Have I called this work childish and tiresome? Let me check….no…so it’s childish and tiresome too but only because it comes from such an exceptional, urbane wit who really better than this.
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True Prep is a contemporary look at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapt to the new order of things. Birnbach considers the prep attitude towards money (ambivalent), schools (good investment), wardrobe (now your clothes fit), work (some careers will never be prep), decorating (ask mummy), scandal (including rehab and prison), and food and drink (with some classic recipes for both).
I’ve checked and unfortunately there is no federal law against being cutesy-wotsey in writing style and, I’m told, therefore the authors cannot be deported for churning this pile of words out and I doubt that Audible will return my money.
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