As a young kid growing up in a farm town, Ross Mathews might as well have wished for a pet unicorn or a calorie-free cookie tree to grow in his front yard. Either of those far-fetched fantasies would have been more likely to come true than his real dream: working in television in Hollywood, California. Seriously, that stuff just doesn't happen to people like Ross. But guess what. It totally did.
I was not a fan of Jay Leno so while I knew about "Ross The Intern", I had not seen a lot of his work. I am a huge fan of memoirs and biographies and with an addiction that finishes off 1 to 4 books a week, I was desperate for a new read and decided to give Ross a chance. Man am I glad I did!!!
This book is the perfect combination of reflection on our world over the past decades, the story of a boy who knew at an early age what he wanted to be, a hilarious writing that, while like "stand-up" comedy is better than any stand-up comedian, and includes great writing using all of the fun things like massive amounts of alliteration and interweaving that we are told in English class never to overuse yet are all used masterfully here.
Again, not knowing much about Ross or his Leno character, I was not approaching this book as a fan, but boy did I become one. I hope Ross does more books and narrates them because the humor and hilarious look at life that he brought out in this book need to continue.
I cannot stress enough how much fun it was listening to Ross discuss Americana and his growing up in it. He is a true talent when it comes to storytelling and philosophizing on our world, and to not have him give us more Ross Matthews Material would be a crime, a shame, and several other bad things.
There I Go Again is a celebrity memoir like no other, revealing the life of a man whose acting career has been so rich that millions of Americans know his face even while they might not recognize his name. William Daniels is an enigma - a rare chameleon who has enjoyed massive success both in Hollywood and on Broadway and been embraced by fans of successive generations. Few of his peers inspire the fervor with which buffs celebrate his most iconic roles, among them George Feeny in Boy Meets World.
I loved William Daniels from his years on St. Elsewhere and wanted to hear behind the scenes stories of everything from his time on the set of St. Elsewhere, to his time on the set of "The Graduate", to his work as KITT. I know it may seem shallow to want to hear about making tv shows and movies, but that is kind of why we buy star memoirs.
You get very little St. Elsewhere, movies, or tv at all for that matter. You get a little bit of "The Graduate".
Towards the end he does cover playing Mr. Feeny and walks you through the last day on set of that show, and there is a great interview comparing "1776" to "Hamilton", but other than that, you get:
His childhood, from shows he did to foods he was fed, in great detail.
His military years, in great detail.
His times of not taking shows and his wife carrying them as a soap opera star.
Again, the story they lived is their story, but my idea of a memoir is to tell me stories of what I know you for (ie, stories of working on the shows I know you from), and then if something from your life outside of acting plays a part in those stories, so be it.
When I hear an actor giving their grandmother's or mother's recipes during a memoir, I know they are trying to fill the book up just like their mother was trying to fill them up, and I do not like that.
Unless a serious Daniels fan, I would avoid.
Note: William Daniels is one of the most famous voices in history but he does not narrate this book. Tom Perkins that does narrate this book does a fantastic job of doing so, and I realized after awhile that I would prefer hearing Perkins rather than the voice of KITT for hours. So kudos to Perkins for a fine narration!
After a brief yet exalted career that resulted in the acclaimed films Badlands and Days of Heaven, director Terrence Malick shunned the public eye and, seemingly, his talents. In The Absence of Malick, David Handelman renders the scope and mystery of Malick's disappearance and, against all odds, finds him on the other end of a phone call.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Educational and provides some backstories on Hollywood that I had never heard.
I gave the book a 4 on Overall and Story because at one or two points in the book, it backtracks over itself and basically does the same material again. Not for great amounts of time, but for a book this short, it is kind of hard to rate it a 5 out of 5 when you suddenly find yourself going over material, pretty much word for word, that you had heard earlier.
For Hollywood fans desperate for a book, this is worth buying, but at its low cost, I would not use a credit.
Did you know that the dog who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz earned more money for the film than any of the munchkins did? Or that three quarters of the women James Bond has slept with have tried to kill him? Would you be surprised to find out that censors in New Zealand cut The Muppet Movie because (according to them) it featured scenes of gratuitous violence?
While not all of the greats are here, and not all that is here is great, this is a very enjoyable book of trivia that not only entertains but educates about how quickly some hits made their money, and how slowly some classics found their stride.
Recommend for trivia buffs.
Find 365 memorable quotes from all of your favorite movies! These entertaining quotes will make any day better.
While not all of the quotes are the greatest ever, this book of modern-day quotes (not a lot of "Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn" or "You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat" era quotes here) does a good job of providing quotes that can be used at times.
Not all the greats are here, and not all that are here are great, but all in all, an enjoyable and educational listen.
In this entertaining and insightful essay, Mario Puzo chronicles his rise from struggling writer to overnight success after the publication of The Godfather.
With equal parts cynicism and humor, Puzo recounts the book deal and his experiences in Hollywood while writing the screenplay for the movie. Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Evans, Peter Bart, Marlon Brando, and Al Pacino all make appearances - as does Frank Sinatra, in his famous and disastrous encounter with Puzo. First published in 1972, the essay is now available as an audiobook for the first time.
This is the second book I have read on the making of The Godfather, and it is by far the better as well as most enjoyable.
The book is very educational about Mario Puzo, the road that brought him to write The Godfather, and the road that brought it to the silver screen.
The subject and material are great and would have been with almost any narrator but I have to take a minute to stress something and hope Audible sees it and takes it to heart: Narrator Max Casella was absolutely one of the most fun, most enjoyable narrators I have heard out of hundreds of audible books. The term "words roll off the tongue" has never so accurately described a narrator. I cannot stress enough that Casella made this book so much fun to listen to and so enjoyable.
Another fact is that the book is well produced. I have researched and spent more than one typically would to have a high-end speaker and headphones to listen to my books, but some are so much quieter than others. This book is produced well enough I only had to run my speaker at about 60%. And, I put the speaker in a ziplock bag to be able to use it in the shower, and the book still only had to be turned up around 70% to play through a bag with water running.
At 100%, some books do not project well even on my headphones, let alone in a bag in a shower. Audible, please set some kind of production standards on books so that they sound as good as this one!!!!
A very enjoyable read... and I am not even a fan of The Godfather!!
When movies cost hundreds of millions to make and market, the magnitude of the wagers is astonishing. Vast riches rain down on those who gamble wisely, and careers are made and lost in one weekend. But never is this box-office race more feverish than during the summer blockbuster season, when the studios roll out their most expensive, effects-laden pictures in a feverish race to win the box-office derby. Peter Bart here brings us a marvelously entertaining behind-the-scenes portrait of moviemaking.
A great study of the movies of 1998 and a comparison between those films, their filmmakers, and the films of other eras.
Most of the books I read are memoirs or studies of the entertainment industry, and this book does a great job telling the stories of some of Hollywood's biggest movies, biggest personalities, and all of the business it takes to bring the silver screen to your hometown.
Very enjoyable both for the history of film and the stories behind the industry.
Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty - a 20-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead).
When I was 12 years old, I lost my first close family member when my maternal grandmother passed away. Over the two or three days of being at the funeral home, us grandkids got bored enough that one of the funeral home directors gave us an in-depth tour of the funeral home.
The oversized freezer, where the hearses were stored and serviced, even going as far as taking us to the embalming room and walking us through the embalming process in amazing detail.
Would a parent want their child to learn what their grandmother "went through"? When I told my mom about the tour, she was sorry she missed it! If I didn't have an interest in funeral homes before, that tour sparked a lifelong interest.
(Note to younger readers: In the 1980's, viewings and funerals were not done in one day as the trend is now. You actually spent several days at the funeral home "receiving" mourners. Of course, most of the mourners for a woman in her 60's were not there to see us grandkids, so we were free to be educated in the dark arts of the funeral industry).
I have read several books on Audible that are memoirs of those working in the funeral industry or some aspect of it (morgue workers, coroners, funeral home operators, etc). So many of them fall way short in pulling back any kind of curtain on the industry.
Well, look no further!! This book covers everything from how many applications it takes just to get a crematory job, to initial jitters. to how to handle it when the body conveyor belt breaks with mourners looking on, to all of the little things you may have never even thought about needing to know about working in the crematorium industry.
And apart from the industry itself, you learn about what brings people to their end and how to view it when dealing with suicides, floaters pulled from rivers, even dead babies.
By far the best book on the industry I have read.
Frank W. Abagnale was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was 21. His story is now a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
The narrator did a great job so let's start out with a 5 for that, as he did a great many voices and covered the story quite well.
The story covered the glam of his on the run years and his prison stints in France and Sweden well, but then stopped when he escapes the airplane. The book does not go into his being recaptured and offered a job to catch criminals, etc at the end of the book.
I actually logged on to make sure I had not missed downloading a section of the book, as it stops so abruptly.
Now the book is fantastic, it really is. A great read and I recommend it. But I couldn't quite give it a 5 when it jumps off the cliff so quickly without going into how he was finally recaptured and offered a job with the FBI. He does open the book discussing the fact that his services are now used, but the book truly comes to an abrupt halt when he escapes the plane and pursuing officers.
I would highly recommend it but be prepared to wish for more.
Jenna Fischer's Hollywood journey began at the age of 22 when she moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of St. Louis. She was determined, confident, and ready to work hard. So, what could go wrong? Uh, basically everything. The path to being a professional actor was so much more vast and competitive than she’d imagined. It would be eight long years before she landed her iconic role on The Office, nearly a decade of frustration, rejection, and doubt. If only she’d had a handbook for the aspiring actor. Or, better yet, someone to show her the way. Jenna wants to be that person for you.
A decade. That is how long Jenna Fischer spent just to get parts that would help pay the rent. How did she pay the rent up till then you ask? Office receptionist... as she tells it, she was basically Pam.
"The Actor's Life" does a great job of giving advice, interviewing others in the business, and giving a real-world look at the supposedly glamorous and overnight fame of acting.
The book was a joy to read if you are a fan of Hollywood, tv, and movies, or Jenna Fischer. But it is especially useful if you or someone you love is planning to be an actor.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful