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Publisher's Summary

Gene Wilder is one of the great comic actors who defined the 1970s and 1980s in movies. From his work with Woody Allen, to the rich group of movies he made with Mel Brooks, to his partnership on screen with Richard Pryor, Wilder's performances are still discussed and celebrated today.

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.

And don't miss Gene Wilder in Conversation with Wendy Wasserstein at the 92nd Street Y.

©2005 Gene Wilder; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Alex Award Winner, 2000

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Interesting for a number of factors.

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mary
  • east orange, NJ, USA
  • 05-08-05

funny, moving, poignant

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Brutally honest and charming

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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Gene has a rare gift for story telling

I've admired Gene for so long , I hate running but listening to him tell his story made me anxious to get outside and run just to listen to him speak . Wonderful book and wonderful to hear him read it .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

an intimate portrait

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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My love for Gene...

I really enjoyed learning more about one of my favorite actors. Such a sensitive gentle soul and a fabulous actor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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what a lovely book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and Gene Wilder's narration. He speaks with a gentle kindness and you can feel the emotion. Definitely recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed his acting, his writing not so much

This book seemed like a boring linear description of all the times Gene Wilder had sex. I was uninterested in his sex life before I heard the book and positively bored by it after. When he gets to the part where he whines that he was no longer having sex with Gilda Radner - because she was fighting stage four OVARIAN CANCER - I wanted to scream at him. What kind of jerk writes that in a book? It's so self-centered and selfish. The writing was pedestrian. Wilder was funny in his films, but I found very little amusing in his book. Sorry I bothered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating

I grew up watching Gene Wilder on the big screen. I thought I knew about him pretty well, but there is still plenty here to absorb about his life. There's some good advice too. RIP Gene Wilder and Harambe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A wonderful peek

This was a great peek into the life of an actor and a man struggling to make sense out of his past and at the same time change his present throughout his life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful