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Publisher's Summary

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero's nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau's last-second offer to Sestero of co-starring with him in The Room, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct - in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.

Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless, Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like "getting stabbed in the head".

The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.

©2013 Greg Sestero and Thomas Carlisle Bissell (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This downright thrilling book is a lot like watching Tim Burton's Ed Wood: it's sometimes infuriating, often excruciating, usually very funny, and occasionally horribly uncomfortable, but it's also impossible to look away from." ( Booklist, Starred Review)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It Starts coming Together

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Unfortunately, I wouldn't because most of my friends haven't seen "The Room," but for the few who have, definitely. I think this book is strongest for fans of "The Room".

What other book might you compare The Disaster Artist to and why?

I have no earthly clue, it's a memoir describing the creation of a cult classic that jumps between its production and the events leading up to it. I literally can't think of a single book I've read or listened to like this one.

Which character – as performed by Greg Sestero – was your favorite?

His imitation of Tommy Wisseau is phenomenal. He could start a TPW animated show playing Tommy and I'd watch it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Can you really trust anyone?"

Any additional comments?

I reiterate that this book is definitely for those who've seen "The Room" and love its wonderful absurdity. I think that may be a prerequisite to reading this.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 02-05-18

The book is harsher than the movie

What did you like best about The Disaster Artist? What did you like least?

What I liked best about the Disaster Artists was the author's attempt to understand Tommy since he is a character like none other. What I liked the least is Tommy. He is an incredibly uncomfortable and bizarre person.

Have you listened to any of Greg Sestero’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any of Greg Sestero's performances before, but I thought he did a great job narrating. His impression of Tommy was spot on and that really made the performance.

Do you think The Disaster Artist needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

If Greg were to write a follow-up book, it would be interesting to hear how his life and relationship with Tommy has evolved since the movie "The Disaster Artist" was released.

Any additional comments?

Full disclosure, I have never seen the movie "The Room", but I have seen numerous clips from the movie and know a decent amount about the movie, the plot and the notorious reputation that follows the movie and all those who have touched it. I did see the movie "The Disaster Artist" before reading the book the movie is based on. I was surprised to see how nicely the movie played up Tommy and how innocent and naive they made Greg out to be. In the book, Tommy isn't portrayed in such a flattering light, but Greg does really seem to express what is so captivating about Tommy.

The book was an entertaining read, but Tommy was exhausting and started to really annoy me, which made it a little challenging to continue with the book. What can you say? Tommy is like a train wreck that you can't look away from.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You Have to Listen to This Book!

What did you love best about The Disaster Artist?

This story is hilarious and extremely insightful. The narrator gives firsthand accounts of the insane magic of The Room and Tommy Wiseau himself. His impersonation of Tommy is spot on and so much fun to hear. The writing in general is clear and funny, especially in the various eccentric elements of Tommy Wiseau's life. This also provides a little insight into the life of a young struggling actor which was a nice offshoot I didn't expect.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Disaster Artist?

That is hard to choose. Probably Tommy's acting scenes.

What about Greg Sestero’s performance did you like?

Extremely well done. A few words are blurred but it hardly matters. He nails the most important aspect which is Tommy's voice.

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

Yes, absolutely. It's great and terrible that it's only 11 hours, because I loved every minute and couldn't stop listening.

Any additional comments?

Definitely, definitely worth your money. It doesn't matter if you've seen The Room or heard of Tommy Wiseau before. If you haven't you'll want to, and if you have, it will be that much better knowing what went on behind the scenes of the best bad movie ever made.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining. Haunting. Oddly Inspiring.

What did you like best about this story?

This book, like the movie, is a dark comedy. Its content is kinda sad but still makes you laugh. I also was surprised how inspired I was by Tommy's confidence and how Greg seemed to describe someone like Tommy without sugar coating it... but also not bashing him? It's interesting. I have been recommending this book to my friends since the first chapter and don't plan on stopping. What I'm hoping will stop is my sudden bursts into the Tommy accents but it is "Verrrrryy haard to staaahp! Mygod!!"

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Look at Hollywood

I was not familiar with 'The Room', but when this title went on sale I took a flyer on it. It's the story of the making of 'The Room', a movie so bad it's great, and it's eccentric writer/producer/director.

I'm glad I did. The book is fascinating on several levels. The story is funny and poignant. This book is actually being made into a movie about making this movie.

I could only give the narration four stars, not because of the narrator himself, but because of several production glitches. Several times there are noticeable changes in audio level and what they call 'room tone'. It sounds like they recorded segments in different studios.

Again the author/narrator was fine, it's just the audio production that has minor issues.

Anyone with the slightest interest in how our entertainment is created will enjoy this book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A funny, moving, and even dark true story.

Where does The Disaster Artist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It ranks amongst the top. It is incredibly engaging, entertaining, and fascinating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Disaster Artist?

Learning about the dark aspects of Tommy Wiseau and his absolutely bizarre and creepy personality.

What about Greg Sestero’s performance did you like?

He reads it very well and since it's a big part of his life, it sounds like he speaks from his heart.
And his impression of Tommy Wiseau is brilliant.

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

It's something that I could definitely sit all eleven hours through listening.

Any additional comments?

If you have seen The Room - that horrid thing that has the audacity to be called a movie - and want to know what Tommy Wiseau is and how this horrible thing was made, this is a must read.
And you get so much more than that. It's genuine, hilarious, and intriguing.

It's the polar opposite of The Room. And it also lends credence to the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction."

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great book that suffers from a poor reading

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story is very interesting and is written with a lot of humor and a surprising amount of sweetness. As a bonus, Greg Sestero does a dead-on impression of Tommy Wiseau. I got this audiobook at a reduced price because I purchased the e-book, and I have to say I liked reading the book more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Greg has known Tommy for more than 15 years and it shows. If you're purchasing this book it's probably because you're already a fan of "The Room." Hearing Tommy's interaction with Greg in his distinctive accent is a lot of fun.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Greg Sestero is supposed to be an actor, but his reading is very flat. He mispronounces a few things in the book like the name of Cecil B. De Mille and the word "gusto." This book was co-written with someone and I have a feeling that he didn't write much of it. You get the feeling that he's reading it for the first time in front of a classroom. I never got absorbed in the story like I have with other audiobooks.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Greg speculates on Tommy's mysterious past, it's very touching.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

You are taking me apart!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, this audiobook was hilarious. I have to admit I had never heard of The Room prior to listening to this book, but I had to stop half way through, buy a copy, and watch it, just so I could even more completely enjoy the book. Absolutely amazing. Unfortunately now I'm cursed and will probably never be able to stop watching it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tommy - obvs. Greg does a good job of making someone who I would think is a total dufus had I just watched the film and read the credits into a real person who the listener actually relate to and admire - in some sick and twisted way.

Which character – as performed by Greg Sestero – was your favorite?

Tommy. Greg Sestero does a MASTERFUL job of bringing Tommy to life in this audio book. I have to admit that, while the writing and subject matter are very interesting, it's actually Greg's performance (primarily of Tommy) which makes this audiobook good. He actually does a great job with everyone else's "ok"'s no matter what crazy thing Tommy asks for, but his vocal portrayal of Tommy makes me want to listen to this book over and over. I doubt the book would been as deliriously enjoyable in print.

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

Nope. I had to break to watch the movie! Plus I didn't want it to end.

Any additional comments?

Absolutely one of the most enjoyable and entertaining audiobooks I've listened to in a long time. Greg Sestero's performance was amazing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alexander
  • Greencastle, IN, United States
  • 08-04-15

Wow

i have listened to hundreds of audiobooks. this book is 1 in 100. Greg Sestero's performance is incredible and his voice in the text is so strong. Combined with Bissell's unique strength in narrative, this audiobook is a force. Do not even think of trying to read this when you get so much more from the reading of the audiobook.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A cautionary tale for any young actor

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This is a great book for any young actor thinking about moving to LA. Being well beyond young or new to LA these tales ring true based on the anecdotal stories of friends and colleagues - none of which were involved with this film.

What didn’t you like about Greg Sestero’s performance?

Greg's performance is a bit inconsistent at the top of certain chapters his resonance changes. It feels like he's not warmed up or has gone back to re - record. Overall this is an very good first audiobook performance from the actor.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful