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Publisher's Summary

Charming, engaging, and surprisingly forthright, Michael Caine gives us his insider's view of Hollywood and the story of his brilliant second act.

When he was in his late 50s, Michael Caine believed his glamorous, rags-to-riches Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way were worse and worse. When one script really disappointed, he called the producer to complain about the part. The producer said, "No, no, we don't want you for the lover, we want you for the father."

Salvation came in the unlikely form of his old friend Jack Nicholson, who convinced him to give acting one more shot. What followed was not only an incredible personal transformation but also one of the most radical comebacks in film history. Learning to accept his new role both on camera and in his own life, Caine went on to win his second Oscar, be knighted by the queen, and deliver some of his best performances to date.

Now he shares the spectacular story of his life, from his humble upbringing in London's poverty-stricken Elephant and Castle, his military service, touching marriage and family life, and lively adventures with friends, to legendary meetings with fellow stars, forays as a restaurateur, and hilarious off-screen encounters from his glittering five-decade career. Caine brings his gift for storytelling and his insider's view to a tale that is funny, warm, and deeply honest.

©2010 Michael Caine Business (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Robert
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 12-21-12

Sir Michael is awesome

His story more or less from the beginning told by the man himself. It feels like he's chatting to you over tea or a drink. The story is mostly linear but jumps about here and there to address the topic at hand and wrap up a character while they are fresh in mind. Feels very conversational that way. The man lived a charmed life (after a very rough 30 year start) and seems to have a really nice outlook on the world.

He really never has a bad word to say about anyone. I'm sure in private he might, but he has the class to avoid that sort of thing so if you are looking for dirty laundry you won't find it here.

The Elephant of the title is the part of East London he came from. Didn't know it was called the Elephant and he never explains why.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • X
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 11-24-10

It's all about Alfie (and so much more)!!

What's it all about, you ask? It's all about Alfie and so much more. First of all, let's talk about the narration. If you listen to books, you already know that the narrator makes or breaks the book. Michael Caine is a great narrator. His cockney accent is unique among book narrators that I have heard and I hope he will consider narrating more books. He is so relaxed in the narration and his reading is a warm and genuine voice to his own story. Now let's talk about the book. I think what I liked best about the book is that you get so many amazing stories of old and new Hollywood. I have to admit that celebrity anecdotes, like the ones Michael Caine wrote, are a guilty pleasure of mine. In a nutshell, this book is entertaining. Buy it, listen to it, and prepare to be transported from the elephant to Hollywood. Michael Caine is the man who should be king (of Hollywood).



10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Nik
  • KNOXVILLE, TN, United States
  • 10-02-12

Great listen and I loved that the author read it

What made the experience of listening to The Elephant to Hollywood the most enjoyable?

A great peek inside his life -not just breaking into Hollywood but relationships, growing up, etc.. And I love when he would make himself laugh throughout.

What other book might you compare The Elephant to Hollywood to and why?

Rob Lowe's autobiography - both were intriguing and entertaining and it makes it better when the author reads their own work.

What does Michael Caine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hearing him share his story is so much better than reading it.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend this!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kaye
  • Tupelo, MS, United States
  • 02-14-11

A pleasure!

It was a great pleasure having Michael Caine in the car with me, telling me the fascinating story of his life and cracking jokes. What a great giggle he has!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting life, wonderful narrator!

This is a book I highly recommend. The fact that Mr. Caine narrates is definitely a bonus-it is like you are sitting across the dinner table from him. He chuckles & you can hear him smiling at some of his stories. He is a man who never lost contact with his 'working class' roots in the UK & I enjoyed every word. It is touching as he tells how he fell in love with his wife Shakira after seeing her on TV selling coffee. I like to choose books that I'll like to listen to again & there is so much detail in this book, I'm sure I will revisit this book again, like an old friend. Btw, the title refers to the place he was born/grew up-Elephant & Castle, a section of London. I laughed out loud several times in the first 20 minutes of the book, but there are many serious parts as well. A real keeper.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Conrad
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 04-03-12

Thanks again, Sir Michael!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Elephant to Hollywood to be better than the print version?

Not everybody deserves a second shot at memoir-writing--but Michael Caine does. He's a terrific storyteller, and this book offers vast amounts of new material compiled and lived since memoir #1 (

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • M
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 03-05-11

Never Make Friends With An Elephant Keeper...

Unless you have room for an Elephant. And this book was a delight, despite the fact that with his trademark voice, the elephant was always in the room. Michael Caine, has written and reads a delightful low key second autobiography. A totally unexpected treat. It has made me even rent some of the movies he talks about making, on Netflix. A boy from the Elephant who did well....and the sufi saying aside about caution entertaining elephant keepers, this one is a keeper. No mean spirited, revenge tell tales here, just a lot of really wonderful stories (Many of them Hollywood) about a really interesting guy who was able to tell the Queen a joke (she asked and you feel you are with him at the table as he also shares the joke! ) charming and entertaining, and often bittersweet. I couldn't wait to walk the dog in the park even in the dead of Chicago winter listening! His love story with his second wife out of a movie. His second career...and third...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A wonderful autobiography

Would you consider the audio edition of The Elephant to Hollywood to be better than the print version?

Michael Caine created a very intimate sound stage. Reading in his chair at home, and laughing at some of his own stories.

What did you like best about this story?

His honesty. It could have been real easy to have had a ghost writer, and just stick to the highlight reel.

What does Michael Caine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

You really feel in the room with him as he tells his tale. The way he shifts in his chair from time to time, and doesn't rush through anything Shatner style.

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

Yes, and no. This is a really good book, and something you don't want to put down but also don't want to finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • NANCAN
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • 08-15-13

Better Than I Thought

Would you try another book from Michael Caine and/or Michael Caine?

I may want to listen to Alfie.

Would you recommend The Elephant to Hollywood to your friends? Why or why not?

I like Michael Caine which is why I was interested in this story. It was interesting to hear about his background, why he chose certain roles, personal life, etc. And, as a Brit, he views his celebrity and the film industry differently.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He was perfect.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe

Any additional comments?

The very best part of this book was at the end when Michael actually giggled over something he said. He seemed very genuine.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful storyteller and fascinating life!

What made the experience of listening to The Elephant to Hollywood the most enjoyable?

Michael's wonderful writing is even better when he reads it!! He is a great storyteller with many famous friends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful