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1. My Life So Far
$16.29 list($23.95)
2. Down Came the Rain : My Journey
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3. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
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4. Sinatra : The Life
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5. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain
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6. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
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7. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated
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8. By Myself and Then Some
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9. Silent Bob Speaks : The Collected
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10. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search
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11. How to Make Love Like a Porn Star:
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12. A Paper Life
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13. Guru : My Days with Del Close
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14. Why Sinatra Matters
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15. Cary Grant : A Biography
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16. Brilliant Madness : Living with
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17. James Dean : Fifty Years Ago
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18. Against All Odds: My Story
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19. If Chins Could Kill : Confessions
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20. The Amorous Busboy of Decatur

1. My Life So Far
by Jane Fonda
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 0375507108
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 294
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Amazon.com

One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda

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Nine to Five

Coming Home

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See more Fonda DVDs ... Read more


2. Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depression
by Brooke Shields
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 1401301894
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 612967
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Book Description

In this compelling memoir, Brooke Shields talks candidly about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, and provides millions of women with an inspiring example of recovery.

When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan Francis, into the world, something unexpected followed-a crippling depression. Now, for the first time ever, in Down Came the Rain, Brooke talks about the trials, tribulations, and finally the triumphs that occurred before, during, and after the birth of her daughter.

In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, America's sweetheart Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled this debilitating condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers. She discusses the illness in the context of her life, including her struggle to get pregnant, the high expectations she had for herself and that others placed on her as a new mom, and the role of her husband, friends, and family as she struggled to attain her maternal footing in the midst of a disabling depression. And, ultimately, Brooke shares how she found a way out through talk therapy, medication, and time.

Exhibiting an informed voice and a self-deprecating sense of humor, this first memoir from a woman who has grown up before the eyes of the world is certain to attract the attention and empathy of many new mothers and fans alike. ... Read more


3. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
by GoldieHawn
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152857
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 173
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An inspiring and unconventional memoir from one of the world's most beloved actresses.

Goldie Hawn's life is an ongoing tableau of stories, and she has a born knack for telling them. In this candid and insightful book, Goldie invites us to join her in a look back at the people, places, and events that have touched her. It is the spiritual journey of a heart in search of enlightenment.

With her trademark effervescent humor, Goldie tells us about the lessons she's learned and the wisdom she feels she's been given in the hope of giving something back. Not a Hollywood "tell-all," A Lotus Grows in the Mud is a very personal look at moments private and powerful: her delight in her father's spirited spontaneity; the confidence instilled in her by her mother; the unexpected gifts of comfort from strangers many miles from home; and the joy of being a daughter, a sister, a lover, and a parent. This memoir is Goldie's chance to talk about everything from anger and fear to love, compassion, integrity, and friendship, to the importance of family and the challenges of show business.

Goldie writes about her younger self-the little girl who felt like an ugly duckling-and growing up in suburbia dreaming of becoming a ballerina. She takes us on a tour of her go-go dancing years in New York in the sixties, her phenomenal success on TV's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and then on to the world of Hollywood stardom and such memorable films as the Oscar-winning Cactus Flower, Swing Shift, and Private Benjamin.

A Lotus Grows in the Mud speaks of her relationship with her family-her partner, Kurt Russell; her children, Kate Hudson, Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, and her stepson, Boston Russell-her growing faith, her curiosity for that which she doesn't yet know, and her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. Most of all, it is a trip back through a life well lived by a woman well loved.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful person...
I was walking thru one of my favorite superstores when I came across this book - the always beautiful woman made me notice the cover but the title made me pick up this book containing steps of her journey thru life.

At first I was a little intimidated or should we say annoyed with the size of this book.Memoirs are normally not this large in size and I immediately wondered what piles of conceit can someone so young in life have to say. I expected this from maybe Oprah but not Goldie.And that was not an attack on neither person but more of an explanation of what I have seen from the work and travels of both women. I later became glad the book contained such volume, for there was no way to tell her tale in short for the tale would have been missing all the reasons life is beautiful.

I have not had the fortune of seeing all of her movies, but I will say I have had the fortune of reading this book.And her spirit is lovely.She does not force her beliefs on the reader but more of explains how she came across these beliefs.

How very unfortunate if you don't find this book enjoyable.I or the rest of the reviewers who are watching the Lotus grow from our own version of mud - will not hold it against you.

For those of you who are open, perhaps spiritual and easily touched, don't let the size of this book intimidate you. It's a good read by a good person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant to ponder
The cover is nice.Some pages are blue or purple with very attractive motifs and graphics inside.Nice pictures too of Goldie at work, rest and play including snapshots of her children and partner Kurt Russell.

The content is only losely biographic.This is more Goldie Hawn's philosophy of life through the window of her journeys and successes in the movie industry.Co-authored with another it reads very well.

Little subchapters called "Postcards" capturing experiences.There are also poems and thoughts: "Is our smile coded for in our DNA or is it nurtured?" (paraphrased).In this sense the book has some fine quotations.

As a woman who represents openness and seems to be something of a spiritual student this book is great for exploring themes on happiness, relationships, death and being human.Designed to bring out the best in anybody.

This book and its sentiments represent a fantastic contribution to genuinely making the world a better place - not by throwing money at problems but by being well inside.

I liked reading it - ideal as a gift or to dip into though not to be read from cover to cover necessarily.Really well edited - not much gossip, thankfully.

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get interested
I don't remember Goldie Hawn from Laugh In.I have seen her in only two movies, The Banger Sisters and Butterflies Are Free, and not in the theater but on tv.The book is pretty on the outside and the colored pages are nice.I couldn't get interested in it so I didn't buy it.

1-0 out of 5 stars silly and oh so predictable
A waste of time for me.I borrowed a copy from my friend.Completely light weight.I guess I expected more depth.Now, who is the stupid one?Depth from Goldie Hawn?Well, I had hopes.She canNOT be as dippy as the girl from Laugh In, but I am afraid she is.At least she maintains that image in this new age-y, let-me-enlighten-you piece of froth."All I ever wanted was to be happy," she recalls from her days as a very small child.Right.I'm sure.

It's easy to pontificate about Buddhism and how material things are really meaningless when you're sitting on $200 million.Give up your money, Goldie, your penthouse in NY, your $10million house in Montana, your home in Canada for your son's convenience, your cars, your "assistants", your jewelery, etc., and move into an ashram and then I'll have a little more respect for her views on "life" as a Buddhist.

As for her childhood memories, they seem very "exact words" and although I have a memory and can recall conversations word for word, as well, I find her recollections a little hard to take, re the one on wanting to be happy:I was a very happy kid too and my childhood was wonderful, but I didn't KNOW it until I was able to understand the concept of happiness, to understand how others lived, and that certainly didn't happen to me when I was five.

I hope it was printed on recycled paper.It's a shame any tree had to die for this.

I think she probably babbled on and a ghost writer did the hard part.And if I was him or her, I'd never let ANYONE know I did THIS book.

5-0 out of 5 stars an amazing book.....

This book was hard to put down. Goldie has a wonderful warm, sincere, and open approach to life which is refreshing. She has welcomed us into her life and shared her intimate thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed every page. I am giving this as a gift to my daughter, and recommending it to my friends.

Ruth Nighswonger (Boca Raton, Fl) ... Read more


4. Sinatra : The Life
by ANTHONY SUMMERS, ROBBYN SWAN
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414002
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 296
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Age of Sinatra
We know Frank Sinatra - we don't know Summers and wife.

"They buried a man in California on May 14, 1998, but they didn't bury Frank Sinatra. Rock 'n' roll couldn't bury him, disco and rap couldn't. Elvis and the Beatles couldn't." What makes you feel you can, Summers?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Ole Blue Eyes
Frank Sinatra was a Man of many faces,but He had a Persona about Him that you would never soon forget.I've read so many books about him&this One truly captures another side of him.nothing changes my mind of Him as a Artist because I always say that you have to seperate the person from there craft they are two totally different beings.Sinatra is One of the Music Worlds Greatest Treasures period. Sinatra did His thing as He wanted to.like He sang"My Way"&He never strayed from that&You can always respect a stand up Cat.very interesting reading&Details.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Latest Sinatra Book is a Winner
This new book on Sinatra is a great read and most people reading the book will find it difficult to put the book down. It deserves to be a best seller. In short, it is a highly entertaining page turner with many photographs that show Sinatra at most stages of his life, and has an excellent free flowing writing style like a magazine article. Furthermore, the authors did a good job and it eclipses prior books - it is a substantial book about 590 pages long with 200 pages of notes.

Most people, especilally older ones, know the Frank Sinatra success story. The present book gives the rest of the story, the not so pleasant but possibly more fascinating hidden side of the Sinatra story - what was going on behind the scenes. Since many parts will be controversial, the authors have been very cautious and very conservative with the details of their story. In any case, I suspect it is probably close to 100% correct - that is my guess. Out of the total of about 590 pages, the authors have an impressive 200 pages dedicated to backing up the facts of their story including many sources, references, public information, etc. and they give much detail on where they got all their information. Fortunately for the reader, all those 200 pages of notes are neatly placed at the back of the book, and the text itself, just under 400 pages, is a free flowing and easy read with many photographs.

The story starts with the family immigration from Italy to America, and then continues with his youth and his parents living in Hoboken, NJ, right across the river from New York city. It is one of a number of New Jersey ocean port towns in the area that had strong mob ties- and Hoboken was made famous by the 1954 Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront. The story continues through his start as a singer, his breaks in show business, the movies, his wives including first wife Nancy and their children then on to Ava Gardner and the other marriages. Ava Gardner was an obsession that lasted until her death according to the book. Then it is on to the numerous girlfriends including Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall. The authors take us through the criminal charges for assault on a reporter, assault against a 20 years old actress, the days in Las Vegas, his connections with Marilyn Monroe, his numerous contacts with politicians including the Kennedy family and more.

The reason that some will not like this book is that some of the details are not pretty, and they are linked to organized crime. This can be traced to Sinatra's father who comes from the same small town in Sicily as some of the most famous mob leaders of his time; the mob link was previously widely known and it is not new to this present book. Frank had ongoing and continuous contacts with these people as did his father. His parents ran an illegal bar during prohibition using mob supplied liquor, supplied by their Sicilian connections.

It is claimed that he got his singing start with these connections, and later in his career he got his part in the movie From Here to Eternity, in a style similar to that depicted in the Godfather movie, i.e.: serious and credible death threats aimed at the movie producers if they failed to hire Sinatra. However, once he became famous he continued a strong interaction with many mob figures including Sam Giancana in Chicago. According to the book, Sam Giancana was not an isolated incident - there were many. One or a few incidents like Giancana might have been considered an error of judgement, but the authors detail perhaps dozens of other crime figures, many with photographs and notes and other information. They even claim that Sinatra transported cash for the mob. Sinatra would deny all of this in public, even years later after many of the other people were dead, but there are too many references to come to any conclusion other than what is described in the book.

The other not so pretty part of the story involves his famous temper, impatience, and similar behaviour with women and associates, and even beating a reporter. With his fame and success came sex appeal and power. He was diverted from his first marriage to Nancy by many women including Ava Gardner and others, many being the most famous and most beautiful of the day, and sometimes many decades younger than himself such as Mia Farrow. But he was unable to maintain the relationships and marriages, due largely to his temper, his expectations, and his manner or life style.

This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the book. It is similar to some prior biographies on Sinatra but refined and expanded. It has a lot of back up material and an excellent collection of photographs. My opinion of him did not change from reading the book. I already new he was a fairly independent and strong headed guy who did things his own way oblivious to the social norms - as per his song "My Way". Maybe this tough guy connection percolated through to his public image and that is one reason why he was famous?

Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Sinatra So Far
We have had the records. We have the CDs and Videos.And finally we have THE BOOK! The most carefully researched and factually presented document on Sinatra the man. It tells the complete story, for the first time, of the twentieth century legend who thrilled us with his wonderful gift of story telling in music. It is simply the best book on Sinatra so far.

2-0 out of 5 stars Whose "Life" Is It Anyway
Frank Sinatra is generally regarded as the finest popular singer of his time so it seems logical that any book entitled "Sinatra-The Life" would have to take off from the music.

Without the music there would be no "Mob", no starlets, no movie roles,no bodyguards...none of the egocentric trivia the Sinatra biographers generally like to focus on.

Kitty Kelley in her 1986 hatchet job spent so little time on Sinatra's artistry one would be hard put to realize she was writing about a musician.

Anthony Summers and Robin Swann, authors of "Sinatra The Life" are not quite as mean spirited in their tone as Kelley was, but they spend so much time dwelling in the gutter, it's almost as if it was an inconvenience for them to touch upon the music (some of which they get wrong--there was no "recitation" on the "Watertown" album


Summers and Swan devote a huge portion of the book trying to finally cement Sinatra's connection to the Mob....

Does anyone really care at this point if the "Mob" helped get Sinatra the role of Private Maggio?....did the "Mob" give Sinatra's terrific Oscar winning performance--did the "Mob" record a body of musical work that remains unparalled in the history of American popular culture?Did the "Mob" make worldwide standards out of obscure showtunes such as "Lady Is A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin?"...Is the "Mob" responsible for the fact that millions can date the events of their lives by what Sinatra album was in release at the time.

An artist of Sinatra's stature and longevity deserves at least the same sort of 2 volume treatment that Elvis received from the excellent Peter Guralnick.


Suffice it to say that amazingly enough the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra has yet to be written...

"Sinatra-The Life" ain't it........................


... Read more


5. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star
by Kirstie Alley
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159486232X
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 4114
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She captured our hearts with her award-winning performances on screen.Now Kirstie Alley is poised to do it again as she laughingly explores our American obsession with fat, food, love, sex, beauty, and weight loss.

If anyone in Hollywood knows about weight obsession, it's Kirstie Alley.After she rose to fame on Cheers as the svelte and gorgeous Rebecca Howe, she watched as the tabloids mercilessly chartered her fluctuating weight.Well, look out, Hollywood, because this beloved star is ready to strike back - with a starring role in a new, unscripted comedy series on Showtime calle Fat Actress.She plays a fictionalized version of herself as she searches for work and love in the land of glitter and glamour.The show, which promted a huge media buzz when Showtime announced plans for it, premieres just as this witty and wry new book hits bookstores across the nation.

Alley's accounting gives readers and intimate look into her life while providing a hilarious view of being overweight in a skinny-obsessed world.Whether readers are struggling with weight or personal integrity - or if they're just looking for love and happiness - they'll identify with Alley's experiences.She tells it like it is and helps us laugh at ourselves (and others.)

... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a Weight Gain/Loss Tell All, Light and Forced at Times
This was a very quick read.Kirstie opens the book with a funny sexcapade story about her and a former love interest.This intimate yet funny story makes readers thinks that Kirstie is really going to "open up," in this book.Not really.She shares some intimate details, like how the press was insensitive when she suffered a miscarriage.Don't get me wrong, I am not wanting Miss Kirstie to divulge all of the details of her life, but being that this story was about weight to a degree, I didn't really get the feeling that the book was authentic.I felt like the journal entries (which are very short) were written after the fact, like maybe after looking at one's day planner after they ink a book deal.There were also a lot of pictures of people in this book that took up full pages, as if they might be serving as fillers for a book trying it's best to make the 200 page mark.I hope this doesn't sound harsh because I like Kirstie and somewhat enjoyed the book.

If you enjoy "Fat Actress" as I do, you will find in the book that several of the scenes in the show were inspired by real life events.I just thought the book would dig deeper into how she gained weight, if her divorce and the time after the divorce made her eat more, just more about her feelings regarding food and the struggle to lose the weight.The book is very "now," meaning the journal entries were from like the 2004 to now era.I wanted to know about the "fat" Kirstie after "Veronica's Closet" and before "Fat Actress."I am sure there was a deeper story to tell.This is kind of light."Yeah, I am losing weight on Weight Watchers," that kind of thing.She also details selling her show "Fat Actress" to Showtime.There are also numerous John Travolta mentions. In the last pages of the book she tells a story about a child hood friend, it just seemed out of place as the book was supposed to be wrapping up. I love Kirstie and am so proud of what she has done with "Fat Actress," and with bringing to light the drama that celebrities deal with.I am an author and an entertainment journalist and when I have to do promo or special appearances there are many times I feel very fat and I am always trying to lose that 10 pounds, and as Kirstie in the book discusses how happy she is with her children, the book really makes you wonder about why women work so hard to lose weight for society when they are really happy.In conclusion, the book seems like a tie in for the big Kirstie come back, kind of forced and not very deep.Would have liked to see more detailed journal entries and more about how she got to the point that she did verses the standard PR line we have all heard about deciding to stay home with the kids and eating.

5-0 out of 5 stars laughed my ASS OFF
Funny book, funny lady. I can't recall ever laughing this much from a book.. I admire and respect Kirstie for being able to extract the humor from lifes "little" adversities. You go girl!

5-0 out of 5 stars fun book
This is a fun book. Kirstie writes with a sharp wit and candor I found very entertaining. She jokes about herself and speaks with love & respect for her family, parents, and grandparents.
Her food & weight issues are mentioned often. I really loved the story about her Grandfather paying her a dollar to spend Saturday night, watching the fights with him on TV, serving the then 6 year old Kirstie lightly salted beer in a "thimble" sized shot glass. I'm glad I bought this book so I can reread it whenever I want.

5-0 out of 5 stars "BRAVA MS. ALLEY!"
"How To Lose Your Ass And Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions Of A Big-Butted Star," by "funny lady," Kirstie Alley, was such a FUN BOOK!Be ready to stay awake all night once you begin reading this FABULOUSLY FUNNY BOOK!You will not want to put it down.

I love this writer/actress.Kirstie Alley is one terrific lady and talent.I admire her and her efforts as she tries hard in life to turn her stumbling blocks into stepping-stones!

We briefly met once right after her first few tapings of "Cheers" after Shelly Long left the scene.What an amazing woman!I'm such a fan.

If you enjoy this genre in your reading material then this is one book you won't want to miss.It is well-written, entertaining, and insightful.You'll enjoy it as much as I did.That's a promise.

4-0 out of 5 stars A quick & fun read
I was so drawn in by the title I couldn't resist picking this one up.I also am currently enjoying Fat Actress on Showtime.

Kirstie is very blunt and funny.This autobiography is basically just a brief glimpse into different periods of her life and how they've shaped her into who she is.

For those who are offended by bad language and what not, Kirstie is not for you.But, I think she's pretty well known for being outspoken, so this shouldn't be a surprise for anyone, so it's unfortunate that this affects the books ratings.

A good read for even mediocre fans, and certainly anyone looking for motivation in their own life.
... Read more


6. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
by Rachel DeWoskin
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393059022
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more


7. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down The Yellow Brick Road
by Meinhardt Raabe, DANIEL KINSKE
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823091937
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Backstage Books
Sales Rank: 11444
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dear Readers,

I will never forget the morning that Meinhardt Raabe’s agent called me and insisted on stopping by my office that very same day. "I’ve got a Wizard of Oz project that you have to see to believe." From the moment I looked at Mr.Raabe’s charming memoir and his remarkable collection of Oz memorabilia, Iknew this would be a book unlike any that I have published.

Memories of A Munchkin, written by Meinhardt Raabe with Daniel Kinske, almost feels like three books in one.

Part one is a memoir by Raabe who stepped into film history at the age of 23 when he played the Munchkin coroner in THE WIZARD OF OZ. It’s a charming and inspiring story that begins on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, moves to hisappearance in a special "Midget Village" exhibit at the 1934 World's Fair and on to Hollywood. Through an agent, Raabe was cast in THE WIZARD OF OZ and much of the memoir is devoted to his account of working on the most beloved film of all time - enduring tough auditions, watching as the glorious Munchkinland set was built, putting up with long days of rehearsal, being costumed by legendary MGM designer Adrian, hob-nobbing on the set with the stars, witnessing various mishaps during filming, being visited on the set by curious Hollywood royalty such as Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, and much more. Here, too, is Raabe's life after THE WIZARD OF OZ: His career as an accomplished pilot with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II; more than 30 years as "Little Oscar," spokesman for the Oscar Mayer ompany; his charity work and his role as advocate and kindred spirit to Little People everywhere. Mr. Raabe’s memoir is lavishly illustrated with the most incredible material such as!blueprints of the Munchkinland set, Adrian’s costume sketches, MGM’s original Oz matte paintings, and many rare, behind-the-scenes photos from director Victor Fleming’s personal scrapbook.

Part two of the book is the most complete collection of OZ movie posters and lobby cards ever published. Included are a beautiful watercolor painted by the legendary Al Hirschfeld, and the jumbo window card that was originallydisplayed in Mr. Raabe’s hometown theater of Watertown, WI!

Part three is a collection of specially commissioned Oz art from some of the world’s best-known and best-loved illustrators – people like Al Hirschfeld, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Frank Kelly Freas. I especially like Ron Dias’ painting of what he imagines the interior of a Munchkin house would look like, and Philo Barnhart’s piece that combines the main characters of Oz with those of Snow White. Duck Edwing’s piece, Hearse of aDifferent Color, could not be more colorful or more charming. And you won’t believe all the detail – and clever humor – in Tom Bunk’s piece depicting the Kansas tornado at the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Put it all together and you have a treasure trove of Oz stories and memorabilia. No fan of this beloved Hollywood classic will want to be without Memories of A Munchkin.

Mark Glubke Senior Editor Back Stage Books ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Most Sincerly .... Wonderful!
This book is a must have for any die hard(like me) fan of the 1939 film THE WIZARD OF OZ. It is brimming with never before seen pictures of the movie set, munchkins, scene direction...not to mention other movie stars of the day & lots of Judy Garland!
Meinhardt's story is both intersting & compelling, he's a sweetheart!
Don't miss out...buy this book TODAY! ... Read more


8. By Myself and Then Some
by Lauren Bacall
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060755350
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 5181
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood's most celebrated couple.

But when Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall and their children had to take everything he had taught them and grow up fast. In a time of postwar communism, Hollywood blacklisting, and revolutionary politics, she mixed with the legends: Hemingway, the Oliviers, Katharine Hepburn, Bobby Kennedy, and Gregory Peck. She was engaged to Frank Sinatra and had a turbulent second marriage to Jason Robards. But Bacall never lost sight of the strength that made her a superstar, and she never lost sight of Bogie.

Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Bacall brings her inspiring memoir up to date, chronicling the events of the past twenty-five years, including her recent films and Broadway runs, and her fond memories of many close lifelong friendships. As one of the greatest actresses of all time turns eighty, By Myself and Then Some reveals the legend in her own beautiful frank words -- encapsulating a story that even Hollywood would struggle to reproduce.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Engaging Book
If you have read her first book you will probably be a bit disappointed since the present book has just 80 new pages added in a second section at the end, and there is a twenty year gap in her biography, between where the old story stops in the 70s and the addition begins in the 90s. The new part is mostly from the early 1990s through to her Oscar nomination, and then on to the Sept 11, 2001 attack and beyond to the end of 2004. It covers her more recent movies and TV appearances, and plays, including those movies with Nicole Kidman. For readers like myself - and I am a Bogart fan - and I have not read her old book, I found this to be a wonderful biography and I read it cover to cover over a two day period. The book transports the reader back to 1940s Hollywood with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and many more.

This is a fairly detailed look at the life of Bacall, but mainly about the years to 1957 and before, the year her first husband Humphrey Bogart died. My main complaint is that the book lacks structure, andinstead the 500 page book is one continuous story broken with the occasional short sentence inserted in heavy font to designate a change in the direction of the story, and that line can occur anywhere on a page. There are no chapters nor is there an index - just one break where the new 80 pages are added. The good news here is that this update book by Bacall is a a very well written, reader friendly, and an engaging book. Once you start to read it is almost impossible to put the book down, and I read the first half or over 300 pages almost non stop - to where Bogart dies.

She starts with her early childhood in New York city; she tells us her life story through high school, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, modelling, then into small parts. She was star struck with visions of Bette Davis and others frorm a young age. The book describes a meeting bewteen the two in a New York hotel, where Bette Davis advised Bacall and her friend on how to become an actress. After some struggles, and by page 80 in this 500 page book, the ambitious Bacall makes a breakthrough when she appears on Harper's Bazaar cover in March 1943. Next she leads us through seemingly hour by hour for her first days in Hollywood at Warners, her screen test, the long wait and then her first film with Bogart, their relationship, threats from the director Hawks who had been supporting her but who opposed the Bogart relationship, Bogart's love letters, etc. They had an intense romance punctuated by Bacall making a middle of the night drive down highway 101- somewhat dramatically in the rain like a Bogart film -looking for a perhaps slightly drunk Bogart - who had phoned her in the middle of the night - and who was walking on foot with a large sunflower in his lapel - while her mother sat at home and was horrified that her daughter was going out with a three times married and 25 years older man.

The book seems to slow in tempo after Bogart's death and her affair with Sinatra - around pages 320 or so - and my only negative feeling about the book is the Sinatra section - about 20 pages long - where one is certain that she is skipping much detail. The last part of the book, the last 150 pages, leads us though her second marriage to Robarts - a mostly dismal and uninteresting period in her life - followed by the death of her mother, and then the rest of her career and awards, and her friends and family. In the last few pages she spills over with opinions about living in New york city, travelling outside the US with a US passport, and a number of other topics including her relationship and admiration of the late Katherine Hepburn.

After her second marriage failed, and her mother's death, and with "Mrs. Bogart" still being part of her core identity, Bacall was able to start a new life and made a comeback on her own in TV, movies, and live theatre. To her credit, the mature Lauren Bacall seems to have had great success in live theatre and on Broadway, and done it mostly on her own. She worked around the country in smaller theatres then in New York. She got a Tony for Applause and in a moment of poetic closure, Bette Davis, the star that Bacall had schemed to see in a hotel 30 years earlier (see above), came backstage and praised her for her performance in Applause, and told her that only she could do the part.

After her comeback she has appeared in a number of films and has reached a total of 50, but never again enjoying the same level of success and popularity as her early 4 Bogart films. But she continues to work into her seventies and is still sought for parts, especially mother roles, and came close to duplicating her old successes with a recent Oscar nomination late in her career. With her success she continues to live in New York overlooking west central park, her home town where she grew up and went to school.

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


1-0 out of 5 stars Same book, with brief epilogue
BY MYSELF--excellent, heartfelt autobiography.

UPDATE--reads something like this."The next one to die was Adios Hartley.We had enjoyed many wonderful luncheons together over the years and he was my escort to the Golden Globes in 1987.I will miss him terribly."

"Then the next one to die was Beau Bye.He was a delightful person that I got to know well on the set of Uptown Downtown.Such a raconteur!"

and on, and on, and on....

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I har already read the first book by myself.This is a wonderful book.The rest is just not worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Loved It"
BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME by Lauren Bacall is anything but boring. What a woman!

I admire Ms. Bacall for many, many reasons, a few reasons...her savvy way of doing things...her spunk... and her own unique style.I, for one, am thrilled she chose to share some of herself with us (her many fans), in this fantastic book.

No-matter what her real age today, I think she is STILL beautiful both inside and out.

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved By Myself.Looking Forward to Reading This One
I have not actually read this follow-up book yet, but am looking forward to in the near future.I am currently re-reading By Myself.I read one of the reviews below, and felt I really have to answer it.Lauren Bacall is in no way ripping off or cheating her readers.Instead, what she has done is a marvelous thing.By Myself was first written 25 years ago.It is a wonderful book.Since then, a whole generation of people has grown up not knowing about this book.She has simply presented it again along with an update so those of us who weren't around the first time can enjoy it, and those of us who read the first book can enjoy it again along with a nice companion update.I just love and admire Lauren Bacall.She really is class all the way. ... Read more


9. Silent Bob Speaks : The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith
by Kevin Smith
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401359736
Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 8437
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the award-winning screenwriter and director -- a collection of irreverent and hilarious rants on the absurdity of just about everything.

In 1994, Kevin Smith debuted his low-budget film Clerks at the Sundance Film Festival. It became an instant cult classic and made Smith the top dog of the indie film world. Next he was an executive producer of the smash hit Good Will Hunting and quickly earned the title "King of Gen X Cinema" from Time magazine. He appeared on Charlie Rose, Politically Incorrect, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and currently holds a regular spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosting a segment entitled "Roadside Attractions." Fans of his films will instantly recognize Smith as Silent Bob -- the character with no lines. And last year Smith began writing a hilarious monthly column covering popular culture for Arena magazine.

In this side-splitting rant-fest, Kevin Smith waxes rhapsodic and obnoxious on everything from his platonic infatuation with Ben Affleck to his bloodcurdling hatred of Britney Spears, from his shocking diagnosis with morbid obesity to the fatal flaws of SpiderMan -- all done in his inimitable, raunchy style.

Silent Bob Speaks interweaves the best of the Arena columns with a new introduction by the author to produce Smith’s first collection of bawdy, over-the-top essays, guaranteed to make his legions of fans choke on their Cheerios. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, worth picking up.
Kevin is the type of guy you'd love to hang with. Intelligent, witty, has a wonderful way with the english language, colorful phrasing and all.

If you're not really into Kevin, his films, or the whole View Askew thing this isn't really the best place to start. This is however a nice collection containing previously published material from magazines and the web. Perfect for me since I'm not a magazine person and don't really read the web stuff regularly.

I am however a total "movie snob" and appreciate the anecdotes, opinions, truths and obvious biased views spewed into the ether by this dude. It is very interesting for example reading some of these essays years after movies being discussed have been released (and in some cases tanking at the box office). His interview with Cruise was a pleasure to read and made me want to take a second look at some of the projects T.C. has done recently, while he openly gushes (and of course is hard for) Affleck. Again, this ends up being a very revealing read especially after the Bennifer debacle.

While I will always disagree with Kevin about the Star Wars prequels (dude, they're self indulgent pieces of poopie), Rats was the bomb yo!

Pick up the book, 4 out of 5 from the Canadian judge!

4-0 out of 5 stars Like his movies, mostly hits and few bad jokes...
This not a serious book and Smith himself makes no bones about that.It is filled with the same kind lol jokes that his films are--some dumb--but mostly hilarious.The pieces cover much of his career the last 8 years or so.They are from various sources.With the except of his piece defending Star Wars and his final piece on ComicCon, the book is a great look at Smith.I happen to be big fan of all of his work (even liked Jersey Girl) and the man himself.He is humble, self-effacing, and just damned happy to be where he is.His take on Cruise and Affleck is rare in this media age--he loves these guys and tells us why.He is still a fan.He is also a husband and a father--some of the best stuff in here is about that.And, his essay on New Jersey and his friend Walt was just awesome.No need to nitpick over the few things don't work--the book is great for any big KS fan.Even one like me, who doesn't read comics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't read this review - just buy the book!
It's a quick read, primarily made up of articles that Kevin wrote for Arena magazine.Definitely worth the $10 Amazon's charging for it. The bit where Kevin interviews Tom Cruise is one of my favorites. Pretty funny stuff - caught my self laughing out loud at just about every story.Oh man, when Ben is telling Kevin's daughter that he's her real father..... ... Read more


10. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search for Love and Art
by Gene Wilder
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031233706X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 5965
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this personal book from the star of many beloved and classic film comedies -- from The Producers to Young Frankenstein, Blazing saddles to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- Gene Wilder writes about a side of his life the public hasn't seen on the screen.Kiss Me Like a Stranger is not an autobiography in the usual sense of the word, and it's certainly not another celebrity "tell-all." Instead, Wilder has chosen to write about resonant moments in his life, events that led him to an understanding of the art of acting, and -- more important -- to an understanding of how to give love to and receive love from a woman.

Wilder writes compellingly about the creative process on stage and screen, and divulges moments from life on the sets of some of the most iconic movies of our time.

In this book, he talks about everything from his experiences in psychoanalysis to why he got into acting and later comedy (his first goal was to be a Shakespearean actor), and how a Midwestern childhood with a sick mother changed him. Wilder explains why he became an actor and writer, and about the funny, wonderful movies he made with Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and Harrison Ford, among many others. He candidly reveals his failures in love, and writes about the overwhelming experience of marrying comedienne Gilda Radner, as well as what finally had to happen for him to make a true and lasting commitment to another woman.

A thoughtful, revealing, and winsome book about life, love, and the creative process, Kiss Me Like A Stranger is one actor's life in his own words.
... Read more

Reviews (24)

3-0 out of 5 stars Many references to People & Places
Gene Wilder's "slightly autobiographical' book gives a little insight into his life as a boy ,his close friendship with his pyschiatist Margie, the "Demons" which burdened him as a young man via thoughts and his wife Gilda, his sister Corrine and his own bouts successful or otherwise with Cancer...In his case his joy on "I've won" when the treatments were decreased from a sceduled nine to only six, turned to gratitude when he let one of the physcians who'd treated Gilda before she "passed away", inform him of the need for more treatment...His book hints that his major stresses are due to his concerns of why he thinks the way he thinks whenever the thoughts that lead to certain behaviour don't make sense...In its own "not-heavy" reading way the book is quite thought- provoking.

3-0 out of 5 stars In defense of the book
I found it informative enough. I got a good sense of Gene Wilder's life story from the get go of my reading it. He lets quite a few pictures of himself in younger days tell his story of his life as well as words. BTW he doesn't mention Patrick McGoohan (his co-star in Silver Streak) so I guess nothing happened between the two in a mutual sense. Makes sense as McGoohan had zero chemistry with everyone in that film (Wilder included), McGoohan was just in it for the money and most likely made no friends on the set. I'd like to add that Wilder's bio is definitely largely true as well as what he says of his co-star and friend Richard Pryor is confirmed in Pryor's very own autobiography.

2-0 out of 5 stars Is he a Nice Person? Is he a Good Writer?
Judging from the previous reviews, some of the people who think very little of Wilder's "autobiography" were disappointed to find he was not the sweet, insightful and gentle man he's made his career portraying.Well, OK, me too.

But "Is he a nice person?" is a separate question from "Is this book any good?" and in my view the answer to both is "no."

Dorothy Parker once wrote about Isadora Duncan's autobiography that she wrote with frankness, but that "frankness" was no synonym for "honesty." Or insight, for that matter.

What a sloppy, silly, unintentionally revealing book! At the end we don't know why Wilder's relationship with his daughter ended, but we do know that once he was able to copulate three times in one night.

I could give more examples, but that kinda does it for me: this is a very self-absorbed man, so selfish and consuming that he just doesn't give a **** that we will find it out. In fact, he seems to think we WANT to know. He didn't HAVE to reveal these terrible things about himself.

A self-absorbed jerk can be found with no trouble; what makes Gene Wilder different is that he has been one of the funniest actors and writers ever. Naturally, if you're reading his book, you want to find out about his artistic path. But we don't find out much about how he writes, or why, how he survived auditions, what he gets from his work, do the people who knew him when he was Jerry Silberman still call him Jerry, what roles would he have __liked__ to play?

It's hard to fault him for his Gilda Radner comments; she herself knew she was difficult. His account of his relationship with Gildawas pretty much as she said in __It's Always Something__, except she apparently didn't know he started dating his current wife while Gilda was dying.Again: not a story of a nice person--but that in and of itself is not terrible.Unfortunately it was also not great writing.

I didn't mind that it wasn't funny because I wanted to know about the Person, not the Persona.All I know about him that I didn't know before is that I wouldn't want him dating into my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Book!
People who think they know this man DON'T.He's a terrific person and his book is just great.Buy it and judge for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am Waiting for the Unauthorized Bio Later This Year
I have always loved Gene Wilder's work and have followed his career over the years.His memoir is entertaining and he is surprisingly honest about certain aspects of his private life, but I got the feeling that he was being selective in what he shared with the reader.There is an unauthorized Wilder biography being published around November of this year called "Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad" that supposedly is more analytical of Wilder's films and also reveals significant details about his personal life that he chose to omit from his own book.Wilder's book is good but I am waiting to read this other book which I feel will likely be more objective. ... Read more


11. How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
by Jenna Jameson, Neil Strauss, Neil Strauss
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060539097
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: ReganBooks
Sales Rank: 272
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Book Description

When the stewardess brought me off the plane in a wheelchair, I lowered my head. I was too scared to even look at my father. I didn't want to see the disappointment and horror on his face. All that hate I had accumulated for him over the years, all the resentment against him for not understanding what I was going through, just released with the tears.

"So, where are your parents?" the stewardess asked me after a few minutes. "I can't wait here with you much longer."

I looked up and wiped my eyes. My father was standing ten feet away. He didn't even recognize me.

In the underbelly of Las Vegas, a cesspool of warring biker gangs and seedy strip clubs transformed the gawky, brace-faced Jenna Massoli into the bombshell Jenna Jameson. Today, Jenna Jameson is the biggest star in the history of adult movies, consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful women alive. But behind the glamour and the meteoric rise to fame was a path paved with tragedy and heartbreak. As a teenager drawn into a chaotic world ruled by rape, abuse, and murder, Jenna plunged into a downward spiral of addiction, even as she became one of the most photographed women in adult magazines.

Determined to overcome this past, Jenna rebounded in the adult-film business, where she encountered sadistic directors, experienced lovers of both sexes, amorous celebrities (from Howard Stern to Marilyn Manson to Tommy Lee), bitter rival starlets, and finally, glory, as she went on to become the biggest porn star the world has ever seen. But her struggle for happiness did not end when the accolades began. For years she wrestled with her resentment at her estranged father, the loneliness of growing up from the age of two without a mother, and her enduring childhood desire to find a man who could give her the security and love she never had.

Her unforgettable memoir is many things at once: a shocking sexual history, an insider's guide to the secret workings of the billion-dollar adult-film industry, and a gripping thriller that probes deep into Jenna's dark past. An unparalleled exploration of sexual freedom, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star ventures far beyond the flesh, into the heart-shredding tragedies and adrenaline-pumping triumphs of a woman who has already lived a hundred lifetimes. Always witty and humorous even as she faces the demons of her past, Jenna offers hilarious anecdotes about one of the most controversial businesses in history, and shares outrageous advice, including her ten commandments of dating and sex, how to become a "suitcase pimp," and how to make it in the business as a female (or a male).

Add to this never-before-seen photographs from Jenna's private collection and others taken exclusively for this book, and the result is certain to be one of the most talked-about books of the year. ... Read more


12. A Paper Life
by Tatum O'Neal
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060540974
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 749
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Book Description

At age ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed as a new kind of child star -- sassy and precocious -- for a hip, cynical age. As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.

But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother, the actress Joanna Moore, drifted in and out of her life. Her father, saddled with both Tatum and her brother Griffin, grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum -- though a working actress with ten movies to her credit -- had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then, just before her twenty-first birthday, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children, Kevin, Sean, and Emily, in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past, which would nearly kill her.

Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

A Paper Life is a story of strength and courage: unflinchingly honest, yet poignant, often funny, and unfailingly uplifting. It is a tale of triumph steeped in Hollywood lore -- and an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.

... Read more

13. Guru : My Days with Del Close
by Jeff Griggs
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566636140
Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Sales Rank: 245387
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jeff Griggs gives the reader the essentials of Close's biography: his childhood in Kansas, early years as an actor, countercultural exploits in the 1960's, years with the Compass Players and then with Second City, experimentation with every drug imaginable, which cost him his health and ultimately his life. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great portrayal of Del, and of Improvisers in general
What impressed me most about this book was not Griggs' compelling portrayal of Del Close (although I loved it), nor the way that it filled in gaps in Close's biography that I only had to guess at before.What I liked most about it was Griggs' descriptions of what it's like to be an improviser in the scene; taking classes, being in ensembles and learning from giants.I certainly can relate, and that's what helped make this book such an essential read for me.This book is a must for disciples of Close.It's funny, touching, wonderfully human, highly informative.It made me feel like I had gotten to know Close well.After reading this book, I truly wish I had that honor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something Wonderful Right Away...
I couldn't put the book down.I loved Mr. Griggs' invocation of Del Close.

For improvisers it's a must-read:you witness Del's clarity and passion regarding the craft.
For you pop-culture buffs, it's a must read:you get to learn of Del's impact on American comedy, and his intersections with 1960s counterculture.
For those who love a good story, it's a must read:I loved how seemingly innocuous errands became adrenaline rushing adventures, and was fascinated by the reflections of a man who lived a tremendously full life.

With his book, Mr. Griggs took me back to when I studied under Del in 1998.Seven years later, his teaching is very much vital and relevant to us as we are building a longform improv community in Houston, TX.Thanks for your work, Jeff.Well done!

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it, Loved it.
This book is such a good read, you'll be hard pressed to put it down once you pick it up. The essence of Del is so meticulously laid in front of you, that you truly feel you knew him by the book's end. All of the true life stories presented by Griggs hit home and give insight into the fearless, crazy, and sometimes lonely world of an incredible genius. If you have enjoyed any comedian or comedic actor in the past 35 years, then you must read this book, as Del has been noted by nearly every one as a person of influence and inspiration. Kudos to Griggs for bringing this to us. ... Read more


14. Why Sinatra Matters
by Pete Hamill
list price: $24.00
our price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316347965
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Sales Rank: 117492
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As products of the same urban landscape, Pete Hamill and Frank Sinatra have both been credited with giving the American city a voice. In this widely acclaimed and bestselling appreciation--now available in paperback for the first time--Hamill draws on his intimate experience of the man and the music to evoke the essence of Sinatra, illuminating the singer's art and his legend from the point of view of a confidant and a fan. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read--like an old song
Pete Hamill, beyond a doubt, is an excellent writer. He does a wonderful job here. The book is part bio, part history of immigrants in America, and part memoir. It works on all levels. Hamill treats Frank with the respect he deserves. The book is not a gossipy memoir--Kitty Kelly fans should look elsewhere. Instead, he makes the important arguement that Sinatra gave voice to first, a generation, and then an entire country. His artisty is what matters. The myth of the man is fun and gets most the attention, but that is besides the point for Hamill. And he is right. We all talk about the "Sinatra in a hat" (as Hamill dubs him) and the Rat Pack--but the music endures. It is, argues Hamill, what matters in the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. It is what will stand the test of time and give voice to a thousand broken dreams, hearts, and help us--like Frank after the Fall--get back up and start all over again. Thanks, Pete Hamill for getting it right.

5-0 out of 5 stars There will never be another...
I only saw my hero, Frank Sinatra, perform once. It was at the end of his career - and his life. It was a strange evening; he was obviously at the end - he couldn't remember the words to his songs or read the teleprompter. Few people left however - the evening soon became about us - his fans - letting him know that we still loved him. "I LOVE YOU FRANK!" a huge, middle-aged, rough-looking man yelled out during a pause. Sinatra, taken aback by the violence of the outburst, chuckled and replied, "I love you too, pal." As Pete Hamill once pointed out, "Seeing Sinatra in ruins is like seeing the Coliseum in ruins - it's still magnificent."

Why Sinatra Matters is a must-read for any Sinatra-phile. In the Overture, Hamill cites Sinatra's death as the impetus for writing this book. He saw all these young reporters from MTV and VH1 doing stories on Sinatra (obviously prepared in advance) telling the world Sinatra was important, without really understanding why. It certainly wasn't just because he did it "his way."

This is a very short book. As Hamill points out it is not a "definitive biography" - although once he was in talks with Sinatra to write just that. It is, as the title plainly states, an explanation of why Sinatra matters - artistically and culturally - and why he always will. In terms of Culture, Hamill reminds the reader of a time when America felt it was morally obligated to persecute Italians - Sinatra helped change all that. Musically, the reasons are more complex. To put it succinctly, no one ever sounded like Sinatra before.

The book is great because it also sheds light on Sinatra the man, who is often lost in the obscurity of his own public image. He was not just some gruff tough guy - a kind of idiot savant who could churn out a great recording in one take. He was a fiercely intelligent, well-read, well-cultured, self-educated man who worked hard at his craft. The most enjoyable parts of the book are the conversations Hamill recounts between himself and Sinatra. Most shocking of all - to me at least - was to imagine Sinatra using the F-word!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, horrible book-on-tape
Do not buy the book on tape! Get it in hardcover or paperback.

This is a fine little book, but it's the first book on tape I have had to turn off because the narrator's voice was too grating (and I've listened to tons of books on tape). Had it been read by the author himself, certainly allowances could be made. Instead, the publisher went out to find a professional reader and chose someone who speaks in an harsh, barking monotone, one part Howard Cosell, one part Rain Man, one part the guy who does the Moviephone listings. When the voice first came on, reading the copyright information and other technical details, I assumed that, well, that's just the preliminaries, surely someone else will narrate the rest of the tape. Nope. Amazing.
I have switched to the print version, which is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's a quarter to three and there' s no one in the place...
I've read several books on Sinatra;But this one is really different.Hamill is an excellent writer and shows us why Sinatra matters;this was not done in other books.He has also shown what made Sinatra so popular,what influenced the changes in his audiences and without coming right out and saying so;why there won't nor can't ever be another one like him.He also reveals the art form that Sinatra perfected in his voice.
As great as Sinatra's music was;it was Sinatra as a man,and all that he represented, as well as the use of the microphone like a painter uses a brush;that made him so great.
Read this book;it will give you a deeper appreciation of Sinatra.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Sinatra Matters is a fine book.
Pete Hamill is a fine reporter who knew Frank Sinatra as a friend. Sinatra was an enigmatic, charismatic and complex singer of the American soul. Perhaps no singer in 20th century America popular song could get inside a lyric and make it his own like the great "ole blue eyes."
Hamill's opening chapter in which we sit beside Sinatra and his cronies in a Brooklyn bar in 1970 is like something out of Hemingway in its description of a man, era and city.
Hamill points out that it was Sinatra in music, Laguardia in politics and Joe Dimaggio in sports who raised the immigrant Italian ethnic group to greatness in insular, xenophobic America of the 1940s.
Sinatrta could be obnoxious and cruel but he could also be
generous and kind,
This book reminds me of the Penguin Lives series as it is a good starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about Sinatra, his women, his era and most importantly his music. The music will live forever in the American soul.
Sinatra did it his way and Hamill does a fine job of writing in this interesting little book. A good read to take on vacation or a long flight. I recommend it. ... Read more


15. Cary Grant : A Biography
by MARC ELIOT
list price: $25.95
our price: $15.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140005026X
Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 771
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16. Brilliant Madness : Living with Manic Depressive Illness
by PATTY DUKE
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553560727
Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 10811
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: the talented, Oscar-winning actress who won our hearts on The Patty Duke Show was suffering from a serious-but-treatable-mental illness called manic depression. For nearly twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age thirty-five, she careened between periods of extreme euphoria and debilitating depression, prone to delusions and panic attacks, temper tantrums, spending sprees, and suicide attempts. Now in A Brilliant Madness Patty Duke joins with medical reporter Gloria Hochman to shed light on this powerful, paradoxical, and destructive illness. From what it's like to live with manic-depressive disorder to the latest findings on its most effective treatments, this compassionate and eloquent book provides profound insight into the challenge of mental illness. And though Patty's story, which ends in a newfound happiness with her cherished family, it offers hope for all those who suffer from mood disorders and for the family, friends, and physicians who love and care for them. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars finally! Some real answers to all my questions
Patty Duke's book A Brilliant Madness is the first real good information about bi-polar disorder I have been able to put my hands on! The medical backup informatiom that Gloria Hochman contributes has given me an almost umlimited list of resources to also turn to. I read this book because my 9yr old son and my current husband are both diagnosed as bi-polar, but as I read this intense book I was amazed by feelings of fear, relief, sadness, and anger. I was able to relate to much of what I read and began to see myself which is scary. I now want to find help for all of us as our area is devoid of support groups and other local means of coping with this illness. This book is truly "Brilliant" in both the writing style and the content and has given me some hope in an otherwise bleak future. I strongly recomend this book to anyone where Manic Depression has touched their lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful, informative and well-written.
Patty Duke has brought bipolar affective disorder (Manic Depression) "out of the closet" and given those with the illness better insight into why they feel the way they do. Co-authoring with a medical writer was a *brilliant* idea. We read Patty's story, then we read the medical side of the story. The only thing I found disturbing was, like Dr Kay Jamison, Patty claims a Lithium a day does the trick. This can be misleading when many bipolars have to have meds assessed and re-assessed many many times. This gives the reader the undertone that if you're not a Lithium-responder, you're not quite right. Otherwise, an excellent book on the topic!

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Patty Duke gives an amazing description of what it is like to have Bipolar Disorder. It made such a difference in my ability to understand my Bipolar family members! This is staying on my shelf, along with "The Bipolar Child" and "IF YOUR CHILD IS BIPOLAR" as my top resources!

4-0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable and informative
I enjoyed this book quite a bit- it's engaging, entertaining, and informative. The quality of writing isn't as good as that of the finest mental illness memoirs, like "An Unquiet Mind" and "Girl, Interrupted", but it's definitely well worth reading. One intriguing point is that there might be some relationship between mania and Patty's acting skill. In other words, bipolar disorder may confer some advantages to the afflicted, in spite of some of its dreadful consequences. Avery Z. Conner, author of "Fevers of the Mind".

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Help Me More Than My Psychiatric counseling Lady
I`m 44 Yrs.I Have Allways Love Patty From Watching Her On T.V. I Even Have Her Doll With The Red Phone. I Also Am Bipolar and Was hospitalized 9 Years Ago. This Book Really Hits Home For Me. I Don`t Quite Feel As Bad About Being Bipolar. But I Would Love To Give A What To To Some Doctors Out There.I Live In Aberdeen, Washington And There Isn`t Much Here For Help. So I`m Very Thankful For This Book, I Would Recomend This Book Highly.
I Thank Patty For Wrighting Her Life. ... Read more


17. James Dean : Fifty Years Ago
by Dennis Stock
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810959038
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 225938
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Book Description

Like a restless ghost, James Dean (1921-1955) continues to haunt us. Though he died nearly 50 years ago, the enigmatic star of East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause, and Giant still symbolizes the mystery and torment of adolescence-an image that his sudden, violent death fixed forever in the public mind.

Magnum photographer Dennis Stock met Dean in Hollywood in 1954 and began to capture him on camera. Shot over a three-month period just as the young actor's star began to rise, these iconic photographs are the greatest pictures ever taken of Dean. Together with Stock's text and an introduction by Dean biographer Joe Hyams, the images provide an extraordinarily intimate view of the cult legend whose brooding good looks captivated fans by illuminating the troubled depths of his character. Published on the 50th anniversary of his death, this is the definitive photographic portrait of James Dean in both his professional and his private worlds-the real man behind the lingering legend. AUTHOR BIO: Dennis Stock has been associated with Magnum Photos since 1951, and his photographs are in the collections of many major museums. Stock is the author of 16 books, including California Trip, on the surrealistic landscape of that state. He lives in Connecticut. Joe Hyams is the noted author of 28 books, among them James Dean: Little Boy Lost, the definitive Dean biography. Immediately after Dean's death, he was the first authorized by the actor's family to write about him.
... Read more


18. Against All Odds: My Story
by Chuck Norris, Ken Abraham
list price: $24.99
our price: $16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805431616
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publishers
Sales Rank: 1168
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Book Description

Millions of people around the world know Chuck Norris as the star of more than 20 motion pictures, including "Delta Force," "Missing in Action," and "Return of the Dragon."Millions more know him as a martial arts expert, the only man in the Western Hemisphere to hold an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. And then there are others who know him from his eight seasons on CBS’s longest running series, "Walker, Texas Ranger."

What many don't know is that Chuck Norris is a sincere Christian—a man whose faith plays a role in everything he does.Against All Odds is an inspirational story of how Norris overcame abject poverty from childhood, the effects of his father’s alcoholism and desertion of the family, and his own shyness and lack of strength and ability early in his life. Norris writes candidly about how he was able to overcome such obstacles in his life—giving full credit to God. ... Read more


19. If Chins Could Kill : Confessions of a B Movie Actor
by Bruce Campbell
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312291450
Catlog: Book (2002-08-24)
Publisher: L.A. Weekly Books
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Okay, so at least you're interested enough to pick up this book and look inside. I think you and I are going to get along just fine.

Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to buy the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor.

Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself.

No, and that's exactly the point. Bookstores are chock full of household name actors and their high stakes shenanigans. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we've all been down that road before.

Case in point: look to your left - see that Judy Garland book? You don't need that, you know plenty about her already - great voice, crappy life. Now look to your right at the Charlton Heston book. You don't need to cough up hard-earned dough for that either. You know his story too - great voice, crappy toupee.

The truth is that though you might not have a clue who I am, there are countless working stiffs like me out there, grinding away every day at the wheel of fortune.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor is my first book, and I invite you to ride with me through the choppy waters of blue collar Hollywood.

Okay, so buy the damned book already and read like the wind!

Best,
Bruce Campbell

P.S. If the book sucks, at least there are gobs of pictures, and they're not crammed in the middle like all those other actor books.
... Read more

Reviews (148)

4-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, insightful read
I'm not much of a book reader, so I normally don't get excited over autobiographies. But I must say that I read the book from cover to cover in one sitting and enjoyed it immensely. It's well-written, humorous, and offers insightful information on Hollywood through Campbell's trials and tribulations of making ends meet in the business. He discusses not only the Evil Dead movies, but also touches on the range of his work from Crimewave to the Hercules/Xenia TV shows. Campbell mentions little of his personal life, which is actually refreshing..allowing fans to get a sense of who he is through his writing and his film/TV work. He comes across as a "down to earth" kind of guy, sort of as someone who'd be chronicling his experiences in a diary. Avid Bruce Campbell fans will enjoy this book, as well as mainstream book readers who are looking for something fun and entertaining to read...oh, and two high points of the book: tons of photos and drawings; and short chapters (I don't know how many times I lost interest in a book because the chapters were 20-30 pages long). Highly recommended...

5-0 out of 5 stars Stop, You're Killing Me!
It's not often one finds a literate actor-personality so willing to share not only opinions but be open about the process that leads one into filmmaking. But, it's so surprise that Bruce Campbell should fit into that category. In his website updates and in person, he comes across as a down-to-earth, intelligent guy who seems more comfortable as a poker buddy than a high-falootin' actor. His book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, reinforces that image.

Campbell starts at the beginning, with his parents, and goes through formative (and hilarious) experiences in his schooldays, including meeting Sam Raimi and other filmmaking contemporaries. The stories about making Super-8 films during and after high school are great, as was the process by which the team ended up making The Evil Dead (not a bad guide for people looking to break into the 'Biz, either). Campbell talks about his experiences in other films and TV shows like Brisco County, all the way up until his recent involvement in Xena and Jack of All Trades.

Campbell's tour-de-force is as funny as it is informative, and his tongue-in-cheek style resonates and makes for a very easy read. Even those not familiar with Campbell and his work, or movies in general, will find enough to keep them interested; fans will definitely want to give this book a once - or twice - over.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Hysterical
Bruce Campbell has done a magnificent job of writing his autobiography with a twinkle in his eye. He covers his life in Suburban Detroit with his family and his future co-workers in the Evil Dead. What comes across is a man that both loves his craft as well as understands his position in the "B" list position of Hollywood. Campbell Spends a great deal of time writing about his experiences from both the Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. The movie is fun to watch, but it certainly not fun to make. Campbell gives an inside look at the whole process and how unglamorous it actually is. Campbell also writes how tough the acting life is on families. He writes about his divorce and why she left him. He also writes about how there are long periods of time between the work and dealing with this. He does not name names as some books do on the dirt, but he does mention some of his personal peeves of some actors and if you know the movies he writes about, you can figure out the actor. Mostly this book is alot of fun, full of pictures, and it is truly a nice way of passing time. Highly Recommended

4-0 out of 5 stars Your Antidote to Hollywood Memoirs
Bruce Campbell has etched an incredible career for himself, but by popular Hollywood standards, he's still on the lower rung - a "B" actor as he proudly calls himself. This status has stuck him in low-budget films and somewhat trashy television shows. However, Campbell has a large and (obsessively) devoted fanbase. The beginning of most chapters start with a strange e-mail he received from one of his fans, ranging from marriage proposals to an invitation to a girl's senior prom.

Campbell keeps this light-hearted feeling throughout the book, which makes it incredibly accessible for those not looking to get into the nitty gritty of a huge Hollywood star. He is not a star, nor does he have much in the realm of personal details to share. It's his technically detailed and hilarious explanations on how "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead II" were made that give this book an added flair for budding filmmakers. His experiences on the set prove to be inspiring and touching - a lesson for all those who harbor self-doubt in the face of daunting tasks.

Though I'm not a fan of "Hercules" or "Xena" by any means, I really enjoyed his briefly on-air television show, "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," and that is where my Campbell fascination began. Then I saw his "Evil Dead" films, and, being a horror fan as well as a huge admirer of Sam Raimi's directorial aesthetic, my love for Campbell was solidified. His campy, overacted performances in those films directly match his writing style, which makes for an entertaining read.

I recommend this book for all those interested in film, or anyone that wants to celebrate a proud B-grade actor who is hasn't been given the chances of many other A-list stars. Just to hear how happy he is with his near-inadequacy is enough to drive an artist to never give up hope in the face of intimidating Hollywood pillars.

5-0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried...
Well, I laughed mostly. Still, thinking back to my college days when I did a lot of work in film, I did feel like crying on occasion. I think it was sympathy pains. Bruce Campbell, despite his mighty chin (which is so big and sharp you could probably use it to open a can of beans), had a rough start. Reading about how he and friend Sam Raimi managed somehow to complete "Evil Dead" was empowering to me (I mean, if that actually worked for them, maybe I have hope after all).

This book is not a literary masterpiece, nor is it a study in grammarian excellence. This book is a raw and honest portrayal of Hollywood's "B" side. It is magnificent because Bruce Campbell still thinks like a B actor, even though he's a fairly mainstream cult attraction at this point (with a cameo in Spiderman!). The perspective offered in this fun (and easy) read is refreshing and interesting. It really does give a glimpse into the life of an actor in "blue collar hollywood". ... Read more


20. The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue : A Child of the Fifties Looks Back
by Robert Klein
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684854880
Catlog: Book (2005-06-02)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 9629
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dear Reader,


When we asked the beloved award-winning comedian and actor Robert Klein to write a book, you can imagine our utter surprise when he told us that he wanted to write about sixth-century Chinese pottery. Thankfully, he hit a creative brick wall (since he doesn't really know anything about pottery from China or anywhere else). Then came similar failures to write books about sea turtles, circumnavigation of the globe, building jet engines at home, the sociology of chickens, or fungi of the skin.

Luckily, Mr. Klein's paramount concern was the consumer. He knew that if we, his publishers, were going to boldly ask you to purchase his book (see above for price), he would have to write something so good, so worthwhile, so meaningful as to make you want to send additional money to your bookseller in gratitude for having allowed you to partake in this reading experience.

So Mr. Klein set out to write about what he knows best: himself. This book is about the adventures of a child who becomes a young man: how he thinks and dreams and lusts and fears and laughs and handles adversity.

From the beginning of his distinguished career as a comedian, Robert Klein established himself as a pioneer in observational humor and razor-sharp routines that are infectiously funny. Now -- for the first time -- Klein brings his trademark humor and honesty to the printed page. In this portrait of a comic as a young man, Klein takes us back to the people and streets of his Bronx neighborhood, the eccentric cast of characters in the Catskills hotels and bungalow colonies where he worked, the college dorms where he received more than an academic education, the 1964 World's Fair where he fell in love, New York City and Chicago in the 1960s as he developed his talent, and Los Angeles just as he was about to embark on a show business career. Throughout, Klein reveals the hilarity of growing up and explores the mysteries and his own foibles in sex and relationships. He recounts with wit and poignancy losing his virginity with a prostitute, bringing home a German girlfriend to his Jewish family, and the amorous adventures of the busboy he once was.

With an ego more fragile than Chinese pottery, Robert Klein has written a funny and evocative coming-of-age memoir -- well worth the price (if we say so ourselves). Enjoy.


All the best,
The Publisher ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book Truly Worth The Wait
Robert Klein has been my favorite comedian since I was twelve.Mind Over Matter was the first comedy album I ever heard and after that I was hooked.In eighth grade English class when we were assigned to memorize and recite a poem, I chose Mind Over Matter by Robert Klein (which I still know by heart.)

Since then I have become a comedian myself, and whenever asked who my favorite comedian is I answer "Robert Klein" without hesitation.I was thrilled to discover his memoir and am excited to be the first customer reviewer.

Klein once again displays the unique intelligence fans have valued for years by writing a detailed and touching memoir rather than a joke book.This book is rich with detailed memories.As an avid fan I was amazed and intrigued by how closely the routines I remember so fondly reflect Klein's real life.This confirms the theory that the best humor, and Klein is the very best, must come from the truth.

In a his classic routine about Alfred University ("people clap with one hand for Alfred") Klein recounted his shock upon discovering a dormitory neighbor with a swastika mobile and his frantic phone call home ("Mama, the boy next door..."). The book contains an in depth telling of the tale, which includes a brawl with the boy who insisted the shape wasn't actually a swastika.

In another old favorite routine Klein asked, "do you really have to wait an hour after you eat before you go swimming?" He went on to explain that his father claimed that you waited different times for different foods ("jello - five minutes, franks and beans - you can't go in till NEXT YEAR.") The book tells this true story in great detail.

In another routine Klein spoke about how his mother had a story about how anything and everything was dangerous, even playing checkers ("a boy on Hull Street put his eye out with a checker.") The memoir describes in great detail many examples of the overprotective behavior of both of his parents and how his youth was filled with fear of danger everywhere.These and more elaboration on the true stories behind the lines will appeal to any reader and will particularly fascinate fans.

The book is smart, touching and honest.Klein is a comedian's comedian and any true fan of comedy appreciates the importance and brilliance of his work.In this book Klein generously, with great skill shares a behind the scenes look at his evolution.It is a book well worth reading and I very highly recommend it.
... Read more


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