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$10.46 $7.99 list($13.95)
141. Behind the Smile: My Journey Out
142. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
$10.85 $10.43 list($15.95)
143. On The Road With The Ramones
$1.24 list($25.95)
144. Landing It: My Life on and Off
$2.93 list($24.95)
145. Dancing With Demons: The Authorized
146. The Andrews Sisters: A Biography
$18.45 $6.98 list($27.95)
147. Careless Love : The Unmaking of
$12.89 list($18.95)
148. Kate Moss
$32.97 $14.99 list($49.95)
149. James Bond: The Legacy
$11.53 $4.50 list($16.95)
150. Gullible's Travels : The Adventures
151. The World of the Trapp Family
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152. Howling at the Moon : The Odyssey
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153. Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie
$19.95 $13.95
154. The Barry Diller Story : The Life
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155. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
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156. U2 by U2
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157. Gasping for Airtime : Two Years
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158. Tori Amos: All These Years : The
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159. Easy Riders Raging Bulls : How
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160. Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography

141. Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression
by Marie Osmond, Marcia Wilkie, Judith Moore
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044667852X
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 270912
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

While the famous Osmond smile beamed for the camera, no one, not even Marie, fully realized the emptiness that loomed behind the smile. Marie is not alone; more than one out of ten new mothers experiences post-partum de-pression (PPD) after childbirth. The mother of seven, Marie became increasingly depressed after the birth of her youngest child. One night, she got in her car, leaving her family and husband, and drove north-with no intention of returning until she felt she had resolved this crisis. After she went public with her own experiences with PPD on Oprah and Larry King Live, the response was overwhelming. Now, Marie shares the fear and darkness of the depression she overcame, and with the doctor who helped her through her ordeal, offers the methods she learned for treating PPD. ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Does anyone really have a clue about PPD?
If you have a question about how a mother could drown her 5 children (Houston, Tx, June 2001), this may give some insight.

When I first purchased the book, I thought I would more be able to relate to Marie's problems. During the book I couldn't help but think that if she only knew how people who were not famous or rich had to deal with some of her problems, she would be ashamed of complaining. Further into the book, however, she explains that she even knew that people would feel this way. I began to understand where she was coming from, and identify with her somewhat. The most valuable part of the book, I believe, are the doctor's recommendations and information at the end of the book. This, with Marie's detailed synopsis of PPD makes the book a very informative read. I have to ask, however, what part Marie's husband played in the PPD. It seemed like she insinuated that if he had been there to help, she might not have gone into depression.

4-0 out of 5 stars Validated my feelings and gave me hope
As someone currently going through PPD, I found this book very comforting and helpful. OK, so Marie's an entertainer, not a writer--big deal. I applaud her for having the courage to "air (some of) her dirty laundry" in order to help other women who experience this horrible condition. I was extremely impressed by Dr. Judith Moore's section of the book and plan to try her recommendations. As someone else said, Dr. Moore's section alone is worth the price of the book. However, it is Marie who introduces us to Dr. Moore in the first place and Marie's "image" that's selling the book to many people, so Marie's contribution can't be discounted.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Man's Point of View
First, as a fan, I willingly disclose that I purchased the book because it was about Marie. I did not realize that it would have such an impact.

I discovered that some of the PPD symptoms were similar to severe PMS symptoms my wife had been suffering from for 20 years. Because of the treatment options suggested by Dr. Moore I was able to make an appointment for my wife, and thanks to the treatment and supplements, the physical symptoms all but vanished.

I am now divorced, and on a recent re-read of the book, I was surprised to find myself relating to Marie's feelings of guilt and loss of self-esteem connected with her PPD. The poem at the end of her section of the book has had a profound effect on me as I work to deal with the effects of my divorce.

This book will always have a prominent place on my shelf. Thank you Marie and Dr. Judith.

5-0 out of 5 stars PPD is real
I thank Marie Osmond for having the courage to write this book. I have been dealing with the shame, the pain, and other emotional obstacles due to PPD for the last 2 years. The tears rolled down my face as I read this book. The book validated all the emotions that I was feeling. Now that I know what it is I am dealing with I can get the help that I need to get out of this and move on with my life. Thanks Marie.

5-0 out of 5 stars An answer to many prayers
I couldn't read this fast enough. I laughed and cried for so many reasons! be feel not alone! The only bad thing is that the copy I read was a library that it is returned, I can't refer to it like I need to. The medical advice is changing the way I think about what it means to be healthy. I am buying it and recommend it to everybody I talk to. She is an angel! She is my hero! You go, Marie! ... Read more

142. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes : My Story
by Annette Funicello, Patricia Romanowski
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786860200
Catlog: Book (1994-05-03)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 206187
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fresh, lively writing and colorful anecdotes
Surprisingly absorbing and lively recollections from Annette Funicello, one-time Mouseketeer and Disney darling who was the only teen-mouse to graduate to the big screen via the "Beach Party" and "Merlin Jones" comedies. Annette comes clean about being the only Mouseketeer kept on contract by Walt Disney after The MMC ran it's course, and she contemplates why that was and how her co-stars struggled without Disney's guidance. She is very upfront, but also a little indifferent to her own good fortune, embarrassed and innately shy about a career that just fell into her lap. She says she never aspired to fame, but got it regardless. The book continues its interesting narrative even after Annette marries and retires, cleaning the house the day she heard Walt Disney passed, and eventually realizing her marraige was out of gas. Fate dealt Annette(and all her fans)a bitter hand when she was diagnosed with MS, which she still continues to fight, but her inspiring conclusion to the book gives all of us hope.

3-0 out of 5 stars Relatively engaging, but missing a lot
As a fan of the "pop" movies and music of the 1960's, I've had a long term interest in the author.So I opened up this book not just curious, but perhaps somewhat already knowlegable about Annette, particularly her "post-Mickey Mouse club" career and life.

And perhaps that's why I give this book at best 3 stars.Annette and Patricia Romanowski (perhaps the names should be the other way around, one gets the sense reading this -- given much of the vocabularily used and the quality of the writing -- that Romanowski, not Funicello wrote most of it; nothing against Annette, but I have a hard time believing a woman with just a high school education writes this well) really cherry-pick way you learn about.

Fine, I understand that's the nature of celebrity "autobiography," but this one goes too far.It over-focuses heavily on certain stories (her adolescent relationship with Paul Anka, making it out to be a lot more than it probably was) and completely ignores others.

As example, some of the messy "politics" that went on in the cast of the original Mickey Mouse club -- everything is warm and fuzzy in Annette's version -- remain unmentioned.

The book also glosses over Annettes entry into the American International Beach Party movies.In the book, Annette implies Walt Disney simply offered her a script one day for a film named "Beach Party."Well, the story isn't quite that simple:

Annette's entry in the series came partly because she and Walt Disney knew she desperately needed a change in career direction.By early 1963, Annette was 20 and had clearly grown out of her "kiddy" positioning as a Mouseketeer.Walt did his best, but could only find so many internal opportunities for a "grown up"" Annette.She'd appeared in a handful of live action movies for Disney, and still made occasional appearances on his Sunday TV show, but this wasn't leading to any starring role opportunities outside of his company.Also, a pop singing career that started in 1959 and produced a handful of hits had slowed down (by early 1963, Annette hadn't charted in almost 3 years).As a result, when AIP approached Walt, looking for an affordable, beautiful brand-name leading lady who could sing for their new, trendy "surfing" movie, he immediately saw an opportunity to fix his "what-do-I-do-with-Annette" problem.With his blessing (Annette was still under contract to Disney,) a deal with AIP was quickly finalized.

But you'll never hear about any of that in this book.

Also, Annette repeats an infamous "urban legend" about the Beach Party series.

Since she was still under contract with Disney while appearing in these movies, Annnete claims Walt Disney insisted in negotiations with AIP that she never be involved in any "suggestive" sequences.Specifically, she says Walt insisted she could not be filmed wearing anything that "showed her navel."Annette goes on to state that through the course of 6 Beach Party movies, she never wore anything that showed her navel "out of respect" for Mr. Disney.

Well, irrespective of what Walt supposedly requested/desired, Annette apparently forgot about the bathing suits she wore during early scenes in both Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach: in the former, a white supposedly "tummy-covering" two piece, and the latter an honest to goodness blue and white bikini. Both of these at times clearly left her navel 100% uncovered and readily viewable to anyone who isn't asleep (the "navel appearance" is brief and somewhat subtle in Muscle but obvious and extensive in Bikini, particularly in the scenes where Annette first gets involved with Avalon's "Potato Bug" character).As far as navels go, Annette's is nice, but hardly anything to get all hot and bothered over (particularly in the context of the distraction produced by all the other undulating, bikinied females floating around in those scenes).Frankly, one is really left wondering what all the fuss was about.

The book also completely ignores Annette's post Beach Party career at American International Pictures, an intriguing period that had a lot to do with her "retiring" from acting when she did.

Botttom line: one ends up respecting the author - she is indeed is the class act and lady you always presumed -but frustrated, knowing there's a lot more to her story.

I would really love it if someone has taped this movie when it came on tv; if they could get in touch with me...I'd like a copy. I am a fan of all movies based upon true stories...I am at ahunter at winston dot com

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Books I Have Ever Read
Since I've been a fan of Annette ever since day one on the Mickey Mouse Club, how can I not rate it as number one. She's the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Warm-Hearted Account of a Warm-Hearted Person
Obviously, I would not have sought out this book to read if there had not been something about Annette Funicello I had already found very much appealling.And I mean beyond her obvious good-looks and incredible smile.And reading it confirms what I always believed in my heart -and what I wanted to believe- to be true about Annette: she is an absolute sincere and caring person. Okay, if not for Annette's eventual battle with MS, the book doesn't contain any real human drama beyond what most of us might say we experience in our everyday lives (and she acknowledges that!!).And her's is a wonderful life. Annette is absolutely convincing that what she sees through her eyes and the emotions she feels throughout the events of her life are absolutely sincere.Call it sugar-coating if you want.I believe she is absolutely real. Annette always looks to see the best in people.And therefore, it just is not in her heart to pass judgement on people and tear them down - even when sometimes, she gets hurt.Imagine that.And she never "sold out" on her principles for more money or selfish career advancement.In fact, she really was ready to walk away from it completely for the sake of her children and a little privacy.So if you want dirt and drama, go somewhere else.MS or no MS, this book is sweet.But that's Annette.So it should be.And we can all stand to learn something from her, in one aspect or another...Or just enjoy her taking us on a trip back to an America, as she so describes "has sadly passed into history." ... Read more

143. On The Road With The Ramones
by Monte A. Melnick, Frank Meyer
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1860745148
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 6817
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Ramones' music has influenced nearly every power pop, punk, alternative, and metal band. Monte A. Melnick served as The Ramones tour manager from their early New York club days in the '70s to their farewell gigs in 1996. Filled with memorabilia including photographs and interviews collected along the way, this is his view of life on the road with the band as "babysitter to psychiatrist, booking agent to travel agent, paymaster to van driver." ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Monte is the fifth Ramone
This was such a fun read. I have been a diehard Ramones fan for almost 20 years, so much of the subject matter was not surprising to me. Although there are quite a few grammatical errors, the book is still well written. One thing that I appreciated was that Melnick includes interviews from Vera Ramone (Dee Dee's first wife). After reading Dee Dee's books, one would think that he was never married before Barbara (his wife until he met his untimely demise). Vera was married to Dee Dee for over eleven years, and it is wonderful and touching to read her insights about Dee Dee. The book also includes humorous anecdotes that will make you laugh out loud as you read ahout this crew of misfits who managed over 2,000 shows in their career. It was fascinating to learn about the many tasks a tour manager must undertake. Melnick was a true friend to the Ramones, and often underrated. If it weren't for his professionalism, I doubt that the band would be where they are today. Monte is truly the fifth Ramone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes Melnicks!
Despite the fact that this book was written as a narrative, much like " Please Kill Me, " it was a pleasant and an easy read. This book is a tad more credible than most of the other Ramones books out there since one of its authors was none other than Monte A. Melnick, who not only worked as tour coordinator for The Ramones but who also was a friend and confidante to the band members. While Dee Dee's novels consisted of little more than inane, misspelled ramblings about which drugs he imbibed and how badly he was treated, Mr. Melnick's book is articulate and concise and one can surmise that he spent more time sober and that he had a better grip on reality. The book tells of the time spent on the road ( as the title suggests ), but it also gives a little more personal insight into the lives of the band members through interviews with those closest to them ( not least Mr. Melnick, himself ). This book is a must for any Ramones fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's Monte, Not Monty!"
Monte's book, "On The Road With The Ramones" tells it like it is and was.

Frank Meyer knows his punk rock.

This book is a MUST HAVE for any Ramones fan, and offers insight not only into rock 'n' roll and punk rock, but into the concept of bands themselves.

Monte is honest, sincere, and an all around nice guy. As much as I'd like to say this is my FAVORITE Ramones book, with all the infighting that goes on among these guys (and still does to this day), it's best I don't.

The pictures in here are priceless and I think Monte's pal, Shira, deserves lots of credit for helping him and Frank out with what is one of the best rock books ever written.

Buy this right away. No matter if you are a Ramones fan, or just heard of them. This book truely talks about the heart of rock n' roll. And sometimes that ain't pretty. But it sure is interesting.

June 2004

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Just got through reading this book. Its cool that the Ramones tour manager wrote this book, so there is no bias towards making anyone look spotless. They were a great band but they didnt get along very well at all. Pretty much just tolerated each other. Alot of cool stories in the book. Johnny was a conservative, good work ethic, maybe a little condescending of other races, sports fanatic. Dee Dee was bipolar with a bad drug problem, genius. Tommy wasnt a great drummer but had great vision. Joey had a compulsive disorder but was the ultimate overachiever and brillant. But could never get the woman that Johnny stole out of his mind. Mark was a great drummer but an acoholic and unstable. Richie was good but underpaid. C.J. was probably the only person in the world who could replace Dee Dee on Bass. I have always liked the music but had no idea about the men. After reading this book I like them even more. To bad a couple of them are not around to see the much deserved respect that the Ramones get these days. Buy the book. Monte deserves it for all the stuff he had to deal with on a daily basis.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best ramones Book By Far, So Far!
I Eagerly Anticipated This Book. I was Not disappointed when I finally Found my Autographed Copy! Detailed, Funny, Exciting, Scary, & Full of New Insider Information! I Learned things I NEVER knew in All my Years of being a Ramones Fan. For example: I never heard a word about Joey's Compulsive disorders. Kinda More tragic on top of their Rock'n'Roll triumphs. The Book is ordered very well, like I would assume Monte was on All those Tours. I used to see him All the Time at Concerts & he was "familiar" but I never thought why. I could have been a Crazy Roadie myself!
Ramones Fans: Run out & get your Copies today! I laughed out loud Many Times & You will too. The Band's Music Now Means Even More to me after Reading about their obstacles & determination. We'll Never Forget 'em. Thanks to Monte & the Boys too. ... Read more

144. Landing It: My Life on and Off the Ice
by Scott Hamilton, Lorenzo Benet
list price: $25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575664666
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Sales Rank: 433306
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!!
Excellent Book for any fans of Scott's a well writen story about his life. Few pictures of himself and friends and family. Recommed to any one that likes to read. Ages around 12 and up.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
This book tells the story of a man who showed the world that anything can be done with faith. I had a hard time putting this book down. I highly recommed this book for anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good read for fans of the "skate god for life"
Fans of Scott Hamilton will enjoy this book.It's a little on the saccharine side, but most of Scott Hamilton's fans would probably expect that, anyway.

4-0 out of 5 stars COURAGE ON ICE!
Triples, flying sit-spins, axels, performances sprinkled with humor, strength, technical artistry, battling cancer, inspiring,motivating, showcasing legions of other skaters-- and still landing it with courage and grace is Scott Hamilton.I enjoyed this book which allows us to hear "his voice".Those who have faced cancer tend to look back at their life journey and re-evaluate their past behavior and decisions.So his apologiesare understandable, part of the healing process, and enhances his maturity as a human being and a mega talented person. The man is courage personified on and off the ice. The book is refreshing in its honesty and approach.

2-0 out of 5 stars A maze of fragmented ramblings.
And I thought "Zero Tollerance" by Toller Cranston was bad!"Landing It" is basically one long apology cover to cover.Hamilton uses the book to apologize for anything he ever did to anyone in his life -- and as a way to say things that he obviously cannot or will not articulate face to face."Landing It" reads almost like a suicide note -- a vain effort to made amends and state reasons why he behaved a certain way toward a certain person.Extremely boring reading 80 percent of the time.Hamilton's insecurity as a skater and person came through loud and clear, and that is a somewhat surprising character trait that is perhaps subconsciously revealed by Hamilton in the book.With so much going for him, Hamilton by now should know he has made it and doesn't need to prove a thing to anyone.He's been good for the development of the sport of figure skating, but he should not leave his day job.As a story-teller and the subject of a 470+ page paperback, Hamilton just doesn't cut a good figure.Buy a copy of "Landing It" if you love Scott Hamilton and want to read a pointless book.Skip it otherwise; "Landing It" definitely was two-footed. ... Read more

145. Dancing With Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield
by Penny Valentine, Vicki Wickham
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312282028
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 524703
Average Customer Review: 2.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dusty Springfield led a tragic yet inspiring life, battling her way to the top of the charts and into the hearts of music fans world-wide. Her signature voice made songs such as, "I Only Want to Be With You," "Son of A Preacher Man," and You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," international hits. In Dancing With Demons, two of her closest friends, Valentine and Wickham, capture, with vivid memories and personal anecdotes, a Dusty most people never glimpsed in this no-holds-barred yet touching portrait of one of the world's true grand dames of popular music.
... Read more

Reviews (16)

If Dusty Springfield was alive today, the road to fame might have been a little smoother. Today, life style no longer holds the barriers it did back in the 60's when the words "gay" and "lesbian" were only mentioned behind closed doors, and sometimes not even then. Regardless of Springfield's sexual orientation, she was by far one of the greatest superstars in her day.

Through the pages of this book, as written by her former manager and a close personal friend, the reader will come to understand this phenomenal artist in a way never before revealed. She did have many demons in her past to deal with, some imposed by others, many self-inflicted. For all the fame and glory she had in her "moment in the sun", the reader cannot help by feel that Springfield's life was such a tragedy filled with alcohol, drugs, self-mutiliation, insecurities and, finally, cancer which finally ended her tumultuous life. Springfield could belt out a song with such power and gusto, but how many fans really knew the tormented, insecure woman behind the voice. This is an excellent book written by two of the people who knew her best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dancing with Demons
This book was informative, funny, and a great glimpse of what it must have been like to be a friend of Dusty Springfield. The revealing of what it might have been like to be Dusty herself. It is a well written, poignant look at Dusty's career. Everyone assumes being famous is wonderful, however, this portrait shows both of fame's sides. If you enjoy Dusty's music, and want to know more about her as a person, this is the book for you. Several of those she worked with spoke to the authors. The authors' themselves provide a backstage glance into the career, personal life, and heartbreak of Dusty's life with complete honesty.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gifed Singer... Troubled Soul...
"Dancing with Demons" is probably one of the most controversial accounts ever written on the late British songstress, Dusty Springfield. From her mediocre rise in Europe with "I Only Want To Be With You" to the tumultuous 70's, which saw her career evaporate and her songs disappear from the charts, and hitting an all-time low with drugs and alcohol. You will also read about Dusty's stormy, somewhat peculiar lesbian relationships, her struggles to get her career back on track, her moves from the UK to America and Toronto, then finally back to the UK.

A truly heartwarming account of this dearly missed lady who ruled 60's pop charts. Although Dusty may be gone in a physical sense, those of us who remember her will always treasure her memory and celebrate the days when she was one of the most glorious and talented singers who ever graced the stage. The magic she could do with a song endures today, and very few singers can evoke the same type of emotion with a song like she could. In summary, "Dancing with Demons" is a must for any true Dusty fan, and although the book might seem a little "gossipy" at times, it still should be read as it paints Dusty as a gifted, caring, beautiful, albeit troubled woman who was in conflict with herself, her music, her sexuality and the world around her. We miss you Dusty! Rest in Peace.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dancing with Dummies
What I'd really like to know is exactly WHO authorized this book on Dusty Springfield, I seriously doubt that she did.

Additionally, I wonder what kind of beef the "authors," Vicky Wickham and Penny Valentine have with Dusty? If these women are her friends.... who needs enemies????

Read Lucy O'Brien's book, much better.

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting for hard core fans...but not representative
If you are just recently discovering Dusty Springfield,
I do not recommend this book, as it concentrates mainly
on her troubled personal life and does not really
talk about her musical achievements. The content
on her musical career is almost non existant and
when anything is mentioned its usually erroneus and

This however is an interesting book for hard core
fans that already know the musical genious of Dusty.
The book reveals what a trouble and horrific personal
life she had and how it obviously affected her
musical career. ... Read more

146. The Andrews Sisters: A Biography and Career Record
by H. Arlo Nimmo, Harry Nimmo
list price: $55.00
our price: $55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786417315
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Sales Rank: 267847
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Andrews Sisters, the legendary singing trio of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are the most successful female singing group in history and were the world’s top selling group until the Beatles arrived. Of the 605 songs they recorded, 113 charted. They also made 18 movies, appeared regularly onradio and television, and entertained three generations of GIs.

Based on extensive research, unpublished letters, and interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, this book documents not only the lives and work of the Andrews Sisters but also the popular culture spanned by their long careers. The book contains a complete discography of their released, unreleased, and solo recordings, including recording dates, record numbers, and accompaniment. Also included are a filmography and documentation of their radio and television appearances. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but lacking in some departments
The author has done an overall decent job in dissecting the Andrews Sisters rollercoaster career, however I was surprised that there were no photographs of sheet music or even a record album. Not even one. The singing trio released hundreds of albums over the decades, yet no photograph of an LP album cover in this book. I'd have liked to have seen what the first album cover looked like and even their final LP release.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the Book you've been looking for!
This terrific effort is jam-packed with details, information, sociology, chronology, scandal, reviews of performances and recordings from all stages of their career and an overall unabashed affection for the never-to-be-topped Andrews Sisters. To say that this author did his homework only begins to describe the vast accumulated data and the fun collage of material that is stuffed into this work. If this book is not definitive, it is about as close as any Andrews Sisters book is likely to get.
The only major missing element of this history is the lack of participation by the surviving Sister, Patty, who apparently did not respond to requests for an interview for this project. This lack of input from Patty is significant but the author provides key insights from many contemporaries close to the Sisters.
The price tag is a bargain for anyone interested in the best female vocalists of the 20th Century, their times, their struggles, their success and their joyous legacy of brassy, vibrant popular music. For Andrews Sisters collectors, this Book is the Dead Sea Scrolls! ... Read more

147. Careless Love : The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (Careless Love)
by Peter Guralnick
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316332224
Catlog: Book (1999-01-08)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 230525
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Until Peter Guralnick came out with Last Train to Memphis in 1994, most biographies of Elvis Presley--especially those written by people with varying degrees of access to his "inner circle"--were filled with starstruck adulation, and those that weren't in awe of their subject invariably went out of their way to take potshots at the rock & roll pioneer (with Albert Goldman's 1981 Elvis reaching now-legendary levels of bile and condescension). Guralnick's exploration of Elvis's childhood and rise to fame was notable for its factual rigorousness and its intimate appreciation of Presley's musical agenda.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Guralnick sees Elvis through his tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Germany, where he first met--and was captivated by--a 14-year-old girl named Priscilla Beaulieu. We may think we know the story from this point: the return to America, the near-decade of B-movies, eventual marriage to Priscilla, a brief flash of glory with the '68 comeback, and the surrealism of "fat Elvis" decked out in bejeweled white jumpsuits, culminating in a bathroom death scene. And while that summary isn't exactly false, Guralnick's account shows how little perspective we've had on Elvis's life until now, how a gross caricature of the final years has come to stand for the life itself. He treats every aspect of Presley's life--including forays into spiritual mysticism and the growing dependency on prescription drugs--with dignity and critical distance. More importantly, Careless Love continues to show that Guralnick "gets" what Presley was trying to do as an artist: "I see him in the same way that I think he saw himself from the start," the introduction states, "as someone whose ambition it was to encompass every strand of the American musical tradition." From rock to blues to country to gospel, Guralnick discusses how, at his finest moments, Elvis was able to fulfill that dream. --Ron Hogan ... Read more

Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, scholarly treatise
Few people have ever impacted American culture as did Elvis Presley; his contribution to rock music is immeasurable. Guralnick takes a scholarly approach and writes a carefully researched, detailed biography of The King. The first book deals with his meteoric rise from humble beginnings; the second deals with superstar Elvis and his sad decline. No doubt readers will wonder how they could have saved Elvis if only they'd known him; unfortunately, the only person who could have saved Elvis was himself. Forces and fate no doubt played a role which drove Elvis to use drugs as an escape from the stresses and abnormality of his life.
Both books by Guralnick stand alone as well-written biographies of the King. However, I recommend reading them both to get the full impact. It is refreshing to have available a serious, respectful book on Elvis Presley that's void of the usual sensationalistic, simplistic trash found in other, hastily-churned-out Presley biographies.

5-0 out of 5 stars A poingant, depressing, and insightful look at Elvis...
First and foremost, this is a depressing book. There is a warning in the author's note that the book is about a tragedy, and this is an understatement. Elvis Presely's "fall" was a hard and bitter one. This book outlines events starting in 1960 up to Presely's death in 1977. Things start out looking pretty good for Elvis as he leaves the army and begins his career almost anew, but as the 1970s emerge, things start to cloud over, and the book follows the downward spiraling vortex that Presley and his somewhat bizarre and almost constantly fluctuating entourage followed up to the end. Along the way, Guralnick allows readers to draw their own conclusions about Presley. Mostly the book outlines details of certain events - sometimes so detailed one wonders if Guralnick was there himself - interspersed with commentary from people who lived through these same events. It is not an uplifting read. One gets the impression that Presley's fame isolated him from pretty much the human race, made him untouchable (reprisals were feared by anyone is his immediate "gang", and it didn't help matters that most of them were on his payroll) and ultimately put him beyond the help of his own family and the people who he thought were his friends. Presely's fame turns horrendously destructive in the 1970s, and some of the stories and anecdotes may make the sensitive reader wince. Some of the stories are just downright strange: Presley's religious enlightenment from seeing an image in the clouds of the face of Stalin turn into the face of Jesus; Presley's determination to secure himself a position of Narcotics officer from President Nixon; the pranks Preseley and his retinue play on each other, on audiences, and on themselves; the fact that, as record sales declined, Presely's revenue actually increased. Other anecdotes have a more disturbing undertow: Presley's manipulation and abject objectification of the women in his life, and the fact that many of them kept coming back even after being brusquely brushed off; Presley's fascination with guns, and his sometime not so comforting habit of pointing them at people when angry; Presely's wild, erratic, and irresponsible spending; Presley's inability to take advice from his wife, girlfriends, business manager, and even his own father on dire personal matters (e.g., his finances, his marriage, his health). It is a tragedy to read about someone who both cared about people but also put himself above others in a way that put him beyond their help or aid.

The figure of "the Colonel" lurks behind the entire story. He has Presley's business needs in mind, and, due to his business acumen, makes Presley (and himself) multi-millionaires beyond imagination. It's amazing to read how the Colonel is able to make more and more money from Movie studios, even as movies starring Presley are on a sharp decline in revenue and popularity. The whole story is mind boggling. In the end, the Colonel thought he was taking care of Elvis in the best way he knew how, but insatiable greed and insular attention to the bottom line and almost nothing else probably hurt Presley more than it helped him in the long run. Guralnick does not say this anywhere in the book. Again, the reader must draw moral conclusions based on the evidence. Guralnick does not moralize apart from calling the story a tragedy, and this makes this biography doubly interesting, as different readers will likely draw different conclusions based on their own interpretations of the delineated events. Who is to blame in the end? Is it fair to blame one or a few people? Is it fair to blame Presley? These questions are not answered (as they shouldn't be) but much food for thought is presented. As usual in life, the answer is far more complicated than mere finger pointing can accommodate. Guralnick handles this subject with eloquence and a distance that pull the reader in and allow for reflection upon what happened. This is not the usual shoddy rock biography that typically clutters the "Music" section of bookstores. This is a story to sink one's cognitive teeth into and reflect upon. Warning: this book will make you think; it will make you moralize; it will make you angry and frustrated at what happened, and it will make you ask "Why?" Regardless if you are an Elvis Presley fan or not (I'm really not; I was very young when Presley passed on) this is a book worth reading. It is a thick book, but a quick read (keep your dictionary handy nonetheless). Once you're in fifty pages or so, you'll probably find yourself stuck on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Researched Tale of the King
There is one way to describe this book - wow, what a story.

The writing is just flat out good. Once you start reading be prepared to finish, except for those pesky breaks to sleep and work.

A very well written account of Elvis's life and actions in and out of the recording studio with lots of details, lots of hanky panky, road trips, recording sessions, flights, drugs, buying Cadillacs, the whole mess. Basically Elvis spent every cent he made. The colonel took each dollar and sent 50 cents to the IRS to keep Elvis out of trouble but Elvis and his "mafia" lived like kings where money was no object. If he was in the mood he would just pick up the phone and buy cars, trucks, land, food, whatever was his fancy. When he died Priscilla actually started to manage the finances and Graceland and then after he was dead, the money really increased.

With his love of music and his drive to create, he had hit after hit, a lull and then more hits, movies, hits, lulls, Las Vegas, and on and on. There were no limits until he came in collision with obesity and drugs. It all became very depressing and then it ended. Elvis came close to pulling back and recovering a few times but was unable or unwilling or not intelligent enough to see what was happening to himself. In that sense he was alone and in charge.

An enthralling and well written blockbuster that stays in your hands until the last page.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars Stirring...
I picked up the book Careless Love. At the time the title puzzled me. Who was guilty of Careless Love? Elvis? Umm. Go figure. But upon completion of the book, I now realize no other title would have suited. Elvis was guilty of careless love as was the people whom he surrounded himself with daily and most importantly the fans.
Now, I find no joy in his music and it is painful for me to look at smiling happy picture's of him when he was at the height of his career. Why? Because I know how it all ends. The man, who would burst on the scene and shred American culture, all the while rebuilding it, fascinates me. He was a pioneer, a rebel. Everyone knows the story. Poor boy makes good. But the trajectory his life took is painful to follow. How could a man whose vision changed the music world not have had enough foresight to see his own destructive and erratic behavior?
Paul Guralnick writes the only account of Elvis that I trust implicitly. Why? Because his regard for Elvis as an artist is woven between even the most heart wrenching accounts of his life. Mr. Guralnick does not try to persuade you to like or dislike Elvis. He merely gives Elvis life and places him in front of you saying, "Here he make the decision on how you feel about him."
The book is a disturbing but respectful look at a man who was gifted beyond reason. Mr. Guralnick clearly demonstrates that the fame Elvis endured was even beyond him.

5-0 out of 5 stars You want to know who Elvis really was? Read this book!
A wonderful achievement. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written. You'll learn everything about the King you always wanted to know - plus some facts of which you had rather remained ignorant. Careless Love is on par with the first volume of Guralnik's Elvis-biography, "Last Train to Memphis" (see also my review of that outstanding work). ... Read more

148. Kate Moss
by Katherine Kendall
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596090332
Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
Publisher: Chamberlain Bros.
Sales Rank: 40860
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Book Description

The turbulent times of one of the world's most beautiful women.

Kate Moss entered the modeling scene with a force that belied her fragile frame. Discovered completely by chance at New York's JFK airport, Moss was propelled to international stardom with her waif-like figure and hauntingly seductive features, launching the infamous "heroin chic" look that dominated the modeling world of the nineties. But living the fast-paced life of an international sex symbol took its toll, and Moss spiraled down into the chaotic celebrity lifestyle of nonstop partying that landed her first in the tabloids, then in rehab. Here, for the first time, is the shocking true story of the passion and pain hiding behind one of the most famous faces in the world.
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149. James Bond: The Legacy
by John Cork, Bruce Scivally
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810932962
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 98980
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

You know the name.You know the number.Now know the rest of the story.

Published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dr. No, the first James Bond film, James Bond: The Legacy is the official, definitive guide to the 007 phenomenon. Loaded with anecdotes, facts, and illustrations, the book provides features on the key actors, from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan, directors, costume and set designers, and others working behind the scenes. Without a doubt, this is the book of the Bond World.

James Bond: The Legacy takes readers through a comprehensive-and fun-history of the movies. The book places the films in the context of their times, showing how producers Albert "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman drew inspiration from the Cold War and from suave, glamorous icons like Hugh Hefner and JFK, and how later world events shaped story lines-and even how closely the series presaged actual technological developments. As the films move into their fifth decade, the book traces the total Bond impact, through fashion, the Austin Powers films, the Robbie Williams video, and much more, on a whole new generation.

Illustrated with over 550 rare photographs, illustrations, and storyboards from the Bond archives, James Bond: The Legacy ties in with major events and promotions marking 007's 40th anniversary. This will be a must-have book for the 2002 holiday season. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars The #1 Biggest and Best James Bond 007 Book Ever!
There have been countless amount of book on the films, book, culture, politics, comics, toys and anything and everything about James Bond. But, let me tell you that this is the best 007 book ever! You will notice that when you first see it because of it's huge size! It is the largest 007 book I own. Written by two authors who researched their facts and are excellent on the subject of James Bond.

What makes this book so unique? Many, practically all 007 books explain about the movies and books alone. This book does that, but includes how what was going on in the world and popular culture influenced many of the decisions in the films and books. All of the films, including Die Another Day, Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale are reviewed in equal amounts. These two official films have always been a little more difficult to read about, but now because MGM has recently added them under their ownership, they are explained in great detail. The best part is how the author's include not only the focus of the film, but what was going on in the world at the time. A great example is the dangerous choice to expose African Americans as the villains in Live and Let Die. This is a great way to see what was the pop culture during each film. Learn all about the Bond Family, and how they made many changes to the series such as increasing the authority of women, how Bond acted, amount of humor in the films and the way they were presented to the public. A great way to look at all of the thousands of people that have contributed to the series, enhanced with hundres of rare photographs and pictures. The best book to look back at the history of James Bond over the 40 years it has been around. The end of the book features great text information on the films. And, finally there is a quote from people that have worked on or in a Bond film.

The definititve Bond book. The Best. That covers it all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Licence to keep you up late!
This book has one big problem. It is too big! It is crammed with more info than most encyclopedias and loads of amazing pictures from the 40 years of Bond, James Bond. I just wish it was easier to hold and read. Alas, the pictures probably wouldn't look quite so good. If you have read other books on the Bond films, well, this one will give you a whole new perspective on the longest running, most successful series (until Lucas makes more Star Wars films) in movie history. While one reviewer here claimed that the book "re-invents the myth", considering the access the authors had to the filmmakers (there is a whole section of quotes from virtually everyone associated with the world of Bond), I would say this has to be the best word on the subject. Fortunately, we are spared rambling opinions and are given a great deal of depth, history and insight into how these films have stayed around for so long. Really enjoyed this book and if you are a Bond fan, I think you will, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The World is Not Enough
This is the most current difinitive volume on James Bond! You can't put it down once you've picked it up; you have to read something. There are pictures everywhere. You learn about Ian Fleming, each Bond star individually, and so much more. There is a section in the back that focuses on "The Numbers", how much a film rated when it was released, "The Adventures", which gives you a summary of the movie, and "The Filmmakers", which shows cast and crew of the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Bond Book EVER!
What a great book! I've read many Bond books and this one is by far the best. First of all, the book itself is gorgeous. It is HUGE and is jam-packed with great color photos. More importantly, though, this coffee table book contains a lot of great information. Not only does it go into detail about all the different Bond movies, but it also gives each film a historical context which makes it easier to understand why certain decisions were made. There are a lot of new Bond factoids that I learned from reading this book, even though I'm a big James Bond fan and thought I knew everything already! "James Bond: The Legacy" is a book that every Bond fan will treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best film book I've ever read!
The book is great. A goldmine for Bond fans and a surprisingly compelling read. This book covers not only Bond, but why Bond became popular and why 007 has stayed popular. To do that, the book's authors discuss the history of the Cold War and the changes in popular culture that have taken place over the past 50 years...which brings me to the reason I'm posting this review...

One reviewer ("Useless Commentary") claims the authors are pushing their "world view" and that they would rather 007 be working for the Soviets! I just read the book. I can't see any affection for the Soviets or any particular "World View". It appears the book is an official history of the films, loaded with great photos and quotes from the filmmakers, and I would be surprised if they were pushing a "world view." The whole book is a tribute to 007, not some book trashing him. As for the Soviets, I very much enjoyed the passages regarding the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism, and the celebration of freedom that followed. Of course, the authors don't say anything nice about the Watergate burglers (except that they were Bond fans), so maybe someone here is a big G. Gordon Liddy listener. You never know. ... Read more

150. Gullible's Travels : The Adventures of a Bad Taste Tourist
by Cash Peters
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0762727144
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Globe Pequot
Sales Rank: 36923
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Fans of Cash Peters' "Bad Taste Tours" on public radio will hail this outrageously funny collection of essays about his experiences traveling to and reporting on the most bizarre and tacky tourist attractions across the United States.
... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Where's the Audio Version?
After hearing Cash Peters' hysterically funny radio bits on Marketplace and Savvy Traveler for some years, I thought I knew what to expect from his book: more of the same. Right. And wrong.

Hearing the essays in small doses is a lot different than reading a whole book of essays at once. What seems like witty sarcasm in a two-minute on-air reading, starts to seem like bitchiness after several chapters. Also, Peters' voice reminds me of British comedian Alexei Sayles (short, bald, mad), so when I saw Peters' photo on the book, I had to drastically revise my mental image. What had seemed funny coming from a short, bald, mad man, didn't seem as funny from a slim, handsome man.

Of course, I don't blame Peters for these complaints, and my only suggestion to the reader of Gullible's Travels (and I do recommend that you read it, especially the chapter on the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast) is to read it a chapter at a time, rather than all at once. And if it comes out in an audio version, choose that over the printed edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best laugh-out-loud book EVER!
I bought this book pretty much randomly just looking for something to read and I was greatly pleased at my luck. I work in radio and understand Cash Peters' budget problems and I also love to travel, but have never really heard of travel like this. Cash Peters opens up a hilarious world of bizarre and sometimes just downright frightening obsessions, tourist "attractions", collections and museums. He brilliantly describes these interesting and somewhat atrocious attractions with a quick wit and sarcastic note that had me laughing out loud (and even in public!). I think what Peters has is some sort of museum masochism, but it sure is fun! This book is a must read.

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT FUNNY
I guess there is room in the literary world for idiots, because they are the only people who would think this book is funny. It is sophomoric sarcasm and ridicule that is on the same level with a Jerry Springer show ridiculing the mentally challenged. If you really like that sort of thing, trite comments, and have the humor of a 7th grader, this is by all means your book.Otherwise it is truly awful!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious & inspirational (in a twisted way)
As someone who only reluctantly passed up the home of the 5-legged steer (or was it 6-legged?) and the World's Largest Prairie Dog while driving through Kansas, I knew I had to have this book when I saw its title. Happily, it delivered as much inanity, sheer ridiculousness, and cynicism as I could have hoped. I could not stop laughing...mostly aloud, like the other reviewers. Unfortunately, I did not have this book in time to prevent a visit to Graceland (with the excuse that it was during a family vacation when I was young); but on the other hand, I know I will have to stop the car at the Precious Moments Chapel and the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices on my next cross-country trip. If you enjoyed the Englishman-out-of-water aspect of this book, you may also like "Round Ireland with a Fridge" by Tony's a little gentler, but no less funny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not to be read in a quiet place...
you'll be laughing out loud and disturbing your neighbors! Very funny writer...wish I could find more books written by him. ... Read more

151. The World of the Trapp Family
by William Anderson, David Wade
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890757004
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Anderson Publications
Sales Rank: 67263
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is great....
....because I find so many information about the Trapp Familiy which I don't know. I saw the two german movies from 1956 und 1958 and the american from 1965, and I like all this films.

The pictures make it easy to read.

But there is something, that I don't like. Martina, who died in 1951. Maria Augusta wrote only one and a half sentences about her stepdaughter. Why had she done that ?

Good, that I've read "Yesterday, Today and Forever", so I know the tragedy of Martina's death.


5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is a really great behind-the-scenes type book about the real Von Trapp family. Fans of the movie may not like it as much, because there isn't very much stuff written about the making of the SOM. However, it really gives you a very clear picture of the way the story reall was without detracting from the magic of the movie. ... Read more

152. Howling at the Moon : The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767915364
Catlog: Book (2004-03-02)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 16764
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It was the age of Streisand and Springsteen, Jagger and Jackson, and business was booming at CBS Records. From 1975 to 1990, CEO and President Walter Yetnikoff had taken revenues from $485 million to well over $2 billion. But life with this stable of superstars was far from harmonious, especially when Yetnikoff himself was doing much of the howling.

Revealing the complete star-studded story, Howling at the Moon gives center stage to a man who led one of the most remarkable runs of success—and self-destruction—ever seen in the entertainment industry. Yetnikoff writes candidly about coddling egoistic crooners, taming high-strung executives like Diller and Geffen, and succumbing to the addictions that defined the era. The more Yetnikoff fed his cravings for power, sex, and cocaine, the more profitable CBS became. Reflecting on the sinister cycle that left his career in tatters and CBS flush with cash, Yetnikoff emerges with a hunger for redemption and a new reverence for his working-class Brooklyn roots.

In the dishy tradition of You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again and The Kid Stays in the Picture, Yetnikoff’s story turns up the volume on exposés about real American idols.

... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Walter Yetnikoff's amazing life story is one worth reading
Walter Yetnikoff's "Howling at the Moon" is a great read. The author is stone-cold honest about his history - morphing from a poor kid in Brooklyn to Columbia Law graduate to "Jimmy Olsen greenhorn" in the music business to master business builder to *the* out-of-control legendary wildman of the music business to abrupt sobriety to betrayal, fall, a period in the wilderness and redemption. What a tale.

Where else are you going to get insights on Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Marvin Gaye and Mick Jagger mixed with equally eye-opening passages on Tom Wyman, Norio Ohga, Akio Morita and Bill Paley?

The Paley passages are especially enlightening - the controlling, secretive builder of the Tiffany network and the wildman of CBS/Columbia records were as unlikely a pairing as you could imagine, but Paley appreciated Yetnikoff's undeniable ability to make money and, as Paley says upon taking his leave from CBS, "in this office, that did not go unnoticed."

Despite Yetnikoff's well-documented demons, his track record in the business is unassaible: when he left, CBS/Columbia was still pulling in $450 million a year in *net* profits. True, Yetnikoff's successors had to deal with a more vexing set of assaults on the recorded music business model, but you need to give the guy his due.

1-0 out of 5 stars Borrrrrrrrrrrrring
The least interesting thing about this book is the author. Unfortunately, this is an autobiography. Considering CBS Records' remarkable talent roster during Yetnikoff's tenure, including the Stones, Springsteen, Dylan and Michael Jackson, he recounts only a few rather uninteresting anecdotes about Wacko Jacko, and virtually nothing about the others, instead taking gratuitous potshots at former close associates. Even if you enjoy books about bitter, washed up, egotisical, former drunken cokehead lawyers, this book will put you to sleep. I'm sure there's a very interesting story somewhere in Walter Yetnikoff's experience with CBS. It's not in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Honesty and Self Appraisal
It is fitting that this book is not written in "perfect", smooth flowing format - because this is an accounting of a man who was swept up in excess and excitement without giving himself the time to truly "know himself", and thus his life did not unravel in "perfect" smooth flowing format. This is a great book because it relates what hundreds of thousands of people have experienced in the latter 21st century, only it does so in an exagerated and romantic way: an unrelenting climb and push to business success that moved so rapidly and excitedly that spiritual self-fulfillment was often remiss. This is an honest and direct chronicle of a very "hip" life. And now, at last, Yetnikoff is attempting to come to terms with himself, and - to his credit - with no lack of humour and a respectable but not overly synthetic underlying amount of remorse. You may not agree with his excesses and some of the decisions he has made in his life, but you have to admire the journey. The tidbits of info on the major music personalities emphasize the fact that no matter how famous (or infamous) people become - they share many of the same problems, needs, and desires we all have. Thanks, Walter - you produced a good, entertaining and honest read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Man Is Brilliant with a capital "B"
For people who live in the central part of the country, Walter's lack of moral compass may put you off. Setting that aside, this guy has bravado. You can't help but want him on your team. He reminds me of a racier David Geffen. I stayed up VERY late reading be prepared to play hooky the next day.

2-0 out of 5 stars The reader's challenge? Finish the book without howling
"There is the scum of the earth, and what lives under the scum of the earth, and under this we have music lawyers," fictional touring musician Vernon Shakely often remarked in Laurie Colwin's novel, "Goodbye Without Leaving."

Walter Yetnikoff might have been perversely proud to be included in the fictitious Shakely's asssessment of music industry lawyers. Unfortunately, his attempt to present himself as a formerly nice Jewish boy/Columbia Law grad turned baaaaaad example of Seventies excess keeps falling flat, despite the potential richness of material. Given that his co-author is the gifted David Ritz, whose other biography subjects include Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, and Aretha Franklin, one can only imagine how incoherent Yetnikoff's prose was before Ritz attempted to take it in hand. It appears that at some point, Ritz must have given up in despair.

The book begins with a detailed sexual fantasy about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis ("Jack was a powerful lover, Ari was a passionate man, but you, Walter... you're nothing short of astounding," she cooes), followed by a suspiciously well-organized three-page "recollection" of a business luncheon Yetnikoff holds, just the two of them, at "21" with Mrs. Onassis. There she recaps his entire career in highly flattering terms, and urges him to write a "highbrow" memoir.

Well, poor Mrs. Onassis is dead and can't defend herself. But putting those words--if indeed she said them--into her mouth demonstrates the size of Yetnikoff's ego, which overwhelms what could have been a fascinating book. It is sort of fascinating, but for all the wrong reasons.

Yetnikoff was certainly in a position to drop names, and some of the anecdotes keep this book from being a total waste of time and energy, though the best bits already have been skimmed off by newspapers and magazines. He details, clearly and convincingly, Michael Jackson's manipulativeness, as well as his arrested development. Just prior to introducing Jackson to a black-tie party after his album "Thriller" sold 25 million copies, for example, Jackson whispered in Yetnikoff's ear, "I have to tinkle. Can you take me to the potty?"

There's also an engaging tale of a dinner with Bob Dylan and his mother, at which Mrs. Zimmerman urges "Bobby" to eat more, and asks, "And have you thanked Mr. Yetnikoff for this lovely dinner?"

However, more often Yetnikoff's tales of his business life with CBS/Columbia Records are disorganized, retaliatory, and peevish. He has a fatal weakness for rude nicknames: the Japanese executives at Sony, who acquired Yetnikoff's unit, are referred to repeatedly as "Happy Japs." In addition, he makes numerous homophobic remarks about legendary music executives who are--natch--much more famous than Yetnikoff.

Yetnikoff spends nearly as much time talking about women as dropping stars' names and talking business, the difference being that women comprise only the succinct, gutter-mouthed sum total of their physical attributes. His long-suffering first wife, June, ends up consoling Walter for his business reverses as she lay dying of cancer ("You'll be okay, Walter, I know you've got a lot on your mind but you'll be okay").

When he remarries, his second wife ("a pretty shiksa with big t*ts") gets less attention than Yetnikoff's snappy patter or the guest list--"Barbra attended. So did People magazine. So did Bruce Springsteen, Christie Brinkley, Mick Jagger, James Taylor"... as well as some industry cronies, one of whom "was mad that his table was too far in the back."

In short, Yetnikoff's sex life gets four lines and 31 references (some of which spread over two pages) in the index. His two sons merit three brief remarks and a tiny photo each.

The self-proclaimed "monstrous" excesses of his alcohol and drug use (23 references) come off as pretty dull in Yetnikoff's sweaty hands. When he offers cocaine to an Anglican vicar ("Wanna bump?"), what makes the anecdote is not the cocaine or the vicar, but the fact that this incident took place at James Taylor's wedding to Kathryn Walker at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. I mean, he doesn't just get loaded, he gets loaded with NAMES, in snazzy locations, in an effort to show us how far he's come from his unhappy multifamily house in Brooklyn. The text doesn't improve when he discusses the harrowing process of recovery (22 mentions). He says he's been clean and sober since 1989, noting, "Sobriety has saved, or at least extended, my life. On some levels, I became a better person; on many levels, I became worse." By this point, near the end of the book, the weary reader can accept this point on faith.

On the subject of faith, rarely have I seen so many references to Jewishness by someone who doesn't appear to have touched a Torah since his bar mitzvah, which he poormouths as "a bust, a strictly low-rent affair." He refers to himself interchangeably as Walter and as Velvel, his Yiddish name, and at the end, when he Finds God, he refers to Him repeatedly as "Heshie." Isn't that just adorable? It made this Jewish reader wince.

"Howling at the Moon" ultimately leaves the reader unconvinced that Walter Yetnikoff has made any kind of journey except the inevitable aging process, and his move from New York to California. Rather than being a lovably louche bad boy, he's just bad. And he commits the raconteur's worst sin: He may have a few moments to share, but overall, he's boring. ... Read more

153. Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie Foster
by Buddy Foster, Leon Wagener
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525941436
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: E P Dutton
Sales Rank: 394377
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars a brother loves his sister
Well, Buddy Foster may or may not have written this book for the $$, but after reading it, despite the fact that he probably made his sister really mad at him for disclosing all the family foibles, secrets, etc., it so so apparent that this is a brother who geniunely loves his sister. I like seeing that. As a baby sister myself, I know how terrific it feels for your siblings to adore you. It's a sweet deal. I hope that by now (what is it? five years later; today is 2/14/03), Jodie fully realizes that and has forgiven Buddy. He seems like a pretty nice fellow despite his admitted faults.

4-0 out of 5 stars pretty good
i thought the book was pretty good. i agree with what someone said earlier. we want to hear about jodie not about buddy and all of his complaints, but i thought he did a pretty good job. jodie seems like such an interesting person. its funny b/c everytime i see her, even in her recent movies, she will make some facial expression and it will remind me of freaky friday. i love that movie. anyway, this is the only "jodie" book that i have read but i'm reading another one so i'll have something to compare it to. i wish that she would write and autobiography. that would be cool.

1-0 out of 5 stars transparently self-serving
Clearly Buddy Foster didn't inherit the brains in this family! This book is packed with internal inconsistencies, factual impossibilities and, more annoyingly, long rambling sections leading nowhere. Appallingly bad bio!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A dual biography
The advantage of having a biography written by a close relative is that the author doesn't have to rely on interviews with strangers and be at the mercy of other people's agendas or outright lies.The disadvantage is thatthe author is usually much less famous and successful than the subject andthe book tends to try to increase the author's importance.This is thecase with "Foster Child".Along with all the childhoodstories, the first half of the book is a comparison of Buddy's childhoodcareer with Jodie's and no one is buying this book to read about BuddyFoster.The second half of the book is more on track. Its mainadvantage is that only someone who grew up with Jodie could go into thedetails of her more than unusual childhood, including the shockingexplanation of how someone named Alicia Christian Foster came to be knownas Jodie.I was under the impression from what I had read previously thatJodie's father was an evil cad who ran away from home never to be heardfrom again.Well, he may have been an evil cad, but the real story is muchmore complicated than that.The book is hardest of all, by far, on theirmother Brandy.From how she used her children to live off of (she spentevery penny of Buddy's several hundred thousand dollar acting nest eggbefore he was 21), to how she tried to shape the children's thinking andpoison them against their father, she is the underlying villain of thebook.The mother's attention follows the money.When it is clear thatJodie is the star of the family, and the main breadwinner, she gets hermother's attention to the detriment of the rest of the family.Other thansubject of their mother, this is not a particularly gossip filled book, sothose that are looking for that may want to look elsewhere.The one"controversial" element of Jodie's life: "Is she or isn'tshe?" is given short shrift.Has their man-hating lesbian motherturned Jodie into a man-hating lesbian?Even her brother isn't sure. What he is sure of is that Jodie has become a supremely successful personwith no one to share her life with (this book was written before Jodie hada baby) and he worries she will stay that way.What is also clear is thatJodie is a charter member of the "I took the part because I wanted toplay a strong woman" club.Generically, she will say "I look forgood stories" when choosing a movie, but when commenting individuallyon roles there is always a feminist agenda behind it.The real-life victimthat "The Accused" is based on may have committed suicide or beena basket case for the rest of her life but in the movie the men areprosecuted and convicted so that puts it in "The woman fights back andwins" category and makes it a "good story".AlthoughBuddy chronicles the family's interrelationships throughout the years,there is no description of his current relationship with Jodie nor herreaction to his writing of this book.When questioned about this, apublicist for the book said, "It's not accurate to characterize theirrelationship as estranged."It sounds like doubletalk to me.Buddydescribes Jodie as someone who wants to make movies her way and then beleft alone.If she's recognized on the street she will deny she is JodieFoster vociferously under all circumstances short of a DNA test.This isdue partly, of course, to the John Hinckley episode, which is explainedmore completely here than anywhere else I've seen, along with Hinckley'scopycat loonies.All in all, it is a description of an extremelyintelligent, secure and insecure, driven person who sacrifices her personallife for other people and what she considers a greater cause.Is it worthit?Only Jodie Foster knows and she's not telling.

5-0 out of 5 stars well written biography
I know a lot of people came down on Buddy Foster for writing this book. However this biography is a much more mature piece of work than the usual celeb bio. A good read ... Read more

154. The Barry Diller Story : The Life and Times of America's Greatest Entertainment Mogul
by GeorgeMair
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471299480
Catlog: Book (1998-04-24)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 482069
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The meteoric rise of "Killer Diller"

Barry Diller has been a major player in the entertainment industry for more than thirty years. Always on the cutting edge, he revolutionized television with such groundbreaking concepts as the movie-of-the-week and the miniseries. He greenlighted the megahits Raiders of the Lost Ark, 48 Hours, and Terms of Endearment. Now, industry insider George Mair takes you behind the scenes for a perceptive, penetrating, and completely captivating look at both the public persona and the private life of a legendary media mogul. Learn the truth about:

  • The critical acclaim—and the controversy—behind The Simpsons and Married . . . With Children
  • The abortive CBS-QVC merger: what went wrong and why
  • Hardball and heartbreak on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers
  • Wheeling and dealing with Hollywood heavyhitters Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, Marvin Davis, Michael Eisner, and many, many more!

"He taught movie executives to put some passion into their jobs. The business is a better place because of Barry."—the late Dawn Steel studio head and onetime Barry Diller protégé at Paramount

"He really is the brightest of the bunch." —Julia Phillips Academy Award(r)-winning producer bestselling author of You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ok for a Business History
Ok, for a business history of mergers, deals, movies, cable channels and so forth. It does give some glimpse into Diller's Jewish background and childhood, as well as, the vulgar and occasionally violent way he assaults his employees. However, it barely mentions his co-leadership of the notorious Velvet Mafia. Biographers of David Geffen, the long-time "associate" of Diller, are more forthcoming. Stephen Singular in "The Rise and Rise of David Geffen" discusses the Velvet Mafia and its bisexual media mogul leaders including Diller and Geffen. Tom King's "The Operator" flatly states the gay preference of Barry Diller. George Mair's book is well worth reading as is his biography of Si Newhouse, "Newhouse." ... Read more

155. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind : An Unauthorized Autobiography
by Chuck Barris
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786888083
Catlog: Book (2002-11-27)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 14931
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


Suspense, excess, danger and exuberant fun come together in Chuck Barris' unlikely autobiography -- the tale of a wildly flamboyant 1970s television producer, better known as the infamous host of The Gong Show. What most people don't know is that Barris allegedly spent close to two decades as a decorated covert assassin for the CIA.

Barris, who achieved tremendous success as the creator and producer of hit TV game shows such as The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, claims to have joined the CIA as an agent in the early 1960s, infiltrated the Civil Rights movement, met with militant Muslims in Harlem, and traveled abroad in order to kill enemies of the United States.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is now a movie directed by and starring George Clooney, with Sam Rockwell as the author, but the original story is wild and gripping, spiced with intrigue, sex, bad behavior and plenty of great one-liners. It is destined to become a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Who Cares About Whether It's All True?
We can spend a lot of time arguing about whether or not the CIA ever hired Chuck Barris to kills Soviet Spies throughout the world. We will probably never know the truth and maybe it's best we never find out.

Still, there are a few facts about this book that you can't argue. First off, Chuck Barris is a very funny person. If you don't find yourself rolling with laughter at a few passages in this book then you have no sense of humor. Even if you thought the Dating Game and the Newlywed Game were affronts to civil behavior, you will laugh at some of his recollections about those shows. The same is true for some of his memories about the Gong Show.

Another fact about this book is that Barris is very self-centered and narcisstic at times. For that reason, you might come away after the reading this book with a negative opinion about Chuck Barris the person. Still, you will do so with some fun because he can spin quite a yarn. Even if you don't believe any of his CIA stories, you will enjoy reading about them. You might think Barris is either a jerk, a liar, or similar to the people you knew in college, but you will still have fun reading this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fun read despite some hard to believe stories
I have a confession to make: I've never seen "The Gong Show," not even one episode. I'm aware of the basic premise and I know (being somewhat odd myself) that this odd little show would be one I would like, but I've just never seen an episode, not even on Nick at Nite. That show, of course, is Chuck Barris's claim to fame. That could change very soon, however, when George Clooney's new movie "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" hits a theater near you. It is a movie based on Barris's "unauthorized autobiography," where he relates tales of being a hit on television and being a hit (man) for the CIA. Chuck Barris, you see, is not only the creator of "The Dating Game," "The Newlywed Game," and "The Gong Show" --- he spent nearly two decades as a decorated covert assassin for the CIA. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND is his story.

The book itself is a bit weird (much like a slew of the contestants on his game shows), but he makes it interesting with his spicy writing style, his candor and his filthy mouth because, boy, Chuck Barris can swear like a sailor! It starts innocently enough with him discussing aging as an old television superstar and then quickly moves into killing people --- bad guys like Mario Moretti and Salvador Panagra Renda. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND makes for a somewhat intriguing read, as Barris alternates between discussing his game shows and his travels overseas to kill various criminals. It is filled with some fun and some double-crossing and some sex and some shootings (sounds like a good movie!).

"Brazioni's shoulders were hunched together. He was shooting from the hip. Soledad's right arm was fully extended, unloading his gun at point-blank range, the end of the barrel just inches away from Renda's face. All I heard were little popping sounds. Renda slumped to the back of the bench, his head flopping to the side. Someone screamed." Barris's writing is quick, succinct and to the point. As you're reading it, you can imagine Barris telling the story to you face to face in conversation, perhaps over a couple of martinis at a late night party catered with little quiches and shrimp cocktails. For that, the book makes its mark.

But, just as successful as he is in telling his life story, you can't help but think, particularly with a subtitle like "unauthorized autobiography," that it's a bunch of bunk. It would be fun to think that a game show host could also be an assassin (can you imagine the patriot Bob Barker knocking someone off with a .22-caliber automatic with silencer)? But at the same time, can we believe that a game show host COULD be an assassin? It's a stretch. Also, he writes the details of the murders, the spy games and the double-crosses in a very cool and matter-of-fact way. Wouldn't the CIA not want people to know the kind of information that he's giving freely to whoever picks up his book (or, in the coming months, to whoever goes to the movies)?

Overall it is a fun diversionary read, but after finishing it, you feel a little duped (like Dorothy felt when she realized the Wizard of Oz was just a smart guy behind a curtain) and a little put on, like perhaps someone should have gonged Chuck Barris when he started talking about his whirlwind adventures of killing enemies of the state. Can it be true?

--- Reviewed by Jonathan Shipley

4-0 out of 5 stars Hmm...well, I don't think I believe him, but who cares?
It's a good read anyway. The movie is quite good too, although both versions of the tale - both Barris's own memoirs and the film adaptation - contain some narrative flaws that more picky readers/viewers might not fall for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly entertaining and unbelievable reading
Chuck Barris - the guy responsilbe for producing tv shows such as The Gong Show, Newlywed Game, Dating Game and others tells all in this fast paced thriller. The way Barris writes is similar to some of the old hard boiled detective novels of years gone by. He writes from a first person view and takes you down the road of his strange and fascinating life. While it is odd to think of Chuck Barris as fascinating instead of just plain weird, the life he unfolds will astound you. It will also have you scratching your head about the authenticity of his story. But it is so outrageous that it has to be true. Chuck Barris - out of work bum, video producer, CIA agent, hitman. Yes, you heard correctly. Mr. Barris was once a bonefide hitman for the CIA. He tells his story with great detail, emotion and honesty. (He continually lied to a CIA recruiter to get hired) Eventhough he was at the zenith of pop television culture, Barris tells of the turmoil in his life and the strange worlds he had to step back and forth from to make a living. I really enjoyed the whole book. It not only tells of an off the wall guy who made it big in television production, but it is a good story about life and how unusual it can be. I wished that the book were longer because it was such a fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The literary version of the Urban Myth?
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is the unauthorized autobiography of Chuck Barris. Mr. Barris is probably best known as the creator of several popular games shows including the Dating Game, the Newlywed Game and the Gong Show. In this autobiography he also makes the claim that he was one of the CIA's most successful assassins. Although his claim is highly dubious, Mr. Barris has a knack for spinning it into one hell of a story.

In the first chapter we are introduced to the 1980 version of Chuck Barris playing the role of the reclusive and paranoid millionaire. A burnt out, former international celebrity best know for serving up some of the schlockiest television shows in the pre-reality television era.

Chuck, plagued by nightmares and consumed by his phobias, attempts to exorcise his demons by authoring the book "Confession of a Dangerous Mind" which he refers to an "act of catharsis". However, before he can finish this story and free himself he must complete the now all too cliché "final mission" for the CIA. As formulaic as this premise may sound I can guarantee that Chuck has you completely snared by the end of the first chapter.

Chuck tells the tale of himself as the proverbial young man down on his luck trying to find his place in the world. He is unable to hold a job, or maintain a stable relationship when he answers a newspaper ad that reads: "COLLEGE GRADUATE: FREE TO TRAVEL". As difficult as this is to believe, he is promptly recruited into the CIA and embarks on his new career as an international assassin. As luck would have it, he simultaneously creates several hit television shows and becomes one of the most successful producers in television for more than a decade. Through out the book the author struggles to intertwine the two disparate careers.

Ok, I know this sounds like the plot for a B movie but surprisingly the story actually works. Mr. Barris is effective because he plays upon the fantasies of our culture. Aren't we all longing for a life-changing event that sweeps us away from our mundane existence into a titillating new life? Isn't that the reason we go to the movies or read books, in order to escape the routine for a few hours? I resisted reading this book because I thought it would be too farfetched and the spy plot would be too distracting but. However I found the blend of fiction and non-fiction to be both audacious and compelling. Even if you unable reconcile the fictional aspects from the "true" anecdotes, this tale remains an insightful and entertaining glance into the mind of a creative yet disturbed man.

Chuck Barris has often been criticized for the quality of the body of work he has created, but you do have to give Chuck some credit. He knows what the masses want and he consistently delivers it and this book is no exception.

My rating: I gave it 5 stars just because I had a great time reading this book on the train into work every morning for a week, which does not happen that frequently.

By the way, I hate this "out of 5 stars" thing. It doesn't really tell me anything. So I will just rate this book a 270 out of a possible 538 Electoral College votes. My reasoning is that this book is would be good enough to elect for as Leader of the Free World for 4 years but it probably won't change the way you live your life. ... Read more

156. U2 by U2
by Neil McCormick
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060776757
Catlog: Book (2005-09-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 26500
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157. Gasping for Airtime : Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live
by Jay Mohr
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401300065
Catlog: Book (2004-06-09)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 10189
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A hilarious look at what life was really like inside Saturday Night Live.

A dishy and often surprising memoir of Saturday Night Live by former cast member Jay Mohr.

When 21-year-old Jay Mohr moved from New Jersey to New York City to pursue his dream of stand-up stardom, he never thought the first real job he'd land would be on Saturday Night Live. But, surprisingly, that's just what he did. What followed were two unbelievable, grueling, and exciting years of feverishly keeping pace with his talented cohorts, outmaneuvering the notorious vices that claimed the lives of other cast members, and struggling at all costs for the holy grail of late-night show business: airtime.

In Gasping for Airtime, Jay offers an intimate account of the inner workings of Saturday Night Live. He also dishes on the guest hosts (John Travolta, Shannen Doherty, Charles Barkley), the musical guests (Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Eric Clapton), and of course his SNL castmates (Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and David Spade). Refreshingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny, this book will appeal both to fans of Jay Mohr and to devotees of Saturday Night Live.

In a truly inside story of this counterculture institution, you get the scoop on:

--Jeff Daniels has part of his face ripped off when his prosthetic is superglued to his cheeks.

Working with Roseanne Barr
--Roseanne Barr refuses to stop burping during a writers' meeting.

Humoring the Hosts
--John Travolta pitches the cast a few of his ideas for sketches -- such as playing a private detective who is a Hasidic Jew.

Shootin' the Bull
--Adam Sandler tells the story of when Mr. Belvedere sat on his balls.

--Jay has a panic attack and runs 40 blocks home -- in the middle of a show.

Rock Star Vanity
--Steven Tyler carries a woman's makeup mirror in his belt to check his look after each song, while TLC arrives with an entourage of 40 people, including one person whose job is to constantly adjust the knots on the sweatshirts tied around their waists.

Food for Thought
--Rob Schneider uses a jeweler's loupe to examine his sushi for worms; Norm MacDonald relates his bout with food poisoning from a suspicious avocado; and Jay and Michael McKean projectile vomit corn chowder that doubles as fake puke. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ok! Terrific!
This is a fantastic read!

Jay Mohr, as we all know, is a comedy god and this book is if anything too short. I wish (and hope) Jay writes a follow up to this book on the rest of career so far... O&A, Action, the movies he made etc.. He must have more stories.

It's written in a very loose conversational style.. You feel like Jay is just sitting down talking to you and man you cannot put it down.

If you are at all interested in SNL, Jay Mohr or panic disorders get this book. It's VERY funny.

The thing that's so disturbing about SNL is how insane the week is before the show. They have this ridiculous self imposed BS deadlines that seem to hamper creativity and increase tension. Maybe that's the way Lorne wants it?

Jay has some GREAT stories about Chris Farley.. Al Franken's temper and the other cast members at the time (like Sandler). There is this great story about him and the whole cast, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger that is all at once scary, tense and funny.

Jay you are the man!.. and this book leaves me wanting more.

Great read!

4-0 out of 5 stars WaldenBooks Reader
Jay Mohr - One of the funniest comics of the early 90's and today. That's right! Jay Mohr is the guy that hosts Last Comic Standing. He was on Saturday Night Live! Yes, Jay was a great talent along with those other great comics: Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Tim Medows, Ellen Cleghorn and Rob Snider just to name a few. Gasping for Air time is his journey through the halls of the prestigious 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This book is one hilarious ride through the mind of Jay Mohr during his best and worst times as a comedian in the 90's. I've been a long time fan of the show since I saw Eddie Murphy play Mr. Robinson and this book was a must read for me. Plus I loved Jay Mohr on the show. That's right I actually remember him on the show. I have never seen a better Christopher Walken (an actor who I love) or Dick Vitale (I admit I didn't know who Dick was but loved the character. Then when I actually saw him on a sports news cast - I laughed out loud and thought that Jay had him down! He was a genius). And I will never forget Rock and Roll Real Estate the answer to that bugging question - Whatever happened to those Rockers of the 80's with the big Aqua Net Hair? During the time he was on the show, I never understood why he was used so infrequently. I found out why in the book. And let's just say that it is true what they say in life - it is who you know, or who knows you. Insightful, funny, laugh out loud - this book is a must for Jay Mohr fans (he is hard not to love), SNL fans and humorist the world over. It's a book of history and a comedic look into one of the funniest men in the business.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for it's nitch
With elements of "Dry" (Augusten Burroughs) and "My Fractured Life" (Rikki Travolta), "Gasping for Airtime" is a quirky disection of a small fraction of the lesser known years of a now known entertainer. If you like this nitch type writing, it's a good one.

I never knew that Jay Mohr, the host of NBC's "The Last Comic Standing" was a performer on Saturday Night Live until I read this book. I had seen him play a jerk sports agent in the movie "Jerry McGuire" and I've also heard him on the Jim Rome Show, however.

This is an interesting read (a good but not great book) about the challenges he faced as a struggling comedian and writer trying to make it on Saturday Night Live. What is most interesting are the inside stories about other performers like Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Farley, Norm McDonald, Mike Myers, and Phil Hartman. There are also some funny things about some of the guest hosts like Marisa Tomei, Rosanne Barr, Eric Clapton, and Christopher Walken to name a few.

What I never would have guessed is that Jay suffers from severe panic attacks. He has always seemed to be so totally in control of things and it makes him seem like a much more real person. To see how well he's done since the Saturday Night Live gig is a true success story.

For people who enjoy "The Last Comic Standing" or are "Jungle clones" from the Jim Rome Show, I think that you'll like this book and come away with a new found respect for this brilliant and dedicated entertainer.

Great job JJ!

5-0 out of 5 stars New York Life
Captivating look at show biz through the eyes of a successful actor back when he wasn't. In many ways very similar to Travolta's My Fractured Life although much more New York flavored. An excellent choice. ... Read more

158. Tori Amos: All These Years : The Authorized Illustrated Biography
by Kalen Rogers
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825614481
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Sales Rank: 55878
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The only fully authorized story of the girl and her piano, containing over 150 never-before-seen photographs — many from Tori’s own private archives. This unique book traces her path to worldwide success from her early years as a child prodigy, detailing her professional career at the piano at age thirteen in the bars of Washington, DC, her rock-chick days in L.A., underground success in London, her doomed debut album ‘Y Tori Kant Read,’ the soul-searching 1992 ‘Little Earthquakes,’ and on through ‘Under the Pink’ and ‘Boys for Pele.’ Includes a complete discography plus full World Tour itineraries. ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for Tori Fans
A well written and in-depth look at Tori Amos. The pictures are wonderful and quite beautiful, and it's nice to see so many of her earlier days. The book gives a lot of insight into her life and songs, and is something all die hard Tori fan should own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Coffensionings of a Choirgirl
The book, an autobiography of the most amazingly wonderful singer/song-writer/pianist Tori Amos, is stunning. If you're a fan of Tori Amos, which I happen to be, you need to buy and read this book. It is absolutely fascinating. I've read it once, and plan to read it again and again. It, as well as her music, is mesmerizing. Another biography is coming out soon that will have a section in it about her upcoming album, "From the Choirgirl Hotel." I am anxiously awaited the bio and, most of all, the album...

4-0 out of 5 stars From A Tori Fan
A nicely written, brief review of Tori Amos' musical history up until the BFP album. While the biography includes only some Tori quotes and intropective info, it mainly focuses on her life as a mucisian. There are great tid-bits that breifly discribe her brilliance as an amazing human/mucisian, and great pics of her recording for each album. I would reccomend adding this biography to any book collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great pictures but little information on Tori, the person.
I gave this book four stars though I was thoroughly disappointed. It had great color pictures, a tour itinerary, a discography (Up to _Boys for Pele_, the book was published right after that album), and, of course, wonderful "Tori-isms." However, it was painfully obvious that this was an authorized biography. Not that I want 500 pages of pure dirt on Tori, but this was more sanitized than most of her interviews. The hyperbole that Rogers (the author) sprinkles throughout makes you feel she is more a fan than an author. Not that is a bad thing in itself, but it makes you doubt the validity of many recounted episodes (was the show breath-taking or was Rogers' breath taken away?) Also, many facts that Tori fans know off-hand are glossed over. Eric Rosse is referred to as her producer throughout and only once, when Rogers briefly covered the development of _Pele_, did she mention that they "separated." If you aren't a Tori fan, you might think Rogers meant professionally, not personally. This sort of omission made me wonder what else was left out.

So: If you want good pictures and and overview of the nuts and bolts of Tori's rise, then this is great book. But if you want to know more about Tori as a person and her life, then this book doesn't contain anything you don't already know. A must for fans, a good start for new fans, but pass if you want something comprehensive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, informative, and a Tori photo treasure-trove
I didn't have very high expectations when I bought this book. Tori Amos is notoriously coy, cryptic, and evasive with interviewers, so I expected a pretty but unenlightening volume riddled with errors (in the tradition of the Tori Amos interview CDs). I was pleasantly surprised. The biography is well-balanced and gives Tori's formative childhood years as much weight as each era of her career. To my surprise, I learned a couple of things I didn't know about Tori. The photographs are beautiful, and what a treat it was to see so many showing young "Myra Ellen" and her family!

The one drawback I can see is that this book was published in 1996, and thus is missing Tori's three most recent albums, as well as her marriage and the birth of her daughter. Perhaps we can hope for an updated edition in the future. ... Read more

159. Easy Riders Raging Bulls : How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
by Peter Biskind
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684809966
Catlog: Book (1998-04-27)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 241324
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Not only is Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls the best book in recent memory on turn-of-the-'70s film, it is beyond question the best book we'll ever get on the subject. Why? Because once the big names who spilled the beans to Biskind find out that other people spilled an equally piquant quantity of beans, nobody will dare speak to another writer with such candor, humor, and venom again.

Biskind did hundreds of interviews with people who make the president look accessible: Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Geffen, Beatty, Kael, Towne, Altman. He also spoke with countless spurned spouses and burned partners, alleged victims of assault by knife, pistol, and bodily fluids. Rather more responsible than some of his sources, Biskind always carefully notes the denials as well as the astounding stories he has compiled. He tells you about Scorsese running naked down Mulholland Drive after his girlfriend, crying, "Don't leave me!"; grave robbing on the set of Apocalypse Now; Faye Dunaway apparently flinging urine in Roman Polanski's face while filming Chinatown; Michael O'Donoghue's LSD-fueled swan dive onto a patio; Coppola's mad plan for a 10-hour film of Goethe's Elective Affinities in 3-D; the ocean suicide attempt Hal "Captain Wacky" Ashby gave up when he couldn't find a swimsuit that pleased him; countless dalliances with porn stars; Russian roulette games and psychotherapy sessions in hot tubs. But he also soberly gives both sides ample chance to testify.

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is also more than a fistful of dazzling anecdotes. Methodically, as thrillingly as a movie attorney, Biskind builds the case that Hollywood was revived by wild ones who then betrayed their own dreams, slit their own throats, and destroyed an art form by producing that mindless, inhuman modern behemoth, the blockbuster.

When Spielberg was making the first true blockbuster, Jaws, he sneaked Lucas in one day when nobody was around, got him to put his head in the shark's mechanical mouth, and closed the shark's mouth on him. The gizmo broke and got stuck, but the two young men somehow extricated Lucas's head and hightailed it like Tom and Huck. As Peter Biskind's scathing, funny, wise book demonstrates, they only thought they had escaped. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (80)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Rock and Roll Generation loses the keys to the kingdom.
While quite a readable page-turner, in the final analysis this is a book more for a Access Hollywood type fan than cinema lovers. Surprisingly few reviewers have called Biskind on the carpet for what is essentially a cut and paste job cobbled together from past articles he published in Premiere magazine. It goes a long way in explaining the rather pell-mell, Pulp Fiction-esque chronology (although I did like the breather one gets from the biography for each major player not appearing until he was upon their first significant foray into filmmaking). But in trying desperately for this middle ground he fails on each front. Gossip and tabloid fans will find the scrawny photo section leaves much to be desired with many oft-cited figures without any pics, others too many. The more serious cinemaphile would be at a loss to explain many of the figures' appeal without actually knowing their work or habits. He might tell you , in the case of Hal Ashby, "actors killed to wo! rk with him" but I'd be damned if I could tell you why from reading Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. And the structure must have baffled even the author as dramatic tension is lost as he introduces facts too early. In a prime example, Biskind first introduces us to Melissa Mathison as "[the person] who would go on to marry Harrison Ford and be nominated for an Oscar.." instead showing her "arc" that went from babysitter, to assistant, to writer, to chief mistress before she took up with Harrison Ford which he fails to point out happened on Apocalypse Now. He also entirely skips the drama and the chance to draw meaning out of the release of E.T. The Extraterrestrial (the critical and commercial success, the Oscar race - not to mention Mathison's huge settlement over merchandising rights), possibly due to the fact that would undercut his whole Spielberg-the-destroyer-of-all-things-art theme. Which brings me to what probably what is the book's biggest stumble! , Biskind's muddle-headed attempt to affix blame for the en! d of his beloved New Hollywood.As several other reviews have pointed out, Biskind's roots are showing in his pretty naked adoration for this period. "...rock and roll generation saved Hollywood..." only works if you toss out these inconvenient and rather typical top grossing studio pictures from '68 to '75: Bullitt, Funny Girl, the Odd Couple, Romeo and Juliet, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Hello, Dolly! The Love Bug, Airport, Love Story, Patton (while written by Coppola, way too straightforward and patriotic. Hell, it even has a neo-upbeat ending), Diamonds Are Forever, Fiddler on the Roof, Summer of '42, The Poseidon Adventure, Papillon, The Way We Were, Blazing Saddles, Earthquake, The Towering Inferno, and Young Frankenstein. He also downplays the fact that while they were made by his New Hollywood group some are not what one would call typical 70's fare like The Sting, What's Up Doc? He undercuts his own arguments by showcasing the out-of-control na! ture he seems to want to blame away on mountains of cocaine, while turning the Studios into the Empire each with a Darth Vader at the helm. If these directors had wanted to remain in positions of power, they should have taken the responsibility they had to the execs that supported them seriously. Also is ignored is the fact that collapse of this generation created a vacuum for films of a serious nature that was supplied by new centers of filmmaking, most notably New York Independent and Great Britain. Think about the significance of 1981's Academy Awards when Beatty won best director for Reds, while best picture went home with the producers of Chariots of Fire which started four straight years of UK nominations or wins for Picture or Director. Considering the dismal output from Hollywood over the last couple of years, those blockbusters and irresponsibility have reached their nadir with the present corporate owners so incapable of producing even decent summer popcorn flicks! that they have snapped up every former independent like cr! eative transplant operations. Instead of establishing a way in once they got their foot in the door so other young American up and comers could get in, they saw to it that way was sealed up but good. Biskind follows the same trajectory, starting off with great promise before losing his way after the decade ends and finds he has only sputtering moments of merit. I found myself rooting for the phlebitis to finish off Ashby, as I had little sympathy for someone who'd rather indulge his passion for drugs than that other bringer of euphoria: art. An editor in fact is what Biskind needed the most, who most certainly would have told him to bring it to a close with Raging Bull and put the rest into an epilogue. "We blew it." Boy, did they ever.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like a supermarket tabloid newspaper come to life....
Whether it be scathing or scandalous, Peter Biskind's book is a definitive chronocling of the wild 70's decade, when the importance of the blockbuster finally hit an all time high, and cinema was undergoing a new kind of creativity. Beginning with the culture breaking "Easy Riders" and the power destroying "Heaven's Gate", "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is a book that documents the sex, drugs, and rock n roll generation under the guise of such famous directors as Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas, and Altman amongst the likes of screenwriters and movie stars equally among them. From William Friedken's notoriously bad temper to Peter Bogdanovich's ego defining quote, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" is a look at the Watergate era in the midst of Hollywood handing over the power to it's star directors. Interviewing executives, crew members, writers, actors, call girls, scorned spouses, and the subjects themselves, Biskind's book is something of pure kitsch non-fiction, that will leave you reading from beginning to end. Very much an interesting read that portrays those behind the Hollywood dream machine, like the characters in their own films for the world to see, but with fair treatment by Biskind who gets testimonies from all sides.

5-0 out of 5 stars SHOW BIZ IS NOT BUSINESS
Like Bob Evans' "The Kid Stars In the Picture", "Swimming With Sharks", and Bob Altman's "The Player", Peter Biskind's book is one of the best and most exemplary works describing this crazy "business" called Hollywood.

It is very, very engaging and informative. What the book centers on are two things, mainly, which is the growth of new talent coming out of the four big film schools of the 1960s (USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia) and the development of the blockbuster, which eventually degraded character development as the staple of winning screen formula.

Descriptions of parties at Margo Kidder's Malibu beach pad are awesome. Here all the young Turks gathered - Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Paul Schraeder, Francis Ford Coppola, Marty Scorsese, etc. These SC, UCLA and NYU minds formulated "The Godfather", "Star Wars", "Apocalypse", "Taxi Driver", "Jaws" and so many others.

While the sex and drugs got out of hand at Margo's, John Milius would repair to the beach and fire his weapon. Considered the best and the brightest of all of them coming out of SC, Milius was the lone conservative, who tried to stay clean. He would write great movies like "Dirty Harry" and "Apocalypse", and direct "Red Dawn" and "The Wind and the Lion". His stuff is just fantastic, but he never went on to the fame of his contemporaries.

Eventually, blockbusters like "Jaws" and "Star Wars" contributed to the so-called "cartoonization" of Hollywood. The comparison of psychology, dialogue, structure and symbolism as seen in "Marathon Man" and "Chinatown" are replaced by graphics, as seen in "Star Wars", or by a giant mechanized shark.

The end of the era is the failure of "Heaven's Gate", which brings down its studio and leads eventually to the rise of independent films.

This book tells the story of the integral American art form in all its glory and ugliness.

2-0 out of 5 stars A great decade of filmmaking, or nasty, spiteful gossip?
I'm very puzzled by the purpose and intent of this book. The author seems to have a genuine appreciation for the revolution in extraordinary, personal filmmaking in American film in the 1970s. Yet the book itself is filled with the nastiest, pettiest, disgusting portrayals of the remarkable filmmakers, writers, actors, and cinematographers who made those films. The basis of the entire book appears to be extensive interviews with hundreds of people in the industry -- all of whom have personal vendettas and scores to settle (because they are all ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-lovers, or bitter competitors). The result is that the portrayal of every director, producer, filmmaker, and actor is that of a loathsome, arrogant, egotistical, infantile monster. Personally, it was no pleasure for me to see Robert Altman, Warren Beatty, Pauline Kael, Francis Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Terry Malick, and dozens of others presented as inhuman, venal, insane, and vicious. Some of the gossip is no doubt true, and I imagine the world of producing and making movies is quite unpleasant. But there is no balance, or insight, to counter the ugly gossip that Biskind exclusively relies upon. Most surprisingly of all, there is no appreciation of the greatness, the sensitivity, the richness of the films that were made. At the very least, the book would have been much more fascinating if Biskind demonstrated how out of all the Hollywood self-indulgence, back-biting, arrogance, and egotism arose the sensitive, powerful, complex, humane, and moving, and often funny works of art, like The Godfather films, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Chinatown, Cabaret, Nashville, Taxi Driver, Days of Heaven, Five Easy Pieces, Bonnie & Clyde, Reds, The Last Picture Show, and The Deer Hunter. There is virtually no discussion about how, despite the ways in which the people who worked on these films appeared to be out of control, half-insane on drugs, climbing over each other's backs, betraying friends, lovers, husbands and wives, the end result was films of great beauty. Nor is there any sense of what any of the subjects of the book brought to the films they made, or what special talents or visions they may have had. The subject matter, and the unrelenting gossip and nasty stories, make for very engaging reading, I'll admit -- but I wanted to take a shower when I had finished the book. This is NOT the book that the filmmakers of the nineteen-seventies deserve.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gossipy look at 70's Hollywood
While Easy Riders/Raging Bulls is a very interesting book, and does tend to keep you turning the next page, it may not appeal to everyone. Someone looking for an in-depth analysis of the film industry in the 70`s may be a little disappointed. Biskind`s main point is that a new group of directors temporarily destroyed, or at least disrupted, the Hollywood studio system of the previous decades, and were able to make a handful of classic movies in the process. They then basically handed the power back to the studios in the 80`s due to overblown egos and budgets to match. There does tend to be a lot of gossip-like material in it and the detail sometimes verges on lurid.. So, if you want to know the various girlfriends of some director, look no further. A little more technical information here and there might have been nice to sate the film student readership. However, that`s not what this book is about. It really is a good indication of the atmosphere of Hollywood in the 70`s and does show up some of these big names to be quite un-likeable characters. And that is quite an understatement. You may find yourself never wanting to watch some of these directors' movies again, based only on their personalities. ... Read more

160. Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography of Christopher Lee
by Christopher Lee
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752857703
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 388660
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

After several years in secondary film roles, the skeletal, menacing Christopher Lee achieved horror-flick stardom as the Creature in 1958's THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, the second of his 21 Hammer Studios films. Other Lee roles of note include the title character in 1959's THE MUMMY and the Fu Manchu series of the '60s, the bloody-thirsty Count Dracula and of course the villainous Scaramanga in the 1974 James Bond classic THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. Established as a legend in his own right, Lee went on to appear in films ranging from GREMLINS (1990) to Tim Burton's SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999).In 2001, after appearing in nearly 300 film and television productions, the 79-year-old actor undertook the role of Saruman, chief of all wizards, in director Peter Jackson's eagerly anticipated screen adaptation of Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS. Arguably one of the most demanding roles of his career, audiences marvelled at the wondrous battle between Saruman and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) atop the wizard's ominous tower. Shortly after, wielding a lightsaber against one of the most powerful adversaries in the STAR WARS canon, Lee proved that even at 80 he still had what it takes to be a compelling and demanding screen presence.Recounted with Lee's characteristic self-deprecating wit and hilarious anecdotes, LORD OF MISRULE narrates the astonishing career of the man the GUARDIAN describes as simply 'the coolest actor on the planet'. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough on films
Christopher Lee has made many movies, but doesn't talk about many of them in this book.Instead, the first half of the book is endless family background and his war experiences.Finally, he talks about some of his films, only to repeatedly interrupt with golf stories.His look back at old friends (Cushing, Price, Karloff, even Robert Bloch) are warm and wonderful, but are much too short, barely covering one chapter.The book does have several good points, in addition to his remembering old friends.He never boasts about any of his performances, nor does he put down anyone he's ever worked with on film.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Lord" rules
Few actors have done as much as well as Christopher Lee has. Acting in hundreds of movies, this impressive British thespian has had a life even more interesting than his career. In "Lord of Misrule," Lee describes his long life with humor and solemn clarity, and with almost too many stories for the book to hold.

Christopher Carandini Lee was born in 1922, to an Italian countess (who was descended from Italian royalty) and a soon-gone British soldier. His was an unusual childhood masked by a conventional British schoolboy's life. At the age of seventeen his world (along with his stepfather's finances) suddenly began to come apart. He fought in World War II, in the Royal Air Force, only to dip back into acting.

Lee rapidly became known as one of the best villains of the movie business, playing Dracula alone a staggering ten times. Here he recounts how he acted with legendary actors like Errol Flynn (who mangled his finger) or his good pal, monster great Boris Karloff (complete with lisping jokes); his marriage; the good, bad and ugly of his varied career; and finally two of his most prominent roles: the evil wizard Saruman of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," and Count Dooku of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy."

Technically, "Lord of Misrule" isn't an entirely new book -- it was once published as "Tall Dark and Gruesome." But here it's updated with new information and photographs from the past few years. Not to mention a friendly foreword by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson, which serves as a good warm-up.

Lee himself has a very formal, erudite way of writing, sprinkled with literary references to P.G. Wodehouse and G.K. Chesterton. (And Tolkien, of course) But don't think this book is stuffy. If anything, the eighty-plus years of Lee's life zip by too fast. He clearly has a wealth of stories to tell, and the book is barely big enough to contain them.

Lee also strikes a good balance between humor and darkness. In one taut anecdote, he describes how his daughter was born with deformed feet. In another, he wryly describes how he used to scurry across the Italian border dressed as a girl. It's also augmented by plenty of photos. Some are professional photos, but many are personal photos -- Lee with his wife and daughter, or his friends, at his investiture, or as a bright-eyed baby.

Very few actors have lived a life even half as interesting as the roles they have played, but Christopher Lee is one of the few. And "Lord of Misrule" is a fascinating, captivating read about a unique person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fans of Lee will relish his candid assessment of his films
Christopher Lee's background in film and his moving career in a host of cult and mainstream classics are detailed in his autobiography LORD OF MISRULE, reflecting on some of his most demanding film appearances, his life, and his movie memories. Fans of Lee will relish his candid assessment of his films in general and the movie industry in particular. ... Read more

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