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My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir
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My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  216 ratings  ·  44 reviews
More than once, Carl Reiner has had friends say, “Hey, Reiner, you ought to write those things down.” And at eighty, he finally has.

In this funny and engaging memoir, one of the best raconteurs on the planet recalls his life in show business in short comic takes. Reiner tells of how, after answering an ad for free acting classes on his brother Charlie’s advice, he forsake
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
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I loved this....! I laughed out loud many, many times! A great many movies to love...and of course the ultimate...The 2000 Year Old Man with Mel Brooks.

I found this book on a library shelf on audiobook, read by the author. I have read a few bad reviews on Amazon, but having Mr. Reiner himself tell me these stories makes them come to life. This book is exactly what it sounds like: anecdotes and stories that Reiner tells his friends, non sequiturs and all.

He even impersonates the people in his delivery, adding to the feeling you are sitting across a table from him, as he recounts some of the most memorable moments of his life. This isn't quite an
Sarah Badger
I struggled with rating this book only three stars. Reiner's iconic comedic voice shines through and his stories are amusing and insightful, if not particularly earth-shattering or profound. This is not your typical Hollywood memoir--in fact, it's barely a memoir (in the contemporary definition of the genre) at all. As the title suggests, 'My Anecdotal Life' offers a glimpse into Carl Reiner's illustrious career through a series of random anecdotes given in no particular order. Reading this book ...more
This book is a compilation of gentle anecdotes. However, the stories don't really give any pop...There are some memories that just sound like confessionals, and others that just end with a dollar amount or ego value. The humor isn't very uplifting or entertaining. Reiner does reflect a great deal on his heritage and Jewish ancestry, so perhaps it's this perspective that carries more of an insider's understanding. Reiner voices the audio book, and it's a good effort in performance.
I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I had to force myself to finish it which I found really disappointing. Organized as a series of unrelated chapters of anecdotes, there was a very disjointed feeling to the book. But then the author is 80 years old. Was there no editorial input from the publishers? Reiner obviously has a healthy respect for his humor, creative energy, and writing ability. The book contained some interesting stories about show business personalities such as Mickey ...more
Amanda Kingston
LOVED this, especially after finishing Dick Van Dyke's autobiography. It is more a series of stories from his life that Reiner wants to share than a typical memoir, but it worked well because he's such a fantastic writer.
Tim Ganotis
Charming, amusing, and a good read. A lovely little collection of amusing anecdotes from a comedic giant, without being pretentious.
If you love the Dick Van Dyke Show...
I laughed myself silly listening to Mr. Reiner read his own anecdotes. He's a classic!
I think Carl Reiner sums up his book in his anecdote of when he was on "This is your life!", where he concluded that his life is boring. It doesn't make for an interesting book. The most interesting chapters were when he spoke about his family including his parents and brother. After a while it just turned into ramblings. I like Carl Reiner and his work, but this book is not as interesting as you think it should be. Not even the fact that he did the narration on the audio version helped.
Mary Kennedy
Really enjoyed this book although I gave it only 3 stars because it got a little bogged down in the middle. It's pretty amazing that Mr. Reiner is 90 plus yeas old and as sharp as a tack (on a related note if you enjoy Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks watch Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars on the web for the hilarious interview). Estelle and Carl were a true love story and she was an accomplished artist in her own right. They were a truly modern couple!
This book was gripping, each story touching, hilarious, inspiring, and honest. I loved the look into the life of the man who was behind dick van dyke and because of reading this have watched more Carl Reiner material. He was in an age of artists who lived out their passion for more than fame and money. Carl Reiner is truly a gifted and inspired man. And I love any book that sneaks a recipe in. Can't wait to try the cheesecake cookies!
Rick Segers
I read a lot of memoirs and autobiographies both historical and entertainment and this is one of the more unusual ones I have ever read. This is not a typical memoir. It is a collection of anecdotes from Carl Reiner's illustrious career. Some I knew and some I did not. They appear in no particular order.
The book is quite fun and I can definitely suggest as a fun and light read.
I wasn't totally impressed with this book, although I am a huge fan of the man who wrote it. I am looking forward to his memoirs, the anecdotes in this book were hit and miss. You also have to be a huge fan of the time period in which he writes because most of the people in his stories (not including the like of mel brooks and dick van dyke) are obscure to today's audiences.
When I was a kid I thought Carl Reiner was hilarious on the Dick Van Dyke show. This book, however, was not as funny. It is a collection of anecdotes through his career, presented in a random, non-chronological order. I found the stories from earlier in his life more interesting than those from the period in his life after he found success.
Really funny book from a true Renaissance man! I really enjoyed the format of this book. It was set up like you are sitting around a living room and he is telling stories. I didn't realize a lot of the things he did in his life, and I found them to be thoroughly interesting. Not too in depth into his life, just really good anecdotes!
I read a good number of biographies and this is a gem.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the Catskill's. I was able to picture what Mr. Reiner went through in his journey to stardom. The respect and devotion Mr. Reiner felt in regards to his wife stand out. The couple shared everything and were a true partnership. Very sweet read.
This book is like listening to your Grandpa tell interesting stories about his life. Carl Reiner is a good storyteller, but it's a lot of anecdotes about stars I've never heard of.

Overall, an charming quick read. Reiner comes off as sweet, smart, and, as expected, very funny.
This is a memoir of a very funny and fun-loving man. The book is written as though you just met him at a coctail party and he is regaling his audience with story after story of his life as a writer and actor in theatre and television. Interesting and well-paced.
Joe Haynes
Parts of this book are slow and yet others are so funny that my sides ached from laughing. The stories about how the '2000 year old man' routine (with Mel Brooks) was developed is some of the funniest stuff I have ever read.
Gerald Curtis
This was a fun book to listen to, narrated by the author himself, and giving lots of interesting insights to what his amazing career was like. (Unfortunately, he did not hesitate to quote frequent fowl language)
Jocelyn Haeberle
Not an in-depth memoir by any means, yet still a good read. It has touching moments mixed in with the hilarious and gives some insight into why Carl is Carl. I look forward to a full bio of Mr. Reiner with eagerness!
I was fortunate to experience this book via audio, and highly suggest that format for "My Anecdotal Life." Reiner is a master storyteller, gifted mimic, and hearing him tell his own stories is a wondrous treasure.
Series of non-chronological stories, some funnier than others. Needed much more detail from Your Show of Shows and D. V. D. show. Still, worth it just to learn how "2000 Year Old Man" came into being.
Caitlin Mitchell
If you like some of the all time great comedy writers it's a cute read. However I wasn't as enthralled as I was by Dick Van Dyke's memoir, which initially inspired me to pick this one up.
Debbie Carnahan-Nichols
Cute short stories about Carl's life in showbiz. Would have liked a bit more cohesion throughout, since the only common denominator in all stories is Carl. Still, a cute read.
A sweet funny look at Carl Reiner's life and career as told by the man himself. The ending of the book was pitch perfect and I found something on every page to laugh at.
Pleasant sort of memoir of Carl Reiner told in short stories about his life. Clean, positive, well written in direct, easily read style. Not hilarious, just enjoyable.
Wonderfully witty winding set of anecdotes delivered by Reiner himself. He is the master of understated humor and had us rolling on the floor many times!
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Carl Reiner is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. He has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during this career. He has the distinction of being the only person to appear on all five incarnations of The Tonight Show. He is best known for his work in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen.
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“Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself is a good thing to do. You may be a fool but you're the fool in charge.” 1 likes
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