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My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  255 ratings  ·  53 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
The title is well suited. This is a potpourri of unconnected anecdotes, written by one of my favorite comedy writers. These ticklish reminiscences jump back and forth among various times in the life of Carl. Each one told with the humor and warmth that is uniquely Carl's. I can only hope that the memories of my own life would be as witty when I reach my senior years.
My favorite story in the bunch involves a wild plane ride in a storm with the likes of Brian Keith and other cast members from the
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.
Todd Stockslager
Not a traditional start-to-near-finish autobiography or even memoir, but just a series of anecdotes, not in chronological order, not all funny, not all intended to be funny.

The two anecdotes close to the end of the book where Mr. Reiner talks in loving detail about his father and brother really bring the book up to mid-level status; up to that point some of the anecdotes frankly seemed little noteworthy of commitment to paper.
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
when i downloaded this book, i was thinking of george carlin. early in the first chapter, i realized i had the wrong guy, but i had vague memories of carl reiner from my childhood in the 70s so i kept listening. it was lovely to hear about the glory days in new york and hollywood and the amazing people he kept company with. very much enjoyed this book.
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.
I think listening to the audiobook and hearing Carl Reiner tell these sweet, gentle stories, accounts for the higher than average rating. Reiner is an accomplished storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed the listen.
Cyndy Livingston
Very laugh out loud book,it was nice getting glimpses into Carl Reiner's life and mind. If you are looking for chronological order then this writing style may get on your nerves but just sit back, relax and let the laughter come.
Stories from throughout Carl Reiner's life. He has such a relaxed way of being silly that his humour doesn't overstay its welcome.
Even thought Mr. Reiner said you could read the chapters in any order I thought this ended very abruptly. I was sure I missed downloading a section of the audiobook. But some chapters were interesting.
Nicole Marble
Funny. Sometimes wonderfully funny.
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.
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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.
More about Carl Reiner...

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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.” 2 likes
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