It's only 80 pages so you can't expect a huge amount of information. The colors are pretty and the pages high quality, the writing fine. Focuses heaviIt's only 80 pages so you can't expect a huge amount of information. The colors are pretty and the pages high quality, the writing fine. Focuses heavily on the pop icon image of Lucy and is a great summary of the actresses life in modeling and acting....more
Being a huge Superman fan, of course I already knew who Christopher Reeve was. He soared into the sky in the original Superman and its sequel4.5 stars
Being a huge Superman fan, of course I already knew who Christopher Reeve was. He soared into the sky in the original Superman and its sequels when I was born and growing up, but sadly I didn’t pay the man in the blue cape much attention until I became a superhero fan later in life. Even if I wasn’t a big fan of the movies or any of the stories back then, I was one of many who heard the tragic news of his riding accident. I remember my father, who always loved Superman, who always loved horses, discussing the tragedy with my mother. I remember her watching Christopher Reeve in ‘Somewhere in Time’ and remarking what a good movie it was.
Now as a fan of both the man and the legend, I was fascinated by this autobiography, which speaks in great detail of his accident, the tragedy of struggling with it, the medical procedures and all the horrors his body went through at first and would continue to struggle with for the duration. Only after he discussed the tragedy and the aftermath of that wake did he discuss, in detail, how he became established as an actor. The book initially begins with the accident, merging smoothly with reflections on relationships and commitment issues. Once the acting had taken off only is Dana then mentioned, and the relationship sounded from his words as romantic and powerful as it seemed portrayed to the media.
I knew he was an actor already, but I had no idea until this book how active and well accomplished he was with so much – horseback riding obviously, but other than that he always loved playing the piano player. It was a consideration for a lifelong career and he had been playing at concert level since childhood. He was also an enthusiastic sailor who spent weekends with his family, riding the heights of life on the water. He was a pilot as well, again an amazing feat. He also enjoyed playing a large variety of sports.
His enthusiasm for acting is obviously incredible. He speaks of his trials and triumphs, how he learned, his different methods of learning and how he learned through trial and error to try what worked and what not. Any fan of acting, whether you are a fan of him or not, would enjoy these segments of the book immensely. He chronicles his starting point especially and what roles and relationships meant to him. It was particularly interesting when he went back to acting later and discussed in detail directing a movie when he was paralyzed and all the difficulties encountered by it. Also his period of inactivity and frustration with acting when his career was on a bad streak. I do wish he would have mentioned much more about Superman than he did, but he discussed these movies less besides the audition and successes of the first one.
What makes this book work so wonderfully well is Reeve tells his story with utter honesty but not with expecting sympathy (which is impossible not to give). He tells his tales of acting and his enthusiasm with humility and for a love of the art and craft of doing it. He enthuses about all life has to offer and how blessed he’s been in so many sports, music, activities, and of course his family and children.
His writing tone is wonderfully complex but simple – it’s easy to read his emotions coming clear through the writing. Tragedy seeps through the pages easily, and, even though he is not a professional writer, the emotions come through. It does switch around a bit with life and where it’s at and how he came to be who he is, and he doesn’t speak in too much detail of his family life, but overall it is a detailed portrayal of his life and worthy to be called an autobiography.
The end of the book includes speeches he has delivered. The book ends on hope with the potentials of a cure or at least progress for him and for so many others. Throughout the writing of his book you see his struggle to come to terms with his new life and do the best he can with it. But while it is coping as well as it can be coping, the last paragraph especially haunts and I found it especially beautiful.
Christopher Reeve will always stand in my mind as Superman.
"I have to stop this cascade of memories, or at least take them out of their drawer only for a moment, have a brief look, and put them back. I know how to do it now: I have to take the key to acting and apply it to my life. There is no other way to survive except to be in the moment. Just as my accident and its aftermath caused me to redefine what a hero, I've had to take a hard look at what it means to live as fully as possible in the present. How do you survive int he moment when it's bleak and painful and the past seems so seductive?"...more
This biography was written through tidbits of interviews. Interesting for fans of Pacino, yet nothing too indepth or personal. Would love to read an aThis biography was written through tidbits of interviews. Interesting for fans of Pacino, yet nothing too indepth or personal. Would love to read an autobiography someday but doubt that would happen....more
It was impossible for me not to feel a heavy heart when I closed this book. I think the last quote in the afterword sums it up perhaps the best - "HerIt was impossible for me not to feel a heavy heart when I closed this book. I think the last quote in the afterword sums it up perhaps the best - "Her voice was preserved," Ernst Schnabel wrote, "out of the millions that were silenced, this voice no louder than a child's whisper....It has outlasted the shouts of the murderers and has soared above the voices of time."
Anne Frank was an amazingly courageous, determined, and free-spirited young woman. Her dreams of growing up and becoming a published writer, her fascination with Hollywood, her animosity and feelings of difference from her mother...all marked her as many teenaged girls are marked. Yet her strength in the simple things such as looking outside the dirty, dusty window at the tree, which she kept recording changes of in wonder, and her undying faith in God and the importance of morality and keeping hope would put some of us to shame as we tend to pity ourselves in much more trivial ordeals.
It is true that at times my mind wandered with this book -- after all, it is a diary where not much can really happen. She is stuck in a secret annexe with seven other people for a number of years, so little can occur. Even so, her ponderings on faith and justice, her outlook on life and self-improvement, and her essays on improving oneself and changing the world one person at a time is encouraging.
While some parts lapsed, the book grew more interesting toward the end. I don't think this was because it was coming to a head, but rather because as she aged and matured she began to open more of herself up and to dwell on a variety of important, difficult issues. I felt a tugging of heart at the sweet crush between her and Peter, the budding teenage romance and friendship. I liked the companionship and strength she drew from her older, quieter sister, and her father seemed like an admirable man and role model. Her mother seemed to love her children and her husband and, although told through a rebelling teenagers words, seemed also admirable.
It's bittersweet that her death was met only two months before the war ended, and they had made it in hiding so very long, but I like to think her courage still held up through everything. While she never grew up to become the published novelist and visit France to study art, or to be an independent woman who would be "more than just another housewife," she did pen a diary that would impact the world more than any piece of fiction ever would. A book that not only has lasted the test of time, but that shall always do so -- filled with hope, young love, promise, and a determination to remain yourself no matter the external circumstances....more
For devotees of King, the first half of the book was a true treat, where the author takes time to tell us the highlights of his life that influenced hFor devotees of King, the first half of the book was a true treat, where the author takes time to tell us the highlights of his life that influenced him into the writer he became. Heartfelt memories of his mother, brother, wife, and children were a joy to read, with me growing teary-eyed on an occasion or two. I was delighted to see small things in his childhood that reminded me of things to come in later books (like IT.) His mothers support of him from the beginning was, I think, a crucial part of his development. One of the more emotional areas of the books, it's good to have someone fighting in your corner and keeping your hopes up. After his mother, there was his wife, all playing their big parts in who he became.
It's stimulating to see other authors (or anyones) love of books, comics, and old horror movies from their past.
He tells of his drug and alcohol addiction. I enjoyed his parting line on the section, stating (not word-for-word) that while creative types may be more inclined to be users, this isn't an excuse, it doesn't matter, as we "all look the same puking in the gutter."
The self-revelation he had that he was actually writing about himself in 'The Shining', and that Misery was about the coke and booze, was intriguing. It's clear King was a born writer, saying it's more work NOT to write on a daily basis, drawn to it where he kept trying and not giving up, even from the period of Junior High.
Once the memoir has passed, he delves into a variety of writing advice. No quick how-tos, exercises (okay, a small parting one...), but instead discusses his viewpoints on the craft of writing, showing high respect for 'The Elements of Style', warning against those pesky adverb overdoses, too much wording fluff (guilty!), and dialogue sins. I'd say his most repeated, emphasized advice is "read a lot, write a lot."
I found through this book that King doesn't outline, that he places characters into bizarre situations and writes to get them out of it, he doesn't rely as heavily on plot as some. He gives advice to new writers on literary agents, discusses the importances of re-writes and then gives an indepth-description of how he does his, including at the end of revised example in the second draft of "1408". Much love is given to his wife, Tabitha, listing her as his ideal reader. King discusses the importance of having a select few to give their ideas on your book before sending it off. He spends a chapter discussing so called creative writing courses and groups, not dismissing them outright but rich in his common sense as he honestly shares his viewpoint on how they may not help you grow.
If I have one complaint, it's that I'd love for the book to be longer, to hear more indepth details about certain older books. Since Carrie was his first published novel, he shared how the idea came, how Tabitha helped encourage him, how he found many of the facts, and how it grew from there. It was interesting how he said The Stand was his hardest to write, and that he almost gave up on it, and it took him the longest since he put it away in a drawer for a time. It's not so much interesting because of him and the book exactly, but because this is the sort of situation almost every writer will eventually run into.
Even if you're not a prospective writer, this is interesting stuff. It's not a guidebook or an instruction manual, it's just a writer's life being discussed. 'On Writing' is nowhere near a definite guideline, but King makes this clear up-front anyway. There really are no 'definite guidelines' in writing, you either write or you don't. If you're interested in King at all, the thoughts on writing perhaps show more about him and his life than anything else....more
I remember this being quite details for facts and figures. It's best to look elsewhere if you want to know more about the author though as it's definiI remember this being quite details for facts and figures. It's best to look elsewhere if you want to know more about the author though as it's definitely NOT a biography at all for the reclusive writer....more
I read biographies so slowly. This one took awhile to get through. Interesting, personalized insight into Agatha's life, she had the ability to remembI read biographies so slowly. This one took awhile to get through. Interesting, personalized insight into Agatha's life, she had the ability to remember some very minor details most of us would have forgotten. I like how she began her biography discussing the love of her family home, Ashfield, and then closed it with Ashfield being gone and missing it. She definitely enjoyed houses and travel! Really that's what most of the book was about. She barely talks about writing and books, not really. It's pretty obvious she saw it as pure work and not a passion. Travels and places were her clear enthusiasm - some of it was interesting but at times grew a bit dull to me. I have probably 10 status updates on this book with different viewpoints combined....more
From the files of the National Enquirer (yes, a mild groan), this book caught my attention more than I thought it would. Not because I believe Rosie cFrom the files of the National Enquirer (yes, a mild groan), this book caught my attention more than I thought it would. Not because I believe Rosie conned America, especially with the little evidence this book shows of it, but just because it was written in an easy manner and the lives of others are always interesting. Much was focused on Rosie's loss of her mother and how that affected her every year of her life thereafter. Dying at the age of ten and wasting away of cancer, and then having issues with her father - which are explored in a rather fascinating level - it was shown quite clearly that Rosie was determined to succeed as a star no matter the cost.
I had never really watched her show before, but knew it was a big hit. Instead of making the reader despise the woman, it instead shows her fond love of children and all her work in children's rights. An especially sad issue was when she was trying to help a woman who turned out to have a multiple personality, and a badly abused child that became too hard for any family to handle. I suppose The National Enquirer wishes for us to believe that because on her show she was all sweet and roses, then became outspoken afterward and out of the closet, that everything preceding that was a con. I don't agree.
The book got horrible reviews at Amazon, and it's hard to know what's true and what's not with the National Enquirer behind the wheel. Nevertheless, from what is written a different picture was painted for yours truly, making me have a deeper respect for Rosie than I did before. Sometimes her outspoken statements can grow tiresome, but when I watched some clips of her arguments a lot of it makes sense as well. I suppose being opinionated is not well embraced in celebrities?
It's hard to rate this book because I enjoyed reading it, but some of it was likely not true and I didn't agree at all with the whole focus of the book. If they were trying to convince the public with this work that Rosie conned anyone, they did a horrible job with the facts and stories shown. I'll take the safe road and slap it with a 2, recommending others to read it if they run across it in the Dollar General store where I did....more
Yes, after the abysmal Rosie O'Donnell publication, I shuddered to read this one. If possible, this one was actually worse. O'Donnells actually had aYes, after the abysmal Rosie O'Donnell publication, I shuddered to read this one. If possible, this one was actually worse. O'Donnells actually had a variety of details and some facts to support said things, as well as quotes from friends, etc., but here it seems shorter and without any personal insight.
Focusing on Roberts string of "men" and Robert's career, there's just nothing that interesting about this book. It's spelled out Roberts had a tough time with her father, and hinted about obstacles with her brother, yet of course there's no way to know what could be factual from the information presented. Everything is so meagerly touched upon it almost comes across as whimsical gossip heard from a fifth party. No rational explanations are given on this supposed bloodline war, with no wrap-up or anything of the sort. As for the string of men, being an unmarried woman, her legacy of lovers just doesn't seem that high to me. Hell, I've dated more and had more serious relationships than Roberts, if you go by guidelines according to this book.
Sadly the only thing that the small spurts of lover's quarrels left me with is wanting to know more information, especially on the whole Keifer Sutherland deal. It figures that when it finally grows interesting, the section stops.
The end result is simply boring, with gathered quotes from a variety of sources, trying to paint a picture that doesn't have a proper enough sketching to come together for a realistic enough image. With no index and no solid storyline, this book is simply a waste of time. The only good thing about it is the writing style is so simple a child could read it easily, and there are pictures. Black and white pictures, but hey, still pictures. At least the O'Donnell book, while trashy, was interesting in some of the time span.
Fran Drescher has a…unique voice in the industry. I used to watch The Nanny sometimes and laugh at the antics of that bizarre household. When my frienFran Drescher has a…unique voice in the industry. I used to watch The Nanny sometimes and laugh at the antics of that bizarre household. When my friend loaned me this book, I was all on it.
It’s immediately clear the book holds a conversational tone and writing style that displays Fran’s humor. She comes across as a down to earth girl who made it big but struggled to get there. She wasn't gifted with the rare insta-success but had to work for years to grow. Her husband, Peter, is also in the same business and they had been together the entire book from high school on. The book opens with their childhood in a small town with her parents and how close they all were. I was surprised to learn how the parents from ‘The Nanny’ were copies of her actual parents, even down to the names.
Sometimes some of the stories would lose me, like a vacation or so, but she did have the worst luck and funny stuff about her party with the big producers. I was surprised to learn of her rape, which her husband was forced to watch, which was touched upon very briefly because of talking about Howard Stern and all her appearances on his radio show. She told an awkward but enlightening backstory about a threesome that was proposed but she didn’t go through with, and also about her awkward kiss scenes with Robin Williams. She was apparently great friends with Dan Akroyd and her wife, which came across as sweet and down to earth.
I think the part most people were surprised about was her saying Princess Diana was a bitch and prima donna, but she told it like it was with her experiences.
Overall it’s a fun book. I was put off sometimes with the conversational tone that could seem cloying if it went on too long, but there were good one liners and some truly amusing stuff. The beauty tricks and her struggle and goal to lose and maintain weight was also interesting. The Nanny is of course the huge focus of the end of the book, and it was around season three when the stories stopped and the book was finished.
If you’re a big fan of Fran and the Nanny, it’s a good read that deserves your attention. ...more
Thankfully well-researched, the writer takes up little space with introspection and filler, instead using facts, quotes and known impressions down toThankfully well-researched, the writer takes up little space with introspection and filler, instead using facts, quotes and known impressions down to the finest details and the more obscure sources. If you're a Superman or Reeves fan, I highly recommend this book when searching for a biography.
The book opens announcing the world's reaction to the accident, going into detail about what was required for procedure and everything leading up to it. There were details and tidbits about the procedures and problems with outside influences that were discussed in the biography, while Reeves did not personally bring them up in his own book.
Man of Steel went into graphic detail about the filming of each Superman film, which should delight fans, but also chronicles every stage of Reeve's acting career, from every small film and every struggle. Most attention is given to the first big movie, Superman, taking pages to show how hard it was to cast parts with each actor. Marlon Brando was certainly painted in a poor light, not really from the side of the producers and during the movie, but especially afterward with scathing reviews.
Even small, amusing tidbits like this were included: "...was concerned that when his star wore the costume with the bright red tights that the protruding part of Reeve's anatomy be in the same place for each shot. To make sure, he assigned a script girl to keep track. After a conference it was decided that a true Superman would be neither left nor right - but dead center. A plastic codpiece was found... "
Toward the end of the book, as Reeve grew more passionate about causes, protects, and politics, this was all handled well by dishing out tidbits about groups he joined, speeches given, leading causes under his enthusiasm. I was surprised to learn about the Donald Trump involvement with Reeve over Trumptown in New York, and of course impressed by the speech and rally at Chilie which may have well saved 88 lives. With the political turnout a year later for the better, country officials again noted Reeve's involvement. It was especially invigorating how he chose to spend time lobbying for the Arts guild, including fighting a school board that fired a teacher for a controversial play. His comments on censorship there - bravo.
The writer also digs deeply into what the tabloids speculated and what Reeve confirmed or disproved regarding his ten year relationship (no marriage) to his sweetheart Gae, and his firm stance on no-marriage until hitting an older age and meeting Dana. I learned through his words in interviews how his relationship with father and mother were and differed, in a way more than I learned from his personal autobiography, Still Me.
Man of Steel presents a courageous, impressive man who was talented in so many ways - childhood pianist, enthusiastic pilot, sailor, activist, and of course actor. While presenting a positive and admiring light of Reeve's character and ambitions, it is unapologetic with it's honesty during the rougher times of his acting career, lining up reasons the career fell so far in a straight way any reader will get without being told. (Surprisingly it wasn't at first from being typecast as Superman, not so much.) Even the most brutal and vicious review piece is shared, all to accurately portray his acting achievements and pitfalls throughout the years.
The wrap-up at the end was touching and you could feel the support of fellow actors and those lives he touched as he attended the awards. Inspiring stuff.
This thorough book is a wonderful accompaniment to 'Still Me.' The autobiography definitely shouldn't be passed up for this less personal piece, for 'Still Me' shows his personal mindset about his love of acting, of life, of sports, and of the tragedy that befell him. His philosophical musings, especially at the end, were sobering, powerful pieces. But taken together, both factual book and the more personal one, was a rewarding reading experience about this interesting man who was so well suited to play the man in red and blue....more