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How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Kevin Pollak rose through the comedy club ranks at the feet of Don Rickles and Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson and George Carlin, becoming a killer impressionist—Falk, Shatner, Walken, Nicholson—a versatile actor with one of the most respected filmographies around, and an Internet pioneer. He’s done it all, and now he’s ready to spill the beans. Ballsy, hilarious, and revealing, ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Lyons Press (first published November 6th 2012)
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Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
This book should absolutely not be read in print! Hearing Kevin read the audiobook himself gives you all those great impressions he's famous for. ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Pollak's Kevin Pollak's Chat Show podcast is a treat as Kevin Pollak interviews celebrities in a freewheeling 2 or 3 hour chat about show business and their career. What makes Pollak's show so appealing is his enthusiasm for the business, his love of both the comedy and acting craft, and his seemingly endless enthusiasm to know more about others. What shines through behind Pollak's smart ass exterior is a genuinely nice guy who seems to be in awe of the fact that he gets to do something he ...more
Matthew Budman
Pretty much exactly the memoir you'd expect: amusing throughout, moderately insightful, not especially revealing. How I Slept… often seems like a compilation of movie-set anecdotes originally told as a talk-show guest or a podcast host, and as such, sure, I'll keep reading—hey, tell me more about what Tom Cruise is really like and how filming that Usual Suspects lineup scene went and what Jack Nicholson said about Chinatown. Some funny stuff. But it's all very, very surface-y, and often strangel ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw Kevin Pollak plugging his book on the Craig Ferguson show. So, I thought I'd give it a try. It's actually really good. Turns out he grew up in San Jose. I grew up in the Silicon Valley too. So I was instantly hooked since I could understand local references.

But his stories go one better. He talks about working with Robert De Niro, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, and Jack Nicholson, just to name a few. The book is filled with hilarious stories of what silly things actors do in their trailers
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2014
This was fun to listen to. I loved hearing about Kevin's experience on The Usual Suspect. His impressions both that he actually does (excellent) and the ones he perceives of some the people he has worked with over the years went along with my own perceptions of these bigger than life actors.

However, he had me when he recalled listening to a Nixon impressionist when he was young on his parents "hi fi" the enormous piece of furniture they were back in the old days. I recall the exact same thing w
Rich Baker
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fan-freakin-tastic! I read a lot of autobiographies - the overwhelming majority I love. And this one was the most entertaining of the bunch.

If you have the option, definitely listen to the audio book. Kevin's voice is like jazz. He's great when he's being himself, but he also does all the impressions on the audiobook. And if you haven't heard his impressions, they're master craftsmen level.

The thru line of the book is that his best moments have come directly from the times where he took the reig
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the advance reader copy, I wanted to encourage others who enjoy memoirs or who are flat out fans of Kevin's, to get this book when it releases later this year. He has recycled some of his best bits from televised comedy specials but there are many more stories from his stand-up & film career that is new. He also recounts his emerging online chat show. The book has a quick pace and he writes EXACTLY like he performs. ...more
Kelli Lynn Dwyer
I am seriously so excited to have won this giveaway as I'm a huge fan of Kevin Pollak. Thank you for giving me the opportunity and as soon as I receive the book in the mail and read it I will be sure to edit this into one proper review. Thanks again. ...more
Briana Alzola
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Pollak is delightful and this is just confirmation of that. This is full of funny anecdotes from his career, as well as quotes from some of the hilarious people he's worked with. I definitely recommend this book for celebrity/movie buffs like myself. ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Pollak's book is amazing. He is a master storyteller who imbues each tale with genuineness and humor. The stories he tells are from his point of view but he never gets in the way of the reader seeing what he saw. Amazing talent. Great book. ...more
David Herman
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books by comedians, even more, books by comedians that can do voices and even more ones in which the comedians read the book in audio format and do the celebrity voices of all the people they write about. This is one of those books.
Bill Horner
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the stories. Didn't love the endless profanity and the self-absorption, despite the generous level of self-deprecation. Book would have been better without all that. Enjoying reading about the behind-the-scenes stuff involving agents, auditions, etc. ...more
Tony Tower
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining. Just the right amount of pre-fame life, lots of great anecdotes and chops-busting. Well worth a read if you're in the mood for some pleasant showbiz fluff. ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very funny
Nicole Mcbride
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I would not pick up an autobiography/memoir, but I love Kevin Pollak and could not resist. This book did not disappoint and I found myself laughing out loud at several passages. I think what I liked most about this book is that it was written in a way that mirrored normal conversation. What I mean by that, is that one story leads to a different story that leads to a different story, but somehow everything goes back full circle to what was being talked about in the first story. Did you f ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't claim that I really cared about Kevin Pollack prior to listening to his book. It was short-listed as one of the best audiobooks for the year, so thought I would give it a shot. I'm glad I did, as it is highly-entertaining. I only knew Pollack from the film, The Usual Suspects, but as the book went on, I realized I had seen him in a few more movies than that, and even if you are a middle-of-the-road actor, one still gets the chance to work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Poll ...more
Pollak writes a somewhat interesting autobiography in an annoying way. While it is filled with all sorts of stories about his career and the famous people he worked with (some would call it "name dropping"), the writing style is frustrating. He jumps back and forth in time, writes too many asides that could have easily been written into the stories, and has no sense of narrative. Ironic coming from a stand-up comedian who supposedly spent his career honing humorous stories. He also has some majo ...more
Douglas Castagna
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several interesting anecdotes, but I am wondering what was held back. As you know we read these books for the dirt of the behind scenes of what really went down during movies and inter-relations with other stars. This book does provide some of that, including some great stuff about many stars no longer with us. That is where this book shines, with the author's interactions with Johnny Carson, Mattheau, and Peter Falk,of whom Pollak has always performed a brilliant impersonation. There seems to b ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing Kevin Pollak on the Craig Ferguson show talking about his book, I picked up a copy at my local library and spent an enjoyable few hours following his life and career. This memoir is actually more of a series of vignettes about the beginnings of his career, the choices he made along the way, and the people with whom he has interacted. Other than stories about such celebrities as Bruce Willis, Jack Nicholson, and Robert De Niro, my favorite parts of the book were the stories about his ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
While I really enjoyed this autobiography, and really enjoyed some behind the scenes looks at a few of my favourite movies, I found it lacking of personal information during adulthood. I mean, it's really no one's business why his marriage ended in divorce, but Pollak doesn't talk much about sex other than really wanting it when he was in his teens. And considering that the title of the book is about his sleeping his way to the middle, I was hoping for ... a little sexy times. You know?

But I've
Michael Jackson
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting and thoroughly entertaining read! There is so much good stuff in this book! Of course, you get Kevin's biography and how he got his start in showbiz, but there is so much more! You get backstage stories from the stand-up comedy world! You get behind-the-scenes glimpses from many movies including two of my favorites, A Few Good Men and The Usual Suspects. You also get an interesting perspective of entertainment on the Web as he describes how a poker game led to his grou ...more
J.D. Martin
This was a fun read that is filled with stories of Hollywood. I found myself laughing on more than one occasion. It also gave me a list of movies I now want to watch as well as comedy specials from Kevin Pollak. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a memoir every now and then. I give it three stars because it's not something that would have me running to the closest book store to pick up, but was still worth the read. ...more
Zombie Karin
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zombie Karin by: Jeremy Ward
Pollak is a good storyteller, no doubt a skill he honed in his years as a stand-up comedian. Like Jeremy, I'm not sure that I learned all that much about Pollak himself (a few tidbits slipped in between the anecdotes by accident) but maybe that isn't the point in something titled "how I slept my way to"...

This is probably the memoir that a normal person who just happened to star in a movie alongside Tom Cruise would write. So, not a normal memoir at all?
Chris Michel
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book I had a hard time putting it down. It got my attention from the beginning and wouldn't let go. Kevin has a great ability to tell stories, and that along with his gift of comedy and guts, made him the success he is today. This is a brief look into how he made it happen in such a funny way! If only I thought of this first... ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction, memoirs
This was on a display table at the library, and I picked it up as I waited in line to check out other materials. I found this to be a quick, easy read, more short vignettes than a memoir per se. I've seen and liked Kevin Pollak in several movies, and after reading this, I'm interested in checking out his TV show/podcast. ...more
Jeremy Ward
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pollak's got a knack for retelling tales. Although I don't feel like I learned much about him from this book, it's chock-full of great yarns from his years of hobnobbing and acting in films with celebrities more famous than him. Worth reading if only to find out what Walter Matthau said to Sophia Loren just before the first reading of "Grumpier Old Men." ...more
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid memoir that deals primarily with his acting career. Refreshingly focused, Pollak deals out great anecdotes on working with some of the greats (Johnny Carson, De Niro, Tom Cruise, and many more), while refusing to detour into his personal life. No teary-eyed tales about divorces and screaming matches in the rain here.
Thomas Hardiman Jackson Jr
I enjoyed reading this book. Kevin Pollak has written a very funny book about his rise in the showbiz world , yes some name dropping is done but nothing that will damage reputations.

if you do get the chance to get the audiobook , it is read by Mr. Pollak himself and he does the voices too. So check it out.
Tom Armbruster
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny funny stuff. As a fan of show business, I love "behind the scenes" stories, and Kevin's got plenty of them. From failed pilots to "A Few Good Men" and beyond, Kevin tells good story bringing to life the "HOLY CATS I'M WORKING WITH JACK NICHOLSON" feeling when he meets his idols.

If you're familiar with this work (And shame on you if you're not) this is a must read for you.
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Kevin Elliot Pollak is an American actor, impressionist, and comedian. He has appeared in over 80 films, his most notable roles including Sam Weinberg in the legal film A Few Good Men, Jacob Goldman in Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men; Todd Hockney in The Usual Suspects, Philip Green in Casino, and Bobby Chicago in End of Days.

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