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Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,223 ratings  ·  246 reviews
Now in his 85th year, Hollywood legend Michael Caine shares wisdom and stories from his remarkable career in this "engrossing" memoir that "shines with positive energy" (Library Journal, starred review).

One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in over 100 films in his six-decade career, spanning classic movies like Alfie, Zulu, and The Italian Job (the insp
Published October 23rd 2018 by Hachette Books
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3.84  · 
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 ·  1,223 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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This was an absolutely charming memoir by actor Michael Caine. I listened to this on audio, which Michael read himself, and it was a delight. I especially enjoyed his stories of how he got his start acting and the life lessons he's learned along the way.

My favorite story in the book was Michael's first meeting with writer/director Christopher Nolan, who showed up at his house on a Sunday morning, unannounced, with a movie script. Michael had seen Nolan's movie "Memento," and assumed this new fi
Review of the audiobook narrated by the author.

I must confess that my primary reason for reading this is that I love listening to Michael Caine and wanted to hear him talk for 7 hours. In that much the book easily fulfilled its purpose. And that is what the book is best at; Michael Caine telling star-studded anecdotes.

Although I haven't read any of the others, this isn't the first time Michael Caine has written an autobiographical book. My sense is that this one is more of an addendum to his pr
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up the hardcover version and immediately became immersed in this very engaging memoir. Then, I switched to the audiobook read by the author himself and just loved listening to Michael Caine tell his story in his own sublime voice. I loved his down-to-earth style and philosophy of life, especially how he used the "little difficulties" to positive effect. He determines to live in the current moment and even tells his grandchildren, "Don't look back, you'll trip over!" Indeed, he speaks wi ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it

Read by the author, the book is part memoir, part acting tips, part life lessons, but all delivered in a humble cheery manner of a man who is really grateful for the great luck he's had in his life.

Sometimes repetitive.
A LOT of name dropping, but it's just so cool--I really didn't get sick of it. John Wayne landing his helicopter in the Beverly Hills Hotel garden when it was expressly forbidden . . . but hey . . . it's the Duke.

Michael Caine says he's been extremely lucky in life, and p
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:
Hollywood legend and British national treasure Sir Michael Caine, now 85, shares stories from screen and stage alongside some of the lessons and skills that life has taught him.

In episode one he gets some advice from John Wayne and also looks back on his time as an evacuee and later as a soldier on National Service.

Written and read by Michael Caine
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Produced by Jill Waters
The Waters Company for BBC Radio 4
Pierke Bosschieter
A breeze, but a very entertaining one. Some real gems that made me laugh out loud and some sound advice that's also applicable to us lesser mortals not in the film industry. After reading I have the urge to re-acquaint myself with a few of his films. I started with the Ipcress File, which is still enjoyable after seeing it for the umpteenth time.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
BLOWING THE BLOODY DOORS OFF, and other lessons in life. (2018). Michael Caine. **1/2.
I got the feeling, reading this memoir, that I was on a bus trip, occupying a window seat. The aisle seat was occupied by an elderly lady who could not stop talking. She never seemed to have anything interesting to say, but went on and on about the luck she had in life by being surrounded by friends who were her support system. In spite of his obvious co-workers in his world of film, Caine’s best friends inclu
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I blew the Bloody cover of this book in 5 hours.
Breezy, lightweight, 273 pages of acting tips and advice.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

delightful autobiography but something which really stands out though
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd biography book by Michael Caine. I know I read one previously a few years ago and enjoyed it.
So I wondered what more he had to say.
This isn’t so much a biographical retelling of his chronological life as it is pearls of wisdom/words of advice quotes exemplified with stories from his experiences.

I like Caine. And I think his book portrays his personality as it’s been gleaned from interviews. He’s a charming, relatable man for an celebrity.

Overall, I found Caine to be honest w/his
John Yingling
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not only did I enjoy this book, but I listened to it, read by Michael Caine, which was an extra pleasure. He discusses his life, in and out of the movies, and I learned many things about him that were new to me, such as his work in tv series, and his deep devotion to his family, including his children and grandchildren. He had many tips for actors, but these tips are easily applicable to anyone. Another aspect of the book I liked was that he didn't "dish the dirt". As titillating as gossip and t ...more
Tyler Jones
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
My guilty pleasure is celebrity autobiographies on audio book, read by the author. Michael Caine's book is breezy, a bit repetitive, and as charming as you would expect. A few great anecdotes, some hard won wisdom. Unpretentious and personal.
Meg Orton
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Michael Caine is a bloody charmer! He is the epitome of the English gentleman and the Cockney badass he so often plays in the countless films generations have been privileged to view. Even before picking up this delightful memoir of his I always had the distinct impression that Michael Caine was something special. With his rebellious Cockney accent and the black rimmed spectacles he was not the typical hero type, and yet when he spoke people listened.

Part memoir and part life lessons, Caine imp
Xoán Vázquez Del Pozo
Michael's tips for being a professional and reliable actor are pretty decent and transferable to most jobs.

The actual meat of the book is lacklustre though. For an autobiography, he just about mentions abandoning his first daughter when she was a kid. I don't understand how you can abandon a kid and it not be something you write about, especially as once he became rich and famous he tried to repair the damage.

The same can be said for his alcohol addiction. It's mentioned in passing and as if it'
David Edwards
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this book. Sadly these hopes got quickly squashed after the first few chapters. It's not so much a biography - and I appreciate a few have been out in the last decade - but more like a self-help book for budding actors and/or for people who feels the need to receive life advices from a high profile actor. It is well written and the anecdotes are sometimes amusing even though we already know them from the aforementioned biographies. Entertaining but forgettable.
Ellen Loulou
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don’t know how such an interesting and thoughtful life could be made to be such a dull read.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
( Format : Audiobook)
"A gangly, working class boy with a big nose."
A trip around the stars of stage and screen of the past fifty years - with over an hundred films to his name (at least forty of which he has made since he retired twenty years ago), Michael Caine's face and voice are legendary. So who else could read the autobiography than Caine himself?
This book takes a long look back at Caine's perspective on his life, his impoverished childhood, the people he knew, the films he was in: all ver
Under Milkwood
As much as I like Michael Caine (respect may be too strong a word), I had misgivings about this book before I had even reached the second chapter.
Sure Sir Michael is a genial wordsmith but I think he tackled a 'bridge too far' when he devoted a whole book to life lessons. There was always going to be repetition of topics and it was always going to be a little grating when the life of an actor (in this case a movie star) is directly related to the life of an 'ordinary' person. Sure we can all asp
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At age 85, Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine follows up two memoirs (1992's "What's It All About?" and 2010's "The Elephant to Hollywood") with this chatty, charming and bracingly candid collection of "the lessons I've learnt and want to share, not just for aspiring movie actors but for everyone." A born raconteur, Caine's anecdotes about his seven decades making films are perceptive, witty and wildly entertaining.

"Talent will get you only so far," writes Caine, offering salient advice that's ap
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Caine recounts lessons and anecdotes from his long and storied career in the movie business, all while keeping things grounded and applicable to everyone.

Amid stories of his work alongside the greatest actors ever, there are valuable lessons on how to succeed, be prepared and punctual, how to carry yourself, dealing with conflict and praise, etc. Almost like a condensed finishing school, I guess. It kept occurring to me that the lessons were essentially “how to be a gentleman/lady.” Not
Debbie Green
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful read

When I first picked up this book,I honestly did not know what I was letting myself into. I heard the unmistakable voice of Michael on part of a radio interview on only caught the title of his new book and I felt compelled to read it, oh and I am so pleased I did.
At first I thought this was going to be another biography, then thought it's a guide to want to be actors, then I quickly realised it was all of the above and so much more.
Michael had me feeling nostalgic, brought a
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
In his 85th year Michael Caine has written this new book. It is part memoir about his early life and most of the book is devoted to his advice for actors. Peppered with stories about the movie industry and the many movies he has been in it talks not only about being a movie star when younger, but as he aged becoming more popular as a character actor. It is all good advice, about preparing well, learning your lines, making friends on set, being prompt and polite and most of all being professional ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend the audio. Never has someone given me advice in a tone which makes me feel as though he is saying this because he cares for me AND because it's in my best interest unless I want to lose an appendage... IN THE SAME SENTENCE.

At 7min in, he acknowledges his white-male privilege, calls for more female power in all industries, but especially the film industry, and he acknowledges his wife all throughout.

There's a lot of name-dropping, which I found fun, especially when he pronounce
Beau Stucki
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It isn’t a literary masterwork, but it does everything Caine wants it to do.

If you’ve read his other books you will be hearing a few of the same anecdotes again, he doesn’t care and neither did I.

Whatever you may think of the opinion of movie stars, Caine is at his heart an old optimist who has worked hard for decades, and with both eyes open. It’s a something-for-everyone sort of book.

I listened to this one, with Caine doing the reading. I recommend the audiobook.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this actor's memoirs so I thought I would try this book containing more lessons for living than stories of his illustrious past. He is a man I have long admired for his down-to-earth attitude and likeable characters, even if they weren't exactly nice. This book confirmed that I agree with his way of dealing with situations and treating everyone the same, unlike many of these younger "celebrities" who just act like spoiled brats, no matter what their age. This is a delightful re ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Michael Caine, you God, you legend. What a wonderful story of you’re incredible life..
Learning from a failure is a success..
What wise words you give us throughout this book, loving you even more learning of what an incredible family man you are. The proudest husband, father and grandfather I think I have ever read about.. I wish I could spend a Christmas at you’re house...
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While I was excited to learn this even existed, I did wonder what Caine possibly had left to say after the last one, which I loved. When I saw, this book was structured as career lessons, I was worried this would have a warmed over, wrung out shammy feel. So, you can see by the rating, how misplaced these fears were. Caine does retell a story or two from last time but lord knows he could write more books just of anecdotes and I would read them. With the increasing horrors of the world, it’s insp ...more
C.L. Cannon
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so well-written and organized, which is something that a lot of celebrity biographies lack! The book briefly chronicles several events in Caine's life but also describes his acting techniques in fascinating detail with plenty of life lessons along the way. I find him to be humble, wise, and hilarious! His wonderful humor comes out in spades in this book. This is probably the second best biography I've read this year, and the competition is Michelle Obama's Becoming, so that's high p ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giving this four stars. Caine delved into the technical side of acting a bit too much for my taste but it opened my eyes to understanding the complexities of his craft.

That said, 4.5.
Barry Hammond
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although it's not really a memoir - it's more about the legendary actor sharing the wisdom of all he's learned about his craft and about life - it's chock full of amusing and revealing stories from all stages of his long career. Anyone with either an interest in acting or about Caine himself will enjoy this very readable look back at a stellar career. - BH.
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Sir Michael Caine, CBE was born Maurice Joseph Micklewaite near Elephant and Castle in South London. His first major starring roles, beginning in the 1960s, include 'Zulu,' 'The Ipcress File,' and 'Alfie.' He is a major Hollywood film star and two-time Academy Award winner with a career spanning over sixty years.
“something I loved and trying to do it as well as I possibly could. In the end if I could give you one bit of advice, it would be that: find what you love, and do it as well as you can. Pursue your dream and, even if you never catch it, you’ll enjoy the chase. The rest comes down to luck, timing and God: even if you don’t believe in him, he believes in you. And when all of that runs out, use the difficulty.” 1 likes
“Instead, my biggest piece of advice to anyone just starting out, or to anyone who feels like they are taking a wrong turn along the way, is this. Find something you want to do and learn how to do it really well. Take what you got and make the most of it. Learn how to do something, whatever it is, you would choose to do for nothing. Whatever it is, when you are doing it, it makes you feel amazing and most yourself. Throw yourself into it. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be. We can’t all be famous actors. But, if you can find something you love and if that something will also pay the bills, you will be on your way to your own personal paradise.” 0 likes
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