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The Elephant To Hollywood

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,315 Ratings  ·  292 Reviews
Film legend and British icon Sir Michael Caine's major new autobiography. When Maurice Micklewhite was born in poverty near Elephant and Castle, nobody would have guessed that he'd end up a Hollywood film star. Michael Caine looks back on the astonishing journey he's made.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton
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(showing 1-30)
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Dominic

Let's get things straight - I'm a huge fan of Michael Caine, and I eagerly snapped this book up. I've always found him to be a great actor (although admittedly he occasionally makes some very ill-advised choices as regards which movies to appear in), and think he's a very funny raconteur, with lots of great anecdotes to share.

However, I was pretty disappointed with this book, for two main reasons. As a long-time fan of Caine, I'd already read his previous autobiography, "What's It All About?", w
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Joy
I picked this up at Barnes & Noble last week. I really liked his first memoir What's It All about I enjoyed this book very much. Michael Caine has had a very interesting life and career. He's one of my favorite actors. This book includes his favorite movies (the ones he has been in are in a separate list). I was glad to see he put Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on his list as that is one of my favorites as well. If you are a movie fan, you will enjoy this book!
Joy H.
Below is the message I posted about this book at my GR group:

I recently finished reading The Elephant to Hollywood, an autobiography by one of my favorite actors, Michael Caine. The book has just come out; it was first published in September of this year (2010). I borrowed it from our public library. I'm rating this book 5 stars because I was so happy to find a book which I enjoyed thoroughly. (Those are few and far between these days.)

The word "Elephant" refers to the area of London where Caine
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Kay
Sentimental and self-indulgent but still an entertaining read

I've read few celebrity biographies but noticed this on a friend's GoodReads page and decided to give it a try, figuring that if anyone had some juicy tales to tell of old Hollywood and the film industry it would be Michael Caine.

His book certainly didn't disappoint in terms of celebrity gossip, but it's sadly lacking in terms of narrative build-up and resolution. People, films, and exotic locales all seem to whiz by, and Caine scarce
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Breck
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best two words to describe Michael Caine are perseverance and gratitude. Perseverance because he spent the first several years of his acting career being laughed off stage, turned down for jobs and criticized by agents before he made it big. Gratitude because each paragraph in the book seems to end with a word of gratitude for a experience or person in his life. I think it's these two traits that made Michael Caine not only a great actor but individual and family man.

It's funny because I've
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GoldGato
British actor Michael Caine delivers another autobiography, this one an update on his first book, What's It All About?, from 1993. This volume is most definitely an update, as the actor basically provides a skimmer on his earlier bio then does some extra chapters on his life since his first book.

I hate comparing books as the idea is to read each book as its own entity, but in this case it's quite pertinent. If you want a Niven-esque story about Caine's life (up to 1993), then read What's It All
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Christa
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Caine does a lot of name dropping in this, which is the kind of thing I love in famous-actor-biographies. He speaks a lot about his family, and the chapter on meeting his wife and falling in love with her made my heart melt. Similarly, I cried at his mention of the passing of some of his best friends (part of a group that called themselves the Mayfair Orphans), and his description of his love for his grandchildren. He focused so much on his relationships and friendships, and it was reall ...more
EJ
May 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit
Yep, this is a memoir, he's rememberin' stuff.

I sincerely love Michael Caine as an actor. I grew up with his movies and when I spotted this book on the library shelf I knew I had to read it. Seriously, though, I got through 4 ridiculous pages of uppity remarks, non sequiturs, and pretentious name dropping. I think you could make a drinking game of opening to any page and counting the actors names.

I think it doesn't help that I just finished Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson, who spent signif
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Jason Chiang
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rented the books-on-"tape" version, which was narrated by Michael Caine himself. Is an autobiography about Caine's journey from a boyhood in poverty in the eastern slums of London; details his hard scrabble climb to fame; all the other famous actors and personalities he met, worked with, and partied with; and personal life. Although I don't usually find autobiographies and the minutiae too interesting, his life certainly is a rich one and his expressive narrating and cockney accent made this boo ...more
Karen Wherlock
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this while commuting and found it to be a lovely listen. Mr. Caine narrates the audio edition and is charming. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and is surprisingly sweet. When I finished listening, I wanted to meet him. I enjoyed his stories of his youth, old Hollywood, and his marriage. If you enjoy biographies of celebrities, I would listen to this one!
Erin
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Favorite part was when Michael Caine is genuinely chuffed that the staff at some American restaurants sing you Happy Birthday on your birthday. I love this guy.
Martin
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book. Very honest and straightforward. M
Barry Hammond
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about this book, I thought, “Didn’t Michael Caine already write an autobiography?” I wondered if this was a re-titled version of that book released in paperback for North America. My question was answered when I looked at the first sentence of this book’s introduction and he talks about it. Yes, he did. It was 1992’s “What’s It All About?,” which I read and enjoyed. What makes this volume different is that when he wrote his first autobiography, back then, he thought his film c ...more
John McDermott
Michael Caine makes for engaging company in his autobiography.
Definitely a book for fans of David Nivens memoirs.
An entertaining read.
David
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Caine is a wonderful actor who has been in some classy films and some downright horrible films. Even in the horrible films Mr. Caine’s role is usually entertaining and memorable (Hoagie in Jaws the Revenge). I read his first autobiography in high school, picked up a hardcover copy of “What’s It All About?” for $3.00 at the local Dollar General. It was an enjoyable read, basic autobiography discussed his younger life and his film career up to the early nineties. I picked up his second bio ...more
Giles Burrows
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audio book which for this type of book, I find, can't be beat. I found this to be a funny, interesting and disarming account of his life. It is brilliantly read by Caine, as you'd expect. It is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes. On occasion, after delivering the punch line, he breaks out into a suppressed laugh. Thankfully, they didn't edit these moments out as it just adds to the charm. Really enjoyed it.
Jenna Vidal
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book immediately when I saw it at a second hand shop. I love autobiographies and biographies alike and although I was (note: was) not a big Michael Caine fan, I thought it might be interesting.

It did not disappoint. I enjoyed it from start to finish and I feel after reading this that I know the man as well as a good friend (and now I really like him). The book has some flaws, it was a little slow in parts, seemed to take a long time to get to about 1990 and then was a bit vague f
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Khairul H.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rags to riches story of one the entertainment industry's icon (he may be an icon but his wife still tells him to take out the rubbish). Michael Caine seemed to have a relatively stable life despite being in one of the most unstable jobs in the world. A hardworking man, he's only been married twice (the first one he admitted was a mistake since they were both very young but even so he remained on good terms with his ex-wife until she died).

I didn't mind the non-linear style this book was written
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Day Rusk
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in the late 1980’s and early ‘90’s, when I was writing about movies more than I am today, I used to joke that Michael Caine and Gene Hackman seemed to star in every other film made. I didn’t check up on the Bollywood film industry, but would have bet if I did, I would have found them there also. In reading Michael Caine’s second autobiography – his first, What’s It All About was released in the early ‘90’s – he acknowledges that during that time period, he did indeed make a lot of films, an ...more
Mj
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Michael Caine as an actor and I now love him like a member of my family. He saw his wife in a coffee commercial, made it his mission to meet her and it was love. He appreciates where he came from and where he is. A truly nice man, wonderfully narrated by the author. Very enjoyable.
Bettie☯
The Elephant to Hollywood

Nonfic> Celebrity memoir
Fraudio read by author
summer 2013> tbr busting 2013

"My name is Michael Caine"

More name dropping and false modesty, however he does it so well. You get to hear of all his charitable acts and gifts, which is where this drops a star from the first memoir.

4* What's It All About
3* The Elephant to Hollywood
Kay
Was good to have Michael Caine as company while working and listen to the interesting life he's led. He places a lot of value on his family and home life and its fun to hear him laugh at his own jokes. He's proof that hard work does pay off in the end and that you shouldn't always take a bad review as a benchmark of who you are or let it get in the way of what you dream of.
Adriana
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hollywood
What a lucky and remarkable career, not to mention life.
Michael Caine worked hard to get where he is today and his telling of how he got there is full of interesting anecdotes and unbelievable opportunities.
It reads like you're just having a chat over tea with the actor.
Caroline
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's great when stars read their own memoirs. Michael Caine actually laughs out loud at some of his own anecdotes.
Arlene Caruso
Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for Hollywood bios! But this one reads like Michael Caine is telling you his story -- I heard his distinctive voice as I read. A lot of fun! :D
Leland
I like Michael Caine and enjoyed his first autobiography. I found this book interesting but far more superficial and possibly redundant.
Ellie Revert
Would love to be their neighbors! Sounds like they have a wonderful marriage, and he is truly appreciative of the life he's led---AND he's so funny!
Niklas Pivic
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hollywood-lovers
This book is often about tidbits that Caine - birthname Maurice Micklewhite - has plucked from Hollywood. For example:

I was browsing through the power tool display when I popped my head round the corner and there in the next aisle was Klaus Kinski buying an axe. Never has a shop full of DIY aficionados cleared so quickly...


As such, it gets a bit tedious at times, but given that Caine was 77 years old upon finishing it and has a dry, yet interesting sense of humor, it's quite forgiven. Very linea
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Julie
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read about a career spanning a lifetime. I liked the glimpse into his life, and how important family and friends are. It was also interesting to see how different roles came about, that he thought of giving up, and persevered through it all.
Natalie Law
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just loved this book. Open and honest and what a life and the people he has met. Great story teller.
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Sir Michael Caine, CBE was born Maurice Joseph Micklewaite in poverty near Elephant and Castle in South London. His first major starring role was Alfie in the 1960s. He is now a major Hollywood film star and two time Academy Award winner.
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“I love the start of autumn when the trees in my garden change the colour of their leaves in one last dazzling display.” 8 likes
“you lose your temper in front of people you do not know, you lose their respect and it is almost impossible to win it back. You must keep control—if you cannot control yourself, then you have no chance of controlling others.” 3 likes
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