Kiirsi Hellewell's Reviews > There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale

There and Back Again by Sean Astin
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's review
Jan 30, 2011

it was ok

I would give this 2.5 stars if I could...between "it was ok" and "I liked it."

I did like it, in parts. I picked it up because I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and have been for 25 years. I wanted to hear all kinds of fun, interesting and new behind-the-scenes info (beyond the DVD extended edition "special features") from my favorite movies.

I did get some of that, but not a whole lot. I did get a better understanding of who Sean Astin is as a person. But he jumped back and forth so minute he'd be relating an anecdote about filming in New Zealand or his interactions with a particular actor, and the next we'd be flashing back to his childhood, teen or college years. This happened so often that I got confused and had to keep flipping pages to find out what he'd been talking about in the first place.

The whole book was this way. I guess I prefer biographies to follow a pretty straight-forward, linear outline...first this happened, and then this, and then this. In Sean's book it's not like that. It's all over the place.

Another thing that bugged me was how much philosophizing and explanation of his thoughts and mindset Sean did. I didn't hugely care about exactly why he thought or did something on an obscure movie ten years before the New Zealand experience. I'm not saying I hated everything BUT the Lord of the Rings stuff...I did read it all, and there was a lot before LOTR started...but I got tired of reading all his musings, explanations, and every little detail of conversations with actors and other things.

I also thought it was odd that things I would think would be his daughter Alexandra getting to be "Sam's" daughter in the movie, and also when Sean and his wife had a second child...would be mentioned as a major event. But these two things were only mentioned in a very offhand way as part of something else, and I almost missed them.

I did learn some things about Sean, and about the LOTR experience. I would've liked to see much more in-depth about the actors and experiences, though, in New Zealand, and less philosophy about life (and less profanity).

I am glad I read it, though.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 30, 2011 – Shelved

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