In his candid and engaging new book HOW I GOT TO BE WHOEVER IT IS I AM, successful actor, author, and activist, Charles Grodin, looks back at the major events and private moments that have shaped his life. And, since Grodin is one of the best storytellers around, he can't help but entertain while offering insight gained from a wealth of experience.
The combination of being impeached as class president by his fifth grade teacher (and then winning many school elections thereafter) with being thrown out of Hebrew School for asking too many questions (only to find a much better teacher as a result) informed Grodin's view of himself and made him adept at dealing with rejection--an important skill for an actor. Grodin's success in plays in high school and adventures in college theater led him to a career in acting, studying with the great teachers like Uta Hagen and Lee Strasberg.
Grodin shares behind-the-scenes tales of working on plays like Same Time Next Year and movies like The Heartbreak Kid and Midnight Run--even how close he came to playing the lead in The Graduate. His stories feature the many actors, directors, writers, and producers, with whom he's worked, such as Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Carson, Orson Welles, Warren Beatty, and other colorful characters.
Grodin's greatest work isn't limited to stage and screen, however. He has been an award winning talk show host and commentator on Sixty Minutes II, and he reveals insights about the political and personal side of journalism and some of the larger-than-life characters he's interviewed.
Still, it is the personal aspects of Grodin's life that are truly revealing and funny. He shares intimate anecdotes of humorous dating experiences during the carefree 70s along with stories of what it was like to be a young actor then with friends and colleagues like Robert Redford, Gene Wilder, and Dustin Hoffman.
But it is Grodin's tales of the lives he's helped save with his relentless advocacy work that make you realize what a great guy Charles Grodin really is. We are lucky that the nice guy his friends call, "Chuck" brings us along to share a little of his journey of how he got to be who he really is!
The author is donating eight-five percent of his royalties from sales of this book Mentoring USA, a New York City based nonprofit that forges powerful, transformative connections for young people through the advocacy and involvement of mentors.
This memoir by actor Grodin (It Would Be So Nice if You Weren't Here) begins pleasingly with recollections of his mid-century Pittsburgh childhood. Grodin has a clipped and straightforward style that's so stripped of artifice it initially comes off as dust-dry wit; if only that were the case. The book's loose autobiographical framework quickly becomes little more than an excuse for a tired assemblage of would-be thoughtful musings and score settling. Although he claims, when speaking about a TV executive who was once rude to him, "I try not to take these things personally," it's all too clear that he does. Whether it's critiquing a speech teacher from college, a director he didn't care for or even dredging up a decades-old negative review, there is rarely a slight that the author is not willing to try and address in these pages. A deadpan marvel as an actor, Grodin the writer is, with few exceptions, humorless. (Apr.)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Grand Central Publishing
April 08, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.