Life Itself

Life Itself

A Memoir

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written." - Janet Maslin, New York Times

"To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades.

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne and Martin Scorsese.

This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir -- it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.

Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780446584975
0446584975
Characteristics: ix, 436 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.

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r
reedstevens
Nov 15, 2016

Ebert's story shows how a highschool lad became a successful critic. Fascinating; made me jealous that I, a small-town aspiring writer girl, never had such opportunities. Tinged, however, with the sadness of his painful illness which ended an admirable life.

b
beckythecat1
May 12, 2015

written by a self absorbed male who believes he is incredible. now I will NOT see the film. yuk!

WVMLStaffPicks Aug 29, 2014

In his autobiography, Ebert comes across as the life of a lifelong party. Tales from childhood, interviews with film stars and directors, funny and touching stories about colleagues, and essays about trips unwind before the reader in a series of loosely organized, beautifully written essays. In light of his recent struggles with thyroid cancer and surgeries resulting in loss of speech and ability to eat, he comments “I may seem tragic to you, but I seem fortunate to myself.” Two thumbs up!

r
Ron@Ottawa
Jan 24, 2014

The late Roger Ebert is a good writer, and I have always enjoyed his film reviews. This book is probably his last work. Many interesting period pieces, but I skipped some of those on his family as I find them repetitive. The final several articles are particularly interesting - from a man of no religious belief facing imminent death. A good read overall.

e
Ellington4
Oct 07, 2012

A terrific read! Ebert is funny, moving, intensely honest and ultimately an extremely heroic character. His story is very colorful, and in his life he has displayed extraordinary courage.

g
GummiGirl
Nov 07, 2011

An entertaining memoir, if somewhat repetitious. I would have preferred reading more about his career and less about his friends and family, but he does evoke childhood in mid-20th century Urbana, Illinois, very well.

o
ORLstaff
Oct 24, 2011

Great memoir about movies and much more -- indeed, the title says it all: this is about life itself. Ebert talks about his professional life but also talks about his childhood, his struggles with addiction, his friendships and his illness and disability. Highly recommended.

o
okbookgirl
Oct 13, 2011

This candid, poignant and funny memoir wanders around a fair bit --- but that is not a criticism. Ebert writes about his early life, and his work relationships with fellow journalists, t.v. co-hosts, movie stars and directors. But, this is also an exploration of his former addiction and his very public illness and subsequent disability. Look online for Ebert's TED talk - "Remaking My Voice" - that is a fascinating account of how he is using technology to remain connected and active in the world.

r
ronandlynda
Oct 12, 2011

If you read one non-fiction book this year pick this one, you will not be disappointed.

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