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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt
I've always greatly admired Mr.Wilder, one of the funniest actors I've ever seen. When I happend upon his biography "Kiss me like a stranger" I felt that I just had to read it. The early parts of the book take us through his childhood and the hard times that he experienced whilst learning his great passion of acting. As a child he was sent to a military institute in...
Published on 25 Nov 2006 by D. M. Liffen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite depressing
I've always liked Gene Wilder and had hoped this book would reflect his humour. Instead, as with many comics, he comes across as pretty depressed and neurotic and doesn't seem to know what will make him happy or, when he is happy, how to stay that way.

It's one of those books where you wish you hadn't read it because you'll never look at the person the same way...
Published 15 months ago by Galning


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, 25 Nov 2006
By 
D. M. Liffen (Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
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I've always greatly admired Mr.Wilder, one of the funniest actors I've ever seen. When I happend upon his biography "Kiss me like a stranger" I felt that I just had to read it. The early parts of the book take us through his childhood and the hard times that he experienced whilst learning his great passion of acting. As a child he was sent to a military institute in Beverley hills where he was beaten by other boys when word got out that he was a jew. He also suffered sexual assualt by his room mate. We learn about his long and winding career path together with fascinating stories of the characters and stars of showbiz. And of course there are the women of Mr.Wlders life and the difficulties and heartbreaks that are suffered by not only himself but his loved ones. The main theme of the book is "what if"...in other words tha path of fate. If he hadnt taken this opportunity or if he hadnt met this person...this and that might never have occurred. How often do we all wonder where fate would take us if we hadnt undertaken certain actions?

I found the book to be close , honest and at times quite heart rendering. I think that it could far more humouress but then there is a heavy story to be told. I was glued to every page.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Autobiography of Sorts, 29 Mar 2005
Those who associate Gene Wilder with being a funny guy are not going to like this book one bit; there are few laughs in it, but plenty of sadness and anger.
The sadness is never disguised, but the anger Mr. Wilder feels towards his ex- wives and even adopted daughter peeps through in between the lines and vies with the words on the page. He gives us reasons WHY he doesn't hate his first wife, but then after getting his divorce snipes "Amen" that he is free from her.
Similarly, he blames his second wife and the relationship with her daughter for the final disintergration of their marriage. In fact, you'll find Gene blames a lot of people, apart from himself, for a lot of things.
It is meant to be a book of significant moments in his life and not a Bio in the usual way. It starts off well enough, but these significant moments appear to get lost somehow and GW resorts to mentioning episodes that don't 'lead' anywhere...what is the point of the abortion story? That it didn't ruin his Skiing holiday? That he COULD have had children if he'd wanted? It was just 'something' that happened...if it did change something in his life, as readers we are never given the insight as to what it is.
This book has really split GW fans: some have said that they will always appreciate his work, but that he is not the sort of person they'd like to know.
Some fans have loved the honesty, but feel GW has left too many gaps in this uneven bio and that's fair comment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite depressing, 7 Sep 2013
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I've always liked Gene Wilder and had hoped this book would reflect his humour. Instead, as with many comics, he comes across as pretty depressed and neurotic and doesn't seem to know what will make him happy or, when he is happy, how to stay that way.

It's one of those books where you wish you hadn't read it because you'll never look at the person the same way again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point, 29 Jan 2012
Gene Wilder has always been one of my favorite actors and this book really gives a insightful view into his life. From early childhood up to the present day Wilder tells you about various points in his life without going on too much, giving you a good read which is hard to put down.
Although I have always felt that reading an autobiography or biography makes me a bit nosey I felt Wilder was not only trying to tell you about his life but also about life and fate.
He writes well and provides an eye-opening journey into his childhood, acting career and his relationships.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb from start to finish., 16 Sep 2014
Gene Wilder is personally one of my favourite actors- and he seems a very humble man in real life. This autobiography is refershingly different given that Wilder has actually penned it- no ghost writers here. It's not traditional either, though some parts are chronological, Wilder dips into his life page by page and this works a treat.

It has its laugh out loud moments as you would expect, but this book is very moving also. It is such a great read. Still puzzled that the great man's last film was Another You in 1991. But hey ho, if he's happy then that is all that counts. A very underrated actor who defined movies in the 70s and 80s. And a superb read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!, 12 July 2014
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M. R. Cook ""Cookie"" (South Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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Quite superb! Gene is a very interesting guy, who seems to have been around for ever. Highly recommended reading, indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a gentle hero., 26 Dec 2013
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Gene Wilder is one of my comic acting heroes and I feel that I've grown to know him a little more through this excellent and candid memoir. My on,y real criticism is that he does not go into enough details when his professional life really took off and I would have loved to have known far more details within his acting and writing, especially Young Framkenstein! Delightfully easy to read, like an old friend whom even though you don't see for ages you simply take up exactly where you left off in such a familiar fashion. Kismet,like,a stranger...
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Wilder confessions, 2 Sep 2013
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GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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Taking his lead perhaps from the autobiographies of Anthony Quinn and Kirk Douglas, the literate, sensitive comedy actor we know as Gene Wilder (born Jerry Silberman in 1933) has crafted what is a short, touching and effective series of confessional snapshots about his life and work, and his search for love.
He comes across as a man of both integrity and inner strength, hiding a questing, unsure spirit. Interspersed with re-created conversations with his spunky analyst Margie, who acts as an amusingly laconic `Greek chorus` throughout the book, Gene tells us in brief but eloquent detail about his early life with a rather neurotic, over-protective mother, loving dad, and loyal get-ahead sister, as well as his romances - in fairly explicit but never prurient detail - including his four wives, with the last of whom he appears to have found the loving relationship for which he`s been longing all his life.
We also of course hear about the many films he`s acted in, written or directed - sometimes all three, with varying results. (He`s made quite a few poor movies. He only mentions Woman In Red in passing, a wise move!)
Some readers will want more than he`s willing to give. This is no name-dropping showbiz memoir, but rather a series of snippets from the life of a gifted, zany, loving man of many talents - he acts, writes, paints - whose early career is surprisingly rich in theatre work in a variety of (not always comic) roles, often with the stars of the day.
Amazingly, GW is eighty now, though this was written in 2005. That boyish face with its halo of fuzzy fair hair, those popping eyes, that shy smile - what a strange career he`s had, an actor not quite like any other, capable of subtlety (in Blazing Saddles, he modestly underplays to great effect) and discipline, albeit in an eccentric mould (Willy Wonka, in one of his best roles), as well as the most frenziedly over-the-top mugging of any film actor (those films with Richard Pryor; his admittedly very funny Leo Bloom in The Producers).
I enjoyed this book, as much for its way with words as for the story it tells. If you`re looking for the usual gossipy showbiz parade of famous names, forget it. If you want to know more about Gene Wilder and the people and things that have meant a lot to him in his life, this is for you.
He certainly could have lingered more over some aspects of his career, and told us more about Mel Brooks, for example, and some of the other people he worked with, such as Warren Beatty and Kirk Douglas, both of whom are barely mentioned. Many are merely talked of in passing, or not at all. But I don`t think that was ever his intention. This is, all in all, a different kind of memoir, and is mostly all the better and more fascinating for it.
Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, 4 Dec 2014
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I did like this book. I couldn't shake the feeling that not all of it was written by Gene though. It just didn't really sound like him to me. An interesting read though, and quick to get through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 1 Nov 2014
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Great book couldn't put it down
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Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art
Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art by Gene Wilder (Audio CD - Mar 2005)
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