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Like having coffee with a wonderful friend ...
on 15 October 2016
I don't often read the autobiographies of the 'rich/famous' as many have simply become egotistical money-making forums (*how do you have an interesting biography at the age of 20, unless you are possessed of a truly miraculous life?). But there are some that are wonderful - Andre Agassi's 'Open' was one (even though I don't play tennis!) and Gene's book is another.
He shares his life with you as if you are sitting in a lovely coffee shop on a beautiful embankment somewhere, and he tells it with a gentle humility. He is truthful about people whilst still being respectful of them - and so he is gently truthful of his relationship with Richard Pryor, whilst being understanding of the demons Richard faced. Whilst covering his career, it is a book that also moves between the important women in his life - I suspect because (although he appeared in and also wrote so many amazing things and met so many amazing people) it was a profession to him where when one thing had completed he was simply looking forward towards the next thing.
It also covers the period cancer touched his life and those of the people he loved, and you read the book thinking he was 'probably' a pretty nice person ...my only concern was the volume of ladies, and a wonder that if their side was heard did he simply get bored and move on from them, or were some of them as he portrayed - where he was living with them and their demons.
I read the book following Gene's death feeling although I'd watched and enjoyed many of his films, I didn't really know anything about him. Now I feel like I'm saying goodbye to a new friend. A very good read. Rest in Peace, Gene Wilder.