Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Don't bother unless you can find it for free or less than £1.
on 27 March 2015
I'm not entirely sure how I managed it, but I did read this book in one sitting. However, don't let that mislead you into thinking it's what blurb writers like to call "unputdownable". Far from it.
Sean Astin seems like a nice guy on camera. In this book... hmm. Maybe not quite so much. That said, I get the feeling that a lot of his overly-critical, insecure and self-analytical mien has to do with depression that he apparently refuses to acknowledge. His mother, actress Patty Duke, notoriously struggled with bipolar disorder, and as Astin has political ambitions, he claims to want to keep away from the idea of being "labelled". It's a pity. I think some therapy would do this guy a lot of good.
His wife sounds like a genuinely nice person, and the anecdotes about his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy are especially interesting for someone who may never have had the patience to watch all those hours of extra footage on the extended edition DVDs.
However, those are just the highlights of this book, and they don't comprise so much as half of it. I know an e-book is dragging when I find myself glancing at how far I have yet to go to finish it, and I did that at least twice with this one. It meanders, talking about subjects twenty years apart before revisiting scenes abandoned 30 pages ago in the middle of something completely different and going off at tangents when you least expect them.
In all honesty, this book made me feel sorry for Astin more than anything else. He's over-privileged and doesn't seem to realise that, and doesn't appear to get on with other people very easily or know why he doesn't. As I've said before - this guy needs some therapy. And a better ghostwriter (or co-writer).
2.5 stars (rounded down), the extra .5 for the pity factor and the inclusion of a few semi-awesome set photos from the filming of LotR (I laughed aloud at the one of Astin and Elijah Wood taken just after Sam's defeat of Shelob - Elijah's facial expression in his cocoon of spider-silk is a picture all by itself). I'd probably have rounded it up to 3 stars if I hadn't had to pay for it. I wish I'd started reading it in enough time after my purchase to be able to get a refund - for £4.50 it's an overpriced waste. Don't bother.