8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
My name is Michael Caine,
This review is from: The Elephant to Hollywood: The Autobiography (Hardcover)
A good read. A fairly easy going written style that is typically Michael Caine as if he is reading it to you. I thought he was name dropping at first, but then I realised it is more the fact that he cannot believe he's actually made it big, mixing with some of the all time movie and entertainment great actors that he has idolised since he was a kid. He gives the impression to have been genuinely star struck on many occasions in his early years and even in advancing years or instead he suffers from a tremendous lack of confidence stemming from his very humble beginnings in life. Never the less the latter seem to have kept him fairly grounded. He mentions briefly his excess drinking and smoking but doesn't really dwell too much on this or how it might affected his family or relationship with his wife Shakira, similarly the endless travelling and taking a fair few parts in dud films. He mentions Jack Nicholson several times giving the impression that he and Jack are very good friends but sadly does not pursue this as I am sure he has a few tales to tell. It does get a bit wearing though when he mentions another famous name and spending countless holidays which are the best he has ever had, in particular the South of France when he has spent most of the book talking about Hollywood. He mentions Peter Sellers briefly. It would have been nice if he had written a little more of his times with him or maybe he didn't know him that well similarly Sean Connery and Roger Moore as there are several pictures of them in the book. Perhaps he valued the friendships more than to start spilling too many beans ..........
This is an easy read. There are some poingant moments for instance when he finds out he has a half brother and that his mother had kept him a secret from him and his other brother Stanley for decades apparently disappearing to visit him every monday for decades without telling a word.
What also comes across is that Caine has much charm, is a good story teller and could also have a third career as a raconteur/stand up simply with all the experiences he has had and jokes he has heard. One gets the feeling he could really let go, but not in this book. He has had quite a career as restauranteur which he tells at some length.
Just a little more weighty analysis and detail in some areas would have earned him 5 stars, but I guess he was getting bored by then and nonetheless wanted to keep something of himself back.