SWEET LIFE: Adventures on the Way to Paradise by Barry Manilow

SWEET LIFE: Adventures on the Way to Paradise

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On June 1, 1977, Manilow confided to his journal, ""sometimes I think my life is on 'Fast Forward.'"" So, unfortunately, is his writing style in this once-over-lightly reminiscence of a meteoric career that was (in Manilow's telling, at least) the result less of ambition than of happy accidents. But for all the self-denigration, Manilow's failure to provide details produces a sense of them being more to the story than he is admitting here. Shallow even by celebrity autobio standards, this ""story of an average guy"" leaves almost totally unexplored the details of an early marriage, a series of love affairs, even the real problems of rising to the top of the popular-music field. There are hints of superstar self-absorption, professional paranoia, and the like, but these matters are skimmed over in a few unrevealing paragraphs. Instead, the text is filled with the usual acknowledgements of assistance from such figures as Bette Midler, record company head Clive Davis, and the fans--""people who care."" There is also a wardrobe-trunkful of such show-biz apercus as ""real success is measured by your heart, not by your pocketbook"" and ""luck is when preparation meets opportunity."" Polonius in a rhinestone-studded tuxedo. Scattered through the narrative are a few amusing anecdotes (Midler's advice to a brattish Girl Scout, for example: ""Don't slouch, honey. Your tits'll sag""), but these few nuggets lie scattered in a wasteland of inanity. Disappointing, then, even for ""people who care.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1987
Publisher: McGraw-Hill