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An insightful treat for Andrews' fans.

A warm, entertaining memoir covering the actor’s Hollywood years, from Mary Poppins to That's Life!

In this follow-up to Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (2008), the author devotes equal time to home and work in the period from 1963 to 1986. Her home life was anything but serene. During this period, her marriage to production and costume designer Tony Walton broke up—mostly, writes Andrews, because they were never in the same place at the same time. Their daughter, Emma, co-author of this book, split her time between her parents, and Andrews remarried, this time to director Blake Edwards. His children didn't assimilate easily into the new blended family, and he had a number of problems of his own, including hypochondria, an addiction to prescription pills, a hot temper, and a tendency to be drawn toward “lonely, fragile and usually very pretty young women.” The couple went on to adopt two children from Vietnam while Andrews attempted to deal with an alcoholic mother and stepfather. Meanwhile, she was making movies both successful—notably The Sound of Music—and less so, such as her husband's remake of The Man Who Loved Women. While Andrews is too discreet and canny to settle any scores or burn any bridges with her Hollywood colleagues, and she remains guardedly respectful toward most of her co-workers, she knows how to spin a yarn. Even her experience with the notoriously difficult Alfred Hitchcock comes off as remarkably pleasant, as she describes him explaining which camera lenses would make her look best. Andrews does let loose in her memories of a horrific day during the filming of Hawaii, during which director George Roy Hill seemed to be “getting a slight kick” out of repeated takes of her skirt being set on fire. Entries from the author’s journals add a sense of immediacy, and she ends her account on an up note: “I am profoundly blessed.” That may be true, but it’s also hard not to admire the grit that took her through some taxing personal and professional struggles.

An insightful treat for Andrews' fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-34925-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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