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HOW I SLEPT MY WAY TO THE MIDDLE by Kevin Pollak

HOW I SLEPT MY WAY TO THE MIDDLE

Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs

By Kevin Pollak

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7627-8055-6
Publisher: Lyons Press

Pollak, the busy character actor and comedian, recounts his career in show business in this fitfully amusing but innocuous, mostly forgettable memoir.

Despite the salacious title, Pollak is unfailingly inoffensive and upbeat in this collection of anecdotes detailing his film career and friendly working relationships with such luminaries as Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and Jack Nicholson, all of whom are lauded as wonderfully kind, supportive, consummately professional peers. Readers hoping for dirt will be disappointed, though the author does have some mildly unkind things to say about Michael Clarke Duncan and Adam Shankman. The bulk of the book consists of fond reminiscences of hanging around on set with fabulous celebrities, harmless practical jokes and lucky breaks. While Pollak is an engaging raconteur on the page, the material here is too thin to really sustain interest—a story about Nicholson indulging Pollak’s star-struck mother is typical of the fare on offer—and a creeping sense of smug self-regard casts a bit of a pall over the course of the narrative. The most compelling passages concern the author’s pre-fame days, including a legitimately riveting account of the teenage author, already in possession of a killer Peter Falk impersonation, hijacking a concert performance by Rich Little. For the most part, though, Pollak waxes rhapsodically about the wonderful qualities of his more famous peers and dishes about backstage shenanigans on the sets of his most prominent films, including A Few Good MenThe Usual Suspects and The Whole Nine Yards. The effect is that of a pleasant talk show chat stretched over the course of a book.

Pleasant but inessential.