Friday, January 6, 2012

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir - Dick Van Dyke

This book has been on my library list for months and I finally checked it out of the holidays.  Yet, with my ever growing pile of things to read and three different families to spend time with in two different states, somehow I did not get to it until the new year.  Once I started, though, I finished it in one day.

Van Dyke, a well-known face to a child raised on classic movies and TV like me, tells his story in a voice that is uniquely his.  I can't imagine it would have sounded much different if he had been sitting in my living room telling the story orally.  Van Dyke's memoir is a bit unique in its lack of scandal, which I found refreshing.  Too often Hollywood memoir's are filled with sex and drugs.  While those things certainly hold a bit of tabloid-like appeal, I'm always much more interested in the story of how they got famous in the first place.  Van Dyke delivers that with an honest tone of disbelief.  He seems as surprised as anyone that he "made it," as reflected in the title.  I thoroughly enjoyed the backlot stories, particularly those involving projects I've loved for years (Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and of course The Dick Van Dyke Show). It was also interesting to learn more about Van Dyke's personal life, as he has been a fairly private and scandal-free Hollywood figure.  

All in all, it was an easy read and an enjoyable one as well.  Those who have enjoyed Van Dyke's later work may not find it as engaging, as very little space is given to those projects.  However, anyone who grew up on Van Dyke's early work will find it worth the read.  

Pages: 276
Began: Monday, January 2
Completed: Monday, January 2

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