|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Start Date: Feb. 19, 2011
Finished Date: Feb. 22, 2011 (3 days)
Where Found: Birthday gift
Why Read: I love many of Jack Lemmon's movies and always thought he was the genuine article (an "everyman").
Summary: Actor/writer Chris Lemmon writes a touching memoir of his father, legendary actor Jack Lemmon, with a particular focus on their relationship at home, on movie sets, and on the golf course.
There are not very many biographies of Jack Lemmon in print, so I was delighted to come across this fairly recent book written by his son. I was not expecting a biography (which technically it isn't) but a nostalgic kind of anecdotal scrapbook (which it is). I enjoyed the stories, many of which show a side of Jack Lemmon his movie fans would not see on screen--a teller of dirty jokes, cussing continously over a bad slice on the golf course, and loving a good prank.
The younger Lemmon, whose photo on the back cover bears an uncanny resemblance to his father, is a very good storyteller with a keen ability to set the scene without being too flashy yet keeps your interest throughout. The book's anecdotes are a bit short on what most fans want to know about--his movies--however it offers plenty of personal stories that satisfy. Near the halfway point, Chris Lemmon starts to get a bit too self-promotional, but his love, admiration, and friendship for his father (often unspoken, undemonstrated, yet understood) shines through. The reflective nature of the stories is the younger Lemmon's way of forging an adult relationship and saying a final goodbye to his father during his ongoing struggle with aggressive bladder cancer, which claimed the iconic actor's life in 2001.
This book is a wonderful treat for fans of Jack Lemmon and those who enjoy stories about father-son relationships. It ends with a number of delightful stories from Hollywood friends & costars, including a touching poem by Tony Curtis, his costar in my favourite Lemmon comedy, Some Like It Hot.
Rank: (B)- Very Good, Recommend