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Cautionary Tales (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

62 customer reviews

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Length: 25 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Despite the occasional dramatic role, TV and film actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Glee, Groundhog Day) trades largely in humor, and no less so here. His Cautionary Tales--three personal narratives in the service of an armchair theory about what motivates human decision-making--bear all the charisma of his work on the small and silver screens. Superficially, these stories serve a light menu of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, but there's no need to approach with caution: they do so with the wholesome, folksy wisdom of NPR programming on a weekend afternoon. --Jason Kirk

Product Details

  • File Size: 161 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Publication Date: February 25, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PLNIPE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

The quintessential character actor, Stephen Tobolowsky has appeared in more than 100 movies and more than 200 television shows in his career (USA TODAY recently noted that he was the ninth most frequently seen actor in film today). Along the way his roles have spanned almost all aspects of being a working actor, from the big-budget and Oscar Award-worthy (as head of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi Burning), to the cult phenomenon (Groundhog Day), to the buzzworthy (Glee). But despite a lifetime devotion to the craft of acting that also includes a classical theater training and a Tony Award nomination, you probably wouldn't recognize him if you saw him on the street. He lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Corey Atad on March 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a listener of The Tobolowsky Files podcast since the start. Dave Chen decided to branch off from the /Filmcast to do something entirely different and entirely unique, and where Dave Chen goes I follow. Amazingly, the show he produces immediately proved itself to be one of the best, most compelling and most original podcasts out there. Stephen Tobolowsky may be one of the ultimate "that guy" actors, but he has proven himself to be so much more.

Simple put, Stephen Tobolosky is the best storyteller I have ever heard. With each episode of The Tobolosky Files, Stephen makes me laugh and cry and ruminate on life's greatest mysteries and beauties. And luckily none of that great quality is lost in mere written word. Stephen's incredible voice comes through loud and clear in the pages of this, his first Kindle Single.

Cautionary Tales is a quick read, but it's a quick read filled with anything you could want from great writing. It's got charm and wit and pathos. It's funny and thought-provoking and inspiring. Beat of all, Cautionary Tales is a deeply human piece of writing. It speaks to the core of what drives us as people and it revels in finding the good even in the bad.

At $1.99, Cautionary Tales is an absolute steal. It's a very quick read, but it's worth absolutely every penny. If you are a fan of great stories told well and with great sense of the author's character I suggest you drop whatever you're doing, pay the two bucks and enjoy some quality time with Mr. Stephen Tobolowsky. I know I can't wait for more.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By dommerdog on March 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So what could possibly make a mild mannered rail commuter shriek-gasp, drop her purse to free a hand to cover her mouth while keeping her Kindle securely in hand so as not to miss a printed word, and snort laugh real tears while picking up a new take on Mazlow's hierarchy as can only be presented by Stephen Tobolowsky - as concerned fellow travelers look at her, well, with concern? Cautionary Tales.

You'll never be able to look at a horse again without laughing; yet Cautionary Tales is not a horse story.

We've all experienced awkward moments in life, but Tobolowsky just has this way of describing his and the lessons learned that's totally incomparable and impossible to leave until you've read it through. The good news is that it can be digested on one leg of a commute (depending on how long the commute). That's also the bad news, as true to his show biz roots, Stephen Tobolowsky leaves me wanting more!

I'll buy 'em as frequently and for so long as he can crank them out, and based on what I've heard in The Tobolowsky files podcasts (awesome, BTW), he can do that for a very long time.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Phillips on February 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
For those who may be missing it, Tobolowsky's podcast on iTunes (Tobolowsky Files) is an always entertaining look on life and, in particular, the entertainment world from the man who has appeared as a character actor in hundreds of films and TV shows. Tobolowsky now brings this same nostalgic yet irreverent sensibility to e-print as a Kindle Single. This is a solid value for your entertainment dollar and is money well spent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michelle R on March 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Amazon Singles because I like shorter pieces. In a related matter, I love anthologies. This seems to be not particularly the norm and I heard Stephen King say he thinks people are losing the ability to appreciate short stories. Technically, this is an autobiographical work, but I think the principle remains that people don't seem to know what to do with shorter pieces. For those of us who are fans and for writers, I think these Singles are nice.

That said, this is of course a quick read. I enjoyed it and will talk about it a little, and found it to be very professional, with a lot of depth packed into a shorter work, but I know some Kindle owners who would undoubtedly consider it about a dollar too much. (It's a dollar ninety-nine as I write this.) As always, what someone is willing to pay is an individual decision.

I selected this particular one because I associate the author as being entertaining, at least in the role of actor. Hey, it's more than we know about most writers when reading them for the first time. Anyhow, my instant reaction was interest -- "yeah, I want to read that!" -- and so I purchased. I think others will be drawn to it based on a podcast and some other autobiographical things that I have not seen.

The anecdotes were arranged around the concept of the wild things we do, particularly concerning sex. Mr. Tobolowsky paints himself rather convincingly as a reasonable and even in some ways old-fashioned guy, who has still stumbled into some adventures -- at least two of them involving women who allegedly party for pay or are referred to by others with terms assigned to women in that profession. (Or three, my Google search found him telling an anecdote about ping pong balls.) None of those stories goes in the direction you might think.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zdogluvr1 on March 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must admit that I was a bit hesitant about purchasing this Kindle Single. I'm not one for short stories...preferring to hunker down with a meaty item to gnaw on for a few days or weeks. But, with my trusty ipad feeding me a steady diet of Amazon eblasts with book recommendations and the newly found ease of feeding my reading habit with the click of a mouse, I hit the download button. It was certainly an impulse buy that I did not regret. I consumed it in one gulp - sitting in front of my daughter's school waiting for her to enter the car, I clicked into my elibrary and began. Reluctantly closing it when she arrived, I couldn't wait to drop her off at her SAT tutor and begin again. I found myself sneaking my iPad onto my lap at red traffic lights and slapping the steering wheel with laughter. Finally arriving back at my house, I indulged and sank into the recliner that my son generally appropriates for his gaming and read on until sadly there were no more digital pages to turn. This book is a whole meal. And like the great meals I've had (a recent pizza with filet mignon and caramelized onions comes to mind), it left me wanting more when it was done. Mr. Tobolowsky lays bare our human frailty for getting into those situations which we can only later recount with closed eyes, raised eyebrows and shaking heads. And he does so with such honesty and humor that we can allow ourselves to remember with a smile instead of a cringe. Buy this book!
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