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The Dangerous Animals Club Paperback – September 17, 2013
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"Here are some of the dangerous animals you will meet in Stephen Tobolowsky's wise, funny memoir: rattlesnakes, tarantulas, talking dogs, attic raccoons, and Hollywood agents. What a pleasure it is to learn that one of the movies' most interesting character actors is also one of its most interesting characters."—Ken Jennings, author of Maphead and Brainiac
"No one spins yarns and knits them into a lyrical fabric of self like Tobolowsky: deep, warm and a little itchy but you love it."—Marc Maron, host of WTF with Marc Maron
"You know those imaginary dinner parties where you get to invite any five people from history for an evening of amazing conversation? This book is the reason Stephen Tobolowsky has always been one of my five. He is a raconteur of the first order, and I think an evening with Beethoven, Abe Lincoln, and Winston Churchill would be made ever more fascinating for his inclusion. But it’s not just that his stories are compulsively entertaining. It’s that they resound with insight and revelation. Tobolowsky’s stories make me glad I’m alive. And they make me want to throw a dinner party every night."—Jim Beaver, actor in Deadwood and Supernatural and author of Life's That Way
"You already know Stephen Tobolowsky as an actor—his face, if not his name—but in The Dangerous Animals Club he opens his heart, soul and mind to you, along with a lot of belly laughs. He is a modern-day Job in his pursuit of an acting career, or maybe just a meaningful life. The odds seem stacked against him. And yet now, in the middle of his life, it is all within his grasp. Read this book and rejoice!"—Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A Woman of Independent Means
“Funny, highly original, and quirky. Stephen Tobolowsky has written a memoir that is almost as enchanting and lovable as he is. Bravo!”—Linda Bloodworth Thomason
“Hard to find a guy in Hollywood whose colossal loyalty stands right up their with his colossal talent. Now I see what shaped it all. A great book from an uncommon man!”—Harry Thomason
“The actor has plenty of rich material to mine—he has been held hostage at gunpoint by a lunatic, suffered an apocalyptic infestation of fleas, barely eluded a goring by a bull, and auditioned with a broken neck—but the delight of the book is the author’s voice: wry, discursive and full of generous spirit and curiosity […] A copiously examined life rendered with humor and heart.” — Kirkus, Starred Review
“Stories that are quirky, funny and sentimental.” — Publishers Weekly
"Funny, intelligent, and stylishly written..."—Booklist
"[The book] deals with… first love and heartbreak, early efforts to break into show business, and the sometimes hazy line between perception and truth…. Tobolowsky’s narratives have a haunting, elliptical quality with motifs that circle back when you least expect it—one of the advantages, he speculates, of never shooting scenes in order. Above all, they’re humane.”–Jenny Lower, Los Angeles Magazine
“Profound delight…At its core, "The Dangerous Animals Club" is about an artist's passionate, heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious commitment to his calling… What Tobolowsky brings to all his stories is a pitch-perfect ability to tell a story…That's the goal for all artists: To create work that deeply touches and moves other human beings. Stephen Tobolowsky hits the mark in "The Dangerous Animals Club." (Joseph Bednarik Portland Oregonian)
"The Dangerous Animal Club runs the gamut between the youthful, dreamlike compulsions of a brainy little boy, to the recollections and misadventures of a struggling actor in Los Angeles in the past 30 years, and in between you have story-telling at its finest: well-written, poignant, hysterical, heart-wrenching and above all — wise." (Domingo Martinez, bestselling author of The Boy Kings of Texas)
Praise for Stephen Tobolowsky's work:
"These stories are about life, and about love, and about finding inspiration in anything, and they are told with enthusiasm, and optimism, and joy for life. I hate to sound like I’m overselling it, but I think anyone who has listened to a The Tobolowsky Files will agree: They are a goddamn pleasure."—Dustin Rowles
"The Citizen Kane of podcasts."—DC Pierson of Derrick Comedy
"I LOVE THIS!"—Sarah Silverman
"Great storytelling, beautiful stuff."—Rian Johnson, director of The Brothers Bloom and Brick
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"I am a character actor. Even though I have been in hundreds of shows, I am not famous by any unit of measure. You would recognize me if you saw me at the coffee shop. Not necessarily as an actor. There is a fifty-fifty chance you might think I was the guy that used to work there. Or a science teacher at your high school. Or the man who sold insurance to your parents. "
I say to Tobolowsky, "You're wrong." The moment I saw your name attached to this book, I knew exactly who the author was--though I AM that girl who sits in the movie theater and reads every last credit religiously. Anyway, I didn't decide to read The Dangerous Animals Club because you're semi-famous, or because I'm a fan, or anything like that. It was the book description's promise that "woven through these tales are lessons in Jewish mysticism, quantum physics, and stagecraft." What are the odds? All my favorite things! It's the first clue that Stephen Tobolowsky is more than the narrow image viewers have seen.
In truth, the Jewish mysticism and quantum physics were fairly limited in scope, but there was a reasonable amount of stagecraft covered. This is unsurprising, as Mr. Tobolowsky has had a phenomenal career on both the small and large screens, as well as the stage. Backstage stories are generally entertaining, and hearing the stories from when he was just getting started were fascinating. As was the dawning recognition of just who the oft-mentioned, longtime girlfriend "Beth" was. (Hint: Any theater-lover will be familiar with her name.)
This collection of stories is by no means a celebrity memoir. As Mr. Tobolowsky asserts, he's barely a celebrity. He is, however, an accomplished story-teller.Read more ›
This book does not focus on the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. Instead it focuses on the everyday events in the life of a person that just happened to have led to Hollywood. What is unique about the book is how the author regards each of these ordinary events as something extraordinary. Whether it is the imaginings of a child or doing the laundry, the author will find something entrancing, hilarious, or beautiful about it; and what he does find will enchant, amuse, and stir the reader. The book in a thoroughly entertaining fashion shows us how the most mundane events in our lives, when viewed through the proper eyes, can be something to treasure. All of these stories reward; and when the reader is finished, he finds himself wishing for more. Whether I know the author or not, I will not be alone in giving it five stars.
gothmomz <dot> com
Stephen follows in the tradition of David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, and David Foster Wallace. Telling stories that make us laugh, cry, sigh, and remember. That's what a good story is all about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sorry Mr. Tobolowsky, I bought this book at a used book sale at my local library. However, I'm trying to make up for that by leaving you a review! A great one, at that. Read morePublished 1 month ago by email@example.com
A few good laughs about childhood adventures, but most humor derived from drug use, wild parties, and bad behavior. I never find that very amusing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KGS
I was sorry when I finished this book. I love Tobolowsy's writing.Published 7 months ago by Erin Scott
a great insight on life from an unexpected source, a Hollywood actor.Published 11 months ago by sonny
I absolutely love "The Tobolowsky Files," so this book was a must-read for me. I'm pretty sure the mysteries of the universe are contained within.Published 12 months ago by reviewer483
When I started reading this book, it was so outrageous and funny that I forgot it was not fiction. If you are a fan of Bill Bryson, you'll become a fan of Stephen Tobolowsky, too!Published 16 months ago by S. Demo
This is a very, very funny man. Such a dry sense of humor which makes his stories easy to relate to.Published 17 months ago by N. Brown
There are some truly hilarious descriptions in this story; it starts off better than it ends, but was still worth reading.Published 17 months ago by Zoekoe