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Dynomite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times--A Memoir Hardcover – June 26, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews, 4/15/12
“A fast, funny and informative stand-up routine/memoir from one of the major comic stars of the 1970s…A unique perspective on the perils of modern comedy from a survivor with a long memory.”
 
Publishers Weekly, 5/21/12
“A solid, thoughtful, and provocative memoir about [Walker’s] nearly four-decade long career.”

Spittake.com, 6/27/12
“Without a healthy dose of humility, he couldn’t draw such a painfully honest portrait of life as a comic on the road. Whatever his reputation, he has persevered, and his story is thought-provoking and well worth the read.”
Kingman Daily Miner
“A dyn-o-mite read about a true pop culture icon and comedy legend…This is a fun read, a book, which you will remember, and one that might make you stop and pause for a moment as you ponder some of his pithy sayings. This is a five star book and one you will want on your bookshelf.”

American Profile, 8/12/12
“Paints a revealing self-portrait that also depicts the changing times of a socially charged era….It’s a dyn-o-mite read.”

Cleveland.com, 10/2212
“[An] immensely insightful, humorous memoir.”

About the Author

Jimmie Walker was born in 1947 in the Bronx. At 22, he began performing as a standup comedian and was eventually discovered by the casting director for Good Times. He continues to tour the country doing stand-up and lives in Las Vegas. Sal Manna is a journalist who has written for magazines such as Time, Playboy, Los Angeles, and People, and newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald, the San Jose Mercury-News, and Newsday.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306820838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306820830
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Wag on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a no BS show biz memoir. Refreshingly honest -- and pointedly funny. The tone is conversational like chatting with Jimmie at Cantor's Deli after a late night spot at the Improv.
You get insider stories on the many show biz friends Jimmie helped. Jimmie is his own person and not afraid to give his own sharp opinions.
His philosophy is that we should feel free to laugh because we are free.
His book is sprinkled with jokes from his act.
If you have a chance to catch Jimmie in person on the road, do. I promise you will laugh.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Chip Capelli on July 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a Jimmie Walker fan since before I was a teenager. I had a dyn-o-mite t-shirt and watched Good Times each week.

Even now, I watch the Good Times reruns every night.

As an adult, I because fascinated by the behind-the-scenes stories I heard about this show and was disappointed that the show did not live up to its original promise due to a lot of behind the scenes politics and emotions.

Jimmie did a great job in this book of not trashing Esther Rolle or John Amos, even though it would have been easy to do so. He presented the facts, backed up with quotes, and did not spend any time telling tells out of school.

Rehashing Good Times took about 1/3 of the book, maybe less, the fuller story was Jimmie's life in ghetto, his success as a comic and his team of comrades, many of whom rose through the ranks with him. (I think I was expecting/hoping for more Good Times memories, but the book stood on its own without the Hollywood put downs.)

Jimmie was a gentleman in this book, even when he didn't have to. (Are you listening, Jay Leno?)

Jimmie told an interesting story that kept me going. I was up until 3am and read the book in one sitting...

The best thing about Jimmie's story is that it's not over yet...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Garrett on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jimmie Walker's biography 'Dyn-O-Mite', was a book I had actually been waiting to read for awhile. Even before Mr. Walker wrote it. I am a very big fan of television from the 60's and 70's, and 'Good Times' was one of my favorite sitcoms to watch as a child(though I think the show was already in re-runs when I began watching it). So as I grew older, and good television comedy began to take a nosedive, I began to rewatch many of those beloved, old programs, but this time, from an adult point of view.

Mr. Walker has the rare talent of making his early life, before stardom, seem just as interesting as what came after and how his life ended up, when his star began to ebb.

I always try and keep in mind, that when a person is writing about themselves, it is their truth that they are trying to relate. Mr. Walker's memories of the 'Good Times' cast, the storylines and the dysfunction behind the scenes, were all things I had never quite heard before. I had heard things but not quite the way he put them(for example, I thought John Amos just up and quit. I had no idea he was fired).

Mr. Walker is also brutally truthful on the subject of race, though I personally disagreed with him on two subtopics- his standing in the Black community because of his conservatism, and his reasons for not dating Black women. On the latter, some underage, Black girl that he shouldn't have been seeing, told her parents on him, they sued and after that he never dated another Black woman(mind you, she was underage so he was never dating any 'women' in the first place). He just isn't attracted to Black women and for someone who is so frank about everything else in this book, I was surprised he couldn't just outright say that.

Also, I cringed whenever Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Earles VINE VOICE on December 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am very late to the party with my review for this book. I happened to see Mr. Jimmie Walker on a local morning news show when he was appearing in a comedy club in my area about six weeks ago. The host was being very pushy, and he was trying to get Mr. Walker to say "Dyn-o-mite", which he never did. He wasn't mean about it, but there was no way he was going to give in to this guy. And I say, good for him!

Like most people, my introduction to Jimmie Walker was when he was tapped to play JJ Evans in the television series "Good Times" in the raucous 1970's. I was not a particular fan of the show, and his character was not my favorite on the show. I was not a regular viewer, but I liked John Amos and Ralph Carter in particular. Esther Rolle - even when she was on "Maude" seemed to be pretty full of herself as an "actress", so I didn't think much of her OR her performances.

Walker's description of his tenure on "Good Times" (he was on for every season) from his casting to the actual production of the show is very interesting and true. He tells it like it was, even if it wasn't all good times. I think his honest approach to this time in his life is very interesting to anyone who likes to read about behind the scenes television. If you don't know the name of the later Oscar-nominated actor who was cast as Michael Evans, only to be shown the door when Ralph Carter's contract with the Broadway musical "Raisin" could be abrogated, you'll find out here!

Where this book shines is in Mr. Walker's tales of his early life, his life as a comic on the road, and his interactions with those comics who later became household names. He isn't biting or hateful about some of the things and raw deals that his associates pulled, but he tells it like it was.
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