Customer Reviews: How I Got This Way
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on November 20, 2011
The structure for this book is cleverly focused around 30 individuals who were chronologically pivotal in Regis' life. There appears to be no ghost writer, and it reads as if one were dining out with Mr. Philbin and listening to many of his personal recollections but in more detail than you would ever get from television. The 30 individuals represent a relatively wide range of people and each "story" could be its own short story. Letterman's foreward is a perfectly irreverent snippet of amusement.

For those of you who are Regis fans, I suggest this book is an excellent way to ease yourself away from any withdrawal symptoms! It's fun to read and insightful as well. The chapter devoted to an astrologist was superfluous as anyone could have predicted failure for anyone following the multi-talented Steve Allen. I do now, however, understand why he checks his astrology predictions!

Regis' homage to Dean Martin is touching as he remains an unabashed fan of Dino. Joey Bishop, deservedly, doesn't fare so well though Regis is far kinder to that explosive sourpuss than most anyone else would be considering the way Bishop treated him. You'll also realize what a sweet guy Don Rickles is!
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on December 1, 2011
I love Regis and miss him on Live....but I think I expected a little more from this book. There was way too much talk about sports, etc. and it was hard to keep track of where he was ie: L.A., San Diego, and what year, etc. I also thought that he would maybe talk a little more about his other children.

I was also suprised that there wasn't a chapter on his long time producer, Micheal Gellman. They have been working together for over 25 years...I think maybe even before they started working on Live (though I could be mistaken about the time line). I think he was only mentioned once and that was when he talked about the staff on Live.

I know that when he did his interview with Katie Couric, she said she had heard he was leaving the show over contract negotiations and he agreed that is exactly why he was leaving...that they didn't want to give him what he felt he maybe there are a little bit of hard feelings between the two.

O.k., I realize I'm getting away from reviewing the book, but I must say, the book was him through and was like listening to him at the desk telling his stories. I will say, it was an interesting read and I learned a few things about him I didn't know. Anyone who likes Regis will like this book...I just felt there was a little too much sports and was a little bored in some parts.
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on December 1, 2011
First, I have been a fan of Regis for many years. I found this book to be more about his famous friends than his life. He skims over his first marriage and kids with one sentence. There is to much talk of Notre Dame and football than I was interested in. Many of the stories he told on his show. I thought biographies were about the person writing it and not all about his friends. I was also confused with all the switching from L.A. to New York to the midwest. As much as I like Regis, I did not enjoy the book. He is still an icon in entertainment and I would rather watch him than read his book.
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on November 29, 2011
This book is like sitting down and having a cup of coffee with Regis. He has a distinct voice and you can hear it as you read. I'm a big fan, and was sorry to see him leave his show (although I think he was smart to go on top of his game), and it is nice for me to have this book through the time of transition.
Beyond just the joy of feeling like you're visiting with an old friend, this book is also inspirational. You find out in this book that for years, Regis was plagued by self-doubt and low self esteem, not exactly sure what he was really good at. Although he had a long career in TV and was nominally successful before finally landing his New York show and became the phenomenon we love, he had many failures and setbacks before he got there. He was in his 50s when he got the show he just left 28 years later, in his late 50s before it went national. He kept plugging away at his career, just being himself and learning from and being inspired by others, but he's definitely not one of those charmed Hollywood types. It took a lot of luck, heartbreak, and hard work to get where he is. At the end of each chapter, each of which is about one person who has touched him in life, he tells what lessons he took from that person. Some of them are actually pretty deep and some are cute.
I love a person who can tell stories about their most embarrassing moments - which he does many times in this book. It has been a fun and interesting read.
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2013
Regis Philbin has enjoyed a fine life as one of America's foremost television personalities, but very little of it filters into this 2011 memoir recounting his career successes and the famous people he has known. Read it hoping to get to know the guy in a deeper way than what you get on TV, and you will be disappointed.

As other reviewers noted, there's something off in reading Philbin versus listening to him on television. It really hit me when I read the chapter about George Clooney. In it, Philbin writes about visiting the actor's villa on Lake Como, Italy, about the fine wines and the great conversation they shared, how Philbin worried he bored Clooney but later learned from a mutual friend that Clooney regarded Philbin's visit fondly. And that's pretty much it, other than that George is a pretty swell-looking fellow, which I already knew.

Reading this, I realized what was off. Philbin telling a story on television makes you feel like you are there with him. It's a gift he has. But it doesn't carry over in print, where Philbin's chatty ebullience is replaced by often leaden prose. As a result, in "How I Got This Way," Philbin comes off as bragging about his exclusive access to a world I'll never know. Of course he is, but that's easier to ignore when the guy is telling you about it on screen, face-to-face as it were, with his friendly smile and big hand gestures.

"How I Got This Way" is organized into thirty chapters, each focusing on a person or people, usually a celebrity, who inspired or affected Philbin in some way. A select few actually make for good reading. Joey Bishop was the host of a talk show in the 1960s where Philbin worked as a second banana, and proved a difficult colleague at times. Philbin recounts this difficulty in amusing, amiable style. Jack Paar, a more recognized TV talk-show host of the 1950s and 1960s, had a friendly mentoring relationship with Philbin which positively impacted Philbin's career. Philbin writes about Paar with real warmth and humor.

You wish this carried over to the rest of the text. More often, though, like with Clooney, the purpose of the chapter seems more like chest-pounding, in an unctuous, "look-who-I-know" sort of way. He takes in a Los Angeles Lakers game with Jack Nicholson or spends a few minutes talking baseball in the stands with Joe DiMaggio. One chapter, on former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, overflows with such hero worship you'd think he was writing about Buddha or Christ. If you finish the book knowing one thing, it's what college Philbin went to.

The book's weakest affectation is his closing thoughts on each person, "What I Took Away From It All," which offers anodyne comments around the idea of appreciating the good in others and so on in the form of "life lessons." It all reads like logrolling, because that's pretty much what it is, and very shallow to boot.

In sum, "How I Got This Way" is a disappointing ego trip disguised as a memoir, just good enough in places to make you wish the guy had really tried.
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on December 17, 2012
I really loved this book! I ESPECIALLY enjoyed how, at the end of each chapter, the author put in his thoughts on what lessons he learned from each different experience in his life; it made it very personal. It also put each chapter in better perspective and I found myself thinking over things in my life and how there are more positive ways of looking at each event in one's life. This is a very uplifting, at times humorous, and definitely an entertaining read. Also, since Regis is a big Notre Dame fan, there is a lot of football dialogue, too!
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on December 13, 2014
I was very disappointed in this book. He told many of the stories I had heard him tell on his TV show. When I purchased it I thought I would read about his marriages, children and his life. He takes different people he has met along the way and devotes a chapter to them. I would not recommend this book.
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on January 14, 2013
I must say I was a tad let down by this book, I guess he's so animated on TV, that it left me wanting more of his honest, silliness. I respect Reeg especially his very long career, which he generously credits to many, many people. I was shocked that there was no mention at all of Michael Gelman, who he teased for so many years on LIVE TV. It was OK, and he was kind to give many folks so much credit for his hard work, and I guess the title really sums up the direction of his book. Nevertheless, I still miss seeing ole Reeg in the mornings with my coffee!
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on January 4, 2012
I have been a big fan of Regis over the years, but I felt pretty let down after reading this book. The book focuses very little on the details of his own life. Rather, it is more of a sweet tribute to the people he met along the way. He is gracious as he compliments each individual, but I found it rather boring. I guess I was hoping for more of a memoir.
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on November 18, 2011
If youve enjoyed listening to Regis's unique perspective and at times impish stories you'll enjoy this look into his life.
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