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I Want It Now! a Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Paperback – February 22, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This scrap book-style memoir features Cole's memories from the set and loads of details that will satisfy even the most die-hard "Wonka" nerd's sweet tooth."
-- CNN Entertainment

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593930747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593930745
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,457,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Esslinger is a historical researcher and best-selling author whose acclaimed work has appeared in numerous books, film and television documentaries, including segments on the Discovery, National Geographic and History Channels. His work spans entertainment, science, politics and historical subjects.

From the elusive crew of Apollo 11, the first men to walk on the moon, to prisoners of Alcatraz; he has interviewed icons and other figures that have shaped history and continues to write on subjects that explore a vast spectrum of the human experience.

His books ALCATRAZ - A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years and Letters from Alcatraz continue as best-selling references chronicling the island's rich historical past. He is the co-author of the classic film memoir: I WANT IT NOW! A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a magical memoir penned by Julie Dawn Cole, the original Veruca Salt in the classic motion picture with Gene Wilder.

Current projects include a comprehensive history on the Apollo Program based on interviews that include Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins documenting mankind's epic journey to the moon. He is also engaged in several Alcatraz related projects. They include: Whitey Bulger: The Alcatraz Interviews (a volume of interviews conducted by the author); Al Capone - the King of Alcatraz, a historical account of Capone's years on the Rock, and a new account of the 1962 Frank Morris and Anglin Brothers Alcatraz escape entitled, Escaping Escape: The Untold Story of the Greatest Prison Break in American History.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nicky H on March 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a really wonderful book - I devoured it in one sitting, literally could not put it down!
It is so beautifully written - I laughed and cried as I joined Julie on her incredible journey through the magical world of Wonka!!
Thank you Julie for sharing this beautiful book with us all. I loved it!!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl M-M on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an interesting tidbit for movie buffs and especially Wonka. The actress who played Veruca Salt shares her memories and pictures of her career and life. I think the book is worth it just for some of the pictures that are less well known. What I found quite remarkable is how some of the cast members, that includes all non acting staff, are somehow intertwined within the upper echelons of Hollywood and/or the showbiz world. It is unfortunate that quite a few of the original cast members have already passed away. I do wonder what the writer thinks of the remake of Willie Wonka.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jason D on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, I was excited to learn that Julie Dawn Cole, the actress who played the role of Veruca Salt, was releasing a book, titled "I Want It Now" about her memories of being on the set of Willy Wonka. As soon as I read about the book being available, I placed my order on Amazon.com and received my book a few days later. Even as a self proclaimed "non-reader," I read the 200+ page book within 2 days! I simply couldn't put it down...it was that good. Within the book are photos that can't be seen elsewhere, and personal happenings during Julie's childhood and adulthood. If you are a fan of Willy Wonka, don't delay, order this book today! You will be sure to "Want It Now!"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pope Mel on February 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!

Veruca Salt was always my favorite Dahl character simply because she wanted EVERYTHING.

And I don't see anything wrong with that.

I was an only child who wanted everything. Was I spoiled? I don't think so. For years, I asked for a pet lamb every birthday and Christmas, and I NEVER got one, so obviously, my parents didn't give me EVERYTHING I asked for...

Julie Dawn Cole, who breathed life into the character of Veruca Salt for the 1971 film 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory', paints a magical view of paradise during the filming of this beloved movie. Packed with photos, and good natured behind-the-scenes gossip, it's a fun, very light-weight read.

We learn that the boy who played Augustus Gloop spoke no English and didn't get to pal around with the other kids on the set. There was a rivalry with Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde, over the affections of Peter Ostrum, the handsome young actor who played Charlie Bucket. (Ostrum, in case you're wondering, left acting after his one starring role, and is now a veterinarian in New York State.) Paris Themmon, who played Mike Teevee, was a bit of a troublemaker, leading Gene Wilder, when asked about working with the children during an interview, to quip, "Ah, four of them are fantastic, and one of them I'm going to shoot in the head tomorrow."

Unlike most films, Willy Wonka was shot almost chronologically, and the young actors were kept from viewing the magnificent "Chocolate Room" until the cameras were rolling, so the awed expressions you see on their faces are "genuine and unscripted."

Cole got to meet author Roald Dahl, who told her the origin of the name "Veruca.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Ditty on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, overall. This may seem harsh, but I admit that I wasn't all that interested in the author's life outside the movie. However, she did a good job of condensing that information down to a minimum. The book got to the topic I was interested in quickly and focused on it, for the most part.

I enjoyed reading about Ms Cole's experiences, and I was absolutely delighted to hear that Gene Wilder was kind and well liked. It's disappointing when one hears about an actor's personality that doesn't fit their on-screen persona, and I do appreciate Mr. Wilder's work.

The hand-written letters and photos were something of a loss on my e-ink Kindle. I could not read the letters and the device is just not well suited to photos of this sort. Some letters had print "translations" of some sections, and some did not.

There was one quote from Gene Wilder regarding his experience in working with the children that gave me a serious laugh. I could just hear him saying it.

I don't know that I would have ever purchased this book, but I was delighted to see it come across as a free book for the Kindle. I enjoyed reading it, and now I'd like to see the movie again - it's been a long time!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jwb52z on June 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this short book a great deal. It only took a few hours for me to read it. I liked getting a look back into not only the time the author spent playing Veruca Salt, but her "downtime" off the set and her time at home and after the movie was finished. There are a few things, I won't spoil them for those who haven't read it, that I wouldn't have known that had nothing to do with her at all if I hadn't read this book. That made it even better because there was information in here that I had no idea she played a part in at all. I think anyone who enjoyed the movie itself and also enjoys celebrity type memoirs will enjoy this, but remember, it's not supposed to be a work of "great literature". It's a fun look behind the scenes of a particular time in a particular movie many people have come to love over the years. Give it a shot!
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