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Priceless Memories Hardcover – April 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; First Edition edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599951355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599951355
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After 50 years in television, recently retired game show host Barker (The Price Is Right) recalls peak moments of his long career in this engaging memoir. Born in 1923 of Native American heritage (he is one-eighth Sioux), Barker grew up in South Dakota. When WWII interrupted his college education, he became a naval fighter pilot, but the war ended before he got a seagoing squadron assignment: When the enemy heard that I was headed for the Pacific, they surrendered. In the postwar years, as he made a smooth transition from radio to television, audience participation shows became his specialty, and fame followed after an invitation from Ralph Edwards to host Truth or Consequences. Giving away millions, Barker stayed with The Price Is Right for 6,500 shows: The first time I interviewed an attractive young lady and I realized that her tongue was pierced, I knew that time had passed me by. He also writes at length about how his concern for animal rights created professional career problems, notably in hosting beauty pageants where furs were worn. The team of Barker and Diehl doesn't measure up to Diehl's memorable high-dive collaboration with Esther Williams (The Million Dollar Mermaid). However, there are plenty of backstage anecdotes, so Barker's fans are certain to grab this from bookstore shelves. Two 16-page color photo inserts. (Apr. 6)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Bob's writing is just like his hosting--smooth and professional. I'm sure his many fans will be thoroughly entertained and delighted by these recollections of his life and his long and very successful career. I can only imagine what more he might have accomplished if only he could sing." (Alex Trebek, host, 'Jeopardy!')

"The readers of this book will be happy to find, as I was, that Bob Barker did more than host The Price Is Right for thirty-five years. A lot more, as it turns out. What a career! God bless you, Bob Barker. And I'll try not to wreck the car." (Drew Carey, host of 'The Price Is Right')

"From hanging pianos to flying elephants, Bob Barker's love of people and animals and his remarkable ability to play the game furnishes a book full of prizes for the reader. Priceless Memories provides a fascinating insight into his career during the heydey of television and his tenacious determination to alleviate the suffering of animals. The book is a conversation with Bob Barker, full of humorous anecdotes about himself and the millions of contestants, friends, fans, family, celebrities and animals who have made his life a compelling story." (Pat Derby, founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS))

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Customer Reviews

I love TPIR and Bob Barker.
Ms. Melissa Goldsberry
One, though I enjoyed the stories of his early life, I felt some of them dragged on a bit and got almost a little too packed.
Ben Kizer
This is a fun and very easy to read book!!!
Paul Manfredi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nicolas W. Dubin on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm an author and I must make a little confession: I frequently check my books to see if any customers have written new reviews on amazon.com. Well Bob, if you're anything like me, I hope you read this.

Bob is a class act from top to bottom. I have been a fan of television personalities (particularly game show hosts) ever since I was a small boy, but what always stood apart for me about Bob was his genuineness and authenticity. Bob was the best at what he did for so many years because he made you feel that you knew him, personally. He also had exquisite timing. He would pause at just the right moment, to put the spotlight on a funny contestant(a true skill, because most people aren't comfortable being silent on television for too long). Or he might tell a story that no one else got and say something like..."no one thought that was funny, I thought it was hilarious". Just the little things like that made Bob interesting to watch all these years.

This book is quite charming and I had the pleasure to listen to the audiobook version, read by Mr. Barker himself. He tells of his life growing up with his wonderful mother Tillie on an Indian reservation in Missouri, how he met the love of his life (Dorothy Jo), his relationships with his animals over the years, and much much more. But perhaps the part of the book that I found the most entertaining was the preface, where Bob talks about how he got his first big break hosting Truth or Consequences. Ralph Edwards heard him on the radio one day while driving with his children and decided to call Bob in for an interview. Subsequently, Bob was called back for 5 or 6 additional interviews (each one more important than the last one) and each time Ralph would say to Bob at the end of the interview, "I'll keep in touch".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ben Kizer on April 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Whether you're a game show fan or not, you likely know Bob Barker. Arguably the most famous game show host in history, Barker spent 50 years in the television industry before retiring on his own terms in 2007. That's unreal these days and almost unheard anymore, with Hollywood pushing their aging stars to the sidelines involuntarily and game shows lucky to make it past three seasons before being cancelled. However, both Barker and "The Price is Right" did that, with the popular show in its 37th year, now with comedian Drew Carey as the host.

"Priceless Memories" was a fun read for me because of my loyalty to TPIR when I was younger. I envied Barker's job and thought he had the coolest gig anywhere. To those who have been around since the early 80s or earlier, you may remember Bob for his brown hair, tanned good looks, charm, and ability to be daytime tv's "hunk" for stay-at-home moms everywhere. Those born after about 1983 know Bob for his white hair, curmudgeon sense of humor, his small role in "Happy Gilmore" and his spayed or neutered closing line. Either way, Barker has played a big part in many people's life at one time or another, and at 85 years old, has a lot to share with his many fans.

I enjoyed reading about Bob's family, his days of youth on the Indian Reservation in South Dakota, his first Hollywood job (hosting "Truth or Consequences" for 19 years), his strong marriage to Dorothy Jo, how he got into Animal Rights, why he quit his lucrative job hosting beauty pageants and more. I especially cracked up when he mentioned a contestant with a tongue ring was when he noticed his time was passing to host the show. I'll give Bob credit, he writes in a genuine tone, and lets his personality show in the words. Maybe a bit egotistical, but a game show host needs to be.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mediaman on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is for die-hard Barker fans only, because Bob chooses to skip over anything negative and focus only on the positive. It matches his laid-back, nice-guy TV personna, but it makes for a mediocre autobiography.

The book is structured nicely--starting with Truth or Consequences and then getting to the Price is Right in the second chapter. He saves the personal background for the middle of the book, then finishes with his other media appearances and his animal activism. The stories are told with his typical mellow style, with a touch of humor.

Yet most of the stories are about as interesting as your grandpa telling you about the olden days. Nothing too exciting--and absolutely nothing negative. There's isn't a bad word about anyone in the book--he praises everyone he mentions, and over-praises Ralph Edwards (who gave him his big TV job), Barker's wife and Bob's mother.

There are a couple of major negative things in Barker's past that he never mentions and that makes the book a real disappointment. This is for fans only that want the whitewashed version of his life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Donegan on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I grew up w/Bob Barker and TPiR, so this memoir has been long awaited by fans like me. Many interesting stories are told by Barker, including:

- His mother's struggle to raise him alone, following her husband's untimely death
- His relationship w/wife Dorothy Jo
- The beginnings of his broadcasting career, including the LA radio show that led Ralph Edwards to hire him for "Truth or Consequences"
- The success of TPiR and how he perfected its formula
- How he became involved in animal rights

Oh, and I had the privilege of meeting the author on 4/9/09, who not only signed my copy, but shook my hand...sentiment aside, it's def worth the read and truly a fascinating look @ the life and career of a TV legend!
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