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Rickles' Book: A Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, June 3, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Insult comic Rickles has written a feel-good memoir that's loaded with photos and sentiment. The only son of loving parents, today he's an 80-year-old grandfather who still performs nationwide. The most interesting bits—his climb to the top—are told only in broad strokes. The tone is friendly and conversational, however, as he describes, among other things, his style: "I found a distinct sense of sarcasm and humorous exaggeration." Rickles wanted to be a serious actor, but he started as a comic in strip clubs and worked his way up. His break came when Sinatra heard him—and he used Sinatra's influence to get him better gigs. Yet for a guy famous for calling others a "hockey puck," Rickles's story is Hollywood lite. There's no backstage drama, no sex, no gossip. When he name-drops celebrities, it's always in glowing terms. We learn of his short-lived TV shows, CPO Sharkey and The Don Rickles Show, and how voicing Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story jump-started his later career. Those looking for a sardonic autobiography will be disappointed; Rickles accentuates the positive. If he has a bad word to say about anyone, he'll probably save it for his act. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"What a terrific book. Honest, funny, down-to-earth. A helluva read."

-- Larry King

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Paperback Printing edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743293061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743293068
  • ASIN: B002N2XGBS
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,943,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on June 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I believe the "mission" of a reviewer is to give the good and the bad in this review of Rickles' book. I am a lifetime Don Rickles fan, all the way back to when I was a kid and my parents let me stay up late to watch him on the Tonite Show. He was hilarious and irreverent then and he still is today. The first thing I want to emphasize in my review, is that I will not use the phrase "chapters" because the "SNIPPETS" are way too short to be confused with a chapter. The Amazon overview you've probably already looked at says this book is 256 pages. My book that is sitting right next to the keyboard as I type is 239 pages. And even the word page is an exaggeration! Between each snippet (i.e.: chapter, oops! I used the word after I said I wouldn't. Last time I promise!) is a blank page, yet the blanks count in the aforementioned 239. Next there are pictures throughout the book, some take full pages, some take ½ pages. So, if you subtract the blank pages, and the picture pages, this book couldn't be 150 pages. Wait! There's more! The print on the pages is large, and there are very large spaces between paragraphs, and last but not least, most of the "writing" are quick little comments like: "Got any spare change? He asked me. (That's a printed line.) "I gave him five bucks." (That's a line.) "Go buy yourself a ranch," I said. (That's a line.) My point Is, I wouldn't spend my money on the hard cover edition, I'd wait for the paperback. To give you an idea of the brevity of this book, if you travel a lot like I do, and you needed to purchase a book to read on a flight from California to New York and back, you better buy two books.Read more ›
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Paul Manfredi on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Very entertaining and easy to read book! Each chapter is only a few pages in length and this book is full of so many interesting stories, that this becomes a real page turner! I laughed out loud many times! I especially enjoyed the stories about Mr. S. (Sinatra), the great Johnny Carson, and Don's friendship with Bob Newhart. I wish this book was longer because it is so enjoyable. I saw Don perform in Las Vegas about five years ago (great show!) and it was good to read and learn about his other side: his wonderful wife Barbara. This book is a real who's who of Hollywood. There just aren't performers like Don Rickles anymore. This is a very enjoyable book and I highly recommend it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By addison de Witt on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first time I saw Don Rickles was at the Boulevard nightclub on Queen Boulevard in Queens a hundred or so years ago. I was 15 and was there to celebrate a friend's sweet sixteen party. It was one of the first times I had ever been on a date and the evening was sweet. Then the entertainment started. A very young, balding bullet headed man came on stage and though he looked benign, in a minute he proceeded to rip into and destroy anyone and everyone in sight. The sweet sixteen girl was his main target and everyone in the place roared and no one more than the guest of honor herself. The man was hilarious. I don't recall how long his set was (a half hour? longer?)but I do remember it was so irreverent and hilarious that, when later, I saw him sitting at the bar, I got my courage up, walked up to him, shook his hand and asked if I could buy him a drink. He smiled and let me! My date and I sat with him and a warmer, kinder man you would not want to meet. Thus began my love affair with Don Rickles, a love affair that has not dwindled over the years. I have made special trips to Vegas just to see him and even ventured to the wastelands of Westbury to see him and Joan Rivers in concert. I have seen all of his movies, and even bought his I have bought his book and I loved it.Don, you are the best. May you go on forever...and if you do, you can be sure that I'll be there slipping the maitre 'd a few bucks to get a ringside seat. A great comedian, a great man and a great book. Thanks for all of it, Don.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nathan A. Gordon on May 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I would guess that if I had read Don's book on a flight from NYC to LA, I would have finished it by the time we flew over the Mississipi. It's a fun book but unfortunately a short one (double-spaced, large print and plenty of wasted "white space"). But I still recommend it for Rickles' fans (I'm one of those) and I would buy it again for my personal show biz collection.

On the plus side, having followed Don's career since his early 30 Rock appearances in the mid-sixties with Johnny, I had a checklist of things I had hoped he would cover and--wouldn't you know it--he covered them all: his life-long obsession and multi-faceted relationship with Frank Sinatra (who nicknamed Don, "Bullethead"), his interactions with three of my all-time favorites--Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Milton Berle--his relationship with Johnny, his long friendships with Don Adams and Bob Newhart, how he met his wife and lastly, how his career surged forward after his success as a night club comic at the Slate Brothers in LA. We learn a little about Don's mother and father (his mother had Sandra Berlinger qualities). I did not know that Don was an only child.

But I just wish the book was three times longer than it was because I would have had three times the enjoyment. Any Don Rickles fan with a laptop could have sat with Don and fleshed out this great material into a deeper read but we should be thankful that he at least wrote what he did. His co-author was successful in capturing Don's voice throughout the entire book.

There are a few things that will surprise even the most dedicated Rickles' fan, one being his relationship with George and Barbara Bush and Barbara's joshful disdain of Don's appearances in the Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello "Beach" movies.

Isn't it interesting that Don is really the last comedian of his era that is still working night clubs in Las Vegas? What a survivor!
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