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119 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm so glad Mark didn't leave his stupid comments in his pocket
Greg Sestero has done something fantastic. He's managed to perfectly pinpoint all of Tommy Wiseau's eccentricities and show us exactly why we should care about him. Our dear Sestosterone is not only talented at growing beards and playing football, he's also a great and engaging writer. As a longtime fan of The Room, I really enjoyed the way Greg switched between talking...
Published 16 months ago by wibblywobbly

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but ends too soon
This was a well written and entertaining book. Greg Sestero has a voice (or maybe his co-author does). Either way I couldn't put the book down. My only complaint is that it ends just as the lights are going down for the Room premiere. There is no discussion about the reaction at the premiere or how the film attained its cult success. So I felt like I got half the story...
Published 15 months ago by litemakr


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119 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm so glad Mark didn't leave his stupid comments in his pocket, October 4, 2013
Greg Sestero has done something fantastic. He's managed to perfectly pinpoint all of Tommy Wiseau's eccentricities and show us exactly why we should care about him. Our dear Sestosterone is not only talented at growing beards and playing football, he's also a great and engaging writer. As a longtime fan of The Room, I really enjoyed the way Greg switched between talking about his early years with Tommy and the actual drama happening on the set of The Room. Each anecdote is better than the last.

I think as fans we sometimes forget that these characters we see onscreen (and yell insults to on countless midnight screenings) are portrayed by actual human beings, separate from their characters. I loved reading about how Juliette Daniels ended up playing Lisa and Dan Janjigian's preparation for the Oscar-worthy role of Chris-R. The Disaster Artist has brought an entirely new dimension to The Room. The book's biggest feat was helping the reader understand Tommy Wiseau, as much as anyone can understand Tommy Wiseau. Some of the details that Greg shares with us break my heart. I now view Tommy in the same way one would view a vampire puppy-- with an equal mixture of "aw" and "eek".

I can be sure that the next midnight screening I attend, I'll be giggling to myself over how long it took to shoot the famous, "I did naaht heet her" line. Or over the real reason why Peter was blinking so much. Or whether the enigmatic Chloe knows what obscenities audiences yell when they see her name appear onscreen. Without this book I would never have known that I've memorized The Room better than Tommy Wiseau. It was a fantastic read and I'm so excited to see what Greg Sestero does next!
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Brutally Honest - Not What I Expected, October 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Hardcover)
As a huge fan of "The Room," I went into this book expecting to hear a first-hand account of the wackiness that must have occurred while filming and maybe a little inside info on Tommy Wiseau. I would have been perfectly happy if the book had been that simple, but it was that plus so much more. In a way, Greg Sestero has created the moving, raw, true-to-life biography that "The Room" was supposed to be. This isn't a funny book about a hilariously bad movie... It's a sad book about a deeply troubled man who was basically able to buy his way to fame. It's not a pretty picture that's painted here, but it's honest and like all things in life, there are shades of gray. Tommy is selfish, manipulative, and controlling, yet I can understand why Greg (or anyone really) would be drawn to him. Underneath it all he's still a little kid, and there's something refreshing about childlike idealism. Tommy really is the tragic figure he tried to portray in the character of Johnny, but not for the reasons he thinks. Also, the book is informative and interesting as it follows Greg through the excruciating process of trying to make it as an actor in LA. This book gave depth to "The Room" that I almost don't want it to have. It's harder to laugh knowing I'm laughing at a pathetic, pitiable human being who basically spent 6 million dollars to pretend he had friends. That's doesn't mean I won't laugh or I'll stop loving "The Room." I just didn't expect this book to have the depth that it does. Well done, Greg.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Insightful, and Well-Written. What a story, Greg!, October 12, 2013
You're probably interested in this book for the same reasons I was: You love/hate The Room, you want to read some funny behind-the-scenes stories about its making, and you're hoping to have some mysteries about the movie and its oddball director/writer/producer cleared up. Rest assured, you will get all that, and more, from reading this excellent book by Greg Sestero ("Mark"), and writer Tom Bissell. The Disaster Artist is part memoir of a struggling young actor, part "making of" of a cult classic, and part chronicle of the rise and fall of a bizarre friendship.

Fans of The Room tend to have a lot of questions. Why is the dialogue so odd? How old was Denny supposed to be? What happened to Peter? Who was Steven? Why the football? Why a rooftop? Why the pictures of spoons? What's with that flower shop scene? Who is Tommy Wiseau, really, and where did he get the money to film this thing?

Sestero does his best to answer these questions, though many things about Wiseau's past will probably forever remain a mystery. I don't wish to spoil the book for anyone, but I feel I must answer The Big Question in order to write a proper review and let the potential reader know what they are in for. Is Tommy Wiseau "in on the joke," so to speak? That is to say, is The Room intentionally funny?

The answer is no.

I've read a lot of funny books over the years, but I can't recall another that made me laugh out loud so often, or so hard, as The Disaster Artist. Sestero's insights into the making of "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" had me in childish fits of giggles, as did the glimpses into "Tommy's Planet." Wiseau, you see, always wanted a planet of his own. And he acts as if he lives on it--where it's normal to be nocturnal, syntax is nonexistent, and valets can't be trusted with the BMW he can somehow afford (lest they fart in his seat).

It's not all funny, though. What starts out as an odd, but nice, story of a friendship between two would-be actors takes a dark turn as Wiseau becomes jealous when the inevitable happens and the younger, better looking, more talented Sestero becomes more successful than him in Hollywood. Wiseau is clearly not without his good qualities, which drew Sestero to him in the first place, but he ultimately allows pettiness, jealousy, and insecurity to drive away his only friend. But not before some very disturbing behavior towards Sestero. And, of course, not before making The Room, a bizarre fantasy/pity party created by an inept dictator director with almost no self awareness. The picture Greg Sestero paints of Tommy Wiseau is that of a man as sympathetic as he is deluded and deranged. Think Michael Scott meets Tom Ripley.

Though a quick read, The Disaster Artist is hilarious, insightful, psychologically thrilling, and very well written. Fans of The Room will not be disappointed. At least, I wasn't. It exceeded all my expectations, surprising me with the range of emotions I felt while reading a thin book about a bad movie, and providing me with an appreciation of the struggle of aspiring actors and, of course, the weird world of Tommy Wiseau. Or perhaps I should say "Tommy's Planet."

Anyway, how is your sex life?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights into the enigmatic vampire man-child that is Tommy Wiseau! ("Oh hi Kristen!"), June 29, 2014
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I am a little bit obsessed with The Room. It's not a constant thing--I can go for months without watching it or talking about it or probably even thinking about it--but sooner or later, I find myself talking to a friend or acquaintance about my love of entertainingly bad movies, and I mention the The Room as being (in my opinion) the best bad movie ever made. Usually the person I'm speaking to will not have heard of The Room, or will have heard of it but not seen it, which immediately necessitates bringing up internet video footage and inevitably rekindles the obsession. Who is this Tommy Wiseau? Where did he get that crazy accent, how old is he, and how in the heck did he make enough money to pour six million dollars of his personal fortune into this movie, and what on earth was he trying to accomplish by doing so?

If you have seen The Room, you probably already realize that the man behind the movie is a person who doesn't see things the way the rest of us see them. We see poorly-built sets, ill-fitting and unflattering costumes, stilted dialogue riddled with non sequiturs, rampant continuity issues, bad green screen special effects, nonsensical plotlines, and most of all, Tommy himself, who is probably the worst actor you've ever seen unless you attend a lot of middle school theater productions...and maybe even then. But, as this book very eloquently explains, Tommy saw something else entirely.

If you are looking for pee-your-pants funny anecdotes about what it was like for Greg Sestero to be first Tommy's friend and then, eventually, his employee on the set of The Room, they're here. (He had to write down the code to his apartment's gate because he could never remember it--it was 1234!!) If you want to understand the many issues that plagued the production of The Room and how the thing got finished against all odds, that's here too. (Short answer: he's loaded. Money can fix almost anything.) If you want to understand who Tommy Wiseau is, that is probably an exercise in futility, but Greg Sestero does an admirable job in showing us his own understanding of that question, as well as some of how Tommy understands himself. (He's a vampire, obviously.) This was a very satisfying read that I think came as close to answering my questions about Tommy Wiseau as anything possibly could.

Obviously it's easy to make fun of The Room, as I have done myself in my Amazon review of it. And there is a side to Tommy Wiseau that is very hard to like--manipulative, vain, secretive, annoying, argumentative, cruel, misogynistic, and insecure, and I think you can see aspects of that in The Room. But there is also another side to him, a side that's playful, naive, fun, and really kind of delightful, and I think that's why I keep coming back to The Room, because that side of him comes out in the final cut too. No one else could have made this movie because if anyone else tried, they'd know just how bad it was, and they wouldn't be able to stop themselves from throwing a little irony in there, letting you know that they know. The Room doesn't do that--it is utterly sincere in its awfulness, and that makes it kind of charming and really special. It is very difficult to coordinate the million details that need to come together to make a movie, as I knew even before I read this book, but Tommy Wiseau did that against all the odds, and I give him credit for that. I think very few of us who have enjoyed The Room ever suspected that Tommy Wiseau was trying to make a movie about the worst experience of his life, that he is Johnny in a very literal sense, and that he fully expected the audience to react to his movie the same way he had reacted to his reality. Of course they didn't...but they watched it and loved it anyway, and that is an accomplishment, even if it's not quite the accomplishment he was hoping for.

Thank you, Greg Sestero, for writing this truly entertaining and illuminating book. And also for being Tommy's friend all those years and not murdering him and depriving the world of the amazing and unbelievable disaster that is The Room.
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71 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evihrwon Bihtrae Meh!, October 1, 2013
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Oh hai Mark, I see you right story about my movie the Room. How could you do this? HOW COULD YOU LOVE HIM? Why Lisa and Mark, why?!?!?!? I just want throw football 3 feet in alley way with Denny and oh hai Mark. This book betray me, and the test results came in. I definitely have cancer, SCREW THE WHOLE WORLD.

(this book is a phenomenal look into an insane genius, oh thanks Greg!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious reading...as well as kind of disturbing., February 6, 2014
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This review is from: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Hardcover)
I've seen The Room multiple times, having been first introduced to it by a video review by Doug Walker. I still swear the hardest I've ever laughed during a movie was watching it combined with the Rifftrax of it. It's a movie filled with scenes that just baffle you. The harder you try to make sense of a character's motivation, or why a scene was included, the less and less it makes sense. Watching The Room is the closest you can get to going down Alice's rabbit hole without drugs involved. (For those who haven't seen the movie yet, and have a few minutes to spare, do a search for Nostalgia Critic The Room...just trust me on this, it's worth your time).

So, needless to say, when this book came out I wanted it. An inside look into the filming of this...oddity? Yes please. And in most cases, I got exactly what I want. Greg does a wonderful job conveying the surreal experience of being around The Room's producer/writer/director/actor Tommy Wiseau...and that's where some of the disturbing comes in. Let's just say Tommy doesn't come across in a very flattering way. Instead, you get a glimpse into this movie made by a very wealthy, damaged man-child. Being on set was a combination of torture and hilarity. When Greg describes the camera guy laughing so hard the camera is shaking, and no one noticing or caring, you will completely understand why.

If you've never seen The Room, this book still gives a solid look into the life of a struggling actor, the depression involved with rejection, minor success, and the constant dangling hope a break-out role is just around the corner. I fully recommend picking up a copy for yourself...and then, afterward, grabbing a few friends and watching what is easily the funniest bad movie of all time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious, bizarre look at a misfit and his remarkable (and awful) film, October 27, 2013
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In 2003, a movie called The Room was released into a single theater in Los Angeles. The movie, which was theoretically a drama about relationships and love, was a laughingstock - it was incoherent, poorly shot, poorly acted, horrifically written, nonsensical, and just generally a trainwreck. Somehow, it attracted a cult following, and nowadays, you can find it playing at midnight showings all over the place, as people go to revel in the insanity. I'm a big fan of The Room, and I don't typically buy into the whole "so bad it's good" idea. But The Room doesn't really fit that category - it's so clearly a labor of love, so clearly a passion project that it's impossible not to find it charming in its insanity. Now, Greg Sestero, one of the film's stars, has written (with the help of co-writer Tom Bissell) The Disaster Artist, his account of the making of the film and his friendship with the film's writer/director/star/producer, the wholly unique Tommy Wiseau. And the result is every bit as fascinating and hilarious as I hoped it would be. The making of the film is every bit as insane as you might think and more so - by the time I got to Tommy's ambitious plans for using the green screen, I was in tears, and it only got worse from there, as Tommy abused his cast and crew, led them in patriotic chants, stumbled through single words of dialogue, and yet somehow managed to complete the movie. But what really makes The Disaster Artist is Sestero's glimpse into the enigmatic and bizarre Wiseau. Over the course of their friendship, Wiseau was capable of vast generosity and insane paranoia, sexual jealousy and deep friendship, over-sharing and zealous privacy, and more. And while Sestero never quite cracks some of Tommy's mysteries, the hints we get help us to understand the troubled, angry, frustrated figure we see at the core of The Room, even if it doesn't justify him. Part struggling actor memoir, part character study, part making-of story, The Disaster Artist is one of the funniest books I've read this year, and the fact that it's all true only makes it all the better. If you're worried that The Disaster Artist might ruin the magic of The Room for you, don't; if anything, it only makes it wonderful all over again, as we get glimpses into the "reason" behind all the madness. If you're a fan of The Room, The Disaster Artist is absolutely essential reading; if you're not, you still might be fascinated by this glimpse at the Hollywood dream gone horribly, horribly wrong.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, twisted, and poignant, November 4, 2014
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This book was amazing. The ghostwriter and Sestero work together extremely well, and the result is a thought-provoking, funny, moving tale of a cult classic of my generation.

I love the structure of this book, and the prose is pretty good too. Mark's voice is honest and kind without being butt-kissy or deceptive. He really showcases Tommy at his best and worst, but it never really comes off as catty or unfair. There's also a lot of great detail about the production of a film and what it takes to be an actor. This would be a good research resource for anyone looking to write a book about filmmaking or with actors as characters.

I think some people might find the switching between Mark's life with Tommy and the stuff from production a bit confusing, but I think even non-Roomie readers will dig this.

I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially for anyone who likes books about the making of a project, documentaries, or strange and hilarious nonfiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lights, Candles, Action!, October 3, 2013
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raven kilna (San Marcos, CALIFORNIA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Hardcover)
I have loved this bad movie for many years now but to read about it with such wonderful insight from Greg Sestero was truly an eye opener. I found myself unable to put the book down, it's such a great compelling tale of friendship and the fight to become who you are truly meant to be. Maybe Tommy is an Android or a Vampire, or both, sent to test us mere mortals lives, maybe an escaped patient from a Eastern block mental health hospital, maybe he is a long haired crime lord of a tiny country no one has heard of, or maybe and just maybe he knows exactly what he is doing, after all, he did make a movie that for years after, people are still talking about and enjoying with groups of friends, bringing laughter and light into peoples lives. I am left with many questions but I am sure of this one thing after reading this book, with all the time and situations he had put up with by hanging out with Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, has the patience of SAINT!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Lab on Fire, October 5, 2013
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This review is from: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Hardcover)
The story is so compelling, and the writing style so entertaining, that I read it from cover to cover. I was particularly impressed by Greg's writing style. Admittedly, I was not expecting much. Something along the lines of "When we were filming the scene, Mark was supposed to exit stage left, but he exited stage RIGHT!! It was so great. You should have been there."

Instead, his account is pepper by such artful prose and humorous simile, that it sounds as though you're hanging out with a friend who's had the opportunity to retell (and perfect) that one "great story" everyone loves and all newcomers hear. I often forget that I'm reading a novel and just feel like everyone is gathered around at a party.

"The rest of us were toying with chemistry sets and Tommy was lighting the lab on fire."
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