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The Guttenberg Bible: A Memoir Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Steve Guttenberg has written a wonderfully funny memoir of his coming-of-age in Hollywood. The Guttenberg Bible is an on-the-money account of what an actor's life is really like.” ―MARLO THOMAS, New York Times-bestselling author of Growing Up Laughing

“I first met Steve Guttenberg when he was an up-and-coming young actor on the set of Diner. Now, I'm glad to read his terrific memoir of his career's early days, and the struggles and surprises that come with making your way in show business.” ―JERRY WEINTRAUB, New York Times-bestselling author of When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead

The Guttenberg Bible is better than the original! More compelling reading anyway. Steve's story of his journey through Hollywood is for actors what Adventures in the Screen Trade is for writers. An honest, humorous and instructive account of how to navigate thru this crazy town we call Hollywood.” ―WOODY HARRELSON

“From his first scene on I knew Steve Guttenberg would be a winner. He's proven it on the screen and now he's doing it as an author.” ―ROBERT EVANS, author of The Kid Stays in the Picture

“It's impossible to stop reading.” ―Publishers Weekly

“[Guttenberg] looks back on his first 10 years in Hollywood as a time of magical dreams and sobering realities. … Aspiring actors will surely gain keen insight into the challenges that may await them (if they're lucky), while movie fans will be pleasantly assured that their faith in the dream factory's ability to inspire is still warranted. An insider's charming look at what it's really like to be a Hollywood star.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The Hollywood memoir genre is inherently dicey, but this one is a winner. Guttenberg has a fetching style and is a good storyteller … Anyone who can tell funny personal stories about having worked with both Colonel Sanders and Sir Laurence Olivier is aces.” ―Library Journal

“Guttenberg retains a wide-eyed outsider's wonder at Hollywood, while offering an insider's sharp analysis of the tough business of acting. … An A memoir.” ―Hollywood Reporter

“In this highly readable and candid memoir, Guttenberg reveals the twists and turns of his career.” ―Tucson Citizen

About the Author

STEVE GUTTENBERG has starred in more than fifty films over the course of his career, including three successful series: Police Academy, Three Men and a Baby, and Cocoon. He has also appeared in such acclaimed work as Diner, The Boys from Brazil, and The Bedroom Window. On television, his work includes The Day After, To Race the Wind, and Miracle on Ice, as well as Gangs and Love Off Limits, which he directed. As a feature filmmaker, he adapted and directed P.S., Your Cat Is Dead. He produced and starred in the indie film A Novel Romance, which won best feature at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

His theater credits include his Broadway debut in 1984, Prelude to a Kiss, The Boys Next Door in London's the West End, and Furthest from the Sun at the Juene Lune Theatre in Minneapolis. He recently appeared on Broadway in Relatively Speaking, a collection of three one-act comedies, starring in Woody Allen's "Honeymoon Motel."


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312383452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383459
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot speak for what Mr. Guttenberg was trying to achieve-it's his book. However, as the reader, I expected that this book would have opened the door on what it is like to succeed and fail in Hollywood. The first few chapters are interesting. Steve G. goes from Long Island to Los Angeles and does things that no one could dream would be possible. For example, he spends a number of chapters describing how he used to sneak on the studio lots and evade security. There are also a handful of fun stories about working with particular celebs. Unfortunately, the bulk of the stories are exceedingly complimentary-as if the writer was subtly trying to get Hollywood big shots to notice him again by simply referring to them in a positive way. I was hoping for more stories about egomaniacal stars, trists, etc. Ultimately, that is probably why anyone would buy a book like this. The book also contians no mention of the down-time. Keep in mind, this is an actor that headlined some of the most sucessful comedies and dramas in the 1980s and early 1990s (Diner, Boys from Brazil, Police Academy, Short Circuit, and Coccoon). Where is the mention of what happens when you go from being a true A-lister to a C lister? What happens when the phone stops ringing? Do you go through a period of self-examination? How about a frank discussion of the flops and why certain decisions were made as opposed to others?

My sense is that Steve G. is ultimately a good person and a fairly modest guy. However, if you are going to write a book like this, the reader expects the full picture (no pun intended). By way of example, Rober Evan's book, "The Kid Stays in the Picture" is something to behold. This is a nice try but could have benefitted from better editing and much more soul searching.
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Format: Hardcover
Guttenberg, a know-it-all and smart-aleck, has decided to write his life story as a satire with him as the bumbling star. The pages are filled with tales that go beyond credulity and are long-winded pieces of supposedly creative writing. After the 20th repetition of the word "pronto" or his name being mispronounced or his parents begging him to go to college, the book started to get old fast. What could have been an outstanding autobiography ends up being a bloated joke that the reader is unsure whether anything can be believed.

After a long opening devoted to his career start, the book focuses on a few of his big movies, like Diner, Police Academy, Cocoon, Short Circuit and Three Men & a Baby. He also spends time on a few others we have never heard of like The Bedroom Window and Surrender. He completely skips many films and he ignores the last 25 years (the book ends with Three Men & a Baby being shot, not even released!). Which leads to one of the book's problems. He has no idea what material to include and what to edit out.

He doesn't even mention some of the interesting projects he is known for or people he has worked with since the 1980s. He did the movie It Takes Two with Kirstie Alley and the Olsen Twins--yet he couldn't even find time to mention it in his life story? Meanwhile he spent 20 pages on his one-line part in a film no one has seen with Richard Widmark. Bad choices.

Who cares about The Bedroom Window? Who cares about how many times he switched agents? Who cares about the repetitive phone calls from his parents (which seem to take up a third of the book!). There are too many things in the book you won't care about and not enough about things that matter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is easy to read, and for me, difficult to put down. I loved reading how he got his start and am marveled by the guts and gumption he had in the beginning to push for his dream. Proves right there, that if you do not truly believe in yourself 100%, that you will never achieve your dreams, or have the chance to be at the top of your game. He had and did what it took to get there and he still seems to be a nice, decent, polite man.I have enjoyed reading this, I just wish it had gone farther too.

Hopefully, Mr. Guttenberg, (if you ever read your reviews :), you will continue where you left off and share the rest with us? I will buy your next book too, and I am sure I will enjoy it just as much as this one! Thank you for sharing so much of your life with the world, I found it an honor to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fun book to read. Steve tells of his career in Hollywood from age 17 until the early 1990's. What a ride he takes the reader on of his Hollywood journey as a film star and his rise to fame. He is funny, honest, refreshing, and if you are an actor or enjoy "Hollywood story's" what a great book to read. I'm reading some the other reviews on this book and they are mad that he didn't write a autobiography rather then this memoir. Steve said in an interview that he wrote more, but his book editor chopped his original book in half. But his book is pure Hollywood fun to read (and a fast read) and worth buying.
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