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But Enough About Me: A Memoir Hardcover – November 17, 2015
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“The literary equivalent of finding oneself at a cocktail party with the guy who tells the best stories....It’s juicy, but not salacious, gracious without being cloying and ultimately impresses....such a joy to read.”—Palm Beach Post
“[W]ildly entertaining...Highlights—and lowlights—from his colorful past include playing football at Florida State, romances (Loni Anderson, Sally Field), debilitating health problems and a bankruptcy.”
—The Hollywood Reporter
“Throughout this often-surprising life story—capably coauthored by veteran showbiz writer Winokur—Reynolds reveals himself to be more thoughtful and introspective than his public image might suggest.”—Booklist
“Thoroughly engrossing.”—A.V. Club
“Refreshingly honest.”—AARP Magazine
“Charming, self-deprecating.”—Connecticut Post
About the Author
Burt Reynolds began his acting career in TV westerns before his breakout film performance in Deliverance. His other leading roles include films such as The Longest Yard, Hustle, Gator, Smokey and the Bandit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Striptease, and Boogie Nights, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Reynolds also received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his starring role on the popular sitcom Evening Shade.
Jon Winokur is the author of two dozen nonfiction books, including Advice to Writers, The Big Book of Irony, and the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Garner Files, co-authored with James Garner. He lives in Los Angeles.
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I would not call this book a true memoir since the author chose to write mostly about people that he has encountered in his life, some in his personal life but mostly in his professional life and how some of them effected him. He actually has whole chapters devoted to each person that he chose to write about. I found some of the chapters really interesting, particularly the chapter on Dinah Shore (they had a romantic relationship for several years) but they never made it to the altar. He speaks of Dinah in a warm and loving way and what a great person she was, was loved by everyone, what a wonderful cook she was and would cook for anyone at all hours of the day and night.
I also found interesting the chapter on Sally Field, how he insisted to have her in the movie "Smokey and the Bandit" since he thought she would be perfect for the part even though at first Universal didn't want to use her because the studio didn't think she was "sexy enough" (she had previously played The Flying Nun in her own TV sitcom) and how much sexual chemistry they had with each other from the day they met at rehearsal. They ended up becoming an item for a few years and making several movies together. The biggest surprise for me was that he writes in his book that he wishes he could turn back the clock, that he's sorry he never told her he loved her and he's sorry they couldn't make their relationship work. They spoke about marriage, but one wasn't ready when the other one was and vice versa. According to Burt, it's the biggest regret of his life.
There's also an interesting chapter on his ex-wife Loni Anderson. They were married for only five years. In this book Burt writes that he doesn't even know why he married her as they are very different from each other and admits that he wasn't thinking at the time and that she was the aggressive type, she came on to him and was very determined to get him. But he writes he had his doubts about her even before he made the marital commitment. He portrays her as being money hungry and spent a lot of his money during their short lived marriage (while married to each other they adopted a baby boy, Quinton). He regrets not listening to the others' advise and his own gut instinct not to marry her.
There are also other interesting chapters on Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Roy Rogers, Frank Sinatra and Clint Eastwood just to name a few. He also writes that he regrets posing nude in the magazine "Cosmopolitan" centerfold since he feels it affected his acting career in a negative way as he wanted to be considered "a serious actor", he wishes he would have listened to people that advised him against doing it. There's also an interesting foreword written by his friend Jon Voight (Burt met Jon while making the movie Deliverance and writes in this book some really interesting things about making that movie). So, he has a few regrets (don't we all) but has lived a very full and interesting life! If you like to read about Hollywood and its stars, you will enjoy this book!
The fact that his career bridges the older generation of "Movie Stars" - with capital M and S - as well as his own generation of stars and then those that came even later gives him a rare perspective. This book provides some great stories but at the same time it seems to be just sort of hitting the highlights with not much depth. I'm not referring to salacious or scandalous material, it just seems that so many long time friends of Burt Reynolds's, like Dom Deluise, Charles Durning, and others are given a few quick pages then left behind. I realize you can't cover everything but at times the information seems a bit thin.
My only real negative critique is the way Loni Anderson is treated in this book. Mr. Reynolds seems more than a little mean spirited towards her... I get it. Bad breakups are tough to get past but I almost wish he would have just made a brief blanket statement along the lines of "Loni has her version, I have mine, they differ greatly. Enough said."
Bottom line: Burt Reynolds shares some fun stories about his career and a few of his famous friends. It's kind of like having a chance conversation with someone on a long trip, you end up hearing things you probably didn't expect to hear but nothing particularly shocking or too in depth. Recommended for any fan of Burt Reynolds.