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My Life as a Ten Year-Old Boy Hardcover – October 31, 2000
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Cartwright is the voice of Bart Simpson, and in her enthusiastic, candid memoir, she delivers an inside view of the show that has become such a cultural phenomenon. An introductory chapter breezes over Cartwright's early fascination with voice work; her education and serendipitous mentor-student relationship with Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear; and her early career as a cartoon voice actor, including stints on My Little Pony and Friends. But she devotes the majority of the book to giving fans what they really want--the who, what, when, where, and how behind each episode of The Simpsons. Included are the show's creation story and plenty of long anecdotes about the guest stars (the Elizabeth Taylor piece is excellent), along with Cartwright's own experiences with her strangely anonymous brand of celebrity and her advice for people interested in the business. Cartwright refers to her own "overly ebullient nature," and the book's voice is relentlessly cheerful, almost giggly, with constant asides such as, "I'm suuure! Ohmygod!" and exclamations about brushes with fame: Tom Jones "was such a total stud!" But in between the giddiness, she throws in enough hard facts and industry gossip to appease even the most jaded Simpsons fan. A hilarious must-read for the show's cult following and for media students. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
...Cartwright has an assured, chatty voice... making [it] the perfect book for the Simpsons fan who has it all -- Woodland Hills Daily News, October 31, 2000
...We do find out how many spikes he has on his mischevous little head -- People, December 18, 2000
Bart owes his irreverence largely to... Cartwright... [who] shows just the proper amount of respect for all things show biz. -- Review Magazines, November 15, 2000
Cartwright gives... fun details on... guest stars, how the sound effects are done, the animation... [and] the show's early days -- Dayton News, October 29, 2000
The book describes her career, how the show is made and the dozens of celebrities who have been guests... -- Associated Press, October 30, 2000
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It's stories like this one that make this a worthwhile read for the fan.
Nancy Cartwright is a supremely young talented actress/voice-over artist who, unless you live on Jupiter, know is the REAL voice of 10-year-old Bart Simpson (and some other characters on the show). The questions: Could she write a book that satisfied detail-hungry Simpson's fans with tidbits about how the show is created, animated, written, voiced. Could she provide bio info on the other cast members? Could she give behind-the-scenes stories about the various highpowered guest stars? And could she also do a SOLID show biz bio that shows how she got from point A to Point B, from a child in awe of show biz figures, especially voice-over stars, to a behind-the-scenes star? The answers: YES...and no.
This book could be gifted to EVERY youth who seeks any career for one reason alone: it shows in the beginning how, at an early age, she was smart enough to pick a prominent mentor with whom she could consult, who could help open doors a tiny crack for her. It was Daws Butler, voice of a zillion cartoon characters such as Yogi Bear. She had the TALENT but was smart enough to seek out advice, meet her mentor, take his advice and let him guide her through the show biz obstacle course early in her career.
For Simpson's fans, the book is rich in enormous detail (also in italics and a conversational style that becomes slightly grating at times but is sincere). What comes across is Cartwright's underlying modesty (but she is confident) and her continued (endearing) ghee-whiz awe at being in a business where she can meet all these famous people. There's also a nice collection of photos and a little cartoon in the lower right hand corner that animates when you flip the pages. Some non die-hard Simpsons fans MAY flip this book's pages since it most successful as a book for fans of the show.
On the other level, as a show biz bio of interest to more than die-hard fans, it doesn't work as well, but has definite merits. There's a superb blow-by-blow explanation of how the program is created, animated and voiced. Excellent descriptions are given about voice-over specifics -- so this would indeed be an IMPORTANT book for someone who wants to do cartoon or commercial voices. They can learn about what goes into voice-overs, the importance of goal-setting, the importance of trying to implement a goal and the importance of seeking mentors (for at least advice before leaping into things).
Yet, because it is a mixture it somehow doesn't seem to TOTALLY fulfill either mission, as a fanzine book or show biz bio. But that is NOT -- rpt NOT -- Cartwright's fault: she is an enormously talented young woman who has already shot to the top of the voice-over business NOT because of her mentor, but because of incredible talent. We might forgive her if her book is not as solid or fascinating as the immortal Mel Blanc's solid 1988 autobiography That's Not All Folks. He was about a lot older than her.
Cartwright has a long career ahead of her -- and will most certainly continue to skyrocket once the Simpson's is off the air. We're sure to see her write another autobiography some years down the pike -- and that one will surely be a classic. For now, My Life As A 10-Year-Old Boy will do quite nicely.
Most recent customer reviews
Although not as detailed as I would have liked, Nancy still offers a unique insider's perspective on the creation of each Simpsons episode.Read more