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Priceless Memories Paperback – Bargain Price, May 2, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
After 50 years in television, recently retired game show host Barker (The Price Is Right) recalls peak moments of his long career in this engaging memoir. Born in 1923 of Native American heritage (he is one-eighth Sioux), Barker grew up in South Dakota. When WWII interrupted his college education, he became a naval fighter pilot, but the war ended before he got a seagoing squadron assignment: When the enemy heard that I was headed for the Pacific, they surrendered. In the postwar years, as he made a smooth transition from radio to television, audience participation shows became his specialty, and fame followed after an invitation from Ralph Edwards to host Truth or Consequences. Giving away millions, Barker stayed with The Price Is Right for 6,500 shows: The first time I interviewed an attractive young lady and I realized that her tongue was pierced, I knew that time had passed me by. He also writes at length about how his concern for animal rights created professional career problems, notably in hosting beauty pageants where furs were worn. The team of Barker and Diehl doesn't measure up to Diehl's memorable high-dive collaboration with Esther Williams (The Million Dollar Mermaid). However, there are plenty of backstage anecdotes, so Barker's fans are certain to grab this from bookstore shelves. Two 16-page color photo inserts. (Apr. 6)
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.
"Bob's writing is just like his hosting--smooth and professional. I'm sure his many fans will be thoroughly entertained and delighted by these recollections of his life and his long and very successful career. I can only imagine what more he might have accomplished if only he could sing." (Alex Trebek, host, 'Jeopardy!' )
"The readers of this book will be happy to find, as I was, that Bob Barker did more than host The Price Is Right for thirty-five years. A lot more, as it turns out. What a career! God bless you, Bob Barker. And I'll try not to wreck the car." (Drew Carey, host of 'The Price Is Right' )
"From hanging pianos to flying elephants, Bob Barker's love of people and animals and his remarkable ability to play the game furnishes a book full of prizes for the reader. Priceless Memories provides a fascinating insight into his career during the heydey of television and his tenacious determination to alleviate the suffering of animals. The book is a conversation with Bob Barker, full of humorous anecdotes about himself and the millions of contestants, friends, fans, family, celebrities and animals who have made his life a compelling story." (Pat Derby, founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) )
Top customer reviews
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While most biographies seem to start at the beginning and go chronologically this one starts with how he got the opportunity to host his first television show Truth or Consequences. Then it moves on to reviving The Price is Right. I had enough problems with someone hosting The Price is Right after Bob Barker. I didn't know that someone else had done the show before him and that he was actually hired to bring it back to television after it had been off the air for a while. To me, and I think many others, Bob Barker is The Price is Right.
Afterward, he goes back and tells about growing up, being in the Navy, meeting and marrying his wife, and all of the things that made up his life. It was a great book and it is clear that he was one of the lucky ones that found a job he loved doing and that he got to do it as long as he wanted to.
My only small complaint is that the last few chapters that describe his efforts for Animal Rights where a little off-putting. Not because he was preachy about it (he was not) and not because I do not share his feelings. (I think animals should be treated respectfully but I have no problems eating meat or wearing leather.) My concern is that when he described things like fur wearers being spit on, or having red paint thrown on them I could not tell if he condoned these actions or not. He didn't come out and say that he was glad and as far and I could tell he did not participate in these actions himself, but he did not condemn them either. It left me wondering. I was impressed by his love for animals and that he always seem to have several dogs and other animals that he took care of very well. I admired his decision to stop hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants when they decided to continue awarding a fur coat to the winner after they told him they would stop. They decided that they wanted the advertising revenue from the furriers more than they wanted Bob Barker and he decided that the job was not worth representing something that he could not support.
Lastly, I just want to say that I was impressed with how he and his wife worked together until she died. I think he said that they were married 32 years when she passed away. Sadly, this kind of long term relationship is rare in Hollywood. I was also impressed that his mother lived with him in her later years until she died. His father passed away when he was about 6 years old and he and his mother were always "partners" as he put it in his book.
I agree with Bob, that growing up on the Rosebud Reservation was a great experience. I enjoyed many of the same experiences that he mentions in his book.
It's a look into this talented, fantastic man's life - his childhood, his family, his career. He talks about the people (and pets!) that have meant the most to him. He talks about his inspirations & proudest moments.
For anyone who loves, loves, loves this man the way I do, it's a must read.