Top critical review
All in all I think you should read it
on August 7, 2013
Let me start by saying that I recommend this book. It's fun. That said, it's not a GREAT book, but it is a good one. I read the whole thing in one sitting, it was entertaining and funny. I'm giving it three stars because, to me, it reads like it should be a memoir for friends and family more than a biography for the masses. I say this because the read felt fractured in places. There were a few places the timelines in the storytelling were not consistent. If you were a close friend or family member none of these inconsistencies would affect the reading in the least. But as an outside observer, ready for the story set-up, it can cause some small amount of confusion when: reading about Mr. Newhart's youth, something was mentioned about the family car no one drove because gas was too expensive. A few more details follow but before the idea concludes, 'pencil brakes' are applied and we are interrupted out of our last scene because Mr. Newhart, now fully grown and a member of several country clubs, starts talking (for a page or two) about meeting a buddy at a club for golf and do or don't they use caddies on the course. (NOTE: the two scenes I wrote were in the book in some way but they were not written the way I suggested. That was for dramatic effect and point-making only.)
There was also quite a lot of name dropping, which is another reason I felt that this book would be more at home with family and close friends. To me, the I-know-famous-people,-here-are-their-names took up the space where more "funny" should have been. Humor from Mr. Newhart's observations of life after age 50, 60, 70, etc.. from this Always Real Comedian would be great wealth indeed! Now THAT would be a book for the masses.