Charles Grodin, actor, author, producer, and activist, gives us his view of the things that happened to him growing up that made him who he is today. He is very entertaining in his live comedy acts and interviews, and just as good telling the tale of a young boy who was thrown out of his school for asking too many questions. When he was president of the 5th grade and got impeached, he learned quickly how to handle negativism, rejection, and disapproval. For many, we might say these were crushing blows but for Grodin, it helped to prepare him for the tough life of an actor who must face rejections so often in their career. As he went on to high school and college, he became a success in plays and theater work. This led him to study acting seriously and from many of the finest like Lee Strasberg.
Charles Grodin reveals what it was like to work on plays and movies, many we are familiar with like The Heartbreak Kid. He has worked with many famous and infamous personalities. Grodin’s work runs the gamut from television to stage to screen, and includes talk shows and even being on Sixty Minutes II.
I found, however, that the best part of this memoir was when he told stories from his “normal” life. Oh, yes, he relates stories about starting out with the likes of young Dustin Hoffman and Gene Wilder, or about his hilarious dating accounts. But when Grodin, known to his friends as Chuck, talks about how he isn’t really the sarcastic man he pretends to be but really a big softie, that’s what really draws you to him. Friends will support this by telling you what a really nice guy he is. Never is it more evident than in his support of causes he believes in, and how he puts his heart and soul into those he defends and supports.
One of Grodin’s causes closest to his heart is to help people who have been sentenced and convicted under the Felony Murder Laws and are wrongfully being enforced under this law. He wants to help these people and puts much time, money, and effort into that as well as many other charities he believes in. Proceeds from the book, in fact, will ALL go to his charities.
I found the book to be an easy read and that it had its serious as well as many humorous moments. Most of all, I found that Chuck Grodin is really not at all who I thought he was. His kindness and caring are the opposite of his abrasive mannerisms when seen on television for instance. I think the book is a quick and enjoyable read I would especially recommend to people who like biographies and memoirs.