Sunday, May 29, 2016

Second Acts

In the library I saw new books by Burt Reynolds (which I've mentioned earlier--But Enough About Me), Dick Van Dyke (Keep Moving) and Debbie Reynolds (Make 'Em Laugh), all of them about their lives.  Looking through them, they seemed enjoyable enough (especially Burt's), but I soon realized I was getting second best.

In other words, they've already published autobiographies.  Van Dyke in 2012, Debbie Reynolds in 2013 and Burt back in 1994.  I guess those books did well enough to demand new product, but now we either get anecdotes they missed first time around or musings about life today when what interests me about them is their lives yesterday. (This is why the Burt book is the best--he wrote his autobiography so long ago that he can go through his life again, though this time the hook is each chapter concentrates on someone he knew.)

I'm not saying celebrities who have been around don't necessarily have two books in them.  Some have managed to stretch it out to several.  But even in these examples it's mostly a case of diminishing returns.  Certainly they've heard of the show biz adage always leave them wanting more.  (Though there's also the show biz adage squeeze it dry until they can't take any more.)


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