10 October 2013

Review: My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke

My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business
My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is not often that I read biographies, and recently, the ones I have read were on musical type people that I have enjoyed, but this was a book I had on my to-do list since I saw it hit the shelves. I am not exactly sure why, aside from just growing up with reruns of the Dick van Dyke show that I loved, and the few movies of his I saw as a kid. So, when I was at the public library looking for a totally unrelated biography, I saw this one standing face forward on the shelf as if spotlighted for me to see, so I grabbed it without hesitation.

His childhood was filled with typical stories of the time, but along came little neat tidbits like his close friend who had an irritating cousin who always tried to hang with them - one Mr. Gene Hackman. Just seeing how so many paths crossed over the years, I found that fascinating.

As much as I admired his work, I was so shocked to find just how much of it I was totally unaware of, probably because it took place before my birth or while I was a toddler. I have probably seen every episode of his TV show, and of course was familiar with Chitty Chitty Bang bang and Mary Poppins, but that was about it. I knew he did Diagnosis Murder, though have never seen a single episode (those were lean TV days for us). Come to find out that he has done so, so many other movies and TV specials that I was totally unaware of. Some of them I went back and found on YouTube and watched in the past week or so, and there are many more I have earmarked to watch soon. I was even excited to see videos of appearances he has made as recent as a month ago. He is still active at 87 currently, and it is nice to see.

I really enjoyed this book, and could barely put it down. His stories were great, and in my head I could hear his voice as I was reading, so it was even more special. His stories of life in the 40s, 50, and 60s were interesting since it was the early era of TV, so things were so much more different than we have grown accustomed to these days. I always thought he was busiest in those times periods and that things tapered out in the 70s for him, but like I said, I was surprised to find that he was still even more active through the 80's and into the 2000s. Sadly, very little of that material has made it to services that I frequent the most, like Netflix. But if I dig on YouTube more, I hope to find further nuggets from this incredible talent.

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