Rickles' Book

Don Rickles, Author, David Ritz, With
Don Rickles, Author, David Ritz, With with David Ritz. Simon & Schuster $34 (239p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9305-1
Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Hardcover - 243 pages - 978-0-7862-9856-3
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-3983-4
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-7432-9306-8
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Insult comic Rickles has written a feel-good memoir that's loaded with photos and sentiment. The only son of loving parents, today he's an 80-year-old grandfather who still performs nationwide. The most interesting bits—his climb to the top—are told only in broad strokes. The tone is friendly and conversational, however, as he describes, among other things, his style: "I found a distinct sense of sarcasm and humorous exaggeration." Rickles wanted to be a serious actor, but he started as a comic in strip clubs and worked his way up. His break came when Sinatra heard him—and he used Sinatra's influence to get him better gigs. Yet for a guy famous for calling others a "hockey puck," Rickles's story is Hollywood lite. There's no backstage drama, no sex, no gossip. When he name-drops celebrities, it's always in glowing terms. We learn of his short-lived TV shows, CPO Sharkey and The Don Rickles Show , and how voicing Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story jump-started his later career. Those looking for a sardonic autobiography will be disappointed; Rickles accentuates the positive. If he has a bad word to say about anyone, he'll probably save it for his act. (June)

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