cover image Prairie Man: My Little House Life & Beyond

Prairie Man: My Little House Life & Beyond

Dean Butler. Citadel, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8065-4329-1

Little House on the Prairie actor Butler delivers a sweet if superficial debut memoir about his early life and acting career. Born in British Columbia in 1956, Butler grew up in Northern California, where his first performances were in an elementary school show choir. He chalks up his eventual turn toward acting to a job announcing high school basketball games (“Everything that has happened since can be traced back to that moment when Mr. Cochran pointed me to the microphone”). The bulk of the book sheds light on Butler’s screen credits, beginning with the 1978 adaptation of Judy Blume’s Forever and focusing primarily on his five-year stint, from 1979 to 1983, as Almanzo Wilder in Little House on the Prairie. He shares regrets about his lack of sensitivity to the eight-year age difference between him and series lead Melissa Gilbert, who played his love interest (“Today that... difference is a tiny gap, but forty-five years ago, it was the Grand Canyon”), and muses on his complicated relationship with costar Michael Landon. Other behind-the-scenes sections, covering Butler’s work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and numerous documentaries, generate occasional interest, but there’s not a lot of substance. This is for die-hard Little House on the Prairie fans only. Agent: Danita Florace, AEF Talent. (June)