cover image Life Itself: A Memoir

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert, read by Edward Herrmann. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 14 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-60941-035-3

Narrator Edward Herrmann masterfully handles the rather poignant predicament of reading the autobiography of a public figure whose own voice has been rendered silent due to a series of cancer surgeries. It’s not that Hermann makes an effort to imitate the mannerisms of veteran film critic Roger Ebert. Rather, he simply captures the no-nonsense essence of Ebert’s writing, broadcasting career, and life. Hermann’s rendering of Ebert’s colorful Windy City colleagues and friends—particularly legendary print journalists Mike Royko and Studs Terkel—are especially engaging. Hermann conveys both the author’s emotion and determination not to wallow in self-pity, while dealing with everything from family strife, alcoholism, and—of course—cancer. Hermann’s polished performance and Ebert’s thoughtful prose combine to provide listeners with a memorable and a thoroughly enjoyable audio. A Grand Central hardcover. (Sept.)