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It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here: My Journey Through Show Business

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Although Charles Grodin has enjoyed stardom, his career has had its share of catastrophic setbacks, and Grodin writes about them with candor and liberating humor, dispensing invaluable advice about the art of surviving in the celluloid jungle.


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Although Charles Grodin has enjoyed stardom, his career has had its share of catastrophic setbacks, and Grodin writes about them with candor and liberating humor, dispensing invaluable advice about the art of surviving in the celluloid jungle.

30 review for It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here: My Journey Through Show Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Would've given this book 5 stars if he'd mentioned The Great Muppet Caper. Would've given this book 5 stars if he'd mentioned The Great Muppet Caper.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This book seemed to take forever. I like Charles Grodin less now. Not so funny -- funniest parts were King Kong and Midnight Run. And surprisingly bitter. As I first started it -- and suffered through his childhood with him -- I was surprised to find that I was thinking that it was a Charles Grodin movie, as his character seemed to reflect that. I then realized that maybe that wasn't so strange, that maybe it was by design, but then in a number of places -- especially in the section for the Hear This book seemed to take forever. I like Charles Grodin less now. Not so funny -- funniest parts were King Kong and Midnight Run. And surprisingly bitter. As I first started it -- and suffered through his childhood with him -- I was surprised to find that I was thinking that it was a Charles Grodin movie, as his character seemed to reflect that. I then realized that maybe that wasn't so strange, that maybe it was by design, but then in a number of places -- especially in the section for the Heartbreak Kid -- Grodin is shocked that people think that he's like the character he plays. Here's another gaping lack of self-awareness and a fair example of his self righteous gracelessness: During Grodin's first big Broadway break, Tchin-Tchin, Anthony Quinn apologizes for abruptly breaking character during a performance -- yelling at two stagehands who were chatting and ruining his concentration. Grodin rebuffs his apology, as in his mind it was a fatal act of unprofessional ism and inconsiderate of his fellow actors. Grodin then revels in the reaction, portraying Quinn's surprise at Grodin's gracelessness as Quinn surprised that he's not accorded special treatment. I realized that this was the same guy who submarined the SNL cast by not dropping the conceit that he didn't know it was a live show. Grodin is one of those people who are extraordinarily sensitive when it comes to their own self regard and whose commitment to winkling out slights requires so much energy that he's completely inconsiderate of others. He sometimes sees this, as he explains his first meeting with Elaine May. If I seem judgmental and morally finger-wagging, in my defense, that's completely in the spirit of the book. He is a very good writer, and there's two or three sequences that were certainly worth reading: His discussion of being a struggling actor in new york was very good, including his discussion of mean and abusive acting teachers His description of the clash between timing comedians and method comedians His saga of getting the Joy of Sex / Movers and Shakers to screen might be helpful for anyone who wants a career in Hollywood... I still think he's great to watch as an actor, but this book makes him seem absolutely insufferable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHIuV...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abed Gheith

    This is an intriguing bio. I'm obsessed with really good famous people stories and I loved this. You see a great actor have a shitty career. It shows just how messed up Hollywood can be to an original and unique talent like Grodin. Though it doesn't make it up to the Beethoven and Clifford (MY FAVE) years. It's truly interesting and quite a tale. My buddy Demorge recommended it and said it has a lot of significance today. As the same old crap still happens to talented people trying to get some c This is an intriguing bio. I'm obsessed with really good famous people stories and I loved this. You see a great actor have a shitty career. It shows just how messed up Hollywood can be to an original and unique talent like Grodin. Though it doesn't make it up to the Beethoven and Clifford (MY FAVE) years. It's truly interesting and quite a tale. My buddy Demorge recommended it and said it has a lot of significance today. As the same old crap still happens to talented people trying to get some clout for their hard work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Martin

    I only intended to revisit one chapter, and then found myself reading the whole thing again. Grodin's writing is amiable, unadorned, and conversational. Of course, it's packed with anecdotes, but I appreciated his willingness to open up about himself without divulging too much information about his family. A good pick-me-up. I only intended to revisit one chapter, and then found myself reading the whole thing again. Grodin's writing is amiable, unadorned, and conversational. Of course, it's packed with anecdotes, but I appreciated his willingness to open up about himself without divulging too much information about his family. A good pick-me-up.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I had this book on my TBR pile for a long time and when I finally picked it up to read, I was less than enchanted. It's a nice enough book, about a nice enough man. It's just me. Sigh.... I think I expected more verve from Grodin. I had this book on my TBR pile for a long time and when I finally picked it up to read, I was less than enchanted. It's a nice enough book, about a nice enough man. It's just me. Sigh.... I think I expected more verve from Grodin.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    I love Charles Grodin and think he's one of our most underrated actors. I spent much of the 2000's hoping for him to have a Bill Murray-esque renaissance to no avail. This droll memoir is some comfort. I love Charles Grodin and think he's one of our most underrated actors. I spent much of the 2000's hoping for him to have a Bill Murray-esque renaissance to no avail. This droll memoir is some comfort.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mgmlioness

    i read this book eons ago, and i still find myself remembering snippets and quotes from it all this time later... Charles Grodin has such a funny outlook on life and a way with words, it was kind of a letdown when i got towards the end of the book! i wanted more...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    One of my favorites...you can read this book in a day...impossible to put down.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Bryan

    I loved this book, but then I love Charles Grodin. There were times with this book that I had tears running down my face because it was so funny.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janna

    A funny and poignant memoir about show business that I enjoyed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ron Ecklebarger

    Fascinating story of the making of a movie star!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Holly Weiss

    Rec. Tracie Higgins

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  14. 4 out of 5

    Deborah f Tweten

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Beck

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark Rabiner

    Best darned book i ever read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Scheid

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rod

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Benedict Reid

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  25. 5 out of 5

    C.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Fisher

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Butler

  30. 4 out of 5

    Terry Schumacher

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