Synopses & Reviews
Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times
since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel and Ebert at the Movies
In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.
Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures.
In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese.
This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir-it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.
"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."
-from LIFE ITSELF
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
World-famous film critic and television host Roger Ebert delivers one of the most eagerly-anticipated memoirs of the year.
Roger Ebert has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967. The first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, he has been a fixture on television for over 30 years, co-hosting Siskel & Ebert at the Movies until Gene Siskel's death in 1999, and then with Richard Roper until 2006. Then, complications from thyroid-cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career. He chronicles his loves, losses, and obsessions; his recovery from alcoholism, his marriage, his politics, and his spiritual beliefs. He also provides details about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, his friendships with Oprah Winfrey, Studs Terkel, and others, insights into stars like John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Robert Mitchum, and his perspective on such influential directors as Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog.
About the Author
Roger Ebert won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975, and his reviews were syndicated in newspapers around the world. He was cohost of Siskel and Ebert and Ebert and Roeper for thirty-three years, and was a managing editor and reviewer for Ebert Presents At the Movies. He was the author of seventeen books, including Scorsese by Ebert and Awake in the Dark. Roger Ebert was also an honorary member of the Directors Guild of America. He received the Carl Sandburg Literary Award of the Chicago Public Library and won the Webby Awards Person of the Year in 2010. His website, rogerebert.com, receives 110 million visits a year. He lived with his wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert, in Chicago. Roger Ebert passed away in 2013.