Monday, January 31, 2005

Book review - There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale

By request I am going to do an occasional book review. I am an avid reader, so you'll probably find that the picture in the sidebar of what I am reading will change quite frequently.

Yesterday I finished the following book:
There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale by Sean Astin and Joe Layden

Quite frankly, I was disappointed. By looking at the cover, and reading the back, you'd think it would be a book about the making of LOTR (Lord of the Rings). Instead, it is mostly about Sean's life and the other movies he's made, as well as LOTR.
Indulgent, whiny, and a bit of a wanker are words that come to mind. Although he admits that he has these qualities, it doesn't seem to make him want to change them particularly, and he feels the need to express his whininess at any given opportunity.
The layout is not chronological by any means, and jumps from time period to time period, with very little to segue between parts.

Yes, there were some interesting parts to it. I hadn't realised that he was a decade older than the other hobbit actors, and didn't really have a lot in common with them.
It was interesting to hear about the special effects they used, and the prosthetics they had to wear.
The sheer scope of the project is awesome, and really highlights what a major talent director Peter Jackson is. If he ever had the time, I would love for him to write an account of the experience. Not likely though.

Rating: 2.5/5


Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for the review! How does it compare to any other actor bios you've read? (if you've read any others)

4:20 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

Well, the only other actor bio I've read is Michael J. Fox's book. After reading that one and this one, I've kind of come to the conclusion that if I like the actor I should steer clear from reading their bio. While I really admire MJF's fight with Parkinson's he didn't come across as that nice either. I'm guessing it is an actor trait to be rather full of yourself, and think that the world revolves around you.
But then again, maybe it was just those two guys. Although,I remember reading ages ago Katherine Hepburn's bio, and she came across as ... how shall we say this... strong willed? (read, a bit of a bitch), but in another way totally remarkable for the impact she had on the movie world in particular, and society in general. You have to admire someone who did so well for herself.

4:40 pm  
Blogger DaFFy said...

Good review :) I saw that book in a bookshop at the airport and was tempted to buy it as I love LOTR...I don't think I shall now.

10:44 am  

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