Saturday, February 2, 2008

Read My Book You Hockey Puck!

The first important thing to know before deciding to read this book is being familiar enough with it's subject. My own guess is that you probably would need to have been born before 1973 at the latest to really know Don Rickles. That is, unless you have an older relative who has exposed you to this rather unique entertainer.

Take a moment to study the cover photo and I mean study, don't just gander or look. If you know who Don Rickles is then you know that Peggy Sirota, the photographer, is clearly one of the best photographers in the business because this photo really captures the essence of Rickles - a genuinely funny guy with a clear "devilish" side and a heaping helping of warmth and friendliness.

Considering that he has been in show business for more than 50 years and recently celebrated his 80th birthday, you might expect and autobiographical work to clock in at more than the 239 pages (including pictures). Written as a collection of very brief stories presented chronologically, it reads more like an anthology of talk show appearances over a very long time than a book. There was always a part of me that felt like there was not just something, but a whole lot left out in between the stories (leave it to me to make a comment like that). That being said, the stories presented were very entertaining and the whole book only takes a couple of hours to read and I felt it well worth the time invested.

If you know who Don Rickles is and have been entertained by him at some point, the book is a fun glimpse. At $24.00 list, you may want to head to the library unless you are looking to build a library of your own. In hindsight, studying that cover photograph was almost worth the price of the book itself (especially since I got mine from the library).

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