The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron Howard and Clint Howard – #Audiobook Review – Biographies of Celebrities & Entertainment Professionals

The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard

The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard

 

(Amazon) Editors PickBest Biographies & Memoirs (Audiobook)

#1 Best Seller in Biographies of Movie Directors (Kindle)

Book Blurb:

“What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. in The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity – but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons.

With the perspective of time and success – Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor – the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector – sometimes over-protector – from the snares and traps of Hollywood.

By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.

Happy DaysThe Andy Griffith ShowGentle Ben – these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors.

My Review:

Who doesn’t love Opie (if you are old enough to remember him) or Richie Cunningham (still not old enough?)? How about the movies Night Shift, Splash, Apollo 13, or The Da Vinci Code? There are literally so many awards and nominations, they have to be broken down into tables for acting, directing, writing,  Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globe Awards. A tremendous life achievement.

So when I saw The Boys in audiobook format, I had to give it a listen. Gees, what a charmed life! I gotta say, he was one extremely lucky kid. Not to say he hasn’t worked hard for it. He has—from the time he was a small boy. I must say also that it is a powerful story of his parents and I was awestruck repeatedly at the wisdom, sacrifice, and love his parents showered on their two boys.

The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint HowardYes, two boys, and I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know Clint Howard as a name or as Ron’s brother, but as a character actor. I do recognize his face though again, he’s not been leading man material.

As you might expect, Ron Howard delivers his memories with an easy, relaxed, and sincere tone. The stories for the most part were uplifting, revealing, and confirmation of the “what you see is what you get” person. It’s personal. Interesting in that even with the obvious spread in ages between the brothers, there were times when they remembered the situation differently. Their points of view shaded by their own memories and experience.

Clint’s memories and experiences as he grew older took a darker path, not that his moral compass tilted so much as his temperament was 180 degrees from that of his big brother—and his delivery reflects some of the lack of power he wielded under the shadow of Ron.

Not always in chronological order, the narration caught backstories as a way of leading into the next event that took their lives through the process of becoming major name-worthy persons. They both did some mighty sacrificing for a normal childhood and still managed to reap the kind of knowledge you don’t get in a book.

Clint lacked the focus, the drive to go behind the scenes that Ron had and as an actor sweated in each and every role.

Not delivered with the dynamics and sense of humor that Matthew McConaughey threw into his memoir, (McConaughey is an in-your-face actor), the brothers nonetheless combined their memories in a loving memorial for their dad (more so than their mother), who in his turn sacrificed his own acting career for that of his boys whom he carefully nurtured, guided, and protected in their road to the pinnacle of Hollywood. You couldn’t hope for a more powerful legacy.

I downloaded this audiobook from my lovely library and thoroughly enjoyed the journey of child actors that have endured through sixty-plus years of growth in the entertainment industry.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Rich & Famous Biographies, Biographies of Celebrities & Entertainment Professionals
Publisher: HarperAudio
ASIN: B092BB6JSF
Listening Length: 13 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Ron HowardClint HowardBryce Dallas Howard
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Boys [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

The Authors:

(No listed bios on either Amazon or Goodreads author pages.)

Ron Howard on the set of Apollo 13

 

Ron and Clint Howard

Ron Howard (L) (1954-), born in Duncan, OK. Director, producer, screenwriter, actor. Married to Cheryl since 1975. First known as Opie from the Andy Griffith Show from 1960 through 1968. He also starred in American Graffiti and then Richie Cunningham in Happy Days. His heart, however, was in directing and he has an impressive list of credits. He has four children. For more information, see Wikipedia.

Clint Howard - actor-narratorClint Howard – (1959-), born in Burbank, CA. American actor, writer, and producer. Character actor best remembered for his role in Gentle Ben and later in Star Trek. Married to Kat. For additional information on Clint Howard, see his biography.

 

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne- #Audiobook Review – #biographies

Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne

Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne

A Reading Ireland Month book 4 leaf clover w leprechan

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Biographies & Memoirs

Book Blurb:

When award-winning actor, producer, and international icon Gabriel Byrne was a young boy, his grandmother brought him to the cinema for the first time. There, Byrne fell in love with the transporting power of the big screen. Growing up in 1950s and 60s Dublin within a family of eight, Byrne’s formative childhood years were both carefree and challenging, spent between home, the church, school, and the streets of his ever-changing city where he observed that some of the greatest actors and entertainers could be found in the lives of those around him. 

In captivating, funny, and sensual prose that brings to life the myriad voices of his youth, Byrne recounts his first formative 12 years – morning routines with his father, a barrel-maker at the Guinness factory; his debut role in a nativity play; his relationship with his dynamic mother; and his years at a seminary where he studied to be a priest. Interspersed throughout this engrossing childhood story we see Byrne’s ascent to global stardom, from his days acting in amateur drama groups in London, to his first big role opposite Richard Burton, his arrival at the Cannes stage for his breakout hit movie, The Usual Suspects, to the HBO show In Treatment for which he won a Golden Globe.    

Combining the cinematic power of Fellini’s Amarcord with the poignance of John McGahern’s writing, Walking with Ghosts is both a moving exploration of the pathos in what it means to be famous and a singular account of Irish boyhood.

My Review:

Oh my goodness, this good-looking Irishman would have turned my head, but add a beautifully written book full of prose, emotional memories, and a sense of humor as well and he has also stolen my heart.

The descriptive writing style pulls a reader in quickly and my problem with listening to the narration of his own audiobook is that I didn’t have a way to highlight passages. Probably, a good thing, as there are quietly related anecdotes, humorous thoughts, as well as painful memories delivered in a sensitive and contemplative manner, and not everything that resonates can be quoted.

Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel ByrneThe man relates some soul-crushing experiences as well as unabashed astonishment at his rising popularity; sincerely self-deprecating.

There are intense moments (as he relates his time with the seminary) as well as the lighter flashes of the acting years spent rising to stardom and brushing elbows with major cinema notables though this is certainly not a name-dropping tell all.

Of course, there is the on-going story of his struggle with alcoholism and depression that appears to have controlled much of his life, cementing the stereotype of the Irish males.

The storytelling is not chronological, though he does spend time on his childhood, imparting tales of his parents and his lack of confidence or machismo. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, he collected a number of ghosts along the way and he appears to have come to terms with most of them. The lovely Irish brogue-infused narrative alternates somber thoughts to the amusing, which he apparently also appreciates kept him plowing through, one foot in front of the other, eventually to come to terms with it all and settle in peace.

A biography audiobook you’ll want to pick up if for nothing else than to hear that triumph over all that can be achieved by even the most humble of us.

Book Details:

Genre: Cultural & Regional Biographies, Biographies of Celebrities & Entertainment Professionals, Rich & Famous Biographies
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
ASIN: B08NTW1BND
Listening Length: 6 hrs 57 mins
Narrator: Gabriel Byrne
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Walking with Ghosts [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Gabriel Byrne - author
Gabriel Byrne – actor-author

The Author: GABRIEL BYRNE was born in Dublin and has starred in over eighty films for some of the cinema’s leading directors. He won a Golden Globe for his performance on HBO’s In Treatment. On Broadway, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and has been nominated twice for the Tony Award. He lives in Manhattan and Maine. [Amazon]

Born the eldest of six children to Roman Catholic parents, Byrne is an acclaimed actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and author, narrator of his own biography. Byrne spent five years in a seminary (now an atheist), worked in archaeology, cook, and teacher before starting to act at the age of 29. He was married to Ellen Barkin from 1988 to 1999, and to Hannah Beth King in 2014. They have a daughter born in 2017 and as of 2021 live in Rockport, Maine. [Wikipedia]

©2022 V Williams – V Williams

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