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Life Itself: A Memoir (Anglais) Broché – 4 septembre 2012

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"As Ebert notes in his new autobiography, "Life Itself," his silence has made his inner voice more vivid, and-as he himself says in his introduction-the book is proof of it. In particular, he summons his youth (he was born in 1942) and those who were close to him then-family, friends, neighbors, teachers-with a wealth of detail that is at once a tribute to the vigorous fullness with which he has lived and to his power of perception, recollection, and description. ...The treasure of the book is Ebert's portraiture-whether of family, friends, colleagues, or celebrities. He speaks lovingly of actors ("I am beneath everything else a fan. I was fixed in this mode as a young boy and am awed by people who take the risks of performance"); in particular, his sketches of Robert Mitchum, Lee Marvin, and John Wayne pulsate with life (they're juicily quotable, but I won't bother quoting; just do read them), and he conjures a remarkable character, Billy "Silver Dollar" Baxter, a former wheeler-dealer at the Cannes Film Festival who, Ebert writes, now "lives not far from Broadway, which is to Billy as the stream is to the trout...." The dialogue Ebert reproduces is a comic masterwork; I feel as if I'm seeing a version of the American tycoon from Jacques Tati's "Playtime," only smarter, raunchier, and more inventive: Irving! Take care of Francis Ford Chrysler over there! And set 'em up for Prince Albert in a can! Whatever he's having. Doo-blays!"Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"Ebert is exceptionally good company. Like Christopher Hitchens and Kirk Douglas, he works prodigiously and narrates his Job-like woes with a surprisingly chipper voice....and a captivating, moveable feast it is."―Maureen Dowd, New York Times Book Review

"Candid, funny and kaleidoscopic...This is the best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written...The book sparkles with his new, improvisatory, written version of dinner-party conversation...Its globe-trotting, indefatigable author comes across as the life of a lifelong party."―Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Ebert is best known, of course, as the nation's most prominent film critic; but in recent years he's turned to exploring more personal concerns on his widely read blog, leading to this poignant memoir. Five years ago, surgeries following thyroid cancer left him unable to speak, eat, or drink, but as he recounts, he "began to replace what I lost with what I remembered." This enhanced recall allows him to relate with exhaustive detail his halcyon if unremarkable childhood in a small town in the Midwest and his life changing college days. When the narrative turns to journalism and, inevitably, movies, as Ebert falls into his reviewing gig at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, the focus becomes sharper, and even the tangential chapters-devoted to topics ranging from his encounters with film legends to his stormy relationship with TV partner Gene Siskel-are cogently engaging. But it's the most personal segments, dealing with his struggle with alcoholism, his supportive wife, Chaz, and his recent illness, that give the book its considerable emotional heft. Ebert illuminates and assesses his life with the same insight and clarity that marks his acclaimed movie reviews."―Booklist (starred review)

"It's hardly surprising that Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, begins this candid examination of an extraordinary life with an allusion to Ingmar Bergman's Persona, about an actress who loses her voice in mid-performance. Though three thyroid cancer surgeries resulting in the removal of his lower jaw have left Ebert unable to speak, eat, or drink, these are not famous last words. Forgoing a traditional linear format, each chapter--particularly "My Old Man" and "Big John Wayne"--could function as a stand-alone essay. Born in Urbana, Ill., in 1942, Ebert spent a carefree childhood, often with his nose in a book. Drawn to newspapers beginning in high school, he became the sports reporter for his school paper before rising to the rank of co-editor. The position of film critic fell into his lap at the Sun-Times--a paper he joined after leaving a graduate English program--and Ebert hasn't looked back. And while films have governed his life for close to 50 years, he wisely doesn't choose the greatest hits version of his reviewing career, focusing instead on the life he's lived in between screenings: his battle with alcoholism; tight-knit friendships forged in the newsroom (and bar); and his marriage to Chaz, whom he calls "the great fact of my life." Hollywood gets its due, but it's an ensemble player, sharing the screen with reminiscences both witty and passionate from one of our most important cultural voices."―Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"Thoughtful, entertaining, and emotional...Ebert comes across as smart, bighearted, and eccentric...and writes with unflinching candor about difficult subjects."―Entertainment Weekly (A-)

"Tales from childhood, interviews with film stars and directors, funny and touching stories about colleagues, and evocative essays about trips unspool before the reader in a series of loosely organized, often beautifully written essays crafted by a witty, clear-eyed yet romantic raconteur....Ebert's work as a film critic sent him traveling, and his wonderfully personal essays on places around the world where he seeks solitude are highlights of the book, rich in reflections, imagery and sensory detail."―Washington Post

"A gentle look back, Life Itself: A Memoir is as moving as it is amusing, fresh evidence that Roger Ebert is a writer who happens to love movies, not a movie lover who happens to write."―Associated Press

"Ebert's new memoir, "Life Itself," is an episodic, impressionistic and skillfully written exploration of his life, from his 1950s childhood in Urbana, Ill., to his recent battles against thyroid cancer, which have left him unable to speak, or to eat or drink through his mouth. What shines throughout the book is Ebert's humility, his down-to-earth and powerful sense of decency."―Minneapolis Star Tribune

"His story is inspirational, and his memoirs, Life Itself, are a pleasure to read....Spellbinding."―The Boston Review

Présentation de l'éditeur


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 & 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."

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 224 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Worth reading for any fan 29 juin 2015
Par JoshJosh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I spent many years going through Ebert's list of great movies and getting them on Netflix. He aided my cultural enrichment over the years. This book is much like this reviews: an honest accounting of what he feels and how he thinks. He's a great writer and vividly draws his life, especially the Normal Rockwell-esque Americana of his youth and his infatuation with London. You can see the highs as well as the lows.

I appreciate the story of a person who simply pursues something they love and finds a way to make it work. Ebert ended up being an all-time great movie critic not because he loved movies, but because he loved to write. Along the way, he fell in love. This is an interesting twist on the "do what you love" pablum so often handed out to young people. It's worth thinking about.

If I could critique, parts of the book are a bit scattershot, like the same stories being told in multiple sections. It almost reads like he repurposed some blog entries as chapters in the book. Of course, this is fine, as chapters are work and flow well (like, well, columns). The chapters on old stars like Lee Marvin and John Wayne may be lost on younger folk who found Ebert because of his website. The Russ Meyer chapter is great, although, of course, his work is downright tame compared to what we can get today within seconds. But that's the point. Ebert is an old-fashioned guy from a different world and a different time. Even then it's impressive how he leveraged the internet to gain a new audience - something only briefly touched upon here.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Roger's Reflections 29 janvier 2015
Par Franklin the Mouse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Mr. Ebert's memoir was published in 2011. The paperback edition was released in September of 2012. Seven months later, the author died on April 4, 2013. Some of the high praise his book received is very likely due to Mr. Ebert's popularity as well as his struggles with a cancer that did a serious number to the lower portion of his face because of three surgeries. Americans always root for someone who does not go gently into that good night because we are petrified of our own mortality. With that said, I'm making an effort to review Mr. Ebert's memoir without over-sentimentalizing the author's work because of his cancer travails.

There's a lot of great stuff between the covers of the book. Mr. Ebert writes in a breezy manner which makes it feel like your listening to some old uncle wistfully reminiscing about days gone by. He covers such topics as growing up Catholic in Urbana, Illinois; attending public school; sexual urges and discoveries; his dog Blackie; college; touring Europe and South Africa; his work at the Chicago Sun-Times; movie press junkets; and his alcoholism. The subjects listed are very interesting. However, my eyes would glaze over in the earlier portions of his memoir when he reminisced about visiting such and such a place and eating such and such a meal. There were a few times in which I thought of quitting the thing because of it. Fortunately, I'm glad I stuck with the book. Mr. Ebert eventually moves onto more interesting human-interest stories. He talks about such notables as Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Ingmar Bergman, Russ Meyers, Mike Royko, Studs Turkel, Oprah, David Letterman, Jay Leno, and, of course, Gene Siskel. All are treated with kindness and astute observations.

I finished the book admiring Mr. Ebert's perspective on many things including race, religion, and his upcoming death. At the end of his life, he clearly was a sweet, highly intelligent man who didn't pull any punches about his own quirks and frailties. His last chapter ends on a philosophical note which caused me to smile and reflect. 'Life Itself' is a wonderful gift Mr. Ebert has left for readers. It's one of the better memoirs I've ever read.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Life Itself Is Life Most Interesting. 15 mars 2012
Par Janet L. Scholl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Seems strange to review Roger Ebert. He and Gene Siskel made watching the movies a little more fun and actually forced viewers to think about what they spent their money on. I am glad for that. I certainly see the whole process of film making entirely different now. But Roger is also an excellent writer, not only of reviews of the films but of life itself. If nothing else, Roger Ebert is honest. He had to be to face the demons and challenges in his personal life and if he weren't, I don't believe he would be here today. Roger takes us from his childhood in a typical religious educated family of the 1940's and Catholic schools into the 1950's segueing into his awakenings in collegiate life, to international travels and friends, where he experienced much wonder and much pain. So much of this life prepared him for successes including a Pulitzer prize, a very popular television show and fame as half the best movie reviewing couple in tv history. But along the way, came excesses including overeating and alcohol. Sometimes people have a cathartic moment or meeting and this happened to Roger. It was this person who prepared him for recovering from his excesses and gave him the ability to dig deep in his psyche to deal with what was to come health wise and for the loss of his business partner and friend Gene. You will laugh, roll your eyes, probably be stunned and read in awe, but mostly you will fly thru this book, feeling as if Roger is sitting in the room with you, telling you these tales as he would reveal them to a friend. I highly recommend this wonderful and accessible memoir and I hope Roger Ebert had another book of small treasures ahead. I don't think the stories will ever get old nor will he run out of them.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I miss Roger Ebert (and Gene Siskel) 19 mars 2014
Par "Born to Read" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I don't recall when I discovered Siskel and Ebert...maybe when I was in college getting ready to go out for an evening of fun in D.C. It served as background patter until a very heated debate arose between them and after sitting down to see what "all the fuss was about", I was hooked. I was entranced by their passion - for all movies but some more than others. At that time they were the closest thing to a reality show that we had! They often agreed and a film would be blessed with the infamous " 2 THUMBS UP." The public trusted them because I think that they saw 2 very bright men who could dissect a film, plot, characters, director,and actors very quickly and succinctly and who could feel so strongly that they were able to drive each other into a frenzy. I learned a great deal from them both, about movies as well as about life. After Gene Siskel died, you could see that Roger still had movies to sustain him and even tried other partners. It wasn't the same. Nothing CAN stay the same. His memoir "Life Itself" taught me about things apart from films...His childhood, his happy marriage, and his grace when faced with health challenges that would have beaten down a lesser man. Those are the things I wanted to know more about. Roger Ebert brought the same passion to life as movies had brought to him. Please read this autobiography. He's worth it.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Roger at his best (mostly) 24 mars 2015
Par Kevin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Being a Chicagoan, I clearly remember the days of Sneak Previews on WTTW and at the movies and all the rest. Personally I tended to follow Gene Siskel rather than Roger Ebert. I found that Ebert's reviews on occasion would include items that really did not have anything to do with the movie itself. But that is my personal opinion. I did enjoy them both on t.v. and their contrasting reviews. Some reviewers of this book said that there was some sections that should be skipped. Early days,growing up and some later toward the end of his life. At first I thought that some of the comments were suspect. If you are from the midwest or the Chicago area the early days are worth reading. The chapters toward the end...not so much. Yet if you are a fan of either one, it is worth reading. Probably the most amazing statement was that being a movie critic was basically dropped into his lap. Another comment is that I don't think that he really understood how much influence on popular culture that he really had.
Hey Roger, don't forget to save me an aisle seat.
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