THIS TIME TOGETHER is 100 percent Carol Burnett – funny, irreverent, and irresistible.
Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won twenty-five Emmys in its remarkable eleven-year run. Now, in This Time Together, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another – reading it feels like sitting down with an old friend who has wonderful tales to tell.
In engaging anecdotes, Carol discusses her remarkable friendships with stars such at Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews; the background behind famous scenes, like the moment she swept down the stairs in her curtain-rod dress in the legendary “Went With the Wild” skit; and things that would happen only to Carol – the prank with Julie Andrews that went wrong in front of the First Lady; the famous Tarzan Yell that saved her during a mugging; and the time she faked a wooden leg to get served in a famous ice cream emporium. This poignant look back allows us to cry with the actress during her sorrows, rejoice in her successes, and finally, always, to laugh.
The stories were mostly great, ranging from hilarious to touching. They had the unevenness expected of such a collection, but they ranged from good to great. You didn’t get a complete feel for her life, because the book wasn’t a comprehensive narrative. It’s more like peeking into an open window and seeing scenes.
I really loved her ongoing awe of celebrities, in spite of how many she knew, and of being one herself. I liked how she shrugged off her divorces, simply saying they’d grown apart and that they remained friends. In fact, there wasn’t much about her falling in love, either, unless it made a good anecdote.
Carol Burnett’s writing was quite effective. She told the stories clearly, giving a view into her public life, with pieces of her private life as well.
Narrator: I checked out this book primarily because Carol Burnett was narrating, and I have fond childhood memories of her show, with her personality coming through so clearly. Unfortunately, she seemed caged in by reading the words rather than telling the stories. There were some good moments scattered throughout, and her delivery improved by the end, but overall I was disappointed.
Production: Some odd glitches between chapters. This happens in a lot of books, but for some reason it bothered me a little here.
Audio vs. Paper: I’m surprised to say I’d go with the paper for This Time Together.
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