Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Audition, by Barbara Walters

well-written, if not a bit lengthy to sustain reader interest at every turn. although, it is certainly understandable that with the background and experience of someone like Walters, there are many accounts of subjective consequence.

does she want us to insinuate what we will of Barbara Walters, 'the person' (as opposed to 'the reporter') through mere recounts of her interviews? if PBS were to do a documentary of her life, with excerpts of her career on television, the meat of this book would serve as an excellent script for the narrator. 

needless to say, the parts I enjoyed most revolved around her childhood, family, and personal (non-professional) anecdotes. here, we catch an invaluable glimpse at how the rarely abominable ms. walters thinks; more interestingly, we are afforded an inkling as to why.

as far as memoirs go, I wouldn't characterize this one as completely self-aggrandizing, though with a life as fascinating and varied as Walters', bragging rights are more than a little deserved.

would recommend to fellow news and pop culture junkies. however, '#1 national bestseller' or not, I fear that it may, at times, lose the attention of the audience at-large (due to the aforementioned reasons) despite the author's mastery of tone and storytelling. at 500+ pages, it's not a must-read, though you are not likely to finish disappointed. if nothing else, you will come away with interesting 'did-you-knows' for your next cocktail party.  

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Notable Quotes:

    "...for better or worse I came to value 'interesting' far more than 'normal'"

    Walters: Are you ever bored?
    Truman Capote: No, because I'm terribly curious. It's very hard for me to get bored because even when somebody's being actively boring I'm interested in how they are boring me. I'm analyzing that, and so that keeps me entertained.

    "Because I have so small a family, my friends have become my family. That's why I spend holidays with some of them and, throughout the year, try to see each of them as often as possible. I think a lot of people consider friends to be even closer than relatives."

    Walters: Do you have a philosophy by which you live?
    Arnold Schwarzenegger: Staying hungry. That's it.

    "She had walked that tightrope between being an independent, successful woman and one who also wanted a man to dote on her. Her favorite song...was 'Someone to Watch Over Me.' [Bette] Davis had never found that someone. 'Nobody ever thought I needed it... I was always competent, earned my own way, and nobody would have thought I needed someone to watch over me.'"

    "What touched me the most about the Dalai Lama was his definition of the purpose of life. It was, he said, 'to be happy.' How does one accomplish that? I asked. 'I think warmheartedness and compassion... Compassion gives you inner strength, more self-confidence. That can really change your attitude.'"

    Christopher Reeve: You also gradually discover that your body is not you, and the mind and the spirit must take over, and you move from obsessing about 'Why me?' and 'It's not fair' into 'Well, what is the potential?' I've received more than 100,000 letters from all over the world, and it makes you wonder, why do we need disasters to really feel and appreciate each other? I'm overwhelmed by people's support of me and if I can help people understand this can happen to anybody, that's worth it right there. So I really sense being on a journey.
    Walters: Do you think you will walk again?
    Reeve: I think it is very possible I will walk again.
    Walters: And if you don't?
    Reeve: Then I don't walk again.
    Walters: As simple as that?
    Reeve: Either you do or you don't. It's like a game of cards, and if you think the game is worthwhile, then you just play the hand you're dealt. Sometimes you get a lot of face cards, sometimes you don't. But I think the game is worthwhile. I really do.