Audiobook – Narrated by Mel Brooks
Garry and I have been listening to this wonderful audiobook. Mel Brooks is one of those people who seems to love everyone and never has a bad word to say about anyone. I don’t know if he is really like that all the time, but in his book, he is a joy and probably, to no one’s surprise, funny.
This is the kind of book for which audiobooks were made. He makes us laugh, he makes us cry and laugh at the same time. He loved his entire family, his friends, his wife (he adored Anne Bancroft and his best friend, Carl Reiner) and yet he is still — at 95 — full of life and enthusiasm.
Although the book is mostly about his movies and how they got made, there is also enough personal information to give context to the movies.
Even if Audiobooks is not usually your “thing,” this one deserves to be heard. I don’t think anyone could tell Mel Brooks’ story as well as Mel does himself. It’s everything a book about movies should be: accurate, complete, and full of backstories that make you go “Wow, I didn’t know that!”
I suppose you could call us fans. I have never bought a “collection” of movies — except for the Mel Brooks collection. And I bought it knowing I owned most of them as single DVDs. I just wanted the set.
Maybe we should all adopt Mel’s philosophy. If you make people laugh at the bad guys, it destroys their power over us.
What we really need is a Mel Brooks style comedy about our dysfunctional government and its failure to have even a minor grip on reality and the world.
“Laughter,” said Mel, “Is a protest scream against death, against the long goodbye.” As Mel most succinctly put it, “Let’s laugh ourselves sane.”
There’s a really good New York Times review of the book by Alexandra Jacobs. Here’s a link. She obviously listened to it too. It’s so very worth the listen. I may need to listen to it again. And again.