Friday, January 30, 2015

Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt

(hb; 2014; memoir / humor)

From the inside flap:

"Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt  lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn't drugs, alcohol or sex. It was film. After moving to Los Angeles, Oswalt became a huge film buff, absorbing classics and new releases at least three nights a week at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Oswalt's life schoolbook, informing his notions of acting, writing, comedy and relationships. Set in the nascent days of the alternative comedy scene, Oswalt's memoir chronicles his journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective supporting him all along the way."


Oswalt's memoir is funny, serious, cinema-geeky, relatable, briefly sad and always a good, focused read. It is relatively light in tone, but this deftly-written book never skimps on substance, its substance being what it's like to get caught up in something -- in this case, dreams, movies and (a lack of) action -- and letting it impede, at least for a little while, one's potential accomplishments, maturation and (other) "could have beens": worth owning, this.

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