Friday, May 22, 2015

Shirley, I Jest: The Storied Life of Cindy Williams

I was disappointed in this memoir. Aside from the annoying (and liberal!) sprinkling of exclamation points (!), I found the writing surprisingly flat. My conclusion is that Cindy Williams is a much better actress than writer. As to the stories relayed in the book, it seemed to be more of a big name dropping opportunity (I met Gene Kelly! I met John Belushi! I was friends with Andy Kaufman! I met Cary Grant! Johnny Carson liked me!) rather than the type of story-telling I am used to in a memoir. The stories often felt dull, despite the punctuation at the end of the tale!! I only watched Laverne and Shirley a handful of times, but get the impression there may have been bad blood between the two stars. The remembrances of interactions had that same flat, anticlimactic feeling I found throughout the book. The story that moved me the most was how Marshall and Williams visited the set of the show the night before it aired, and both felt it was too shiny and new. They each went out and gathered props, like thumbed through movie magazines and old 45s, and replaced as much as they could on the set to turn it into the apartment of two blue collar working girls. That, I found endearing.

And for the record, I, too met Gene Kelly, and he definitely deserves an exclamation point, as do all the stars Ms Williams met. What I would have liked to find between the covers of this memoir would be more passion, humor, and an editor with more evident red pencil.

Thank you to the publisher and LibraryThing for sending me a copy of this book.

Tags: color-me-disappointed, biography-autobiography-or-memoir, early-review-librarything, heard-interview-with-author, ho-hum, read-in-2015, somewhat-disappointing

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