Saturday, October 30, 2010
My Remarkable Journey by Larry King
Reviewed for Edwards Book Club
Published by Penguin Canada, 2010
What a strange feeling to be reviewing "My Remarkable Journey" by Larry King! With a rare gift of communication, he takes us on his journey through life beginning as a little Jewish kid in Brooklyn through local radio to global TV fame. From the loss of his father who died of a heart attack at work and the loss of his grandmother two weeks later, Larry King seems always to be looking and finding love only to lose it again. The book is very revealing, honest and fascinating, not because of all the famous names that populate the book, but because of how these people react and communicate with him. The respect for who he interviews, and the respect which is shown him comes through loud and clear. But so, too, comes his downfall with his arrest and in his own personal life at that particular time.
He reads people with great insight and passes it on to the reader. Sure, he sometimes comes off sounding a little self-absorbed, especially when he is not on the air, but it is his story, and in fact he may not even be aware of it. He is just as often overwhelmed by his success and often feeling undeserving. But get him on the air with any influential person, or even as he would say, the plumber, and lightning strikes. On the air or in the book he has a way of letting his guests, and his readers, feel comfortable and thus interested. While reading this book, I felt that I really got to know a lot about Larry King, but also some understanding of why he has married so often and divorced so often, and a feeling of family seems to exist around his children and himself. The shock of learning his first wife had given him a son he never knew about toward the end of the book when she was dying, soon gave him one more son to love.
I think the best parts of his book, though, are those from breakfasts at Nate 'n Al's. There he is one of the guys, with friends he grew up with, friends he has made since and maybe that is "home" after all. My personal take is, if you still have friends you knew as a kid, you have had a meaningful and successful life.