In this riveting and surprising personal history, John Lithgow shares a backstage view of his own struggle, crisis, and discovery, revealing the early life and career that took place out of the public eye.
Above all Lithgow’s memoir is a tribute to his most important influence: his father, Arthur Lithgow, who, as an actor, director, producer, and great lover of Shakespeare, brought theater to John’s boyhood. From bedtime stories to Arthur’s illustrious productions, performance and storytelling were constant and cherished parts of family life. Drama details with poignancy and sharp recollection the moments that introduced a budding young actor to the undeniable power of theater.
Before Lithgow gained fame with films like The World According to Garp and television shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, his early years were full of scenes both hilarious and bittersweet. His ruminations on the nature of theater, film acting, and storytelling cut to the heart of why actors are driven to perform, and why people are driven to watch them do it.
Lithgow chronicles the harrowing moments of his past, reflecting with moving candor on friends made and lost, mistakes large and small, and the powerful love of a father who set him on the road to a life onstage. Illuminating, funny, affecting, and thoroughly engrossing, Drama raises the curtain on the making of one of our most beloved actors.
©2011 John Lithgow (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
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John Lithgow is an actor I've long admired, but knew little about. In this book, he shares his life with the listener, both professional and personal. I now feel I know the man well. And I also have more to admire about him -- he's an excellent writer. As an actor myself, I learned much about his attitudes toward his craft and his life in the theater, in film, and much of it helpful. His particular career path was a winding one, his experiences, successes and failures, his self discovery -- how he learns from all of it. But it is his relationship with his father that takes center stage. Those are the moments most moving in the book, when he talks about his aging father and literature, drama, the love of words they shared. By book's end, it feels more like a fascinating conversation you've had with John Lithgow over after dinner drinks. Then you suddenly realize, you haven't said a word.
"Intelligently written and spoken"
Language to caress the ears
Finding out that some authors can do justice to their written words
John Lithgow uses language that takes you into his life story. He reads with pathos and articulation. A pleasure to listen to and an education for my ears.
top of the list
As a theatre professional myself it was so very refreshing and inspiring to hear a seasoned member of our
"I've always liked John Lithgow..."
Now I absolutely love him! This book was honest, inspiring, fascinating. He was unsparing about his flaws and mistakes, had no false modesty about his many achievements, and generous to his colleagues. When there was criticism, he gentlemanly changed the names of the characters involved. Although I was moved to do a little research to discover the identity of "Mr. Pleasant" in one story. His is a life well lived and well told.
"Very pleased I bought this wonderful book"
Having been familiar with John Lithgow's performances in Third Rock and a couple of movies, I was interested in this autobio. It's a life more dedicated to the stage than the screen that makes up the bulk of this fascinating book. Narration by the author doesn't always work, but it certainly does in this case. I love his unique voice and his mastery of language is second to none. Beautifully descriptive and personally revealing, he lays out his life in a very compelling presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good autobio or has an interest in the theatre.
"Well written, well read"
Extremely well written and well read by the author, I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir by John Lithgow. John is such a memorable character, and I love his work. I found myself laughing one minute and crying the next throughout the first half of this book. The second half seemed mostly sad, and was a little harder to listen to. Lithgow seems happy with his life now, however, and that makes me happy for him. He will be at BYU this November, reading his stories. I plan on being there to hear him.
"I'm a sucker for John Lithgow."
I really enjoyed this book, because I am a sucker for John Lithgow. I find every role he does fascinating by virtue of the fact it's him. I am, therefore, not a good reviewer because I am very far from impartial. Having been warned: I loved this book. The amount of self-awareness that had to go into creating this honest and self-effacing look at one's own life required someone with the ability to dig into their own dirty laundry and hold up the piece of which you're most embarassed. That is no easy task. If you're a fan of Lithgow, of the live stage, or an adult looking back on the frailties of our parents and ourselves, I think you'll like it, too.
"John Lithgow - The Actor as Storyteller"
I didn't care so much for the long recounting of his childhood. When he hits his professional stride, the story became more interesting. He's a good, but not great, writer but a great actor who brings the non-actor into the heart and purpose of drama.
There is something about the way an author reads their own life story that cant be matched. The product would just be that much less impacting if any other narrator took their place.
Told with all the gritty honesty and passion that only Lithgow could have portrayed about his own life journey, this is brilliantly written and stunning to listen to.
John Lithgow played a fairly important role in this... i suppose he would be the stand out for me.
"Pay attention to that man behind the curtain!"
We all harbor the fantasy that yes, given the chance, we too could have nightly stood on the planks, awash with light, and moved the crowds to tears and laughter. But alas 'twas not to be. If only, if only..
Well John Lithgow has. With the best of them, and he shares his unique experience with us in a very engaging way. Yes, he's over the top at some points, "They loved me!" And there is a chapter on his marriage that should have been left out. It's a painful to read letter to his family, not germain at all. But the book it is a good read. It enhanced my respect for the very few masters of drama, like John Lithgow, who can move us to tears and laughter so well.
"The world of an actor."
John Lithgow tells his life in hi own word by himself. A good book which is easy to listen to. I'd recommend this title to my friends ( I've already recommended it to a friend already).
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