Life Itself: A Memoir

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written." - Janet Maslin, New York Times


"To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades.

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne and Martin Scorsese.

This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir -- it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.

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About the author

Roger Joseph Ebert was born on June 18, 1942 in Urbana, Illinois, and died on April 4, 2013. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was editor of the Daily Illini. He is best known for his film review column in the Chicago Sun Times since 1967 and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and Siskel and Ebert and The Movies. After Gene Siskel's death in 1999, Roger Ebert teamed up with Ruchard Roeper for the television series Ebert and Roeper and The Movies which began airing in 2000. Ebert's movie reviews were in more than 200 newspapers in the U.S. and worldwide by Universal Press Syndicate. He wrote more than 15 books, including his annual movie yearbook which was a collection of his reviews for that specific year. He became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. In June 2005, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; he was the first professional critic to receive this award. He received honorary degrees from the University of Colorado, the AFI Conservatory, and the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Ebert died on April 4, 2013 at age 70. He had lost his voice and much of his jaw after battling thyroid and salivary gland cancer.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Grand Central Publishing
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Published on
Sep 13, 2011
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780446584982
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Roger Ebert awards at least two out of four stars to most of the more than 150 movies he reviews each year. But when the noted film critic does pan a movie, the result is a humorous, scathing critique far more entertaining than the movie itself.

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie is a collection of more than 200 of Ebert's most biting and entertaining reviews of films receiving a mere star or less from the only film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. Ebert has no patience for these atrocious movies and minces no words in skewering the offenders.

Witness: Armageddon * (1998) --The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.

The Beverly Hillbillies* (1993)--Imagine the dumbest half-hour sitcom you've ever seen, spin it out to ninety-three minutes by making it even more thin and shallow, and you have this movie. It's appalling.

North no stars (1994)--I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.

Police Academy no stars (1984)--It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is.

Dear God * (1996)--Dear God is the kind of movie where you walk out repeating the title, but not with a smile.

The movies reviewed within I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie are motion pictures you'll want to distance yourself from, but Roger Ebert's creative and comical musings on those films make for a book no movie fan should miss. 

For nearly half a century, Roger Ebert’s wide knowledge, keen judgment, prodigious energy, and sharp sense of humor made him America’s most renowned and beloved film critic. From Ebert’s Pulitzer Prize to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, from his astonishing output of daily reviews to his pioneering work on television with Gene Siskel, his was a career in cinema criticism without peer.

Arriving fifty years after Ebert published his first film review in 1967, this second edition of Awake in the Dark collects Ebert’s essential writings into a single, irresistible volume. Featuring new Top Ten Lists and reviews of the years’ finest films through 2012, this edition allows both fans and film buffs to bask in the best of an extraordinary lifetime’s work. Including reviews from The Godfather to GoodFellas and interviews with everyone from Martin Scorsese to Meryl Streep, as well as showcasing some of Ebert’s most admired essays—among them a moving appreciation of John Cassavetes and a loving tribute to the virtues of black-and-white films—Ebert’s Awake in the Dark is a treasure trove not just for fans of this era-defining critic, but for anyone desiring a compulsively readable chronicle of the silver screen.

Stretching from the dramatic rise of rebel Hollywood and the heyday of the auteur to the triumph of blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, to the indie revolution that is still with us today, Awake in the Dark reveals a writer whose exceptional intelligence and daily bursts of insight and enthusiasm helped shape the way we think about the movies. But more than this, Awake in the Dark is a celebration of Ebert’s inimitable voice—a voice still cherished and missed.
For nearly half a century, Roger Ebert’s wide knowledge, keen judgment, prodigious energy, and sharp sense of humor made him America’s most renowned and beloved film critic. From Ebert’s Pulitzer Prize to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, from his astonishing output of daily reviews to his pioneering work on television with Gene Siskel, his was a career in cinema criticism without peer.

Arriving fifty years after Ebert published his first film review in 1967, this second edition of Awake in the Dark collects Ebert’s essential writings into a single, irresistible volume. Featuring new Top Ten Lists and reviews of the years’ finest films through 2012, this edition allows both fans and film buffs to bask in the best of an extraordinary lifetime’s work. Including reviews from The Godfather to GoodFellas and interviews with everyone from Martin Scorsese to Meryl Streep, as well as showcasing some of Ebert’s most admired essays—among them a moving appreciation of John Cassavetes and a loving tribute to the virtues of black-and-white films—Ebert’s Awake in the Dark is a treasure trove not just for fans of this era-defining critic, but for anyone desiring a compulsively readable chronicle of the silver screen.

Stretching from the dramatic rise of rebel Hollywood and the heyday of the auteur to the triumph of blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, to the indie revolution that is still with us today, Awake in the Dark reveals a writer whose exceptional intelligence and daily bursts of insight and enthusiasm helped shape the way we think about the movies. But more than this, Awake in the Dark is a celebration of Ebert’s inimitable voice—a voice still cherished and missed.
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