From legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, comes a collection of memoiristic pieces about life, love, acting, and adventure, told with a beguiling voice and an uncommon talent for storytelling.
The Dangerous Animals Club by Stephen Tobolowsky is a series of stories that form a non-linear autobiography. Each story stands on its own, and yet there are larger interconnecting narratives that weave together from the book's beginning to end. The stories have heroics and embarrassments, riotous humor and pathos, characters that range from Bubbles the Pigmy Hippo to Stephen's unforgettable mother, and scenes that include coke-fueled parties, Hollywood sets, French trains, and hospital rooms.
Told in a vivid, honest, and wondrous voice, Tobolowsky manages to render the majestic out of the seemingly mundane, profundity from the patently absurd, and grace from tragedy. This book marks the debut of a massively talented storyteller.
You may not recognize his name, but you'd definitely be able to pick Tobolowsky out of a crowd from his character roles in movies like Groundhog Dog and TV shows like Heroes. Tobolowsky puts his tales into his first book. The result is autobiography told in vignette-style chapters delivered in somewhat chronological order. From his childhood growing up in Texas through studying and teaching acting and theater to his ups and down in love and Hollywood, Tobolowsky recounts stories that are quirky, funny, and sentimental. Whether he is remembering simple pleasures like the joys of chasing snakes as a kid or repeatedly getting kneed in "the nuts" by Bridget Fonda in the film Single White Female, Tobolowsky always ends on an educational or uplifting message don't lie on a first date, "one should never underestimate the lasting power of kindness." Each chapter may not be a star in its own right, but taken together they add up to a curious account of an interesting life.
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Garrison Keillor for the Next Generation
Stephen has nailed the art of telling a good story, and he always has a message at the end worthy of contemplation. My favorite story is the one he tells about his triumph over a teacher set out to seek his removal from the acting program in college. A tale of survival like no other. A struggle of identity, and victory over not only others, but one's own dedication to their craft and life.
Stephen follows in the tradition of David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, and David Foster Wallace. Telling stories that make us laugh, cry, sigh, and remember. That's what a good story is all about.
Humorous, inspiring, and passionately written. I recomend this for everyone.