Friday 14 June 2024

Book ~ "You Never Know: A Memoir" (2024) Tom Selleck

From Goodreads ~ There are many miles from the business school and basketball court at the University of Southern California to 50 million viewers for the final episode of a TV show called "Magnum P.I." Tom Selleck has lived every one of those miles in his own iconoclastic and joyful way. 

Frank, funny and open-hearted, "You Never Know" is an intimate memoir from one of the most beloved actors of our time, the highly personal story of a remarkable life and thoroughly accidental career. In his own voice and uniquely unpretentious style, the famed actor brings readers on his uncharted but serendipitous journey to the top in Hollywood, his temptations and distractions, his misfires and mistakes and, over time, his well-earned success. Along the way, he clears up an armload of misconceptions and shares dozens of never-told stories from all corners of his personal and professional life. 

His rambunctious California childhood. His clueless arrival as a good-looking college jock in Hollywood (from the "Dating Game" to the Fox New Talent Program to co-starring with Mae West and escorting her to black-tie social functions). What it was like to emerge as a mega-star in his mid-thirties and remain so for decades to come, an actor whose authenticity and ease in front of the camera connected with audiences worldwide while embodying and also redefining the clichés of onscreen manhood. 

"In You Never Know", Selleck recounts his personal friendships with a vivid army of A-listers, everyone from Frank Sinatra to Carol Burnett to Sam Elliott, paying special tribute to his mentor James Garner of "The Rockford Files", who believed, like Selleck, that TV protagonists are far more interesting when they have rough edges. He also more than tips his hat to the American western and the scruffy band of actors, directors and other ruffians who helped define that classic genre, where Selleck has repeatedly found a happy home. 

"Magnum" fans will be fascinated to learn how Selleck put his career on the line to make Thomas Magnum a more imperfect hero and explains why he walked away from a show that could easily have gone on for years longer. 

Hollywood is never easy, even for stars who make it look that way. In "You Never Know", Selleck explains how he’s struggled to balance his personal and professional lives, frequently adjusting his career to protect his family’s privacy and normalcy. His journey offers a truly fresh perspective on a changing industry and a changing world. Beneath all the charm and talent and self-deprecating humor, Selleck’s memoir reveals an American icon who has reached remarkable heights by always insisting on being himself.

This is a high level account of Tom Selleck's life. If you are a Magnum PI fan, you'll enjoy this book because there is a lot of emphasis on that show. I found it odd, though, that the book basically ends when Magnum PI ended ... it's like he did nothing after that. The last chapter touches on his current show, Blue Bloods, which I've never watched. Surprisingly there is no mention of his being on Friends or other movies like the Jesse Stone series (there were eight movies), In & Out or Killers.

I liked the writing style. He throws a bit of shade at times but not often. He seems like a nice fella who eventually found his voice and was able to take a stand for himself and his colleagues on the direction of his career. He says he respects his privacy and that of his family so there isn't a lot of detail about his marriages or children ... I don't feel like I got to know him, just the professional side until Magnum PI was over. It was interesting to read about how things work in the TV and movie businesses.

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