• by John Lithgow
  • Narrated by John Lithgow
  • 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


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Customer Reviews

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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.

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- Diane Havens

Intelligently written and spoken

If you could sum up Drama in three words, what would they be?

Language to caress the ears

What was one of the most memorable moments of Drama?

Finding out that some authors can do justice to their written words

Have you listened to any of John Lithgow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


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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.

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- Jenny

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio