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Publisher's Summary

"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. 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."
—from Life Itself
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, including 23 years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.
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.
Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures.
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 remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, 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.
©2011 Roger Ebert (P)2011 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By MERCEDES on 12-04-11

Roger Ebert Life Itself

What did you love best about Life Itself?

Roger Ebert is such a well thought out and impassioned writer, and this book allows his writing to come through in a more personal manner. I found his life story to be an unlikely one, and I finished the book feeling like he was an old friend. I am also from Chicago, so it was fascinating for me to hear personal accounts about Chicago favorites like Studs Terkel and neighborhood places back in the day, as I listened to the audio book and ran through the city streets.

Some chapters really stick out - like the one dedicated to Gene Siskel and, of course, the one about the love of Ebert's life, his wife Chaz. There were definitely moments that brought me to tears, and others that made me laugh out loud.

Also the performance by Edward Herrmann is spot on. Sometimes, lost in the story, I actually forgot it wasn't Ebert narrating. I highly recommend this book!

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By SLW on 10-27-11

Absorbing memoir, wonderful narration

Roger Ebert has astonishing recall, memorably evoking his childhood, his career, the people he has met, his alcoholism, his marriage to the spectacular Chaz, and his current doings. This is a warm and humorous (yes, I laughed out loud) story that has its serious side. It also boasts an excellent performance by Edward Herrmann, who often sounds a lot like the people whose conversations with Ebert he is portraying. I really enjoyed this.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Rob Wilson on 05-04-15

To be honest very disappointing

What disappointed you about Life Itself?

I wasn't really sure what to expert and ebert's reputation precedes him but this was a pretty boring biography

Would you ever listen to anything by Roger Ebert again?

Probably not

What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Difficult with the material

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was ok bit like going for a walk with someone kind of interesting but who in all honesty was a bit of a bore....god I feel harsh slagging this bloke off but it was rubbish

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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