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Trust Me: A Memoir, By George Kennedy - Book Review

January 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 205

What we have here... no failure to communicate. George Kennedy has taken control of his autobiographical narrative on the subject of his own personal history in his revealing new book, Trust Me: A Memoir. With unabashed candor, unmitigated humility and the utmost respect for his luminary cohorts throughout his eminence in acting, George Kennedy took on the daunting task of time compression - 86 years into 210 pages. Needless to say, H. G. Wells' Time Machine couldn't make the milk run throughout the last century with so many stops of interest in such a terse read.

The life and career of George Kennedy epitomizes the cultural ebb and flow of society's changes throughout the past century. From a dirt-poor childhood during The Great Depression, through his military career in the Army Air Service, two failed marriages and the death of two children, his exploits take the reader from New York to Hollywood; from 1925 through to the present. His memoirs are rattled off like a machine gun firing rounds of recollections of his famous friends, clever and unforgettable remarks, exploits of extraordinary circumstances, and not withstanding broken dreams. George Kennedy is a dreamer, and that he says is a good thing. "Without my dreams, I would have had no one to play with at all."

Just how many eggs did Paul Newman actually eat when filming Cool Hand Luke? Frankly he has no idea, but the story is so riveting your olfactory system will be stimulated. You'll shiver when hearing how Bo Derek turned blue while skinny dipping for half an hour in a chilly castle pool while her husband, John Derek, adjusted the lighting to perfection for a shot on location near Buckler's Hard England. The brief insert of Don Rickles got me chuckling, "George, you ain't Jewish, are ya? Thank God. I'd go get uncircumcised." Dean Martin said to George, tugging on George's collar of his tux in the row in front of him during an opening of the remake of Lost Horizon, a flop of a premiere, "Sit up, you cowardly son of a. If we gotta watch this, I want you right in front of me when I puke."

This book isn't all fun and games. George Kennedy writes like he talks. He is at a point in his life where he doesn't have to pull any punches, nor hold anything back. His candor is embellished with humor, he avoids pontificating, and he sends a powerful message of spiritual acceptance. He is unambiguous when pointing out his book was written for you. You, the reader, are the most important person on earth. "It is all about you, or more correctly, about us. We're all more alike than you might think," he wrote.

For those that know George Kennedy, this book is a must. For those that don't know of his career, this book is even more an absolute must. His discernible handsome looks, stature and poise graced over two hundred movies and he achieved an Oscar award for best supporting actor in Cool Hand Luke. Mr. Kennedy also was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures. His book opens the reader to a reflection of so much of Americana that even Norman Rockwell couldn't paint a more detailed image. He writes about so many instances of having fate shape his path. Uniquely, he has the insight and cognitive awareness of what is happening to him while he lives each moment. He has so much love for people that the significance of Mr. Kennedy's experiences has in fact touched so many lives, knowingly or unknowingly; things are the way they are in part through his professional contribution. Laden with photographs from his personal collection, Trust Me reverberates with truth, while absorbing the reader with the memoirs of a fascinating man.

Trust Me: A Memoir is a marvelously entertaining book. George Kennedy brings his past to life in a way that makes you feel you have a front row seat to viewing his personal journey. His stories are nostalgic, humorous, and at times very sad. If you want to share some memorable moments with a real class act, this is just the ticket.

Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin

Gary Sorkin is the Senior Editor for Pacific Book Review. Please visit Pacific Book Review at:

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