Life Itself is well written but incomplete. Not really a memoir or autobiography but a collection of memories. I’ve often thought that writing a biography where each chapter is on a different topic would be a valid way to cover one’s life. If there are enough of them, they create a portrait of the author just as complete as if he had written a chronological account of his life. My complaint about his book is Ebert doesn’t cover enough topics to give us a full portrait. This one is rather hazy. Ebert lived a fascinating life but in some ways it was like everyman. The first third of the book deals with his childhood in Urban, IL. The second third deals with his interactions with favorite places and people. The final third is very philosophical dealing with his cancer, his (lack of) faith, politics, and his mortality.
Excerpts From My Kindle
Siskel described his job as covering the national dream beat, because if you pay attention to the movies they will tell you what people desire and fear. Movies are hardly ever about what they seem to be about. Look at a movie that a lot of people love, and you will find something profound, no matter how silly the film may seem. – location 2394-2396
We send messages to ourselves in the future and receive them from the past. Were both conscious of the passage of time, of its flow slipping through our fingers like a long silk scarf, until it runs out and flutters away in the wind. – location 4820-4822
The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments, and memories I miss. I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to start reciting poetry on a moments notice. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, its sad. Maybe that’s why writing has become so important to me. You don’t realize it, but were at dinner right now. – location 6063-6065