joi , 7 decembrie 2023

“You Show Me Yours”, Lawrence Grobel’s new book

Larry Book

Joyce Carol Oates called Grobel „The Mozart of Interviewers.” Playboy named him “The Interviewer’s Interviewer,” and J.P. Donleavy said, “Larry Grobel is the most intelligent interviewer in the United States”. The writer has just launched his new book, a memoir called “You Show Me Yours”, which is available on Amazon now.

When he arrived in Hollywood on assignment at the age of 26, Grobel had already spent three years in the Peace Corps, teaching at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, and writing articles on a variety of human interest subjects for Newsday after his return to New York. For his first Hollywood assignment, his editor made a simple suggestion: “Interview household names”. He started with Mae West and it went so well, he spent the next 40 years interviewing and befriending the brightest stars in the glitter capital of the world.

But how did he get celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino engaged in the long, in-depth interviews he became known for, spending hours, days, and often weeks in intimate conversation?

“Just tell a good story, Larry”, John Huston had advised him. “Always go with the best story”. And that, he realized, was his in: “I’ll show you mine”, he would intimate, “then you show me yours”.

He had a lot of stories to tell, from his kidnapping as an infant to his wild teenage exploits; from falling for his “Lolita” at 15 to marching and dodging bullets with Dr. King in Mississippi. He shared stories about his adventures throughout the world – landing in Ghana, one step ahead of the draft board during the Vietnam War; traveling across Africa to India, dealing with fetish priestesses, pygmies, bandits and opium-smoking tribesmen. There were South American tales too; crazy battles with giant cockroaches in the Guajira Desert and encounters with wild pigs and barefoot cowboys in the Colombian llanos. There were sweet and funny love stories that spanned 5 continents and many years and stories of wildly unpredictable situations–buying a performance artist at an art auction; playing “blind” chess with Brando in Tahiti; ending his 9-month interview with Streisand with a gift of boxing gloves.

The strategy worked. Grobel’s fascinating stories made his subjects want to reciprocate, and their stories too became a part of his. In this absorbing, hilarious, and often outrageous memoir, Grobel retells all of those tales and more, providing enchanting insight into his life and the lives of all the extraordinary people he met on his journey. Drawing on a wealth of material from his explicit and unexpurgated journals, these stories do what only the best will do – leave you begging for more.

“You Show Me Yours” is a joyride through a marvelous life. It is, as Diane Keaton so succinctly put it, “profoundly entertaining and totally INSANE!”


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