Some time ago, I picked up a book out of the Sale Bin (you know, the ones where one recognises it's actually the Marked Down To Nothing Because No One Is Buying This Otherwise bin) because the title obviously punned off another work related to a piece which the author (I won't say writer as I'm pretty sure there's a 'with So & So' in the credits. Why pretty sure? Read On) worked, relatively time-related to the publication date of the book. What is 'some time ago'? Um... years? More than several (three) less than ten? I don't even have the book in front of me, to double check those credits nor publication date. Great way to write a review, eh?
So some time between Then and Now, in an effort to stimulate my writing a bit more and in a private entry here on LJ I made a list of things to do. #1, write a review of this book. And it sat there, for some time (see above) reminding me that I am a Great Procrastinator. Last night, during my eating break working at Hospital, said bit of work by the author received more air time on the telly, in one of those Marathon Showings of all three parts. AHA! A clue, Three Parts. Since I'd skimmed through that private entry a couple times recently, my thoughts went along the lines of I really do like this work, both the original written version and the movie treatment, to Wow, I do like it, because I can remember a lot about it, to Oh, Hey, I suppose I should do that review.
Right off the starting line, I can feel pretty comfortable that since it took me this long to get around to "Goal #1: Book Review of There and Back Again: An Actor's Journey Sean Astin's story about portraying Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings" that the book is quite simply not that memorable. Memorable enough that what follows are my memories, and yes, Your Mileage May Vary.
First of all, yes it is Mr. Astin's story about portraying Samwise Gamgee. Yes, there is a good bit of it that looks at the making of the Lord of the Rings. And yes, the title is honest (in retrospect) that it is an actor's journey, all the way from the start up to this part. Which means, it's much more of an autobiography than it is (at least to me) about the process of portraying a character out of an immensely popular epic piece of fiction. More (to me) Oh look how my life is so difficult growing up in the Entertainment Industry, than Here is what the process of becoming, being an actor is and what makes it such an enjoyable professional choice.
As such, I learned a lot about Mr. Astin's professional desires and goals. He'd much rather be making films than acting in them by his own admission. Interesting news, perhaps, and one of the less enjoyable aspects of the book in that this discussion thread wandered through the course of the book mixed with a certain degree of personal angst that it wasn't happening so much yet. Certainly explains why so little of it provided evidence to support that latter summary of an expectation above that I apparently brought to the reading of this book. Expectations aren't bad. They do colour impressions, though.
One of my good and dear friends said to me that I am so very non-judgemental. The discussion that statement came out of involved some things happening in their life about which they needed to vent a bit, and my listening to and accepting the venting, and still providing a viewpoint accepting the position of the source of the vent-need. It is a bit hard to break with 40 years of professional characteristic (that would be the non-judgemental part, something vital to being a Nurse), so it keeps coming back around in my other interactions and such.
Which is all part of my summary here. I believe I expected something else out of this book, and that colours my response. I got through the reading of it, and I did spend some of my beer money on it to do so. I expect that since I spending that money rather than borrowing the book from the library played a stronger part in finishing the reading thereof than the quality of the story being told. Reading it made a strong enough impression on me to decide I ought to tell others about it, and a weak enough impression that I took a multi-year break in the telling.
In fact, I think I feel a lot happier about being able to nudge everything else on that private 'To Do' list up a notch. Not like it's a relief or something, more like well, there's a goal accomplished even if it proved to be not such a major goal by the test of time. I'm happier both because it is a completion of a goal, and because that shows me that while this isn't the Recent Meditations which I've hinted about recently, the writing thereof itself opens the door to laying out those Meditations.
All very mysterious, eh?