Carl Reiner, Now You're Ninety-Four
by Carl Reiner Hardback
Not since the 17th century, with “The Diary of Samuel Pepys,” has there been such a detailed, comprehensive diary of one’s life as is contained in “Carl Reiner, Now You’re Ninety-Four.” However, one thing that Samuel Pepys neglected to include, which would most surely have boosted the popularity of his nine volumes, is photos. Recognizing this, Carl has included in his diary 736 photographs, many original, some recreations of events. Carl describes the book as “a day by day, much too complete, moment by moment, detailed account of every aspect of my daily life.”
Starting on the morning of Carl’s 94th birthday, before even getting out of bed, Carl treats us to a step-by-step photographic demonstration of his morning exercises. We then move on to shaving, dressing, breakfast, morning walk – each activity memorialized photographically, and each, to be sure, fascinating in and of itself. But it soon becomes clear that when you’re Carl Reiner, even the most “mundane” activity for the rest of us is likely to prompt a thought or memory that is anything but mundane. Sitting in the breakfast room eating your morning Raisin Bran can have you recalling the evening with friends when Tim Conway commandeered the knick-knack on the wall as a prop to get the dinner guests, among them Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft and Carl’s wife Estelle, laughing loud and long. Watching a news show on TV can bring back memories of the Presidents you have met – Eisenhower, Truman, Clinton, Obama – and have you reminiscing about sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom and sharing a midnight snack with Bill Clinton in the White House kitchen.
And so, so much more. In retrospect, even if Mr. Pepys had chosen to include photos, it’s doubtful they would have been nearly as fascinating, hilarious, moving and entertaining as “Carl Reiner, Now You’re Ninety-Four.”
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