700 Sundays: A Memoir
Warner, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
, based on Billy Crystal's Broadway play of the same name, recounts his family life with humor and pathos. (What else did you expect from Billy Crystal?!)
he title refers to the number of Sundays he was able to spend with his beloved father, who died suddenly of a heart attack when Crystal was only fifteen. His father was responsible for Crystal's love of baseball, jazz music and comedy. This is an ode not only to his father but also to his happy childhood with his colorful family. We meet Uncle Milt, who began Commodore records and introduced the family to a host of famous musicians; his Aunt Sheila, his tough-talking, stereotypical Jewish aunt who lives in Boca Raton; his flatulent grandfather Julius, about whom he provides some of the funniest lines in the book. Crystal alternates between funny and sad but he is always on the mark. Some of his tales are laugh-out-loud hilarious. His grandmother Susie, whom he called
Queen of the One-Liners
, asked Louie Armstrong at a seder, '
Louis, have you tried just coughing it up?
his book is not about Billy Crystal the actor or comedian, but about Billy Crystal, the nice Jewish boy who grew up having Passover seders with Louie Armstrong and was on a first name basis with Billie Holliday.
is a quick read and a
for any Billy Crystal fan.
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