Wednesday, July 4, 2018

[Book] eyE Marty by Marty Feldman

Book cover
Marty Feldman is probably most famous for playing Igor in the 1974 Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein.  He died in 1982, and his autobiography sat in the attic of his widow's home until her death in 2010 when it was discovered by Mark Flanagan.  Flanagan had it transcribed, exactly as it was found, including photo inserts and published without further editing.

This book is in desperate need of editing.  I fully understand why it was published the way it was, but it was one of the hardest books to read that I've ever sat down for.  Here's the thing, I love the comedies he's written for, and I love the comedies he's acted in, but I cannot recommend this book.  Maybe, though, this is exactly what you want to read.

eyE Marty is very much like sitting down in front of someone you don't know very well, and having him simply tell you his entire life story.  It is conversational in tone, which also means that the timeline slips back and forth with little notes like, "before I get to that, I have to go back a few years to mention..."  At which point, conversationally, I wanted to say, "Wait, what year?"  But nobody can answer my inquiry.  It's also not always clear when the back-story is finished and we've come back into the "current" timeline.

The greatest value of this book, is the foreword by Eric Idle.  The foreword is enlightening in its explanation of the things that happened after Marty finished this book.  It was finished just before he left for Mexico to film what would become his last movie, Yellowbeard.  Also, the foreword was well edited.

Well, at very least, here is a nod to all the book editors out there.  You folks rock!  Thanks for keeping the narrative flowing.

Eye Marty
Rare Bird Books
Autobiography
Released: 10 May 2016
Hardcover, 320 pages

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