Rewrites

Rewrites

Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, The Goodbye Girl, The Out-of-Towners, The Sunshine Boys -- Neil Simon's plays and movies have kept many millions of people laughing for almost four decades. Today he is recognized not only as the most successful American playwright of all time, but also as one of the greatest. More than the humor, however, it is the humanity of Neil Simon's vision that has made him America's most beloved playwright and earned him such enduring success. Now, in Rewrites, he has written a funny, deeply touching memoir, filled with details and anecdotes of the writing life and rich with the personal experiences that underlie his work.

Since Come Blow Your Horn first opened on Broadway in 1960, few seasons have passed without the appearance of another of his laughter-filled plays, and indeed on numerous occasions two or more of his works have been running simultaneously. But his success was something Neil Simon never took for granted, nor was the talent to create laughter something that he ever treated carelessly: it took too long for him to achieve the kind of acceptance -- both popular and critical -- that he craved, and the path he followed frequently was pitted with hard decisions.

All of Neil Simon's plays are to some extent a reflection of his life, sometimes autobiographical, other times based on the experiences of those close to him. What the reader of this warm, nostalgic memoir discovers, however, is that the plays, although grounded in Neil Simon's own experience, provide only a glimpse into the mind and soul of this very private man.

In Rewrites, he tells of the painful discord he endured at home as a child, of his struggles to develop his talent as a writer, and of his insecurities when dealing with what proved to be his first great success -- falling in love. Supporting players in the anecdote-filled memoir include Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Walter Matthau, Robert Redford, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Maureen Stapleton, George C. Scott, Peter Sellers, and Mike Nichols. But always at center stage is his first love, his wife Joan, whose death in the early seventies devastated him, and whose love and inspiration illuminate this remarkable and revealing self-portrait. Rewrites is rich in laughter and emotion, and filled with the memories of a sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet life.

Title:Rewrites
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780684835624
Format Type:

    Rewrites Reviews

  • David

    An invaluable - and often illuminating - read for those who have done theater or have written plays. (I've done both.) A number of times throughout this first volume of memoirs, Simon tells and remind...

  • Bruce

    I've been reading lots of Neil Simon this summer. This may well prove to be one of your lighter four-star reviews out there. Neither much in the way of gravitas or backstage gossip involved, Rewrites ...

  • Linden

    While a memoir offers a behind-the-scenes look at someone's life, many writers find it difficult to resist the soapbox of explanations or reputation tidying. But not Simon. Perhaps his self-identi...

  • Kara

    It's true that this book is quite good. I enjoyed it. I thought it was funny. Originally, I had picked it up because I thought I would learn something from it. There wasn't much to learn, except for a...

  • Arlene Eisenbise

    I enjoyed this book as much as I've enjoyed Neil Simon's plays and the many movies made of his plays. His work has brought me much laughter; his book also brought a few tears. Neil's devotion to his w...

  • Michael Martin

    My paperback copy of this memoir had over thirty typos in it. Rather shocking for a book about one of our most successful playwrights.I enjoyed the book, but I actually had higher expectations for it....

  • Ben Truong

    Rewrites: A Memoir is an autobiography of Neil Simon, a prolific playwright, screenwriter, and author. This book traces the story of Simon's life during the 1970s approximately a decade into his caree...

  • Aaron

    Earns a 5 for its moments of sincerity and profound, funny wisdom about the theater and movie business. The book has lots to be highlighted, and most exceptional are the chapters where Simon talks abo...

  • Lee

    Interesting memoir about the business of getting a play produced....

  • Peter Langston

    It was pity the last chapter was the most moving. Much before that became repetitive and dull....