Mike Nichols A Life - On the Bedside Table


This is part of the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge hosted by Raquel Stecher over at her Out of the Past blog. This has been an annual event since 2013. One which I have never completed with success. Aiming for 2021 to be the year I read 6 books and actually blog about them. #classicfilmreading

I started the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge with a big fat book, on kindle. That's why you do not see it up there in the photo of books I chose. Several of my choices have been on the shelf for a good long time and decided it was time to pick them up.  My first read was Mike Nichols A Life by Mark Harris. The previous book I read by Mark Harris was the excellent Five Came Back.

Published on February 2, 2021 this is a massive biography, large in size, page length and large enough to encompass the life of a fascinating man. What can you say to give someone an idea about Mike Nichols and his legacy? He was at times, actor, comedian, foil, director, producer, flawed individual, husband, father, addict, inspiration, comrade, conversationalist, and a human being I wish I had met. I think an author could write 5 volumes "Boxed like Proust" to lift a favorite quote from Auntie Mame, and still not capture all that was the life and the man Mike Nichols. That said. Mr. Harris has done an enviable job digging in to Nichols the man, performer and director with a critical eye. Harris neither shied away from the unpleasant nor did he dwell upon it. The good, the bad, the ugly were all parts of what was a very rich life. Blessed by Nichols widow Diane Sawyer and his children Harris had free reign to leave no stone unturned.  Filled with interviews by friends and colleagues, you get a well rounded portrait of a complex and really talented man. I can say without reservation this was a simply wonderful, wonderful book.

It is a gloriously wonderful read, funny, touching, maddening and absolutely fascinating. I feel it captured Nichols and as I mention above, how one regrets one could not have met him and thanked him for the many pleasures his writing, performing and films have enriched my life. This book has also been enriching, it will be one I return to read again because it is so beautifully written. Highly recommended!

If you have not treated yourself to the fabulous Nichols and May, do yourself a favor and check them out. You will likewise not be at all sorry.


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