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The Answer Is . . .: Reflections On My Life (2020)

by Alex Trebek

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4924143,110 (4.09)25
A RECOMMENDED SUMMER READ BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, TIME, AND NEWSWEEK Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career. Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers. For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. "I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year," he writes in The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life. The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek's thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years. This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment.… (more)
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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Who hasn’t watched the game show Jeopardy! and seen host Alex Trebek encouraging and charming contestants and audience members alike? I’m sure there are a few rare birds, but most people who have watched the award-winning show will want to read this memoir penned by the popular Canadian-born television icon.

Written in the first person, each chapter is brief, candidly honest, and often amusing. I liked that Alex wrote about the things he thought readers would be interested in, yet it wasn’t a gossipy tell-all. The tone is warm and friendly. The book is chronological but doesn’t cover every single detail, just the highlights. It included lots of photos both past as well as current.

Unfortunately, the Alex Trebek I saw on Jeopardy! wasn’t the same person he revealed in his memoir. I was expecting a more intelligent, sophisticated man. This Alex swears and some of his anecdotes were bordering on bad taste. But he was honest and down-to-earth in a blue collar kind of way. I guess I was expecting a college professor.

His book covered many topics including marriage, parenting, education, success, and spirituality. You’ll learn about the game show – how it began, how it works on a daily basis, and famous winners. The book also offers a look at a man who didn’t let showbiz go to his head. He was a sensible person who was grateful for family and friends.

I found it poignant that he wrote this book with a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Despite the short time he had left, he didn’t feel sorry for himself or get off course. He really seemed to enjoy sharing his life with readers – both long-time fans and new admirers. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Sep 13, 2022 |
Here is my review, from the Staff Recommendations pages of the BookGuide readers advisory site of the Lincoln City Libraries in Lincoln, NE: https://lincolnlibraries.org/bookguide/staff-recommendations/staff-recommendatio... ( )
  cannellfan | Mar 12, 2022 |
Oh, how I miss Alex Trebek! What a calming presence and incredible man.

In this book Alex reflects on his life - growing up in Canada, getting started on the CBC, moving to LA, finding professional success and fame as the host of Jeopardy and ultimately accepting his prostate cancer prognosis.

I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed hearing his voice and stories. Likely due to exhaustion from his cancer, he was unable to read the whole book. He read some key sections - about his wife, about Ken Jennings, his penchant for swearing, and the introduction and epilogue of the book. The bulk of the book was read by Ken Jennings. ( )
  julesbailey9 | Jan 12, 2022 |
Early on in this book I convinced myself that it was a disappointment. It was chopped up with little continuity. Chapters were very short. Topics were all over the place. What I finally determined was it wasn’t really the organization of the book that bothered me; it was the image of Alex Trebek that most bothered me. He wasn’t the staid, prim and proper host of the intellectual’s favorite quiz show (NOT “game show”). The farther I got, however, the more I enjoyed this new Alex Trebek. He was definitely much more human and reachable than the man I’ve watched for decades reading clues on Jeopardy! I grew to like this guy a lot. I even liked his approach to explaining his own feelings about what lay ahead just a matter of months later. Alex’s family is, no doubt, one of the major reasons he had remained so grounded. He seemed truly thankful for them, especially when he needed them most—at the end. This book, rather than being sorrowful because of how we all knew it would end, was if not inspirational, hopeful. And I found myself thanking my lucky stars for the life I have. ( )
  FormerEnglishTeacher | Oct 18, 2021 |
Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career.
  BLTSbraille | Oct 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alex Trebekprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jennings, KenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A bit of potpourri for those who are hoping to become survivors.
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Introduction: Of all the projects in my professional career, I am starting off on this one with the most serious misgivings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A RECOMMENDED SUMMER READ BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, TIME, AND NEWSWEEK Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career. Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers. For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. "I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year," he writes in The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life. The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek's thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years. This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment.

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Alex Trebek shares memories and thoughts on his life and his career. And in true Jeopardy format, the sections are titled as either answers or questions!
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