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700 Sundays by Billy Crystal
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700 Sundays (edition 2006)

by Billy Crystal

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5581917,869 (3.83)23
Member:Citizenjoyce
Title:700 Sundays
Authors:Billy Crystal
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2006), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Memoir, Fathers and Sons, G

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700 Sundays by Billy Crystal

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
700 Sundays by Billy Crystal
182 pages

★★★★

I assume everyone knows who the actor, Billy Crystal, is and if you don’t we need to have talk. This book does not deal with his incredible career but his childhood and his time with his family and more particularly his father. He would get to spend approximately 700 Sundays with his Dad before he would die when Billy Crystal was only 15 years old. This is adapted from his stage show by the same name.

My first observation was in some of the reviews before I even read the book - people giving it poor rating because it doesn’t deal with his success and career. Well guess what? The synopsis is no secret so don’t blame an author if you don’t know how to read a description of a book.

I really enjoyed this book. Billy Crystal is an incredibly funny guy in my opinion and that shines through in this book. But what also shows through is raw emotion and charm. In some parts of the book I found myself laughing and in others I felt my heart sink, I almost wanted to cry. He talks so lovingly about his family – his brothers, his uncles, his parents, etc. I kept going back and forth between a 3 and 4 star rating. I felt like he sometimes forced humor in where it didn’t need to be as if he was trying to soften to sad situations. However, his last chapter and epilogue were so heartwarming that I bumped this one up to a 4 star. It’s a quick one to read, it only took me a day in between errands and a busy schedule to finish this 182 page book. Worth a read if you are a fan of Billy Crystal or if you’ve ever lost a parent, you may just relate to him.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
From the book jacket - One of America’s most beloved entertainers takes us home. Billy Crystal opens the front door to a time in his life when he shared joy, love, music, and laughter with an eccentric family headed by the hardworking father who left them all too soon. To support his family, Billy’s father, Jack, worked two jobs and long hours and could spare only Sundays to spend with his loved ones.

My reactions
This just proves that people’s ordinary, every-day lives can be far more interesting and entertaining than any fiction. Well, maybe not so “ordinary.” Crystal grew up in a large extended family that ran a family business – which happened to be Commodore Records. The jazz greats we know through their music were first friends and colleagues of Billy’s father, uncles and grandfather. We’re talking Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Rosemary Clooney – they and many others recorded for Commodore Records or participated in jam sessions put together by Billy’s father and uncles.

But on Sundays? Sundays they played ball, or went to watch the Yankees. His father dropped dead of a massive heart attack when Billy was just fifteen. He calculated that they had had only 700 Sundays together. These precious Sundays, and the following years witnessing his mother’s hard work to provide for her sons are the framework for this memoir.

Based on the Tony Award winning play by the same title, is not about Crystal’s career as an entertainer, but about the family that nurtured the boy. I wish I could have had an audio version of this, or watched a DVD of the Broadway show, because as I read I couldn’t help but feel that the material is best performed. Some of the obvious humor sections fell flat on the page (I certainly cannot replicate the comic’s timing on my own).

( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
This is a heart-warming and touching story. Billy Crystal tells the story of his life from birth until the death of both his parents, but really talks very little about himself and his amazing career. This book is about family and love and how those can influence and uplift as well as create sorrow and loss when the family is shattered by death. I laughed and I cried during this one. It is relatively short and yet it packs a powerful punch.

Highly recommended. ( )
  bookswoman | Oct 6, 2013 |
I liked this book much more than I expected to. It was downright funny at time, pulled on the heart strings at others and left me feeling like this was a man who really loves his family.

Outside of this book, I really no nothing about his upbringing, his family, his delve into celebrity fame. What I love about his story, is that he focused on all the people who shaped him into who he became and not on the ins and outs of A-List Hollywood [as most celebrity memoirs tend to be..].

His uncle became the first person in the record industry to develop mail order catalogues, they brought jazz into the city, brought musicians together who never would've played in the same venue due to race. His family was the sole reason that Billie Holiday's, harrowing song about the lynching of black people in the South, was ever recorded. (Listen to it here!

What touched me the most, was the tenderness he spoke about his Mother and Father. He had rougly 700 Sundays to spend with his Father before his untimely death in the 1960s. He was 15 years old. By those calculations, I got to have about 936 Sundays with my Father before we lost him. It's funny how I would trade all 900 of those Sundays in exchange for just one more with him.

A short, sweet, funny novel that made me really have a new respect and liking of Billy Crystal. ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
We had the pleasure of seeing Crystal do his performance of the book last year in Dallas. Fabulous. See it if you ever have the chance. 700 Sundays brought back all those wonderful stories. What a great family and a great life. ( )
  cmaese | Jan 19, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Consider the rose . . . The rose is the sweetest smelling flower of all, and it's the most beautiful because it's the most simple, right? But sometimes, you got to clip the rose. You got to cut the rose back, so something sweeter smelling and stronger, and even more beautiful, will grow in its place.
-- Zutty Singleton
Dedication
For Mom and Dad
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We got a new car!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446578673, Hardcover)

Actor and comedian Billy Crystal has forged a highly successful career by portraying other people in movies like When Harry Met Sally… and City Slickers. But in 700 Sundays, a memoir based on his one-man Broadway play of the same name, Crystal tells his own story, dissecting an often complex relationship with his father and how that relationship resonated in other aspects of his life. His father, Jack Crystal was an influential jazz concert promoter and operated an influential jazz record label, affording his son an opportunity to tell stories of being taken to his first movie by Billie Holliday and seeing his grandmother suggest that Louis Armstrong simply "try coughing it up." But Jack died when his son was fifteen years old, soon after a forever-unresolved argument between the two, leaving Billy to cope with crushing grief while simultaneously and perhaps ironically trying to launch a career in comedy. This lends 700 Sundays much needed gravity in a volume that is packed with zingy one-liners and whimsical observations that serve to illustrate the comedy career Crystal forged, while also providing some decent laughs. Interestingly, there is very little reference to the better known accomplishments of Crystal’s Hollywood career as the author chooses to focus instead on the seemingly mundane but highly entertaining aspects of his Long Island roots. Though 700 Sundays (the name comes from Crystal’s estimation of how many Sundays he got to spend with his father) is packaged here in book form, it reads like a piece of theater and, more specifically, like a selection of memories about a father, lovingly and touchingly re-told by his loving son. --John Moe

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

One of America's most beloved entertainers takes us home. Billy Crystal opens the front door to a time in his life when he shared joy, love, music, and laughter with an eccentric family headed by the hardworking father who left them all too soon. From the story of the Crystal family's proud connection to the New York jazz scene of the 40s and 50s, to the hilarious living room performances that would sow the seeds of Billy's career, to the times of tragedy, heartbreak, and his mother's unending courage, this book celebrates the memories, the love, and all the other wonderful gifts parents can give a child. This is a tribute to a family and the people who helped make him a man.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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