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Posted June 30, 2012
I absolutely love Dennis Weaver - the person and the actor. I believe that the funniest, saddest and best acted scenes in Gunsmoke pivoted around Dennis’s character Chester Goode. His subtle yet powerful acting skills are second to none. Having seen every episode with Dennis from 1955 to 1964, I was excited to find he had written an autobiography. The first eight chapter contain the typical biographical which I found to be full of interesting tidbits regarding his early life and career. And yes, it does contain insightful comments regarding other big names in show business. I did find the interview format a bit disconcerting as I would sometimes lose track of who was speaking. I think it could have been a smoother read without the interjected interviewer’s questions. But this is a minor point and one more of personal preference. My only complaint is that in a 307 page book there are only ten pages dealing with his Gunsmoke days. I would have thought that nine years spent on one of the best and most respected shows in television history would have produced far more insight than ten pages. I would have loved to have heard more ‘behind the scenes’ perception regarding his relationships with Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone and Burt Reynolds. I believe the reader would like to have read about the few scenes he had with Ken Curtis before his departure. These would have been highly interesting. Chapters nine through 19 dealt with his personal philosophy regarding the environment, economics and spirituality. I enjoyed reading these chapters but found them to very politically liberal. While I did not get the sense that Dennis was of the same cloth as today’s radical leftists, I did leave this book wishing more liberals would embody his approach to problems of the nation and world. The 3 star rating I give the book is based more on my desire for Gunsmoke related material than a slight to the book as a whole. I had my mouth set for steak and got a hot dog. I hope you find this review helpful. Michael L. Gooch, Author of Voodoo FeverWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.