Rickles' Book

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Why you need to buy RICKLES' Book immediately:

RICKLES' BOOK will help you win friends and influence people.

RICKLES' BOOK will introduce you to all of his famous friends, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Carson.

RICKLES' BOOK will help you ...

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Rickles' Book: A Memoir

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Why you need to buy RICKLES' Book immediately:

RICKLES' BOOK will help you win friends and influence people.

RICKLES' BOOK will introduce you to all of his famous friends, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Carson.

RICKLES' BOOK will help you lose weight.

RICKLES' BOOK will help you gain weight.

RICKLES' BOOK will improve your love life.

RICKLES' BOOK will make you cry. (If your love life doesn't improve.)

RICKLES' BOOK will make you laugh. (If your love life does improve.)

RICKLES' BOOK will make you love one of the great Americans of our time, Don Rickles.

RICKLES' BOOK will give you something to talk about at parties. (If you're ever invited to parties.)

RICKLES' BOOK, along with the Bible and War and Peace, will grace your bookshelf and upgrade your literary status.

RICKLES' BOOK will keep you up at night.

RICKLES' BOOK will put you to sleep at night.

RICKLES' BOOK will make you rich. (If you treasure great humor.)

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Don Rickles's irreverent, rat-a-tat-tat humor has been entertaining crowds for over half a century. Against all logic, this "nasty insult comedian" has become a beloved figure, even among the targets of his caustic quips. This memoir recaps not only his colorful career but also his early life as a nice, poor Jewish kid from Queens and his happy, resilient marriage.
From the Publisher
"What a terrific book. Honest, funny, down-to-earth. A helluva read."

-- Larry King

Publishers Weekly

Insult comic Rickles has written a feel-good memoir that's loaded with photos and sentiment. The only son of loving parents, today he's an 80-year-old grandfather who still performs nationwide. The most interesting bits—his climb to the top—are told only in broad strokes. The tone is friendly and conversational, however, as he describes, among other things, his style: "I found a distinct sense of sarcasm and humorous exaggeration." Rickles wanted to be a serious actor, but he started as a comic in strip clubs and worked his way up. His break came when Sinatra heard him—and he used Sinatra's influence to get him better gigs. Yet for a guy famous for calling others a "hockey puck," Rickles's story is Hollywood lite. There's no backstage drama, no sex, no gossip. When he name-drops celebrities, it's always in glowing terms. We learn of his short-lived TV shows, CPO Sharkeyand The Don Rickles Show, and how voicing Mr. Potato Head in Toy Storyjump-started his later career. Those looking for a sardonic autobiography will be disappointed; Rickles accentuates the positive. If he has a bad word to say about anyone, he'll probably save it for his act. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Big-time insult comic decides to write a book. A stand-up headliner since Jackie decorated the White House, Rickles is a comic commotion, liberally dispensing ad lib offense to all those hockey-puck patrons. In person, he murders. But in this knockoff autobiography, he bombs. He tells us what we don't want to know: that Don Rickles is a regular guy, a family guy, a human being. Out of Queens, and after the Navy, he was a feckless salesman before getting into show biz. He played the compulsory Jersey dumps attended by the dour mobsters who populate accounts of this sort. He booked bar mitzvahs in Brooklyn and weddings in Miami. He got an agent (in addition to personal representative Mom), gigs in Vegas and movies. Reputed to approach off-color material onstage, Rickles doesn't work blue on paper. His yarn is bland, and the shallow writing-blame co-author Ritz-can't be salvaged even when recalling great one-liners of yesteryear. In classic show-biz memoir fashion, names are dropped with abandon: Robards and Newhart, Carson and Sinatra (the Chairman of the Board at his most imperious), some presidents and a pope, even Mr. Potato Head. But a memoir isn't the right format for this cantankerous old comic now into his ninth decade; Wikipedia may offer the better assessment of Rickles' life. Those who just don't get Rickles, and there are many, won't be entertained. Fans, and they are legion, would do well to overlook this slight text, too. Get into the old tux, Rickles, and get back to work. And we say that, of course, with love. Agent: Mel Berger/William Morris Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743293068
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 171,990
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Rickles is looking for his first big break in show business. If you have a gig for him, contact his agent (as soon as he gets one).

David Ritz is the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award. He has collaborated with Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Smokey Robinson, and Don Rickles. He also cowrote, with Gaye, the song “Sexual Healing.”

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Read an Excerpt

All Heart

Jackson Heights, Queens, was no special place, but my dad, Max, was a special guy. Here's the kind of guy he was: If he was your friend and came over to your house and your wife was in a housecoat, he could hug her and you wouldn't think twice. There was nothing distasteful about Max S. Rickles. (I never knew what the "S." stood for, and neither did he.) Everyone loved my dad. The man was all heart.

Best of all, he laughed at my humor.

He was an insurance salesman who provided for my mother and me, the only child. We weren't rich, but we weren't poor. We just were. We lived in a plain apartment like a million other apartments you see in New York City's five boroughs.

Dad had a lighthearted attitude about life. He took it the way it came. He was the guy who taught me all I know about car repairs: Pay someone to do it for you.

We'd be sitting in our tired old Ford, the engine dead as a doornail. Dad would see someone he knew from our building.

"Charlie," he'd say, "here's a couple of bucks. Make the car start."

He also taught me all I know about home repairs.

Here's how that worked:

Mom wants to hang a picture.

Max offers the janitor, the mailman — anyone who's around — a couple of bucks to bang a nail in the wall. No one ever takes the money — they like Max too much — except the janitor, who's mad because he has to live in the basement.

Max Rickles was a giving sort of man, but sometimes giving isn't as simple as it seems. I'll give examples:

We belonged to a little Orthodox synagogue in Jackson Heights, where Dad was an important member. Once he was even president of the congregation. He loved the congregation and fussed over its finances. It was not a wealthy group and the building required maintenance. On the High Holy Days, Dad would escort me and my cousin Allen, who later became a fine doctor, to prime seats near the altar. It turned out to be a land-lease deal. Ten minutes before the start of services, Dad would move us ten rows back. Five minutes later, he'd say, "Okay, guys! Find seats in the back."

It turned out my father was selling tickets to services like a scalper at a ballgame. He was shuffling around the worshipers and moving some of the higher-donation members to better seats. The proceeds went directly to God.

In this same small synagogue, my lighthearted father was the only one who could deal with the weighty matter of death. When everyone was hysterically crying, Dad would quietly take care of everything. He'd line up the limousines and make the cemetery arrangements. The bereaved families loved him. Dad was able to deal with death. It never frightened him or threw him off track.

Speaking of the track, that was Dad's one vice. But it wasn't the kind of vice that did him in. He bet cautiously — two dollars here, two dollars there. He loved the horses. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than winning ten bucks at Belmont.

He also loved many of the customers he sold insurance to. In fact, when they couldn't cover their insurance payments, he'd often do it for them. He wrote their names in his debit book and carried them on his back. When Dad died of a heart attack in 1953, those same customers came to his funeral and put a box next to his grave where they paid off those debits. That's how much they respected my dad.

By sheer coincidence, his grave site in Elmont, New York, faces the finish line at Belmont. How's that for God's help?

Copyright © 2007 by Wynnefield Productions, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2012

    No very in depth, but I'm a Rickle's fan, so it's good to get it

    No very in depth, but I'm a Rickle's fan, so it's good to get it straight from the horse. Many stories you heard him tell on TV, so not many surprises. But I liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    Don Rickles is a legend

    If you love Don Rickles, Frank Sinatra, or just to laugh then this book is for you. It is a quick read that has plenty of laughs and gives insight to so many famous people that he has connected with over his decades of comedy. The chapters are relatively short and there are quite a few blank pages (you'll understand what I mean when you get it). This book is an easy and enjoyable read for young and old alike. There are chapters about Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart, and many others.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    A funny, funny read guaranteed to make you laugh or smile at least.

    You have to admire Don Rickles' life long steadfast pursuit of his dream. His mother deserves kudos for her unflagging support. I loved this book.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Be Prepared to Laugh, Nonstop ... Until It Hurts!

    It is a pleasure to provide commentary for this entertaining book. It is easy to convey my thoughts because of the laughter and joy I experienced while reading about the life of this comic-genius. Some things that resonated with me about his life were the constant support of his endearing family and the sustenance of his Jewish faith .. through good, bad, and ugly times. <BR/><BR/>In spite of his bravado, like most of us, he has insecurities, doubts, and imperfections. Successful icons in show business were instrumental in supporting his career. Among them were Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Carson, and Clark Gable. Just reading about them reminded me how much these amazingly talented people are missed. Mr. Rickle's book brought their memories back to life. From my perspective, it is a cogent reminder ... we are fortunate to still have this provocative, and gifted man among us. Reginald V. Johnson, Success-Tapes.Com

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fun trip down memory lane

    A quick and fun trip down memory lane with Don Rickels. Chronicles his entire career, which is at 60+ years and counting. No bombshells or celebrity dirt. <BR/><BR/>It's also the shortest 256 page book you'll ever read. There's about 100 chapters, with a blank page in between many of them and half blank pages where the chapters begin and end. And some pictures. The legnth makes it over priced at $24.95, makes a more sensible buy at 40% off - or wait for the paperback.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2007


    Don Rickles has written a genuine winner. Some stories were happy, some were sad -- you'll laugh, cry, and thoroughly enjoy this one. Thanks, Don, for giving us such an honest and thought-provoking book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    very funny and an easy read.

    I couldn't put this book down.I finished it in 2 hours. My father who is of the same generation as DR loved his humour.He would always say...that don rickles is so funny..So i figured i would read about him. This book is very funny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2007

    Rickles' Big Break

    Don Rickles is awesome - still looking for his big break - I never laughed so hard. If you have not followed this man's fantastic career you have to read this book! Many of the chapters brought smiles and tears 'from sentiment'. Don Rickles is a genius! When I caught him on Letterman promoting his book - he still 'has it'. The 'stars' whose life he touched and visa versa is mind blowing! He is one of the greats!

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