I know what you're probably thinking. This is a Christian book? Although the subtitle is "My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life," it barely qualifies in this genre. In fact, after I chose this book, I read about it in two secular publications, including People magazine. But I love me a good celebrity memoir, and if it was on the list of choices I was going to snap it up without pausing to question it. Hey, a librarian's gotta have a little fun. I could write a blog devoted to dishy celebrity memoirs. (If you decide to start one, reader, I'll follow.) I love celebrity memoirs so much I feel like I have to restrain myself in this review, so as not to spoil too much. I frequently caught myself smiling as I read, and I'm surprising myself by how freely I compose this post without having to refer to my notes. This means, yes, I recommend it. It's so good I couldn't even put it down in favor of a newspaper. And for me that's saying a lot.
MacLeod, as it turns out, was raised Catholic. He raises a Catholic's eyebrows though when he refers to his childhood parish as "Holy Innocence." You know where I'm going with this: he isn't Catholic anymore. He is divorced and remarried, and he also divorced and remarried his current wife. It's not like MacLeod has been a very bad man (near as I can tell). He does make a Catholic squirm though when he says this: "As a Catholic, once you get a divorce, you're excommunicated. You're out!" Where do people get this stuff? From books like these? You'll cringe here, too: "I'd rather call them 'mistakes' than 'sins,' because that's more understandable, especially to those of us who were raised in a way that made us fear God, and fear punishment." I'd like to help him out here: Mistakes are unintentional; sins are not. That's what makes them sins. But it's hard to argue something like that with someone who loves Jesus too.
MacLeod, like his father and grandfather, did have a bout with alcoholism. (MacLeod's father died of cancer when he was only 39.) The author even nearly ran his car off a cliff, intentionally. That night he went to Robert Blake's house (who I hadn't heard of until he was accused of murder in my lifetime). Blake encouraged him to see a "shrink." MacLeod says, "Like a lot of men, especially men with young families, I was getting all of my identity through my work and not through who I really was. I didn't know that then. I didn't realize, as I would many years later, that my identity comes through my Lord and Savior and my relationship with God. That's the whole answer for me. But I was decades away from that realization." Powerful. This is one of MacLeod's few mentions of God, until he gets to his conversion experience at the age of 52 that's coupled, pardon the pun, with the reunion to his wife. MacLeod says he cries at the drop of a hat, and he does still "tear up" at this memory. This is one of many times! I was interested to find out later in the book that MacLeod and his wife Patti wrote a book together about their rekindled relationship, published in 1987, only 3 years after they got back together. MacLeod says it didn't sell well and it doesn't look to me like it's still in print.
The conversion would be much more beautiful if it had been a conversion back to the one true faith. What he thinks Baptism (a second one?!) did for him could've been done with the Confession he'd already had access to.
Now for some fun miscellaneous stuff: Did you know MacLeod was bald by the age of 22, and he wore a hairpiece occasionally? Did you know he originally auditioned for the Lou Grant role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but he spoke up and said he preferred Murray? Did you know he was considered to play Archie Bunker in All in the Family? And did you know MacLeod brought Ted Knight to Jesus on the latter's deathbed? It's hard to argue with that, too. And he says he still has more stories to tell!
So did I enjoy this book? Yes. Does it belong on the parish library shelf? Absolutely not, as the subject matter is enough without even considering all the...er..."mistakes" about the faith. Any regrets though? None. In fact I'm adding this book to my whatshouldireadnext list.
I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com (http://BookSneezeÃÂ®.com> book review bloggers program.
" this is your captain speaking" is a very hard to put down book. gavin mcloud shares how he has had a successful marriage as well as a wonderful hollywood and television career and how he has made a difference in his life with his strong faith. other recamendations: good tidings great joy by sarah palin,the reason for my hope salvation by billy graham and all books by ben carson
This is the life story of Gavin MacLeod. His story begins with his first performance on stage. He was a preschooler in a family of very modest means. Gavin's Dad passed away when he was only thirteen. He talks about how that affected his life, as well as, his brother's life who is two years younger. His life story traces his acting career from its humble beginnings to becoming a well-known face in America's living rooms.
He was on two long run series: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Love Boat." These shows brought him much fame, and riches. As "The Love Boat" ended, it spawned a multi-decade career for Gavin as a representative for Princess Cruises.
He has been married twice-or three times depending on how you count it-because he married, divorced and remarried his second wife, Patti. He had four children with his first wife, Rootie.
When his mother gravely ill, Gavin prayed to Jesus and said if his mother's life was sparred, Gavin would serve Him for the rest of his life. His mother did survive. Suddenly Gavin was overwhelmed with the notion to call his ex-wife Patti. This was shocking since, he had not communicated with her at all since their divorce.
Unbeknownst to Gavin, Patti had become a born again Christian. She and friends had been praying for a long time for Gavin to become a Christian, and for their marriage to be restored. When Gavin met Patti he knew right away she was different, and he wanted that, too. When he found out it was Christianity, he immediately became a follower of Christ. Later Gavin and Patti remarried.
Gavin states since becoming a Christian, everything has changed for him. Life is better, and marriage is better. Evidence of that is that his second marriage to Patti has been going strong for 28 years. Gavin gives all the credit to Jesus Christ.
He has led a very interesting life. As an actor, he rubbed shoulders with many famous people, including Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Cary Grant. He has traveled the world.
Of all the movies, shows and parts he has played, the work he wants to be known for is the movie, "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry." Not only did he enjoy the part he played in it, he is overjoyed by the number of people's lives who have been changed by it. Now in his early 80Ã¢â¬Â²s, Gavin recently said he has retired as an actor. However, he still tries to make it to as many showings of "Jonathan Sperry" as he can.
He wants to be known as an actor, and as a Christian activist.
This book was very engrossing, and interesting to read. I enjoyed learning about Gavin's life. I was really touched by the love he has for his children, Patti and Jesus. When he became a follower of Christ, he genuinely meant it, and his life changed from that point forward. After that life altering event, he was convicted to ask his first wife for forgiveness, and he relates his joy on receiving it. The book is easy to read and has some great pictures. If you want to be inspired and entertained, check it out. This book gets five stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Thomas Nelson Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.