141. Admit One: A Journey into Film

Admit One: A Journey into Film by Emmett James

Pages: 197
Finished: Aug. 14, 2008
First Published: 2007
Genre: memoir
Rating: 3/5

Reason for Reading: A signed Review Copy sent to me by the book's publicist.

First sentence:

If I could tell you just one thing about my life it would be this: My alter
ego was once a very famous man.

Comments: This is actor Emmett James' memoir of his childhood growing up in south London, England and his following career as an actor in Hollywood. The life story is told chronologically but rather than the usual memoir this is very different. James picks movies he has seen during his lifetime and relates them to his life. Sometimes there is a direct revelation from movie to life such as the first movie he remembers going to see, The Jungle Book, when he was about four, showed him how much people are affected by movies as he saw his older brother dancing around singing and acting like an orangutan after the movie. Other times the movie simply brings back memories such as the time he saw Ghostbusters, which was the first time he took a girl to the movies and he tells of his thoughts on his puberty.

The book was not what I had expected. I was thinking it would be more of a group of movies and the author's thoughts of the movies. Instead Emmett James takes that list of movies and tells his life story through how they related to his life. I loved the first half of the book about his childhood in England. The second half tells of his career as a working actor in Hollywood and mostly is opinionated on Hollywood itself and I found it quite egotistical. James takes pride in distinguishing himself as an "actor" rather than a "celebrity". The first half was definitely very enjoyable to read and those who grew up in the '80s will enjoy the tale.


  1. Thanks! You have confirmed my suspicion. :)

  2. Huh--what's your suspicion Joy--now I'm curious!!! I've kind of wavered on whether or not to pursue this book. I think if I find a cheap copy I might pick it up but I'm wondering just how much substance it could really have.

  3. Trish ~ I was concerned it would be more about "Hollywood" than his life. Nicola confirms that the second half focuses more on that aspect.

  4. Joy I have read the book and urge you to pick up a copy. The book is not more about Hollywood than his life, rather how Hollywood relates to his life.

    It's a really fun read and I didn't find it egotistical at all? He's definitely confident but also very willing to show his occasional bad choices in life, freely owning up to his faults.


  5. I totally agree with your assessment of the book Nicola. I enjoyed it but the first half is more interesting than the second. Hollywood plays a very small role though there are a few anticdotes about acting jobs. His disregard for his family was clear and I wondered what they thought about his epilogue. But I found it fun for the most part.


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