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Reviews for You Never Know

by Tom Selleck with Ellis Henican

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Magnum, PI actor Selleck delivers a breezy autobiography that covers his path from college basketball player to Hollywood heartthrob. While warming the bench for the USC Trojans in the early 1960s, Selleck harnessed his good looks to book a handful of appearances on The Dating Game. His agent then landed Selleck a meeting with Universal head Darryl Zanuck, who was so starstruck by Selleck’s position on the Trojans that he offered him a slot in the studio’s training program. There, Selleck befriended Sam Elliott and Lyle Waggoner, and fell in love with acting, stopping only briefly to serve in an Army reserve unit during Vietnam. With a gleeful propensity for name-dropping, Selleck describes his guest roles on shows including The Rockford Files and The Sacketts; his breakthrough on Magnum, PI; and his run-ins with showbiz royalty including Mae West and Frank Sinatra. The memoir’s opening chapter, which recounts a bone-crunching Mulholland Drive car accident Selleck was in at 17, is a bit of a bait and switch: there’s little gravity here, mostly glitzy recollections from a Hollywood stalwart. For the actor’s fans, it’s an ideal beach read. Agent: Jane von Mehren, Aevitas Creative Management. (May)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The beloved actor shares his splendid life and career. In this well-written memoir, co-authored by Henican, Selleck (b. 1945) tracks an ascent in the entertainment industry that largely began in the late 1960s at the program for new talent at Fox and was solidified by his role as the star of the hit TV series Magnum P.I. The book is often Magnum-heavy, which at first blush may be a turnoff for readers more familiar with his later films, memorable guest role on Friends, or starring role in Blue Bloods. Yet even if readers have never seen a single episode of the show that made his career, the author’s style entertains, edifies, and effectively bridges the bookends of his career. Selleck has a knack for maintaining interest in the nuts and bolts of writing and producing Magnum, his own thoughts and actions in the evolution of the character and the show itself, and the difficult decisions he made along the way. As is the case with any celebrity memoir, there are numerous stories about famous people with whom Selleck has worked and known. However, the author, with the blue-collar mentality to which he often alludes by employing the phrase "laying bricks,” mostly focuses on the actual work of the brightest of stars, such as Frank Sinatra and Carol Burnett on Magnum, as well as the direction of Leonard Nimoy in Three Men and a Baby. Those in search of salacious confessions or anecdotes should look elsewhere. Selleck neither avoids difficult topics such as his first marriage, nor stints on details about meeting and marrying the accomplished dancer and actor Jillie Mack. He does so in the elegant fashion that he exudes on screen. Unless the author is a master of deception, the text is like the man himself: witty, charming, and honest. A celebrity memoir worth reading. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.