Review by Booklist Review
The best work Cheech Marin has ever done has come as the result of improvisation, not only in what he and Tommy Chong did as one of the greatest comic duos in American history but also in the way he lived his life. A second-generation American and son of a 30-year veteran of the LAPD, Marin joined Muhammad Ali as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and fled to Canada, where he learned to be a potter's apprentice, a hunter, and anything else that helped him keep his life moving forward. Canada is where he met Tommy Chong for the first time, and Marin does share the story of Cheech and Chong, the mountains of pot they smoked, and why they're barely speaking to one another today. But this memoir is also a rollicking, plot-rich personal inquiry, in which Marin attempts to answer the question he has heard like a refrain over the nearly 70 years he's been alive, What the hell are you? A fascinating self-portrait and social and artistic history.--Tempone, Frank Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The comedy duo Cheech and Chong defined "stoner humor" in a series of wildly successful LPs in the early 1970s-and later in equally popular low-budget films-with jokes based on "observing this hippie revolution that was going on all around us," as first-time author Marin describes in this enjoyable and insightful autobiography. "We didn't become hippies," he writes. "We were hippies." And though their comedy was often lowbrow, Marin's descriptions of how the duo perfected their act in a range of venues, from their early days in Vancouver (where they met) to countless sets in the famed Troubadour club in Hollywood, makes a strong argument that behind the stoner facade were two seasoned entertainers who, when improvising, "were like jazz musicians." But the Cheech and Chong team is only half of Marin's story. After an honest description of the duo's break-up ("I didn't necessarily want to be in control. I just didn't want to be controlled"), Marin describes the development of his solo success as an actor in films such as Tin Cup and Machete. Bookended by looks at his youth growing up poor in South Central Los Angeles and his development as a now well-known collector of Chicago art, this memoir is fun, wacky look inside Marin's imagination. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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