Thursday, July 15, 2021

"I'm Your Huckleberry" by Val Kilmer

I picked this book up at the bookstore on an absolute whim.  I didn't even know he'd written a book! But it's not shocking that it would catch my eye, since Val Kilmer has long been one of my favorite actors.  I've always thought of him as off-kilter, extremely intelligent, and funny, so I figured his book might be similar.

I was totally right.  This doesn't feel like a memoir so much as spending a couple of days listening to Kilmer reminisce about his family, his career, and his love life.  Happily, he never goes into any kind of racy details about that last item.  He never says mean or snide things about any of the women he dated, or his ex-wife Joanne Whalley.  He's remarkably gentlemanly, in fact.  You get the idea that he is dazzled by women, but has no real idea what they want or need out of life or a man.  Which was kind of fascinating, in a somewhat sad way.

I was really happy that most of the book was a sort of behind-the-scenes tour of many of his famous movies, because that's what I wanted the most from it.  And he definitely delivered.  I think the only movie of his that I love that he didn't cover at all here is Spartan (2004).  So that was immensely satisfying.  Do I wish he would have delved more deeply into a few of them?  Yes.  But what is here is very fun.  And I got to learn some of his thoughts on Hamlet and what it was like to play the title character onstage, which you know thrilled me.

Val Kilmer was raised a Christian Scientist, and he talks a LOT about his particular religious beliefs in this book.  They're a little peculiar, to me, but I definitely respect his commitment to serving his fellow humans with love and compassion and generosity.  He also explains his battle with throat cancer and his struggle to discover a new way of acting now that his golden voice is gone.

Particularly Good Bits:

When you dream dreams when you're young, do them before you have a reason not to.  When you are young, that is when all the dreams come true (p. 94).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-16 for some veiled references to sex, discussions of drug and alcohol use, and the very sad story of his youngest brother's drowning.

This was my 32nd book read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2021.


  1. I love autobiographies, I'll have to look this one up. I've seen Val Kilmer in Top Gun and The Ghost and the Darkness and saw a little bit of his portrayal of Batman in Batman Forever. I'll have to watch the film all the way through to see how he measures up to Christian Bale.

    1. Ivy Miranda, I've been wanting to see The Ghost and the Darkness again. I saw it several times back when it came to VHS, but not since.

      Batman Forever introduced me to Val Kilmer, even though I was more focused on Chris O'Donnell as Robin at the time. It was also the first Batman movie I ever saw, and maybe the third or fourth superhero movie for me, so it was really formative for me in a lot of ways. Kilmer remains my favorite Batman, but the movie is not trying to be serious the way the Bale movies are. It's comic-book-y fun.


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