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Review: Billy Crystal looks back on his life

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JEFF AYERS | September 9, 2013 10:50 AM EST | AP


"Still Foolin' `Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?" (Henry Holt and Company), by Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal looks back on his life and career in "Still Foolin' `Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?" He writes in such a relaxed style that the reading experience feels more like he's talking about his life and thoughts over a friendly cup of coffee.

The book includes essays about his age or sex, and these sections are clearly designed to be funny. The 65-year-old comedian delivers numerous chuckles and flat-out belly laughs.

Crystal reflects on growing up, meeting his wife and getting his start in comedy. He provides behind-the-scenes material for some of his biggest career achievements, including the film "When Harry Met Sally ..." and the TV series "Soap." The personal anecdotes resonate, and reading about the ups and downs of his life is inspiring. Just when he gets close to being maudlin, another humorous essay pops up to lighten the mood.

One of the themes running throughout his stories is his age, and it seems at times that he feels like everything is coming to an end soon. But here is a man who pursued his dreams, achieved them and exceeded beyond even his lofty expectations.

Crystal has the charisma, humor and down-home charm that fans have loved over the years. And the love for his family clearly shines through the words as well.

To quote one of his most famous characters, Billy Crystal, "you look mahvalous."