Review: Admit One by Emmett James

Title: Admit One

Author: Emmett James

Genre/Pages: Nonfiction, Memoir/197

Publication: Fizzypop Productions, LLC; February 1, 2010

Rating: 3.5 BOOKMARKS

Source: Review copy courtesy of Lisa Roe of Online Publicist

A witty and entertaining memoir that details one Englishman’s life-long love of the cinema and experiences working as an actor.

Films have always played a defining role in Emmett James’s life, and his memoir, Admit One, takes the reader from his early childhood in South London all the way to sunny Los Angeles where, as an adult, James makes inroads into show business.

At the start of each chapter, James highlights a movie that had an impact on him, providing a succinct synopsis and starring cast information.  From there, Emmett entertains with humorous vignettes of his child and adulthood, drawing parallels back to the movies.

My husband is a huge movie fan and he and James seem to share the same taste in celluloid magic.  I found myself reading whole pages of the book out loud, especially those with references to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Amityville Horror.

James’s conversational tone and very English turn of a phrase brought to mind a few of my favorite non-fiction writers.  His honesty and self-deprecating humor were welcome, as were his interesting forays into the magic of Hollywood.  He offered up some interesting tidbits and a behind-the-scenes peek at being part of the cast of Titanic, one of the top-grossing films ever made.

I found the beginning and ending of the book to be the strongest, while the middle dragged a bit.  Also, I loved the idea of carrying the film theme through the whole book but felt a few chapters, especially ‘Coming to America‘ and ‘Ghostbusters’ were just vehicles to move the story along without really drawing parallels from James’s life to the movies.  In other chapters, he really explains how the movies impacted his life and his choices, but others felt forced–the movies didn’t really relate to what was happening in his life and only merited a mere mention instead of being the theme.

That said, I found this book to be a worthwhile and entertaining read.  I adore this genre–humor memoir–and am always on the lookout for fresh, new authors.  Emmett James fits the bill and I’m looking forward to reading more from him in the future.

Have you had any brushes with fame?  Maybe a walk-on role in a film or show?  Ever been to a taping of a show?  Any desire to act?

I’ve been to a few tapings and once won tickets and a limo ride to the MTV Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall.  When our limo pulled up out front, the crowds thought my friend and I were celebrities; I just put on my sunglasses and gave my best celebrity wave!


  1. The book sounds entertaining. I love your MTV Music Awards story. I’ve been to a taping of a news show, but that’s it.

  2. I love humor memoirs too. I’ll have to add this to my list. I imagine a lot of it depends on how much you know about the movies he writes about though. And my dad was often mistaken for Gene Shalit (because of his mustache).
    .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Giveaway: "A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore =-.

  3. I think this book will go on my list too. Regarding brushes with fame, we know the Indiana Jones husband/wife writing team and have been to their home. I also had a funny thing happen at Sydney Opera House. The day of the show I fell down and sprained my ankle. Of course I still went to the show. After the performance the head usher saw how I was limping and took me backstage to exit. I was able to walk out the stage door. Fun for me but disappointing to the autograph seekers waiting. It still felt kinda cool.
    .-= Rob´s last blog ..Book Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga =-.

  4. This sounds like a unique memoir.

    My closest brush with fame happened two years ago when I went to a nearby city to be part of preproduction for a tour one of the artists my company managed was about to begin. I was walking around in the crowd outside the arena before the first show and then got to slip through security in the back with my All Access pass. The next day I rode back to the city in one of the crew busses, which had the artist’s face plastered all over the side. Kids were climbing on top of each other to see if she was inside 😉

    Love your MTV story!

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