700 Sundays Review
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I caught some snippets of Billy Crystal’s one-man play, 700 Sundays, on television a few months ago and was really impressed. Crystal was making the rounds on the talk show circuit to promote his new play, and he came across, as he always does, genuine and honest. He seems to be the kind of guy that you’d want to be around on a regular basis.

When the N&W.com editors offered me a chance to review the book, I jumped on it. The book is completely autobiographical—nothing added, and nothing taken away. It’s also much more. It’s Crystal’s tribute to his family and, most importantly, to his parents. His mother lived well into her 80s, but his father died when Billy was 15 years old. Looking back, Billy Crystal realized that he had had only 700 Sundays with his father, thus the name of the book.

Crystal’s father was an exceptional man. He worked two jobs to take care of his family, and Sunday afternoon was the only time he could spend with them. He co-founded a record label that would become one of the most influential in the jazz industry. He taught his sons to love baseball. He introduced them to Sammy Davis Jr., Mickey Mantle, Billie Holliday, and others. He gave them something solid to hold onto as they grew to become men. And he gave young Billy a tape recorder so he could work on his comedy routines.

This book spends a good deal of time being sad for the loss of Crystal’s father. It also spends a good deal of time full of joy and deeply felt love. Some of the jokes that were so funny on Broadway fall flat when they are written out, but how could anyone read a joke as funny as Billy Crystal could tell it?

This is a great book. You’ll love it enough to read it all the way through in a single day.

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