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The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

by Ron and Clint Howard, Ron Howard, Clint Howard

Narrated by Bryce Dallas Howard

Unabridged — 13 hours, 18 minutes

Ron and Clint Howard

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Overview

AN AUDIOFILES BEST AUDIOBOOK OF 2021

WINNER OF AN AUDIOFILES EARPHONES AWARD: "This audiobook is simply a delight...a must-listen."

“This extraordinary book is not only a chronicle of Ron's and Clint's early careers and their wild adventures, but also a primer on so many topics-how an actor prepares, how to survive as a kid working in Hollywood, and how to be the best parents in the world! The Boys will surprise every reader with its humanity.”   - Tom Hanks

"I have read dozens of Hollywood memoirs. But The Boys stands alone. A delightful, warm and fascinating story of a good life in show business.”   - Malcolm Gladwell

Happy DaysThe Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben-these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the '60s and '70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors.

“What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. in The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity-but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons.

With the perspective of time and success-Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor-the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint's teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector-sometimes over-protector-from the snares and traps of Hollywood.

By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, THE BOYS is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers' closely held lives. It's the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

08/09/2021

Actors and brothers Ron and Clint Howard reflect on growing up in Hollywood in this fascinating dual autobiography. Born in the 1950s to actors Rance Howard and Jean Speegle, the two were groomed for the big screen as soon as they could walk, with Ron landing his first role at age 4. Like his older brother, Clint also found a home in the “world of lights, cameras, and boom mics.” Both starred in popular 1960s TV shows—Ron as Opie in The Andy Griffith Show and Clint as Mark in Gentle Ben—and in lighthearted prose, they fondly recall the years they spent in friendly competition (“I love Ron, but I friggin’ wanted Gentle Ben to top the charts,” writes Clint), as well as the differences that led Ron, “the kid always on the straight and narrow,” and Clint, “the mischievous little guy,” down their own paths. As a teen, Ron began making short films on his 8mm camera, eventually leading him to attend film school at the University of Southern California. While the memoir focuses on the brothers’ coming-of-age—and the close relationship that saw them through the joys and challenges of stardom—it also offers glimpses into their later work, especially Ron’s career as a successful director. Candid, humorous, and entertaining, this intimate account will be a hit with the brothers’ fans. (Oct.)

From the Publisher

A Tinseltown childhood free of malice, regret or self-pity. It’s like a Ron Howard movie between two covers… a picture of a family unencumbered by major neuroses, hang-ups or rivalries… links to an earlier, simpler age… refreshing [and] homespun.” — Wall Street Journal

“…kind, imperturbable and appreciative… the lulling rhythms of harmonious boomer sibs clearing out the old family house. See, they seem to say, brotherly love is possible in Hollywood.” — New York Times

“[A] nostalgic coming-of-age story that examines life in showbiz, fun adventures and, perhaps above all, the importance of family.” — CNN.com

“Who would have thought Ron Howard could be exciting? And yet, he and his brother Clint have written a saga of talent, ambition, serendipity, and lust. Well, forget about the lust. It’s just not there. But Ron and Clint’s story of their remarkable coming-of-age in show business will thrill any reader.”  — Steve Martin

“I’ve known and loved the Howard family for forty-eight years, and there are stories here that surprised even me. The Boys is an emotional journey that goes well beyond your typical Hollywood memoir.” — Henry Winkler

"I have read dozens of Hollywood memoirs. But The Boys stands alone. A delightful, warm and fascinating story of a good life in show business.” — Malcolm Gladwell

“This extraordinary book is not only a chronicle of Ron’s and Clint’s early careers and their wild adventures, but also a primer on so many topics—how an actor prepares, how to survive as a kid working in Hollywood, and how to be the best parents in the world! THE BOYS will surprise every reader with its humanity.” — Tom Hanks

“How can the complexities of husband and wives, parents and children, brother to brother be contained between the pages of one book? It’s impossible and yet The Boys touched me in such a way that the Howards’ story—Rance, Jean, Ron and Clint—will continue, for a long time, to settle on my heart like soft rain. It is about life and show business and how one, famous family connected both—with passion, loyalty, respect and, most of all, love.”  — Glenn Close

“Actors and brothers Ron and Clint Howard reflect on growing up in Hollywood in this fascinating dual autobiography… Candid, humorous, and entertaining, this intimate account will be a hit with the brothers’ fans.”  — Publishers Weekly

"Filled with delightful stories from the sets of The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben, The Music Man, and Happy Days, this memoir will be treasured by television and movie history buffs alike; fans of the Howards will greatly enjoy their teasing, loving banter, and evocation of a gentler era." — Library Journal (starred review)

“It’s wholesome, earnest and contains just enough tidbits about Mayberry and “Happy Days” to satisfy ardent fans… In the end, it’s the remarkable story of a family that chose a very public line of work but managed to live by their own private values in an America that gave them the space to do just that.” — Associated Press

"A treat for movie and TV buffs, this dual memoir is wholesome and satisfying…Fans of the Howards will revel in the details of their young ascents into the Hollywood spotlight.” — Kirkus Reviews

Steve Martin

Who would have thought Ron Howard could be exciting? And yet, he and his brother Clint have written a saga of talent, ambition, serendipity, and lust. Well, forget about the lust. It’s just not there. But Ron and Clint’s story of their remarkable coming-of-age in show business will thrill any reader.” 

Malcolm Gladwell

"I have read dozens of Hollywood memoirs. But The Boys stands alone. A delightful, warm and fascinating story of a good life in show business.

Henry Winkler

I’ve known and loved the Howard family for forty-eight years, and there are stories here that surprised even me. The Boys is an emotional journey that goes well beyond your typical Hollywood memoir.

Wall Street Journal

A Tinseltown childhood free of malice, regret or self-pity. It’s like a Ron Howard movie between two covers… a picture of a family unencumbered by major neuroses, hang-ups or rivalries… links to an earlier, simpler age… refreshing [and] homespun.

CNN.com

[A] nostalgic coming-of-age story that examines life in showbiz, fun adventures and, perhaps above all, the importance of family.

New York Times

…kind, imperturbable and appreciative… the lulling rhythms of harmonious boomer sibs clearing out the old family house. See, they seem to say, brotherly love is possible in Hollywood.

Tom Hanks

This extraordinary book is not only a chronicle of Ron’s and Clint’s early careers and their wild adventures, but also a primer on so many topics—how an actor prepares, how to survive as a kid working in Hollywood, and how to be the best parents in the world! THE BOYS will surprise every reader with its humanity.

Glenn Close

How can the complexities of husband and wives, parents and children, brother to brother be contained between the pages of one book? It’s impossible and yet The Boys touched me in such a way that the Howards’ story—Rance, Jean, Ron and Clint—will continue, for a long time, to settle on my heart like soft rain. It is about life and show business and how one, famous family connected both—with passion, loyalty, respect and, most of all, love.” 

Associated Press

It’s wholesome, earnest and contains just enough tidbits about Mayberry and “Happy Days” to satisfy ardent fans… In the end, it’s the remarkable story of a family that chose a very public line of work but managed to live by their own private values in an America that gave them the space to do just that.

Wall Street Journal

A Tinseltown childhood free of malice, regret or self-pity. It’s like a Ron Howard movie between two covers… a picture of a family unencumbered by major neuroses, hang-ups or rivalries… links to an earlier, simpler age… refreshing [and] homespun.

Library Journal

★ 09/24/2021

In this nostalgia-filled look back at their childhood, Academy Award—winning director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind; Apollo-13) and his brother, the prolific character actor Clint Howard, provide insight into growing up on the sets of iconic television and movie productions in the '60s and '70s, thriving as child actors and becoming immensely successful adults. Their journey begins with the touching love story of their beloved parents, performers themselves who allowed their sons to accept the roles that made them household names. Ron describes how he developed a passion for directing as he broke free from Opie (the Andy Griffith Show role that made him famous), while Clint focuses on his method acting practice and his brush with alcohol and drug abuse. Both Howards acknowledge the strong support systems of family, directors, and costars who kept them from developing bad habits as performers and pointed them toward sustainable lifelong careers. VERDICT Filled with delightful stories from the sets of The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben, The Music Man, and Happy Days, this memoir will be treasured by television and movie history buffs alike; fans of the Howards will greatly enjoy their teasing, loving banter, and evocation of a gentler era. —Lisa Henry, Kirkwood P.L., MO

Kirkus Reviews

2021-08-24
Brotherly coming-of-age reflections from a storied life in show business.

The glowing foreword, by Bryce Dallas Howard, sets the tone for this forthright memoir from her father, Ron, and his younger brother, Clint. Both were primed for the entertainment industry from a young age by beloved Oklahoman parents Rance Howard and Jean Speegle, self-proclaimed “sophisticated hicks” who relocated to New York City in their youth and embarked on a “rich and strange” journey to realize their own showbiz aspirations. Written in alternating segments, the brothers offer crisp, mostly interesting insights into their separate trajectories into the entertainment business. Ron writes about being diligently prepped for screen tests near his fourth birthday by his father, who taught both sons to “understand a scene in an emotional language,” while Clint notes that both were spared becoming “Hollywood casualties” due to the values their parents instilled in them. The authors chronicle the ups and downs of lifetimes in acting—early on, Ron in the Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, and Clint in an episode of Star Trek before Gentle Ben—as well as belonging to a household fully ensconced in the entertainment industry. Despite a competitive edge between them—which still remains, as Clint acts in many of Ron’s directorial productions—as they struggled up the Hollywood ladder, their familial bond remained strong. Both brothers add some behind-the-scenes snippets; for example, Ron discusses his newfound adulthood appreciation for Andy Griffith while he shot isolated scenes for Return to Mayberry. For the most part, the binary autobiographical approach works, with the alternating commentaries and interpreted memories from each author offering divergent yet complementary perspectives. A treat for movie and TV buffs, this dual memoir is wholesome and satisfying.

Fans of the Howards will revel in the details of their young ascents into the Hollywood spotlight.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176255492
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/26/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews