Another Mark Kermode book! Only this time I actually read it. No audiobook crap on this one. Amazingly, I could pretty much hear Kermode’s voice in my head as I read it, so it wasn’t too unlike the pleasures of an audiobook. It’s Only a Movie is essentially a memoir. Kermode talks about growing up, falling in love with movies, becoming a journalist, doing journalist things, and watching Werner Herzog get shot.
Once again, Kermode is a great storyteller, but there is just something less interesting about hearing his life story than there is in hearing him use stories to rant about everything right and wrong with modern filmmaking. The Herzog story is incredibly entertaining, as any story about Herzog undoubtedly would be, but that kind of reveals the problem. When the most interesting story in your memoir is essentially about a completely different person, well, maybe you aren’t the greatest subject for a memoir.
It’s Only a Movie is an easy read, and quite fun, but it just doesn’t hold the interest or weight of his follow-up. It’s the kind of book I could only recommend to huge fans of Dr. Kermode, and even then I’d probably give them a little warning. All in all, a decent book, but not one that comes with a high recommendation.