Killing Willis was Killing Me - Slightly Bad Book Review

I grew up watching the Different Strokes - it was good stuff, right?

It started back in late 1978 and featured a white widowed man who adopted two little black boys. Very controversial.

So Willis grew up and, as happens with most child stars, he got involved with drugs and his life spiraled out of control. He got arrested multiple times, he sold drugs, he started drug houses, blahblah. This book didn't really share anything remarkable except that Todd Bridges is NOT an author.

The book has another author listed, but I think she was sick on editing day. Every one of the editing days. It comes across as something written by ...well, an actor who picked up a pen. He brings up how he was mistreated because he's black at least twice a chapter. There is a deep unerlying theme of racism in the book, but it's brought up so much that it seems a bit unbelievable. And honestly, it's obnoxious to have someone say the same thing over and over and over and over. Not that I disbelieve that he dealt with some racism in his life....but there's really a better way to present it.

In one paragraph, he talks about a time when Dana Plato, who played his sister on tv, and who he was with daily for hours a day for years of his life, was giving him *ahem*....felatio (little ears!). And he talks about how they "had a lot of fun together on the set over the next few years. We used to sneak off and fool around in our dressing room." He ends that same paragraph with "But we never dated seriously. I mean, she was my sister. On TV."

One of the few parts I did enjoy was this (I actually laughed at this):

I should have been in The Breakfast Club. How are you going to have kids in
detention, and there aren't any black kids in detention? I mean, come on. I'm over it now, but I was bitter about that for a long time.

Here's one of the many parts I did not:

But the thing about crack is it's possible to smoke a lot of it, which meant I could stay high all the time. I definitely wanted to be high all the time. Once I got used to how crack consumed me, I switched over. And I stayed high all the time.
Ugh, my cat can write a better story...

After one of the more recent times of him being sober, he worked at the sober living house. This was pretty shocking:

So I had people in and out of my sober living houses all the time. The two houses I ran had sixteen beds between them , and I would guess that I had about three thousand people go through there in those three years. And out of all those people, I know of only one person who stayed sober. That's the reality. A very small percentage of people who try to get sober actually succeed.
Three years...only one person succeeding?? Seems to me they might want to consider a new strategy. According to some rehab website: The typical success rate of most drug rehabs is 2% to 20%. Lesson here - Todd's program doesn't sound like the best if you're looking to be sober.

And Todd's book slightly made me want to drink.
I can't really recommend this book. Sorry, Todd - I really wanted to like it. I just couldn't get by the bad writing and the repetitive racism theme.


  1. Brian Miller said...:

    thanks for the heads up to stay away from this one...

  1. Jay said...:

    I loved "The Breakfast Club" but he might have a point. It was a pretty white movie. haha

    Mr. Drummond was a terrible father. All his kids grew up to be such messed up adults. ;-)

  1. Nat said...:

    "Ugh, my cat can write a better story..."


  1. Heather said...:

    Well..I don't think I need to be reading THAT kind of book anyway!
    Although he didn't write the 2nd qoute very well, it pretty accurate.
    That is a horrible success rate, sounds more like a crack house than a sober house!
    I did my own rehab and have stayed sober for 9 years.

  1. UGh, I'd skip that one, too.
    My sister failed rehab lots of times--until she committed to an Oxford house where they require 12 months of your life. Their success rate is considerably higher than the rest for that reason.

  1. carma said...:

    the Dana Plato part - in poor taste especially considering how her life ended...He probably could have left that part out!


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