Brown Bag Book Club: The Boys
4 mins read

Brown Bag Book Club: The Boys

The Brown Bag Book Club will meet in person at Parr Library on Thursday, March 23, at noon, to discuss The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron and Clint Howard.

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron and Clint Howard

Available in |Print| |Large Print| |eBook| |eAudiobook|

What was it like to grow up on television?  Ron Howard and his brother Clint have been asked this question all of their adult lives.  For all that they were in the same field, the brothers took different paths to success.  For Ron, appearing in the Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days led to fame and a fulfilling career as a director and producer.  Brother Clint had a fast start in television, appearing in Gentle Ben and Star Trek.  When the work petered out in adolescence, Clint faced a hard adjustment along with a period of addiction and recovery.  Later, as an adult, Clint established himself as a hard-working character actor.  Both men feel their success is due to their industrious parents, Jean and Rance Howard.  Jean and Rance Howard, self-described “sophisticated hicks”, left Oklahoma for New York, where they had the two boys, and then later moved to Hollywood.  Jean and Rance instilled strong values in their children.  They had Hollywood dreams of their own, and while they continued to act, they never enjoyed their sons’ level of success.  They weren’t just supportive of the boy’s careers, they also helped guide them.  Rance became known as the “child whisperer”, with his skill at being able to convey to his boys in terms they understood, the emotions and motivations needed to act in a scene. They also worked to keep the boys grounded.  Jean was involved in PTA and the boys’ sports.

The joint story told in alternating vignettes is appealing and effective.  For audiobook fans, the authors provide expert narration.

“Hardly a page can be turned in this lively retrospective without sighting a celebrity name, but that is only part of the story. Ron and Clint, different in temperament and ambition, have created a lasting bond. Rumor has it that they have set in place plans to stage brotherly book tours, an idea that undoubtedly will have their audience cheering. Among a handful of stars who broke into television in its black-and-white heyday and survived to tell the tales, Ron and Clint are more than qualified to offer their experiences in this well-rounded portrait of the pitfalls and triumphs of childhood stardom.” – Book Reporter

“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.” – Kirkus

“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.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Ronald William Howard is an American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He first came to prominence as a child actor, guest-starring in several television series, including an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Clinton Engle Howard is an American actor. He is the second son born to American actors Rance and Jean Howard, and the younger brother of actor and director Ron Howard.

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