Book Review: Truth Be Told by Larry King

Truth Be Told by Larry King
Paperback Release Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 978-1602861619
Source: Received from Publisher

Truth Be Told is a revealing and irresistibly entertaining look back on Larry’s remarkable run at CNN, and an honest look at Larry’s own life behind the scenes. After more than a half-century of asking questions, Larry King suddenly found everyone wanted answers from him. Was Larry King Live, CNN’s highest rated program, ending after three decades? Was Larry getting divorced again? The paparazzi aimed their cameras at Larry. Jay Leno and other late-night talk-show hosts were having fun at his expense. And a cloud of uncertainty hovered over CNN. All of this forced Larry to look at changes in all aspects of his life, ultimately leading to his decision to leave Larry King Live and devote more time to his marriage and children.

Larry reflects on how much the world has changed around him over the course of his fifty-year career, and he has a lot to say about everything and everyone: from marriage, politics, sports, entertainment, to the justice system, broadcasting, and the American future. Truth Be Told is a candid and surprising look inside the monumental career of one of the most powerful and legendary talk-show hosts as he signs off from the nightly television program that has been close to all of our hearts.

As someone who watched Larry King Live often but not as much as I wanted to, I was very interested in reading Truth Be Told by Larry King to get King’s take, “off the record” on his experience filming, including his most memorable moments, particularly the final shows. Even though there really was no reason to be surprised, since it definitely flows better this way, I was taken aback with the breaking down of genres by chapters rather than writing as each show passed, with sports, music, movies, politics, etc… intertwined. Perhaps my mind was still in television mode, thinking of seamless segments. But in a way, King has done the best that he could doing so here with each topic, chapter. “Music” is the first chapter of the topics and was a great starting point, but even King points out at the end of the chapter that it was getting awfully long. But King is a people person and every person that he talks about in this book he has such a great passion and positive meaning for talking about. His career, the experiences that his career has brought him, the people that he has been touched by hold a great place in his heart and getting to see him open that up was a treat.

Not only that but as a twenty-something year old who has not been following King for very long, there was plenty that I was unaware of about his broadcasting career before CNN as well as much of what happened during his CNN run. King is as honest as he needs to be personally for a book that is really all about looking back on his radio and television career which was refreshing. In a sense, it was like opening a time capsule, something I’ve always wanted to do! This is not a juicy tell all (we get enough of that anyway everywhere else) but a sweet walk down memory lane of one of the most successful talk show hosts in the world.

Getting to read King’s memories, naming some of the greats across the board from his time has encouraged me to go back in time and learn to appreciate those names at least half as much as King does. He speaks so highly of so many people and while connected through this book, I have been propelled further to dig deeper because of this book. Truth Be Told also provides the perfect balance of laughs and thought provoking revelations and is truly one of the most gripping celebrity memoirs that I have read in the last year. As someone who has a great love for good, heartfelt reporting and interviewing, I might be biased. But at 216 pages, this is easily a day read. So be sure to add Truth Be Told to your summer reading list so that you can decide for yourself. Although I think it is safe to say that you won’t be disappointed!

Read Truth Be Told: Off the Record about Favorite Guests, Memorable Moments, Funniest Jokes, and a Half Century of Asking Questions by Larry King today.