The Other Side of Me

Other Side Cover

The Other Side of Me by Sidney Sheldon

I read this recently, because my elderly aunt literally thrust it into my hands. For a few weeks, it languished in my “to be read” stack of books, but I finally picked it up, and within a page or two, I was hooked. Why did I wait? Because I generally prefer fiction or “how-to” books. Maybe a bit of sociology. But not biography or autobiography.

And, if I had not enjoyed his novels so much, it might have remained unread by me. Like many readers, I enjoyed his best-selling novels, such as The Other Side of Midnight, Master of the Game, and If Tomorrow Comes. A glance at the flyleaf reminded me that he had also been a television writer and producer of such hits as I Dream of Jeannie and The Patty Duke Show. Before that, he wrote plays for Broadway.

Sheldon’s life, as many reviewers have noted, reads like a “tell” rather than “show” fiction narrative. Indeed, he devotes more pages to his early life and career, and the book almost devolves into name dropping as he relates his activities at the height of his career in Hollywood. By the time he reaches his years as a bestselling novelist, he skims over the details. But, avid readers of Sheldon’s books will no doubt recognize that he used his life as a basis for certain aspects of his novels. And Sheldon’s life was ultra-successful, but not free from adversity. Indeed, I came away from this book with the impression that his success can be attributed mostly to hard work, with liberal amounts of talent, help from his friends, and just plain good luck thrown in.

Younger readers are probably saying “Sidney who?” but those of us endowed with a few more years no doubt remember waiting for his newest book to hit the library shelves, or tuning in to yet another tv mini-series based on one of his famous yarns. For you, it is as my aunt Celeste predicted, you’ll like this book.