Uncle of the Year: & Other Debatable Triumphs

Crown. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593443439. $28. MEMOIR
Following his 2019 memoir Too Much Is Not Enough, Broadway, film, and TV actor Rannells returns with a collection of witty and relatable essays about his life. With a deft touch at describing tricky or stressful situations, Rannells’s essays hit all the right notes of humor, self-deprecation, and quiet insight. Many stories are based around his career, including the humbling process of auditioning, less-than-ideal productions in regional theater, his time in Hairspray and Jersey Boys, and originating the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon. Several essays focus on his dating experiences and being a gay man in New York City, but the core of these stories is a universal sense of hopeful uncertainty that nearly everyone faces in their 30s and 40s. While being familiar with Rannells’s career might help readers fully appreciate some of his anecdotes, tales about the joys and troubles of relationships, and a wonderfully believable piece about the escalating ways one can avoid going to the gym, are universal. Already known as an accomplished performer, Rannells proves with this book that he has a strong future as a writer.
VERDICT A candid and thoroughly enjoyable read.
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