NB: Spoilers are avoided where possible but please be aware that some may slip through or be unavoidable.
Let Me Off At The Top! My Classy Life and Other Musings by Ron Burgundy (Century, 2013)
Synopsis: The world’s most trusted and beloved television News Anchor, Ron Burgundy, pulls no punches in Let Me Off at the Top! Burgundy tells the tale of his humble beginnings in a desolate Iowa coal-mining town to his years at Our Lady Queen of Chewbacca High School to his odds-defying climb to the dizzying heights of Anchordom. (from Goodreads)
I love Anchorman. I enjoyed Anchorman 2, despite how truly bizarre it was. I got this book for Christmas having asked for it as soon as I knew it was coming out. I read it in two days, but I must admit to being slightly disappointed overall.
Ron Burgundy is quite the character and he works so well on screen but I think what makes him great is being able to play off the rest of the news team and for people, such as Veronica Corningstone, to be forever rolling their eyes at his behaviour. When you put such a larger than life character on the page where it is just you and him, it can be a little wearing. I found myself losing interest in certain chapters because it was just too much extreme all in one go.
I had hoped for more stories relating to Brian, Champ and Brick and, while there are a few, the focus is largely on his rise to Anchordom and truly bizarre adventures mixed in (the jackelopes story was pretty damned funny and was a nice tie-in with his history with animals).
The events of both movies are, understandably skipped over and there are no spoilers for Anchorman 2 within the the book but there are hints of things that happen which I found neat.
Two of the things I did particularly like and would have loved seeing more of scattered throughout the book:
1) The italic “chapter” titles. Easily missed, I laughed out loud when I noticed and thought it was a clever little add-on. I like things like that.
2) The leaf-blower antics. A few chapters in, Ron gets distracted and has to vent about his frustrations with his neighbour. Every couple of chapters, were are given an update on the current goings on with said neighbour and it was in these little snippets that I felt most in touch with Ron. I understand that the absurdity of the some of the situation is just par for the course when you’ve seen the movies. We know that his life is not normal and that the most surreal things do seem to happen to him but his complete ineptitude at dealing with this scenario was much funnier to me than say his encounter with Bruce Lee.
Oh, I also liked the addition of Ron’s poorly judged history of Mexico book. It was tangents like that that I expected more of.
It’s a very well produced book and very well written, capturing the character just as well in its pages as it does on the screen (even if I feel it doesn’t translate as well, it is still pure Ron Burgundy). To anyone not in the know, it would look just like any other autobiography, complete with glossy photos.
If you are a fan of the Anchorman movies then I would recommend it but maybe don’t expect to be rolling around with laughter (I have given myself a stitch from laughing so hard at both movies, this didn’t come close). If you are a fan of Ron Burgundy in particular, well you probably already have it or at least intend to read it.