Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another edition of Should I Read This Book? The studio audience is made up of potential readers. Each week a different book is selected and reviewed. Several key elements of the work are listed. When you find an element you don't like, you are excused from the group and it's recommend that you skip the book.
Today's feature is Random Acts of Badness, by Danny Bonaduce. Some of you may remember him as Danny Partridge, or the guy that got busted for beating up a transvestite. Well, what's he been up to since the Partridge songbirds were silenced? Bonaduce chronicled his life in the hot little book that is being discussed today. Let's get started, shall we?
1. You should not read Random Acts of Badness if you're expecting an autobiography from a bitter, former child star. Surprise, surprise. Bonaduce is funny, talented and really damn smart. He steps out of his life in order to examine it from afar. The result is observation with complete amusement and a bit of humble awe. Danny is not bitter and doesn't blame the entertainment industry for the path he chose.
2. You should not read this memoir if you like books that paint a picture of a happy life. There's no sugar coating here. Bonaduce spent a great deal of his life on drugs. Not the recreational fun kind portrayed on film, but the type that physically destroys humans and ruins lives. He is disturbingly honest about the lengths to which he went to get his hands on drugs. The graphic descriptions aren't pretty, but the author definitely gets his point across.
3. You may want to skip this book if vulgarity makes you faint. Bonaduce has a way with words. He writes like he speaks with a dash of salty language here and there. For what it's worth, he is an equal opportunity offender when it comes to sarcastic observations and opinions. I compare this ability to that of David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day). It takes great talent to reach out and offend each reader equally with words. Bonaduce does so effortlessly.
4. Skip Random Acts of Badness if you don't want to hear funny stories about other celebrities. I know, it sounds strange, but some people just don't want to be amused. That's a shame, too, because Bonaduce has included many hilarious anecdotes in his work. Some of the best come from his high school days with Christian Brando and Michael Jackson.
What's it like to hear a radio news report that says your are dead? Danny tells you here. He also gives his side of the story of the organized boxing match with Donny Osmond.
Humor abounds in Random Acts of Badness and that's what separates it from the run of the mill tell-all bios. This alone is reason enough to pick up the book.
5. Do not read this book if you prefer a formal, stuffy autobiography.
Some readers just like serious works that focus on triumph over tragedy. Bonaduce, who refers to himself as a "low-level celebrity," is anything but stuffy. The tone of his book is very informal and written from the heart. Sometimes the stories are choppy, jutting from one topic to another. The casual style is welcoming. Readers get a sense of having a personal barroom conversation with the man himself.
Bonaduce appears to be very friendly and approachable. He has literally made his life an open book and that takes guts. He's up front about past mistakes, even apologizing to certain people in his book.
However, what gives the former Partridge the most credibility is he acknowledges and candidly writes about the ugliest parts of his life with sincere honesty. I highly respect that choice. Bonaduce's willingness to come clean in a humorous manner is what sells this book.
Well, it's time to wrap up this episode of Should I Read This Book? If the five caveats haven't scared you away, then the answer is a resounding YES!
Random Acts of Badness is unlike any other memoir I have read. It's funny, sarcastic and incredibly moving. If the radio and television careers don't pan out, Danny Bonaduce could easily have a successful writing career. His observations are priceless. This book is definitely worth your time.