The Internet Movie Database, along with a jillion other celeb-gossip-carryin’ websites, announced actor Robert Downey Jr.’s plans to pen his memoirs, which will “detail his life story” and will, ostensibly, go over his various battles with drugs and high-profile affairs. He signed the publishing deal with HarperEntertainment for a 2008 release.
The blurb also details what publisher spokesperson Marjorie Braman had to say: “He has an intelligence which shines through all his performances, revealing his intellect as well as his acting abilities. His dramatic personal life, often at odds with his career, adds a layer of complexity to who he is.”
But can the man write?
Downey Jr. is merely the most recent in publishing’s long line of entertainers who figure they can take their entertaining skills into the lit-arena, despite the fact that they have no writing experience and may very well not know how to string two sentences together. Note the publisher spokesperson’s zero-mentioning of any sort of writing talent at all — and we all know a lot of smart bad writers. (Of course, that’s what ghost writers are for.)
The trend continues over at chinaview.com, which reported that “Canongate Books of Edinburgh said it had acquired world English-language rights to [Sean Connery’s] memoirs, Connery’s Scotland, in conjunction with Polygon.” Here, Connery’s endorsement of his own work is less than ringing: “Our goal is to produce a very readable, visually stimulating and hopefully intriguing history of Scotland, with personal discoveries.”
“Readable,” eh? Let’s hope that the rest of the celebographies announced this year — including actor Angelina Jolie, former president Bill Clinton’s Round Two, and singer Charlotte Church (who, at 19, is on her second set of memoirs) — can hire a publicist who can do better than “readable.”