Book Review: I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron (Three Stars)

Book Review: I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron

Three Stars

“Looking back, it seems I was clueless until I was about fifty years old.” “I used to think my disk was full; not I’m forced to conclude … it’s becoming empty.”

The near-end-of-life reminiscences of a journalist and playwright. It should have been profound and moving, but was instead an exposé of practically everything, including herself. Snide and cynical, but still manages to be poignant. An obviously bright, talented person, who (by her own estimate) wasted her life. (She died two years after it was published.)

“Now I know there’s no such thing as the truth. That news organizations are full of conspiracy. That emotional detachment and cynicism get you only so far.” “I aim low.” “… exciting in its own self-absorbed way, which is the very essence of journalism.” “… as egoistical and self-promoting as the rest of us, and that’s a compliment.”

Over and over she reveals how she and those around her were motivated by forming reality rather than reporting it. We, who trusted those journalists to seek and report the truth, were betrayed.

“People in Washington don’t talk about anyone who doesn’t live in Washington.” “How lucky I’ve been to live my life in New York City.”

She thought New York City was the center of the universe, but of course couldn’t see it, even as she reported it. (It’s really Ashland, VA. Ask them.)

“The actual definition of ‘content’ for an Internet company was ‘something you can run an ad alongside of.’”  “We thought that organized religion was the root of all evil and Adlai Stevenson was God.” “We’ve grown up in an era when no one was divorced, and suddenly everyone was divorced.”

Attractive for its content, but marred wordy, clunky prose. I expected better writing from the script writer of several popular plays and movies. Perhaps it came from being paid by the word. Loaded with witty lists, epigrams, and quotable quotes.

“You lose old friends … they’re irreplaceable.” “I am 69 years old. I’m not really old, of course. Really old is 80.”