When you listen to Sissy Spacek read Stephen King’s Carrie, you can’t help noticing that her narrative voice is very different from the whimpering title character that she played in Brian DePalma’s film version. It is very pleasing to the ear. Spacek speaks with authority and gets to play all the parts this time around.
When the opportunity came to listen to Spacek read her autobiography aloud, I thought it would be a pleasant trip down memory lane. Spacek starred in some of my favorite films of the 1970s and her husband, Jack Fisk, was the production designer on a few more. And, I do enjoy a good behind the scenes story.
After a brief movie related teaser, Spacek spends the early chapters of her book talking about her family, growing up in Texas, and her time in New York trying to make it as a singer/songwriter. Related to actor, Rip Torn, who was married to actress, Geraldine Page, she was exposed to the best Broadway had to offer, but her dream was to write and sing country music, not to be a movie star.
There are great behind the scenes stories from Prime Cut, Badlands, Carrie, and The Coal Miner’s Daughter, but some of the best stories in the book have nothing to do with making movies.
My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is at times poetic and philosophical, well worth the read, but readers will miss out, Sissy Spacek is a fine storyteller. Having the author read their book isn’t always the best choice, but Spacek knows how to engage her listeners and delivers a punch line with southern style. I look forward to hearing her read To Kill a Mockingbird, another audiobook title that she has recorded.