Roger Ebert: Author as well as movie critic(Read article summary)
Ebert's written works ranged far and wide, from collections of his reviews (positive and negative) to a guide to London and tips on how to use a rice cooker.
Books by Ebert, who died April 4, ranged from movie guides to compilations of reviews to memoirs that looked back on the many years he served as a critic.
A staple of his work was â€śRoger Ebertâ€™s Movie Yearbook,â€ť which was published yearly and compiled his work from the previous two-and-a-half years. Ebert released â€śYearbookâ€ť every year, except for 2008, starting in 1999. His 2013 â€śYearbookâ€ť edition came out this past December.
Ebert's best-known books are probably â€śAwake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert,â€ť a collection of his work which was released in 2006, and his recent memoir â€śLife Itself,â€ť which came out in 2011. In â€śLife Itself,â€ť Ebert discusses everything from his childhood to his recent health difficulties, which left him unable to talk, eat, or drink.Â
Other works by the critic honored the movies he loved and addressed those he hated. In â€śThe Great Moviesâ€ť (2003) Ebert discussed films he admired. This was followed by two further editions, "The Great Movies II" in 2006, and "The Great Movies III" in 2011. He also published â€śI Hated, Hated, Hated This Movieâ€ť in 2002, â€śYour Movie Sucksâ€ť in 2007, and â€śA Horrible Experience of Unbearable Lengthâ€ť in 2012, all of which were compilations of reviews of movies which he had given two stars or less.
In addition, Ebert penned titles including â€śQuestions For The Movie Answer Man,â€ť which came out in 1997 and featured his answers to readersâ€™ letters, and various movie recommendation books in the â€śEbertâ€™s Essentialsâ€ť series such as â€ś33 Movies to Restore Your Faith in Humanityâ€ť and â€ś25 Great French Films.â€ť
More offbeat works included a cookbook he wrote titled â€śThe Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cookerâ€ť and â€śThe Perfect London Walk,â€ť which Ebert wrote with author Daniel Curley and photographer Jack Lane and in which the three co-authors describe their journeys throughout London. Ebert also penned the novel â€śBehind the Phantomâ€™s Maskâ€ť and the screenplay for the 1970 film â€śBeyond the Valley of the Dolls.â€ť
â€śIt communicates a whole lot of gusto and very little grief,â€ť she wrote of the book. â€śIts globe-trotting, indefatigable author comes across as the life of a lifelong party.â€ť
Washington Post writer Gerald Bartell was similarly won over.
â€śTales from childhood, interviews with film stars and directors, funny and touching stories about colleagues, and evocative essays about trips unspool before the reader in a series of loosely organized, often beautifully written essays crafted by a witty, clear-eyed yet romantic raconteur,â€ť he wrote.
In his third edition of â€śGreat Movies,â€ť Ebert himself wrote about how he felt about the power of the movies.Â
â€śBecause we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere,â€ť he wrote. â€śA world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live."