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text 2015-10-20 00:36
Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American Review
Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic AmericanAndy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American by Daniel de Visé
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show with my parents and I still watch it to this day. Something has to be said for a TV show that has never been off the air since its premiere. I believe the fascination is based on the down-home feel, those simpler days, and of course the comedic timing of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.

If you have read any of my reviews before, you know that I like it when the book I am reading mentions a place I have been before or my home state of West Virginia. This book has both of those aspects. Don Knotts is from Morgantown, West Virginia and I have been to Mt. Airy, North Carolina a couple of times. I was there just this summer, taking my parents to the Andy Griffith Museum and to do the squad car tour. I highly recommend taking part in those and going downtown to see all the Andy Griffith related shops, if you're in the vicinity of Mt. Airy. Also, a little fact I didn't know before reading this book, Don's father was sent to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV, which I also visited this past summer.

Biographies give us the stories of the people behind the image that is portrayed on screen, or on stage. We sort of place them up on a pedestal and admire the character they play, but when you start to read about their real life, who they really were, sometimes it bursts the perfect bubble we placed around them. This book is no different. So if you want to keep you're fabricated ideas of who Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were based on their characters, you probably shouldn't read this book.

My favorite part of this book was the stories of their childhoods. There were a lot of similarities, even though they didn't know each other then. It was almost as if they were destined to become friends when they took the stage together in No Time for Sergeants. They worked well together because of their chemistry off camera. Their friendship would last a lifetime.

The book started to taper off a little when the only thing being discussed were the movie and stage appearances they were making. Although I did learn of a couple of titles I had never heard before. I also learned a few new things such as Andy could hold a grudge like nobody's business and Don took Barney's last name from Fife St. in Morgantown.

I have to commend the author for his thorough research and interviews, citing every piece of information at the end of the book. Andy and Don has served its purpose. It's informative. It made me laugh and caused me to tear up. Most of all, it shows us that although no one is perfect, you can have a friendship that's close to it.

I greatly recommend this book to fans of the show!

View all my reviews


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review 2012-12-27 00:00
The Andy Griffith Show Book - Ken Beck,Jim Clark This is one of those media-related reference books that makes you really believe in the fictional universe it concerns. There's so much background information and minutia about the residents of Mayberry, you'll come away wishing they were your neighbors.
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