In his introduction to The Answer Is ...: Reflections on My Life, the Jeopardy! host writes that "my life was not particularly exciting." As Eric Deggans explains, Trebek "then spends much of the book's 290 pages seemingly trying to prove that statement — producing a memoir that dwells a lot on the pace of life growing up in Canada and his brief stint in military college, but spends much fewer words on how he connected with the second wife he calls his soulmate. In the book, Trebek has a tendency to mention things in an offhand way that would be long chapters in a more typical memoir. Like his two heart attacks. Or his struggles with depression. Or the fact that he didn't find out he had a half-brother — a child conceived after his parents separated, who his mother put up for adoption — until just after he started hosting Jeopardy!." Deggans adds: "Don't mistake this criticism for a thirst to see tawdry details or tabloid fodder. But events like these are life-changing moments; struggles which can help define a person and inspire others. These kinds of tales are often the most revealing scenes in good memoirs. Which is why it feels so odd to read Trebek's polite but insistent way of talking around or past these flashpoints, to spend more time focused on the sportscars he once owned, his penchant for cursing or the three garages he has filled with tools purchased from an out-of-business hardware store. It seems, in part, a reflection of his approach to celebrity and public life, where he maintains a focused work ethic and down-to-earth humility about his position."
TOPICS: Alex Trebek, Jeopardy!, Game Shows, Ratings, TV Books