The allure of Mr. Kilmer’s artfully written and engaging book is that it’s a glimpse into that old world, receding in the rear view, of the classic Hollywood star system. He dutifully shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes of his most beloved movies, indulges in boastful name-dropping, and offers sweet encomiums to the many famous women in his life ... Mr. Kilmer’s autobiography is often astonishingly candid—he’s the rare A-list actor who’s unafraid to reveal his eccentricities—but he’s just as often opaque about some aspects of his life ... The most affecting part of the book is how Mr. Kilmer writes about the tribulation of being stripped of one of the primary tools of his craft—his voice ... By the end of 'I’m Your Huckleberry', readers may well develop a crush on Val Kilmer.
... absorbing but uneven ... a zigzagging ride through Kilmer’s distinctive life and career, penned by a spiritual storyteller with no qualms about indulging in his eccentricities ... Kilmer’s tone is raw and reflective as he weaves poems into his expressive prose. (He is a literary obsessive who admires Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Samuel Beckett, after all.) Crucially, he shows a willingness to analyze his own image ... For Hollywood fanatics, Kilmer drops plenty of names and behind-the-scenes tidbits ... The most striking anecdotes come as Kilmer opens up on his connection to Brando ... If there’s a through line to I’m Your Huckleberry, it’s 'Love' ... Kilmer gives particular depth to his relationship, and enduring friendship, with Cher ... There is a sense, though, that Kilmer is skimming over certain pivotal episodes. When he quickly chalks up his financial despair to a mismanaged attempt at creating a utopian commune, the reader is left with infinitely more questions than answers. He also seems reluctant to elaborate on his strained relationship with his father, and only spends a few pages musing on his health struggles and ongoing recovery. Other passages meander errantly ... To be fair, there is something charming and disarming about a celebrity memoir that’s willing to go off the rails. Rather than a carefully curated self-portrait, Kilmer offers a scatterbrained journey into his idiosyncratic head space.
I’m Your Huckleberry is as much a one-man show as Citizen Twain, Kilmer’s Mark Twain-centered stage show. The erstwhile Batman does open up (to different degrees) in his memoir about breakups, movie sets, and tests to his faith, but always with a mind to entertain. But I’m Your Huckleberry is more sprawling monologue than a retrospective, full of asides and free association, often sanguine and occasionally resigned ... Kilmer shows great vulnerability and a knack for storytelling. But over the course of I’m Your Huckleberry’s 300-plus pages, that balance becomes heavily skewed toward the latter; as he makes grand pronouncements about the nature of art and humankind, Kilmer remains hesitant to reckon with his personal carnage ... he genuinely seems grateful for the opportunity to look back on his life, loves, and career. But he doesn’t broach those subjects with consistent candor ... some of that glossing over can likely be chalked up to nostalgia and Kilmer’s renewed lease on life. But his reticence also extends to reminiscing about some of his most famous roles—and debacles. There’s not much dishing ... Kilmer’s awe at his own prowess is far more endearing than it has any right to be ... I’m Your Huckleberry is most engrossing, even illuminating, when the author actively tries to reconcile his vision and ego with his faith and regrets. If he loses sight of the past a bit while setting up the next chapter of his life, it’s hard to begrudge him the glance forward, even if it does render I’m Your Huckleberry a series of ellipses instead of a statement on a life 60 years in the making.