Over a career that spanned half a century, Nichols changed Hollywood, Broadway, and comedy forever. The authors offer an intimate look behind the scenes of Nichols' life, as told by the stars, moguls, playwrights, producers, comics, and crewmembers who stayed loyal to Nichols for years.
For practitioners of what used to be called the lively arts, Life Isn’t Everything, an oral biography of Mike Nichols, is manna from heaven, its brilliantly orchestrated polyphony bringing him, his work, and his world to vivid life ... It is properly celebratory and deliciously filled with his bons mots, but from its opening pages, it shirks none of the complexity of the man, acknowledging the darkness so close to the shining surface ... Life Isn’t Everything is no whitewash job ... Again and again, it returns to the question of identity. Under the infinitely polished surface, complex things seem to be lurking ... The breadth of the witnesses is remarkable, as are their candor and perceptiveness.
Carter and Kashner have skillfully handled things ... They have drawn on 150 respondents, friendly and mostly jovial, along with a good many quotations from Nichols himself ... Altogether, the pages about The Graduate constitute some of the best writing about Hollywood and could make, by themselves, a devastating satire.
...a captivating oral history of the late director Mike Nichols ... The occasional criticism of Nichols helps make believable the unbelievably high praise that permeates Life Isn’t Everything. While oral history doesn’t offer the breadth and depth of biography, as writers Ash Carter and Sam Kashner acknowledge, they have assembled a collection of voices that explain why Mike Nichols soared as an artist and as a friend.