The creator of Deadwood and NYPD Blue reflects on his tumultuous life, driven by an insatiable creative energy and a matching penchant for self-destruction. Life's Work is a memoir from a brilliant mind taking stock as Alzheimer's loosens his hold on his own past.
Life’s Work is one of the best books about television I’ve read. It’s funny, discursive, literate, druggy, self-absorbed, fidgety, replete with intense perceptions ... Anyone who works in mass culture should read it... probably ... Writing dialogue as sharply as he does, his book suggests, requires a heroin habit straight out of a Denis Johnson short story, a ruinous gambling addiction, an ability to stretch deadlines to their dissolving point, an ego that can shatter buffet platters at 30 feet, and a knack for making others love you and want you poisoned at the same time ... What warms this book, and gives it a long view of life, is that it was completed while its author was suffering from the early effects of Alzheimer’s ... He goes deep on a lot of things ... Life’s Work does get a bit fuzzy toward the end. The pearls begin to lack adequate stringing. This feels natural, part of the human drama. You finish feeling you’ve really met someone. Milch was his own best creation.
An exigent reflection on a truly remarkable life, one that holds lessons about humanity and the power of art to make those lessons visible ... Conversationally related yarns — as well as insider baseball on the making of television from casting to cutting room floor — are major draws of Life's Work, especially for dedicated Milch fans like me ... But the real gifts of Life's Work are...his meditations on writing and how to live, and how writing has kept him alive.
A warts-and-all memoir ... Deadwood fans will relish the behind-the-scenes accounts of casting decisions and the series’s origin story ... It’s an unflinching self-portrait, and one that could just as easily come from the mouths of the unvarnished antiheroes he put on screen.