For over three decades, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. After he was diagnosed with cancer, he felt compelled to finally share his story. The book combines personal anecdotes with Trebek's thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy.
As it turns out, Trebek’s genius has never been in his intellect. It’s in his steadiness. If the book slightly tarnishes the image of Trebek that superfans may have constructed in their own minds, it provides something more deeply reassuring to replace it ... As a piece of writing, The Answer Is… goes down easy. Trebek does not pretend the book is a narrative masterwork or an excavation of his psyche ... But for all its breeziness, the memoir does the work of fleshing out a character with whom millions of Americans have spent their evenings since the 1980s ... Trebek writes frankly about the darkness he’s facing: the side effects from chemotherapy, and the conversations with his family about when to stop treatment. But he also seems uncommonly prepared for the end of the game.
Alex Trebek is the one providing the answers and questions in a new memoir that should reinforce his admirers’ expectations ... a readable but not slapdash approach ... He is uniformly self-deprecating, including telling a story on himself that involves Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and suggesting modestly that he’s known but not celebrated ... Trebek’s philosophical bent emerges clearly in the memoir ... The naturalized U.S. citizen only nibbles around the edges of politics and the polarization he condemns as self-defeating, leaving the impression he has much more to say on the topic.
...those who adore him for his reassuring nature and warmth likely aren’t interested in his literary prowess; they’ve come for his stories. And Answer delivers. It’s an amusing and at times sobering series of vignettes — a quickly inhaled highlights reel of Trebek’s life ... The behind-the-scenes intel is fun, especially for longtime fans of the show. But the rare insights into Trebek’s personal life are far more revealing.