Rave Reviews by Jean E. Eustance April 2022

I have really enjoyed reading The Boys: A Memoir Of Hollywood and Family.  It’s by Ron Howard and Clint Howard, and is about their childhoods as child stars. It is also a loving look back at their parents. It’s on the New Books shelves in the Pine Bush Area Public Library.

The cover has a picture of their father, Ron, and Clint walking along. Rance Howard is so tall, the young Ron is half his height, and Clint is short. Your eye just follows the photo like stair steps going down. After a while, I realized that The Boys refers to all three of them, not just Ron and Clint.

“Ronny Howard” played Opie Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show.”  Ron Howard went on to star in “Happy Days.” Clint Howard was in the show “Gentle Ben.” This was not the classic tale of a boy and his dog, but it was about a boy and his bear.

Before and after those shows, they were in movies and in individual episodes of various TV shows. Clint Howard played an alien commander in “Star Trek.” Ron Howard turned down the chance to be on “The Mod Squad” but Clint did not. Later, Clint auditioned for a part in the original “Star Wars.” Standing right behind him in line was someone named Mark Hamill.  Clint never had a chance.

The book is really about their parents, Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard, and how they raised the boys. It is not a typical Hollywood memoir which gleefully unearths skeletons from the family closet. This is a loving tribute to both their parents. They must have been terribly strong to raise their children as normal kids in Hollywood, which is a decidedly abnormal environment.

Also, the story does not go right up to the present day. It ends sometime after Ron Howard’s debut as a director of “Grand Theft Auto.”

The story is told from two distinct viewpoints. Ron Howard’s contributions have RON printed over them, and they are followed by CLINT. They work like a conversation between the brothers. For example: “RON—I sensed something amiss with Clint as the 1970s turned into the 1980s.”  “CLINT—Ron gave me a kind-hearted big-brother talk. He does those well.”

It’s obvious that these brothers like each other. The book is refreshing in that it does not drag anyone in the dust. Find this biography on the New Book shelf at the Pine Bush Library, and enjoy it.

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