Make Love! *The Bruce Campbell Way

Make Love! *The Bruce Campbell Way
Audio Book review.
Updated: 10-01-2005


When the moon is in the Seventh House

And Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then Bruce will guide the planets

And Make Love! will steer the stars



I’m beginning to feel like it’s the Dawning of the Age of Bruce — within a week or so I’ve watched and reviewed the new limited edition DVD of Evil Dead 2, the Sci-Fi Channel’s original movie Alien Apocalypse, and Campbell’s own directorial debut, Man With the Screaming Brain. To polish all that off, I’ve also just finished listening to the audio book version of his first novel, Make Love! *The Bruce Campbell Way.


I like Campbell as the self-proclaimed B-actor he is, but I have to confess I was disappointed by his much-lauded, bestselling memoir, If Chins Could Kill. I didn’t think it was particularly well-written and I found it tedious overall — in short, I was unpleasantly surprised. (I even tried to read it again about a year later, thinking maybe it was just my frame of mind the first time around… but no go.) Needless to say, I had some trepidation about trying Make Love! *The Bruce Campbell Way, but since the publisher had sent me one disc as a teaser I figured I had nothing to lose. And I do love audio books, so that was half the battle right there.


I put the disc in my CD player for a plane ride and the time evaporated before I realized I had finished the sampler and I didn’t have any more. The horror! (And in case you’re wondering — the book is by a horror icon, but there isn’t any of the genre in the storyline.) I begged, pleaded and cajoled until the entire audio book was shipped to me. Those phones were in my ears quicker than Jude Law on a nanny.


Casting himself as the protagonist, the author introduces us to the B-actor Bruce “Don’t Call Me Ash” Campbell as he’s deciding which upcoming fan convention will be the least painful and pay the most money. Before long he finds himself auditioning for Mike Nichols, where much to his astonishment he wins a supporting role in the famed director’s A-list romantic comedy. The remake of Let’s Make Love! is set to star Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger, and Christopher Plummer, so Bruce is already writing his Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech.


Like a good little method actor, Bruce decides to create an elaborate back story for his sage/doorman character — in order to do this, he must immerse himself in opening doors and dispensing advice in the real world. This lands him not only in a world of trouble, but deep in a complex, virus-driven mystery that forces him to go on the lam as a fugitive from the law.


The idea of someone writing themselves as a book character is nothing new — funnyman Steve Allen did it in several mysteries, and currently American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has a horror novel out with a character named… Bret Easton Ellis — but Campbell does it with such shameless, self-deprecating panache, it’s a natural (and hearing him as the character, it’s so much the better).


The book’s many guest stars — Nichols, Zellweger, Gere, and Robert Evans and Jack Nicholson to name a few — are portrayed by other actors, ala a radio play. Normally I don’t care for this approach in my audio books, but Campbell wisely realized that this was the only way his book would work on disc.


Sharp, satirical and savvy, Make Love! *The Bruce Campbell Way is a must-have not only for the author’s diehards, but for anyone who enjoys a rollicking Tinsel Town tale.


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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