Sunday, May 10, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend

De with Kris Smith's beloved late Serval, 'Deaken'.

Kristine M. Smith, author of the book: "DeForest Kelley, A Harvest of Memories: My life and times with a gentleman actor", is back with a delightful new book about our beloved gentleman, "The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend".

"The Enduring Legacy..." is available right now on e-book, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of his death on June 11, 1999.
The book opens with a forward by Smith. She describes how a fan had once asked Kelley how he would like to be remembered. De replied that he'd hoped people would remember, because to him there was nothing deader than a dead actor. Thanks to Smith and the contributors to her new book, it is obvious that DeForest will always be remembered.

The bulk of the book consists of a collection of essays by Kelley's fans and friends. In fact I should say that a fan and a friend are one and the same. A fan of De Kelley, IS a friend of De Kelley. Each essay describes how much Deforest Kelley meant to them personally in all different ways. One contributor describes how she got to hug him simply because she asked him if she could. Try doing that with Shatner! Other contributors knew him well, others never had the opportunity to meet him but corresponded with him, others simply admired him from afar. In all cases De had a dramatic influence on them. The outpouring of love that emanates from these pages will make you giggle, make you smile, make you cry, make you wish that Kris Smith would just keep coming out with more books about him for us to devour.

"DeForest Kelley is not really dead as as long as we love him." (Andrea Gumberger from Germany)

I highly recommend owning "The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend" as a companion to her first book about him, "DeForest Kelley, A Harvest of Memories." This is a deeply touching personal memoir about her long time friendship with the Kelleys and her time as DeForest's personal assistant and caregiver in the last months of his life.

When you read this book, you will really get to know this gentleman as a person. Kris Smith has a knack for showing us the real DeForest Kelley at home during her various interactions with him, his later life in the hospital culminating with his death, without making us feel like we are intruding. I was moved at how honest it was. You see how much of a down to earth, homebody couple the Kelleys really were, you see the depth of DeForest's love for Carolyn and how much everyone simply loved the Kelleys. It is a must read for caregivers; for anyone who has experienced a loss of a family member-- for Kris was very much like a daughter to them.

I believe that I have read and re-read "DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories" about 4 times; it really is a very special book to me. I urge you to buy it now if you haven't already, HERE or at Amazon. It is also available as an e-book where all the photographs are in color!



Kris M Smith said...

Thank you, Lisa, for this wonderful review! If I might make one correction: The ENDURING LEGACY is available only as an e-book. If I receive enough additional contributions to the book from fans and friends of De's in the future, it may be possible to publish it as a softcover or hardbound in a subsequent edition, but for right now the newest book is available ONLY as an e-book. The first book, HARVEST OF MEMORIES, is available in three versions (e-book, soft cover and hardbound.) It may even become an audio book if I ever get around to recording it (again) using a better system.

Thanks again!

Lisa Hamner said...

I've now edited my post. Thanks! Maybe it was wishful thinking! :) Would love to see "Harvest of Memories" on audio book BTW.

Kris M Smith said...

I have a few audiobooks left on MP3. Do you have an MP3 player?