Picks and Pans Review: So Far...

updated 11/20/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/20/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Kelsey Grammer

Here's how erudite TV shrink Frasier Crane might analyze his alter ego's new book: "Our dear friend Kelsey obviously suffered from a deep-rooted fear of abandonment and a strong desire to be needed, twin pathologies that led to a pattern of self-destructive behavior and notable appearances in the National Enquirer. The poor lad tries to come clean in this trifle of a tell-all, a rather flimsy affair that depicts him as a tortured artist with the soul of a poet and the libido of a Buttafuoco."

Among the lapses in Grammer's bio: His highly publicized cocaine addiction is shrugged off in one page (he does admit that his Cheers costars helped him kick his habit), and a drug bust is blamed on some old coke found in a jacket he "hadn't worn in months." Oh, come on!

What's more, the women in his life are little more than a blur, while a pending civil case gives Grammer blessed relief from addressing charges that in 1993 he had sex with a minor. Although there are some eloquent passages about the truly heartbreaking list of family tragedies in his life—his father and sister were both murdered, and two brothers died in a diving accident—for the most part the author gives us about as much true introspection as an episode of Frasier. Week in and week out Grammer, a talented actor, creates one of TV's most likable characters (if I do say so myself), and it's hard to blame him for trying to cash in—à la Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Paul Reiser and Ellen DeGeneres—with a book. So Far..., unfortunately, doesn't go far enough. (Dutton, $22.95)

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