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Picks and Pans Review: Think I'm Outta Here: a Memoir of All My Families

updated 03/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Carroll O'Connor

Like Archie Bunker, the television role that made him famous, Carroll O'Connor is a very opinionated guy. In this memoir, the 73-year-old actor spends almost as much time lecturing us like a schoolteacher (which he once was) about Irish politics or the entertainment business as he does discussing his childhood and career. O'Connor writes colorfully but gives short shrift to such important episodes as his nine seasons on the groundbreaking Norman Lear sitcom All in the Family. Near the end of the memoir, he shares a melancholy diary he kept during his son Hugh's battle with drug addiction; these pained entries, written as the author helplessly watched his only son destroy himself (Hugh committed suicide in 1995 at 33), are the most poignant and affecting sections of the book. They make us wish O'Connor had spent less time pontificating and more time reflecting. (Pocket, $24)

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