The Time of My Life - Patrick Swayze

5 STARS!!!!!
In a career spanning more than thirty years, Patrick Swayze has made a name for himself on the stage, the screen, and television. Known for his versatility, passion and fearlessness, he's become one of our most beloved actors.
But in February 2008, Patrick announced he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Always a fighter, he refused to let the disease bring him to his knees, and his bravery has inspired both his legion of fans and cancer patients everywhere. Yet this memoir, written with wisdom and heart, recounts much more than his bout with cancer. In vivid detail, Patrick describes his Texas upbringing, his personal struggles, his rise to fame with North and South, his commercial breakthroughs in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and the soul mate who's stood by his side through it all: his wife, writer and director Lisa Niemi.
A behind-the-scenes look at a Hollywood life and a remarkable love, this memoir is both entertainment and inspiration. Patrick and Lisa's marriage is a journey of two lives intertwined and lived as one--throughout their years in Hollywood and at home on their working ranch outside Los Angeles, and culminating in the hope and wisdom they've imparted to all who know them. This book will open the door for families, individuals, and husbands and wives to grow, bond and discover entirely new levels of love and sharing, proving that life shouldn't be lived as a series of endings, but rather as the beginning of greater strength and love.

Patrick Swayze was a three-time Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for his leading-man roles in two of the most beloved pictures of all time: “Ghost” and“Dirty Dancing.” Along with these high grossing, history-making films, many of his other movies have achieved a cult following, and his television series, “The Beast,” was a critical success. Also a singer/songwriter, dancer, and stage actor, Swayze grew up in Houston, Texas. He passed away in September 2009.
Lisa Niemi Swayze is the co-author of The Time of My Life, which she wrote with her late husband, Patrick Swayze. She wrote, directed and produced the film “One Last Dance” in 2004. She has held many film, television, and Broadway roles and in addition, she wrote, directed and starred in the play “Without a Word” with her husband, garnering six Drama Critics Awards. Before turning to directing and acting, Niemi Swayze began her professional life as a dancer. Lisa resides on a ranch outside Los Angeles.

This was such an interesting book!  I thought this was gonna be sad and I was prepared to cry my way through. But it was not sad and I only cried at one point (when he was describing his death scene on Ghost). The whole book is more a celebration of his life (along with a few problems - depression, drinking, getting his marriage back on track). He goes into detail about the filming of his major movies, how he got the part, who else was in it and his relationship with them and how the movie affected his life. I loved this, being a big Patrick Swayze fan.
The first part of the book is some family history, but this is not slow, even this is interesting. He tells of how he met Lisa (his wife) at a very young age and knew she was the "one". He goes into detail about his career as a dancer, which again was very interesting! He gives the inside scoop of what it is like for dancers -
"The Harkness (Harkness Dance Center in NYC) diet allowed dancers to consume just five hundred calories a day - basically, lettuce and a few bites of turkey, plus vitamin shots"
This was a long time ago, so lets hope this has changed since then! He tells of all his injuries (and there were many) including one that ended his career as a dancer.
The movies he mostly talks about were - "The Outsiders", "Red Dawn" which is the first time he played with Jennifer Grey. Even though they did not really get along on the set he is very complimentary of her -
"In my life, I've encountered very few people who have the natural talent Jennifer has. She learned incredibly quick, and she was game for anything."
Then he talked about "Road House", my personal favorite movie of his! He did all his own stunts in most of his movies. In "Road House" all the fight scenes were real, they were not fake punches! In the river fight scene Patrick ended up with broken ribs.
"When you watch the scene in the movie, the exhaustion you see on my face is absolutely real. I barely had the strength to drag myself out of the river after that fight."
He almost turned down the part on "Dirty Dancing" because it seemed to fluffy. He and his wife worked hard at rewriting parts of the script so it ended up the movie it is today. This was the second time he stared with Jen Grey. He describes the chemistry they had during this movie. And with no dance experience, how she learned quickly and was again willing to do anything.
In "Ghost" his part as Sam was suppose to be a non-talking part. He was just suppose to float around. Again - he and his wife began re-writing the script and convinced them to give him a dialog to make him a more active character. It was also Patrick who came up with the idea of Whoopi Goldberg playing the part of Oda Mae who ended up winning an award for that part. What you may not know is that most of Whoopi's lines were not in the script!
"With Whoopi, it didn't really matter what was on the page - what came out of her mouth when the cameras were rolling was whatever the hell popped into her head."
He goes into minor detail about several other movies. And I even found a few that I had not seen yet and added them to my list!
At the very end he talks about his diagnoses of Pancreatic Cancer and how he was determined to fight it even with its death sentence.

This was an excellent book! The whole thing was very interesting! If you are a Patrick Swayze fan (like I am) or a lover of a few of his movies you would love this book! I had wanted this book for a while now, but I was not able to bring myself to buy it. It just felt too close, you know? I knew that if I was going to read this it would have to be a gift. My daughter gave me this book for Christmas and when I opened it - I cried. She said "I knew you'd cry!" I am so glad I had the chance to read this - God be with you Patrick your movies will live on!


  1. Sounds awesome. I grew up loving him. I had a door sized posted of him on my closet door. One summer I watched DD so much I practically memorized it. I will miss him but I'm so glad this book celebrates the good parts.

    My heart goes out to his wife. The whole left in her life must be so hard to bear.

    1. Oh man! I want that door size poster!!!!
      I know what you mean, I have seen Road House, DD, and Ghost so many times each I could do the script myself!

      She has a book out now too.

  2. I loved Swayze and was so totally crushed when he passed away. This is a book that I need to read. The world lost a fine man the day he was laid to rest.

    1. This is definately a good book to read if you are a fan of his! It is very well written.
      And I agree totally! He was a fine man.

  3. I'm glad the book was so good, I knew you would love it when I bought it :) I'm also glad it didn't make you cry. I was actually worried if you were ready to read it and how you would handle it emotionally. Sounds like you really learned a lot about him :)

    1. Yes, surprisingly, I did learn a lot about him! I am so glad that is was not all sad. It just would have been a bummer to read, this was so much better than I thought.

  4. I loved him in "Dirty Dancing" Sad when he died.
    He was a great actor.
    You did a great review.

    1. Thanks! He was an amazing person and actor.

  5. I've always loved Patrick Swayze. I've seen all his movies, my faves being Dirty Dancing and Ghost. I don't think I could read this yet but I will one day. I'm still too sad over him being gone. It sounds very much worth read which is good because I do have it on my shelf somewhere.

    1. Well that's what I thought at first too Dar. That I couldn't read it, I loved him too much.
      But it is just that kind of book. It is good to read it, it makes you feel good about him. Makes you remember him in a good way.

  6. I really enjoyed the book--although some parts were bittersweet. I think the essence of Patrick is captured--love of life, love of his wife and family, love of his animals, love of nature, love of his craft. The fact that he finished the book shortly before he passed makes it even more special. I have read certain parts multiple times.

    Patrick, you are sorely missed!

  7. in south america i imagine that this book is not selling or it has not come to peru yet?.
    i`d like to get this book in spanish.

  8. my e mail is denissesdm@hotmail.com, how do i do for getting this book in spanish version in peru? because i`m peruvian.

  9. This book sounds amazing! To journey through his life with him would be an honor. I’ll probably cry like a baby…