The Butler by Wil Haygood (Book Review)


I wanted to like this book more than I did. I actually felt like I should like it more. But I didn’t. I confess that I watched the movie before picking up the book and the movie was pretty awesome. It was a disappointment to find that the book and the movie, with the exception of having the same setting and circumstance, were vastly different. The names of the main character were not even the same.
This is really too bad. Because this is an important story, a tragic but inspiring life to learn about. But in this format it falls short. Making this one of the few times I can honestly say the movie was better.
The first half of the book is the author’s recollections of meeting Eugene Allen, the butler, and his desire on the eve of Barack Obama’s campaign run to write an article of Eugene’s tenure in the White House. The second half of the story is dedicated to telling the story of the making of the movie. It actually seems that more time is dedicated in the book, The Butler, to addressing Hollywood and the movie the Butler as well as the cinema’s treatment of African American actors than is given to Eugene Allen.
See the movie, skip the book.


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