Book Review: James Patterson’s Autobiography


Earlier this week, James Patterson, the world’s best-selling author, released his long-awaited autobiography. The next day, Stuart Woods, also a New York Times best-selling author, released his autobiography. Apparently, it’s the week for thriller writers to release their life’s story. I finished listening to James Patterson’s memoir, which is narrated by the author, within just a few days of its release. How is it? Read on for my review.

Publisher’s Summary

“I felt I was interviewing James Patterson under the highest permissible does of sodium pentothal, the truth serum, for hours—and he spilled the whole story of his truly astonishing life.”—Bob Woodward

How did a kid whose dad lived in the poorhouse become the most successful storyteller in the world?

  • On the morning he was born, he nearly died.
  • His dad grew up in the Pogey– the Newburgh, New York, poorhouse.
  • He worked at a mental hospital in Massachusetts, where he met the singer James Taylor and the poet Robert Lowell.  
  • While he toiled in advertising hell, James wrote the ad jingle line “I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.”
  • He once watched James Baldwin and Norman Mailer square off to trade punches at a party.
  • He’s only been in love twice.  Both times are amazing.
  • Dolly Parton once sang “Happy Birthday” to James over the phone.  She calls him J.J., for Jimmy James. 

How did a boy from small-town New York become the world’s most successful writer? How does he do it? He has always wanted to write the kind of novel that would be read and reread so many times that the binding breaks and the book literally falls apart. As he says, “I’m still working on that one.”

James Patterson by James Patterson is the most anticipated memoir of 2022.

My Thoughts

Without James Patterson, I wouldn’t be an avid reader or writer. His Alex Cross novels got me hooked on reading fiction. The bite-sized chapters, the riveting action, and the tangible character development made me realize that reading can be fun.

I had the pleasure of meeting James Patterson in 2015, when he received the highest honor at the National Book Awards. He was very nice, we took a photo together, and my respect for him grew even more. I also took James Patterson’s MasterClass on writing, which was thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. He’s as relatable as the characters he writes about, and that’s a great trait to have.

James Patterson by James Patterson is a wonderful autobiography. And if you get the audiobook version like I did, then it’s James Patterson by James Patterson narrated by James Patterson. That’s a whole lot of James Patterson! Hearing the author narrate his own life’s story created a deeper connection for me. I felt like I was having a cup of coffee, or playing golf, with James Patterson while he told me countless stories about his fascinating life. Even better, every chapter is short, just like his novels. Two-minute chapters are the norm, meaning a ton of stories are contained within because of the author’s efficient use of words. It’s also a great way to keep the reader interested the entire time.

I admire James Patterson. He succeeded in one industry and then redefined another. While some may complain about his writing style and reliance on co-authors, his success and influence are undeniable. And if he can get children, including myself way back when, to read, then he’s a positive force in this world. But don’t take my word for it; read James Patterson by James Patterson and find out for yourself.

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