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Para outros autores com o nome Tom Bissell, ver a página de desambiguação.

19+ Works 2,146 Membros 65 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: Photo by Greg Martin

Obras por Tom Bissell

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2005 (2005) — Contribuidor — 687 exemplares
The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Contribuidor — 621 exemplares
Flight or Fright (2018) — Contribuidor — 427 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 2011 (2011) — Contribuidor — 337 exemplares
Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (2005) — Contribuidor — 252 exemplares
Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the World (2004) — Contribuidor — 227 exemplares
The Best American Travel Writing 2005 (2005) — Contribuidor — 212 exemplares
The Best American Travel Writing 2003 (2003) — Contribuidor — 180 exemplares
The Best American Science Writing 2004 (2004) — Contribuidor — 151 exemplares
The Best American Mystery Stories 2009 (2009) — Contribuidor — 109 exemplares
The Best American Travel Writing 2010 (2010) — Contribuidor — 99 exemplares
Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer (2009) — Contribuidor — 77 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 2023 (2023) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum




Amazing. I laughed constantly reading this book, which is very rare for me to do. If you enjoyed the Room, I absolutely recommend reading this.

The book is set out from Greg's perspective, from the time he starts trying to break into acting and meets Tommy Wiseau to the Room's premier. Chapters alternate between talking about his experiences with Tommy - living with him, doing acting classes with them - up to the start of filming the Room and talking about the actual filming. It builds up a fascinating picture of Tommy and what lead Greg to end up starring in The Room. Greg talks about his experiences trying to start an acting career but Tommy is never far away. Tommy is sometimes awful but there's generally a very limited amount of straight up mockery or mockery - he's usually presented as pretty sympathetic and it's clear that he was at least a kind of decent friend to Greg, even if a flaky and sometimes shitty one. The humour is mostly derived from just how differently Tommy perceives the world. For example, at one point he offers Greg a bottle of carrot juice. When Greg points out that it's 3 months expired, Tommy claims "the mould is on vacation". It may not seem that special, but to me it's just such an amazing way of thinking about it that doesn't even seem to be a joke.

The filming of the Room is, as to be expected, a catalogue of disasters. Tommy's absolute obstinance and inability to comprehend problems or the need to change things is a joy to behold. Greg comments that his stubbornness and absolute belief in his own genius was, at least in small quantities, uplifting to be around and it's totally believable.

It's obviously unclear how much of this is completely accurate - another writer is credited as co-writer, and a lot of what's discussed went on 10-15 years ago - but everything makes sense. If there were embellishments, there's a lot that I feel is genuinely Tommy, if only because nobody else would have the genius to come up with some of the lines. It builds up an incredible picture of an enigma - even after reading this there's still so many questions. Great book on a fascinating man and film.
… (mais)
tombomp | 42 outras críticas | Oct 31, 2023 |
Hilarious throughout but also moments of real tragedy. Greg is honest about his life and Tommy's and some of the stuff hits hard.
IanMoyes | 42 outras críticas | Aug 23, 2023 |
First read in 2018. Could've sworn I added and reviewed it on here when I was transferring my goodreads profile.

2023 review: Five and a half years later, I don't know why I originally found the writing in this funny. I didn't laugh once. I cracked a tiny smile briefly in the beginning but cannot remember why, three days later. I flew through the first third of this in one night. It was strange, described bizarre events and mind-bendingly strange people and ways to react to them. I couldn't put it down at first. Picking this up again after five years incited a sliver of dread in me. I'm a very different person than I was when I first picked up this book. My life experiences are different. There are many reviews of this movie online, which is how I found out about the book in the first place. A new one popped up in my video feed a few days ago as of this writing, unprompted. I clicked it and before watching past the five-second mark, realized I wanted to reread the book.

This supposed memoir is written like a novel that has three stories in one: 1. Greg's failed attempts at an acting career, his refusal to get a job, and he mentions a girlfriend from time to time. 2. The breathtakingly unprofessional filming process of "The Room" and his toxic relationship with Tommy and 3. a hard luck story of an immigrant who bounces between multiple countries for years at a time. Scores of fans have left positive reviews on here that also often doubt the book's authenticity. Video reviews do that too. On second read, I agree on some points. The parts about the immigrant story are written in third person omniscient and beautifully, where IRL, Tommy is shown to have difficulty with the English language. It's his third or even fourth language. Another is French, although he has a boiling hatred of it. His original language is likely an Eastern European one. Apparently people are such fans of this movie that they -found Tommy's family's burial site?- Wtf, I -really- hope someone was just making a dark joke.

The video (by Dominic Noble) I watched that made me want to read this book again picked up on something I missed: Tommy's hatred of French is likely linked to police brutality by French cops when he lived there. He lied about his age on his drivers license, the book states, and I believe this to be true indeed. He may have been alive and living in Eastern Europe during a time of unrest between France and Tommy's country of birth. Hence French cops possibly going in, hassling, and even beating people. The video I watched pointed out it's quite possible that Tommy has brain damage. I am convinced it's true, and that it's the result of police brutality by French cops at one point.

That does not pardon how toxic a person Tommy is. The descriptions of some of his behavior are true to life for some people. I've met them. The absolute refusal to acknowledge anything but glowing feedback, denial of reality that doesn't fit what he wants despite witnesses being there, making odd or harmful choices that he thinks are amazing. His refusal to acknowledge professionals in their field and attempts to improve. The power he has over others and how terrible he is with it. The excessive nudity, the keeping the set open on days that sex scenes were filmed...on and on. The disrespectful way he talks to others. How he treats their time as his own. -He- can show up hours late, but -others- are totes not allowed. I dislike Tommy greatly.
His hold over Greg is terrible and apparently absolute. Tommy has few if any friends, but Greg initiated their friendship and that was that. Greg seems to have few friends during this memoir and Tommy would probably not tolerate others well, if he did. Their lives are so narrow and so enmeshed with one another.

Apparently it continues to this day. I checked Greg's wiki page and oof, his film career did not happen notably beyond this movie. And Doug Walker invited him onto a podcast for the twentieth anniversary of the movie? Whaaaa? That video review of Doug's must have been -successful-. Like, way more than I imagined. I did not listen to the podcast. I do not care. What misery it must be for your acting career to be defined by such a shitty movie you didn't like, and what an awful filming experience! I feel bad for Greg. Twenty years of having someone so toxic in your life, and...my thoughts are a bit bleak. I hope Greg's situation changes for the much, much better somehow. Tommy will never change. He has no reason to. His behavior will get worse, I think, and people will probably laugh and cringe unless they are affected directly..

After I saw Doug Walker's video review of "The Room," I became super worried that I was the Tommy Wiseau of modern acting and that no one was telling me. This became a complex. I was delighted and so glad, and honestly relieved, to discover I'm excellent at playing screaming psychopaths, as well as children, and judges. I cheer others on. I want them to succeed and am so excited when they do. I write little plays that make me happy and are important to me. I don't want my own planet. I'm not gonna get famous and probably wouldn't handle it well if I did. My grasp of the English language is that of a lazy college student who has nonetheless spoken it their whole life. That's how I am describing it. I did own a copy of Strunk and White: the actual book for awhile. I handed it to a consignment shop a few years ago because the physical book was gathering dust. I would probably benefit from taking an English class again or something, but going back to college is not in my worldview.
So, I am not Tommy Wiseau in acting or writing, and certainly not how I conduct myself with others. What a huge ego. I apologize to others a lot and ask for feedback. I did different self-improvement courses for awhile. So, probably not a toxic person. My toxicity would show up differently than Wiseau's. Lookit me, lookit me, reassure me I am not like him.

Reading this book again made me say out loud, "I need a shower and a drink after this drivel. My IQ dropped ten points temporarily." This was a slam against Tommy's behavior; condescending, rude and hateful speech towards others; and that Greg and Tommy still appear in public after twenty years. I didn't have a drink because I had other stuff to do, but it was on my mind. At four o'clock the next morning, I woke up from a vivid, horrifying, terrible nightmare brought on by this memoir. It would sound absurd if I described it. I haven't had nightmares that awful in awhile. I blame Wiseau. A book detailing his behavior gave me -nightmares-. A video reviewer remarked at the end, paraphrased, "I should end this with a Room joke, but I have triggers around emotional abuse." What a powerful statement! I was so, so glad to hear someone admit that out loud. I'm not there yet. Thank you, Dom Noble. I hope everything peaceful happens for you.

Wiseau is an asshole and I hope those who were involved in this disaster have respect, peace and success in their lives unrelated to this. He mistreated so many people and suffered no consequences. Quite the opposite. Bleak.
… (mais)
iszevthere | 42 outras críticas | Jul 10, 2023 |
zeh | 42 outras críticas | Jun 3, 2023 |



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