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I'll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir

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A New York Times Best seller! Pat O'Brien was a skinny South Dakota kid with long hair, a rock and roll band, divorced parents and an alcoholic father. In all the familiar ways, he was on the road to nowhere until a professor, who envisioned his future as the household name he would soon become, dramatically changed his life. From that day forward Pat's life took turns that A New York Times Best seller! Pat O'Brien was a skinny South Dakota kid with long hair, a rock and roll band, divorced parents and an alcoholic father. In all the familiar ways, he was on the road to nowhere until a professor, who envisioned his future as the household name he would soon become, dramatically changed his life. From that day forward Pat's life took turns that were both spectacular and destructive: from the Huntley-Brinkley Report and afternoons at Bobby Kennedy's living room with Muhammad Ali to conversations with six Presidents. He did acid with Timothy Leary, drank with Mickey Mantle, and over the course of a remarkable career up close and personal with the Beatles, The Stones, The Kennedy's, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and virtually every star in Hollywood. In I'LL BE BACK RIGHT AFTER THIS, Pat reveals the highs and lows of the life of a radio and TV broadcaster, spent sharing the mic with the world's rich and famous while battling an infamous public scandal and demons that nearly killed him. With laughter, tears and miracles he reveals how he learned to accept his mistakes, find redemption and become the father he never had, proving there really are second and even third acts in life.


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A New York Times Best seller! Pat O'Brien was a skinny South Dakota kid with long hair, a rock and roll band, divorced parents and an alcoholic father. In all the familiar ways, he was on the road to nowhere until a professor, who envisioned his future as the household name he would soon become, dramatically changed his life. From that day forward Pat's life took turns that A New York Times Best seller! Pat O'Brien was a skinny South Dakota kid with long hair, a rock and roll band, divorced parents and an alcoholic father. In all the familiar ways, he was on the road to nowhere until a professor, who envisioned his future as the household name he would soon become, dramatically changed his life. From that day forward Pat's life took turns that were both spectacular and destructive: from the Huntley-Brinkley Report and afternoons at Bobby Kennedy's living room with Muhammad Ali to conversations with six Presidents. He did acid with Timothy Leary, drank with Mickey Mantle, and over the course of a remarkable career up close and personal with the Beatles, The Stones, The Kennedy's, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and virtually every star in Hollywood. In I'LL BE BACK RIGHT AFTER THIS, Pat reveals the highs and lows of the life of a radio and TV broadcaster, spent sharing the mic with the world's rich and famous while battling an infamous public scandal and demons that nearly killed him. With laughter, tears and miracles he reveals how he learned to accept his mistakes, find redemption and become the father he never had, proving there really are second and even third acts in life.

30 review for I'll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hicks

    Lately, I keep reading celebrity memoirs and addiction memoirs. Bonus points for any book that is both, and even more points for a celebrity/addiction memoir that’s brand new. Sportscaster/tabloid TV host Pat O’Brien’s book is all of the above, and the third act here is a doozy. O’Brien hits the bottom point of a lifetime of heavy and increasingly heavier drinking. The apex is a 2005 scandal centered around a voicemail where a blackout drunk O’Brien famously and enthusiastically opines, “Let’s g Lately, I keep reading celebrity memoirs and addiction memoirs. Bonus points for any book that is both, and even more points for a celebrity/addiction memoir that’s brand new. Sportscaster/tabloid TV host Pat O’Brien’s book is all of the above, and the third act here is a doozy. O’Brien hits the bottom point of a lifetime of heavy and increasingly heavier drinking. The apex is a 2005 scandal centered around a voicemail where a blackout drunk O’Brien famously and enthusiastically opines, “Let’s get some cocaine and hookers!” O’Brien spends the first couple hundred pages tossing out fun little stories that feature the biggest names from the worlds of sports, TV, movies, music and politics, from the early ’70s to the relative present. During the ’80s and ’90s, O’Brien moved up the ranks of CBS Sports, so there are NFL stories, NBA, baseball, summer and winter Olympics, from a true golden age of sports and the televising of sports. In front of the scenes, behind the scenes - it moves quickly, and it covers ground. All of this is filtered through a crazy mix of denial, entitlement and egomania that is still somehow appealing. The book only gains momentum as it goes, turning into a full-scale crazy train at the end. The beauty is, even the rehab/recovery sequence is populated with household names. When Pat gets checked into rehab, his initial evaluation is done by the program director, Dr. Drew Pinsky of “Loveline” fame. When Pat gets out of rehab, his entire career hangs in the balance of whether Dr. Phil decides O’Brien is functional and apologetic enough to remain employed. The Dr. Phil trial-by-fire takes place mostly on a one-hour primetime interview special - O’Brien’s show The Insider and Dr. Phil’s show are owned by the same company, so to the brass involved, this crossover is a hugely profitable no-brainer. O’Brien has no choice but to go along with it. To me, the whole incident makes for a fascinating read - Pat paints Dr. Phil as a complete dick. Which, let’s talk about this - a lot of celebrity memoirs are afraid to name names or talk shit. Pat O’Brien is not afraid to name names and talk shit. It seems like anyone who’s above Pat on the ladder of fame (e.g. his “good friends” Magic Johnson, Paul McCartney, Michael Jordan, Bennifer) gets nothing but flattery. People equally or less famous than Pat (or dead, like that asshole Howard Cosell) get the shit-talk treatment. Best example: O’Brien spends most of a chapter describing the procession of trainwreck female co-hosts he was paired with on Access Hollywood . There’s a great half-hearted disclaimer along the lines of, “But I was a huge alcoholic at the time, so what do I know?” The appeal of this book may be hit or miss, and it’s certainly not highbrow. I’m not gonna lie, either - I started reading this book right at Page 275, the part where the shit hits the fan. It sucked me in almost immediately, and I doubled back to the beginning after I got to the end. But Pat O’Brien, rosy and self-serving as he is when it comes to facing himself, is not a bad writer.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This book made me feel as if I was in the men's locker room, putting up with the course language. Add illicit drugs, wine and booze, too much partying and a gigantic ego, hardly contained by the narrator/author. I've been aware of O'Brien since his days at CBS Sports. I was also aware that he had been treated for addictions. I had hoped the book would have been more about that. Instead the bulk of the book is vignettes allowing O'Brien to drop names of "his good friend" (fill in some sport or Ho This book made me feel as if I was in the men's locker room, putting up with the course language. Add illicit drugs, wine and booze, too much partying and a gigantic ego, hardly contained by the narrator/author. I've been aware of O'Brien since his days at CBS Sports. I was also aware that he had been treated for addictions. I had hoped the book would have been more about that. Instead the bulk of the book is vignettes allowing O'Brien to drop names of "his good friend" (fill in some sport or Hollywood celebrity). He also doesn't hesitate to speak his mind including bad mouthing fellow journalists or co-hosts. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to take a shower.

  3. 4 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    I loved listening to the voice of legendary announcer Pat O’Brien. Until I heard I'LL BE RIGHT BACK AFTER THIS, I had no idea of his remarkable life story and background. Raised by a single mom Vera Pat started into show business early doing tap dancing. Their family lived on the north side of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the family attended the Lutheran Church. O’Brien had a series of amazing circumstances in his growing up years like getting the attention of a college professor, Dr. Bill Farbe I loved listening to the voice of legendary announcer Pat O’Brien. Until I heard I'LL BE RIGHT BACK AFTER THIS, I had no idea of his remarkable life story and background. Raised by a single mom Vera Pat started into show business early doing tap dancing. Their family lived on the north side of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the family attended the Lutheran Church. O’Brien had a series of amazing circumstances in his growing up years like getting the attention of a college professor, Dr. Bill Farber, who moved him into political science. Later after college, he began working at NBC as the research assistant for David Brinkley. A few years later O’Brien is covering Mayor Richard Daley’s office in Chicago. It’s evident to any listener that O’Brien knows how to tell fascinating stories. O’Brien has met numerous celebrities and personalities. At one point, O’Brien interviewed Dr. Billy Graham. At the end of the interview, Dr. Graham put his arm around O’Brien and told him that he sensed a disturbed individual. O’Brien shrugged it off and said everything was fine. In reality as the book shows a few pages later, it was not fine but filled with the drinking and drug use. With remarkable detailed storytelling, O’Brien tells how his drinking continued to increase and his life ultimately spiraled to an intervention and a stent in rehab—actually four times in rehab before he got sober. Scattered throughout the book is at times some offensive language. I’m always surprised at how celebrities like O’Brien who use clean language on television use the F-word a great deal when telling their stories. O’Brien writes toward the conclusion, “Thank God for the gift of desperation which allowed me to take a good look at myself. I wish everyone could have that moment—perhaps without the drama that accompanied mine.” According to O’Brien, his alcoholic father, Joe, would hold many people spell-bound with his storytelling—a skill that he inherited. This memoir is full of detailed funny stories that many times made me laugh out loud. The entire book is worth hearing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    O'Brien sets the scene with tales of his seemingly effortless rise to the heights of the journalistic-sportscaster-entertainment personality stratosphere only to lay bare his meteoric descent into the lonely hell of alcoholism. One can only wonder how (or if) he has been spared traumatic brain injury. O'Brien's story is compelling but in what can only be termed bitter irony, he has retained his professional voice, such that listening to this book in his own reading may make his life sentence to O'Brien sets the scene with tales of his seemingly effortless rise to the heights of the journalistic-sportscaster-entertainment personality stratosphere only to lay bare his meteoric descent into the lonely hell of alcoholism. One can only wonder how (or if) he has been spared traumatic brain injury. O'Brien's story is compelling but in what can only be termed bitter irony, he has retained his professional voice, such that listening to this book in his own reading may make his life sentence to addiction seem not quite as dire as it in fact was. It is a touching story, all the more so for being devoid of phony forgiveness: O'Brien is still peeved at the many figures that peeved him while drunk. The reader -- or listener -- can count him or herself fortunate that O'Brien has not tried to cover up his several public disgraces through cloying sweetness. In no holds barred tales of alcoholism, this one is among the more meritorious. One can only wish O'Brien and those his drinking impacted a long period of sustained good health.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    This is a memoir by a man who apparently was quite accomplished in the sports broadcasting world and then slid, willingly, into the slimy world of tabloid entertainment shows. It was not well written or particularly interesting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alretha Thomas

    I really enjoyed Pat O'Brien's memoir. It was very inspirational and had me sobbing like a baby toward the end. I am so glad he got sober and is living life on life's terms now. What a ride! I really enjoyed Pat O'Brien's memoir. It was very inspirational and had me sobbing like a baby toward the end. I am so glad he got sober and is living life on life's terms now. What a ride!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Theresaharris

    Fascinating narration of not only Pat O'Brien's career and the "insiders" parade of celebrities that he met during his lifetime, but also his grappling with the dreaded disease of alcoholism. Fascinating narration of not only Pat O'Brien's career and the "insiders" parade of celebrities that he met during his lifetime, but also his grappling with the dreaded disease of alcoholism.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim Welke

    Really enjoyed reading Pat's autobiography. From high school to college to NBC and CBS, he always kept busy and kept himself entertained. He talks openly about all the success he had working in the news, his transition to doing sports and his big move to reporting on those in the entertainment industry. One of the highlights of his career was doing the Olympics, from the sports angle and the personal lives of the athletes. Pat is also very open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. Based o Really enjoyed reading Pat's autobiography. From high school to college to NBC and CBS, he always kept busy and kept himself entertained. He talks openly about all the success he had working in the news, his transition to doing sports and his big move to reporting on those in the entertainment industry. One of the highlights of his career was doing the Olympics, from the sports angle and the personal lives of the athletes. Pat is also very open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. Based on his stories, it's a real surprise he didn't wind up behind bars. Pat was able to stop using cocaine, but his lifetime addiction to alcohol, especially to wine, brought down a great career at its peak. Mr. O'Brien also speaks openly about his relationships with co-workers, some positive and some negative. Pat did enjoy his time in the spotlight, making friends with athletes and musicians alike. He also got to meet politicians and entertainers. Pat appreciated doing stories about the positive things these people do for others. He very much disliked doing stories when someone was struggling in their personal life or had a huge downfall. With all the friends Pat made over the years, he's had lots of moral support while he regained his sobriety. He's mostly disappointed about how he let his family down, leading to embarrassment on a grand scale. This is one of the most candid autobiographies, regarding the struggles of addiction, you could ever read. The title of his book, "I'll be right back after this" was a line he used many time on TV, and I just want to say, Pat, thanks for sharing your story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Judy Young

    A very self-centered view of his addictions and the problems he created along the way. Name dropping, mixing with the movers and shakers, blaming others, laughing about the chaos he created. I am thankful that I don't run with his crowd. His ego is too big for anyone else to fit in the same room with him. A very self-centered view of his addictions and the problems he created along the way. Name dropping, mixing with the movers and shakers, blaming others, laughing about the chaos he created. I am thankful that I don't run with his crowd. His ego is too big for anyone else to fit in the same room with him.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Lima

    Worth the read if you’re into name dropping and little nuggets or tidbits regarding celebrity encounters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    some poignant sections regarding having to explain to his son what happened in his well-publicized episodes of public drunkenness, embarrassing voice mails that went viral, etc. other than that, far too much name-dropping (as my good friend Paul McCartney would put it........let me tell you about the time Joe DiMaggio gave me a ride and didn't say anything......when I was at Donald Trump's wedding........) and drunkalogue recaps of falling and hitting his head, doing cocaine, drinking a lot, drin some poignant sections regarding having to explain to his son what happened in his well-publicized episodes of public drunkenness, embarrassing voice mails that went viral, etc. other than that, far too much name-dropping (as my good friend Paul McCartney would put it........let me tell you about the time Joe DiMaggio gave me a ride and didn't say anything......when I was at Donald Trump's wedding........) and drunkalogue recaps of falling and hitting his head, doing cocaine, drinking a lot, drinking more, etc. etc. I'm happy he's gotten sober, but that doesn't mean it's entertaining to read about the details of the route to get there.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann T

    To long. Maybe you become what we hate? In spite of lIving with the pain of an absent alcoholic father, Pat has lived a charmed life. He has rubbed shoulders with the most celebrated celebrity A list, politicians, sports figures. Just got caught up with drugs and alcohol. If you can get through the name dropping, you will learn about his struggles with alcoholism and the celebrity personalities that he bumped heads with or did not care for. Loved his frank description of Dr. Phil who apparently To long. Maybe you become what we hate? In spite of lIving with the pain of an absent alcoholic father, Pat has lived a charmed life. He has rubbed shoulders with the most celebrated celebrity A list, politicians, sports figures. Just got caught up with drugs and alcohol. If you can get through the name dropping, you will learn about his struggles with alcoholism and the celebrity personalities that he bumped heads with or did not care for. Loved his frank description of Dr. Phil who apparently did not stroke his ego. Really nice guy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Nestler

    Pat O'Brien's biggest fan is Pat O'Brien. He loves talking about his "great friend [insert major celebrity name]". Yea, we get it - you know a lot of celebrities. And his vitriol for former co-workers comes across as shallow & petty. Catty stories are amusing for a while, but get old fast. Not a read to be anxious to get to, but an interesting perspective on Hollywood & fame. Pat O'Brien's biggest fan is Pat O'Brien. He loves talking about his "great friend [insert major celebrity name]". Yea, we get it - you know a lot of celebrities. And his vitriol for former co-workers comes across as shallow & petty. Catty stories are amusing for a while, but get old fast. Not a read to be anxious to get to, but an interesting perspective on Hollywood & fame.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katee

    well... I gave it three stars because the gossip is very entertaining and the author is entertaining with his over-the-top ego. I vaguely knew him as the used car salemsan-like guy on ET. I still dont get his appeal. would have been even more interesting if he'd talked about how he got over his addictions (in the long term) and how it has changed him. well... I gave it three stars because the gossip is very entertaining and the author is entertaining with his over-the-top ego. I vaguely knew him as the used car salemsan-like guy on ET. I still dont get his appeal. would have been even more interesting if he'd talked about how he got over his addictions (in the long term) and how it has changed him.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    3/4 of the book is who he met. And way too many details. At times the writing felt disjointed because he would jump so he could tell another celebrity meeting. I was hoping for less of that and more of the process. I did appreciate how he is taking responsibility for his actions and seems to truely understand about the hurt he caused the people around himn

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Was there a celebrity or major sports figure in the last 40 years this guy didn't know? From three of the Beatles to Michael Jordan, it seems everyone short of the pope was his good friend. Startling revelations of what it truly means to be an alcoholic. Was there a celebrity or major sports figure in the last 40 years this guy didn't know? From three of the Beatles to Michael Jordan, it seems everyone short of the pope was his good friend. Startling revelations of what it truly means to be an alcoholic.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    A red-faced, frank look at his 2005 scandal and bouts of alcoholism. Not a bad guy, just kind of a goof.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Its' a wonder he survived to defeat his demons! Its' a wonder he survived to defeat his demons!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    An open, honest look at a life lived in public. The end, dealing with Mr. O'Brien's recovery was riveting and heart felt. I find myself transformed from curious onlooker to avid cheerleader. An open, honest look at a life lived in public. The end, dealing with Mr. O'Brien's recovery was riveting and heart felt. I find myself transformed from curious onlooker to avid cheerleader.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Rosenvold

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aja West

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sasush

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Saeta

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Miller

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Collins

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Parsons

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peter J Roy

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