To the Temple of Tranquility...And Step On It!: A Memoir
Beloved actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. shares hilarious and poignant stories of his improbable life, focusing on his relationship with his legendary father, adventures with Hollywood icons, the origins of his environmental activism, addiction and recovery, and his lifelong search for wisdom and common ground.
Ed Begley Jr. is truly one of a kind, a performer who is known equally for his prolific film and television career and his environmental activism. From an appearance on My Three Sons to a notable role in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman to starring in St. Elsewhere—as well as films with Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and mockumentarian Christopher Guest—Begley has worked with just about everyone in Hollywood. His "green" bona fides date back to 1970, and have been the topic of two books, a reality show, countless media appearances, and even repeated spoofs on The Simpsons (in one episode, Begley's solar‑powered car stalls out on train tracks, but is saved when the train is revealed to be an "Ed Begley Solar‑Powered Train”).
In To the Temple of Tranquility...And Step On It!, Begley shares a fountain of hilarious and poignant stories throughout his life. The memoir is candid and endearing; in one chapter, he is summoned to Marlon Brando's house to discuss the practical uses of electric eels. In another, he tells the story of taking Annette Bening to the Oscars in “an oddball kit-car that had gull wing doors, and was nearly impossible to get in or out of, unless you were a yoga master, which fortunately she was.” Not to mention insightful and surprising tales about The Beatles, Monty Python, Richard Pryor, Cesar Chavez, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Waits, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carrie Fisher, and so many more luminaries.
Begley’s unmistakable voice is honest and revealing in a way that only a comic of his caliber can accomplish. Behind all the stories, Begley has wisdom to impart. This is a book about family, friends, addiction, failure, and redemption.
Praise for To the Temple of Tranquility...And Step On It!: A Memoir
“This book will help a lot of people… it’s funny too.”—CBS Mornings
“Begley's self-deprecating charm and good humor are evident throughout…. The path is decidedly off-beat…at once a Hollywood tell-all, a cautionary tale, and a work of earnest advocacy. There's more to this celebrity's life than mere show-business success.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[A] rollicking memoir…. Begley’s tone is smart, self-deprecating, and mordantly witty…. Begley’s inside perspective on Tinseltown is humorous and revealing. The result is a captivating Hollywood picaresque.”—Publishers Weekly
“Heartfelt…. His book is filled with a jumble of name-dropping admiration, love, and an entertaining account of the author’s journey through addiction, personal growth, and redemption…. A memoir that’s both touching and funny. Readers will see how Begley finds joy in life in spite of his battles.”—Library Journal
“In his engaging memoir To the Temple of Tranquility...And Step On It!, Begley, Jr. shares hilarious and poignant stories of his improbable life….Begley Jr.'s uniquely honest voice comes across in this revealing book.”—Brooklyn Digest
“This was [a book] I loved….It was a joy to listen to….This book is worth reading if you want something really fun and interesting.”
—“Crazy Money with Paul Ollinger” podcast