Reviews

Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me by Ralph Macchio

johnnysbookrev's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging funny informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

I read it one sitting. This book was great. When growing up, all I watched was 80's movies like Karate Kid, Top Gun, and Back To The Future. I personally watched Karate Kid over 10 times, and I will continue watching this movie. This book was more of a Karate Kid book. It describes his own personal stories with Karate Kid and his stories with Billy Zabka, Pa t Morita, and Elisabeth Shue. He also debunks some theories on about Karate Kid. These theories lead to the new Cobra Kai show on Netflix. He doesn't describe much about his childhood or his prior life before Karate Kid, but I didn't mind. I grabbed the book because I wanted to read about his experience in Karate Kid, and he provided a ton of information on that movie, show, and the actors he acted with. Actually that is all he wrote about. If you are an avid Karate Kid fan, I would read the book.

Since it came out in 2022, I've already read it three times. I normally don't read books multiple times, but I'll keep on going back to this book. It's funny, but it also has great lessons in the book. The book also is all about Karate Kid. He mentions about his life growing briefly, but the focus is Karate Kid.  I love it so much because Karate Kid was such a big part of my life. I did karate, watched this movie almost every weekend with my dad, and my dad's from South Korea.

nrpommeguy's review

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5.0

A fantastic look into the life of one of my heroes, Waxing On combines humour and seriousness into a fantastic book containing stories of life as The Karate Kid, and dealing with the subsequent fame

k13raz's review

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3.0

3.5

broprahwinfree222's review

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funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced

4.25

reneetdevine's review

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4.0

Great trip down memory lane. I enjoyed the behind the scenes of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai. I have yet to watch Cobra Kai but am motivated to watch the series now.

gotobedmouse's review against another edition

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informative lighthearted fast-paced

4.75

mstine's review

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5.0

A fun and quick read. A ton of interesting inside tidbits from the history of The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai universe.

ashmorgreich's review

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funny lighthearted fast-paced

4.5

monnie1976's review

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4.0

I really enjoyed this memoir and it made me smile. I wouldn't call myself someone who was a massive The Karate Kid fan growing up. I enjoyed it, I thought he was cute (Johnny was cute too) but wouldn't say it defined the eighties for me. But as I have become older it definitely has a wonderful nostalgia to it and my appreciation for it has grown. I also watched the first few episodes of Cobra Kai and appreciate the clever turn of events and how it played with our perceptions of the characters in the original film. This book is mainly about Macchio's life as Daniel-san and his journey as being one of the most recognizable characters of the eighties. This isn't a tell-all, a story of overcoming addiction or anything sensational. It's just a guy who through luck and talent got an iconic role and how it changed his life. And for me, that was enough. He seems like a nice guy and since I did the audiobook, it felt more like going out for a five hour coffee date with him and hearing all his stories

edenseve63's review

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4.0

My particular theory is that celebrity can be lived in either one of two ways, with the first being the "Elvis Presley" where talent and lucky breaks vault you into the public consciousness at a early age, but personal insecurities and/or unresolved family issues causes one to only feel truly alive when on stage/screen and the rest of one's existence is spent in an attempt to anesthetize oneself with alcohol, drugs and other destructive addictions. This generally ends in one of two ways - death or redemption. The other reaction I define as the "Paul McCartney" and in this version of celebrity one enjoys all the highs and experiences all the dangers of youthful fame, but at some point in time decide to live a "real life". Macchio is clearly made in the McCartney mold.

This is no redemption tale or a look at the hardboiled underbelly of the movie industry, but rather Macchio's clear-eyed accounting of the making of The Karate Kid and its enduring legacy and impact on both him and the general public. If you want a Hollywood memoir detailing nights of snorting cocaine at the Chateau Marmont or hook-ups with the beautiful people, Macchio is not your man. He is a nice married guy from Long Island with two grown kids, a sports fan who roots for the NY Mets and the NY Islanders and is currently a jobbing actor, moving between tv, indie films and stage work. He's had his ups and downs professionally, and is currently riding a new high with a hit tv series on Netflix -- Cobra Kai. But no matter what happened, Macchio never gave up on an acting career, even when he understood his movie star days were behind him. Ralph Macchio's ambition was to have a satisfying acting career not live the so called "celebrity life". Perhaps the success and stability he's maintained over the years can be found in the words of wisdom Daniel LaRusso (The Karate Kid) learned from his sensei, Mr. Miyagi, "find the balance".

A solid 4 star recommend from me on finishing Penguin Audio's "Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me" read by the author, Ralph Macchio