Bedtime Stories: Tales from My 21 Years at Late Night Live (Phillip Adams, ABC Books)
Phillip Adams has entertained listeners to Radio National’s Late Night Live for more than two decades. In this book of reminiscences he reflects on his early years in commercial radio, frequently taking aim at high-profile targets, including former station colleagues, before describing his entry into the less frenetic world of the ABC. Readers are given a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production of a live radio program, with anecdotes about what happens when a guest fails to arrive or, even worse, when a guest who is expected to be voluble suddenly clamps up on air. Adams’ memories of his many guests are tinged with his signature dry wit, but also with a respect for their humanity. We learn that John Kenneth Galbraith was a towering intellect with a fascination for Jackie Kennedy, and that Arthur Miller’s later years were filled with memories of Marilyn Monroe. This book is not just for dedicated followers of Late Night Live—Adams’ insight into many of the world’s greatest minds deserves a much wider audience.
Chris Harrington is the co-owner of Books in Print in Melbourne