The Time of My Life

by Patrick Swayze

Paperback, 2010




Atria (2010), Edition: Illustrated, 288 pages


In vivid detail, the thirty-year veteran of stage and screen describes his Texas upbringing, his personal struggles, his rise to fame with "North and South", his commercial breakthroughs in "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," and the soul mate who's stood by his side through it all: his wife, writer and director Lisa Niemi.


(74 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mjmbecky
I've always loved Patrick Swayze and his work, loved his passion for life, and loved his absolute dedication to the people closest to him. To me, he was a wonderful, surprising man of conviction in an industry that often lack such qualities.

Having said that, and knowing some of his background
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already, I was so touched to learn more about his life. In his autobiography, The Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze reveals many of what he felt were vulnerable aspect of his character, which included his need to master whatever skill he attempted (feeling that he always had to be good at whatever he did), his abiding love for his wife Lisa (which he revealed he always felt she wasn't as in to him as he was into her, which he later learned was totally wrong), and his deep pain over losing a much loved father and its effects on him. I was moved to hear about his vulnerable moments, to hear how he faced them, and even how he overcame the problems he developed with alcohol as he dealt with his pain. To me, Patrick Swayze's life is a real testament to the ups and downs of any person's life, and how we can approach them.

As I knew heading into his life story, I also knew that the book was completed shortly before his death in September of last year. Patrick Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer was known from the beginning, and seems to float over the book as you read, making you think, "Just give it all you've got!" From this, I mean that I kept thinking that had he known, how would he have changed things? I think we all would just say to ourselves, to dig deep and give life all you have.

It seemed to me, that in the end, Patrick Swayze honored his own life and what he had accomplished through the way he battled cancer. Cancer will never define him, but strangely shed a light on all the good he had done, and reminded us all of how important it is to reach for happiness each and every day.

In synopsis, I highly recommend The Time of My Life. Listen, I'm the first person to run from stories of cancer or dogs (you know...because they always die!), but this autobiography was really moving. Like any human story, it reminded me how precious life is, and even how precious we are as individuals. The walk-away message of this book is varied, and I can say that I have thought about many different aspects of my own life since reading his autobiography. All I can say is, that as a fan, but more as a fellow human being, his life touched mine for good.
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LibraryThing member RPerritt
I loved this book. I found out a whole lot about Patrick Swayze that I never knew. He really was a fighter. I think that all Patrick Swayze fans should read this book.
LibraryThing member BONS
Patrick Swayze & Lisa Niemi have managed to review their lives at a very critical stage. This autobiograpgy has given me a wider perspective on how talented they both were as well as how rare and special of a love they both were blessed with.
LibraryThing member SenoraG163
I love Patrick Swayze and listening to his book, his words, his voice brought it all alive. I laughed, cringed and cried. Excellent telling of his hard road to fame.
LibraryThing member nicdar111
Great story. Just a tad repeatitive.
LibraryThing member FennecGirl
If you can find the audiobook version of this, I highly suggest getting a copy.

I grew up watching Swayze on screen, and felt a tug at my heart when I heard of the cancer. His situation really hit home for me as pictures of him near the end surfaced - having lost my own father to cancer, the
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similarities in their physical appearances stunned me. I knew reading the book alone wouldn't be enough for me, and waited until I was able to indulge in the audio version.

I am glad I did! His personality is now preserved within this book, and I was able to laugh along with him & his memorable stories as I would an old friend. Every little chuckle brought a smile to my face, and hearing through his own easy drawl, the journey of the ups, downs, struggles, and accomplishments - gives me a whole new respect for Patrick Swayze. I predict I will be listening to this edition many times over throughout the years.
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LibraryThing member booklover3258
What an amazing story! Mr. Swayze takes us on a journey of his life from growing up to getting pancreatic cancer. It's very interesting the types of careers he did before acting. A lot of behind the scenes information I did not know about with some of the movies he made. Very very sad at the end
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knowing he wrote this book the same year he died of pancreatic cancer. I did tear up at the end because he was talking about beating the cancer and everything he wanted to accomplish in the future. He was a brave man who wouldn't take no for an answer and lived life to the fullest. Yes he had his demons (we all do) and I'm glad to have read about them and how he coped/dealed with them. RIP Patrick Swayze. Highly recommended read.
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LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
Like many females, I had a crush on Patrick Swayze resulting from the movie "Dirty Dancing".

I knew he'd been a dancer but I didn't realize how much dancing he'd done before his movie career. I was surprised to read that he'd done so well in the ballet world. I also knew his wife was a dancer but
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didn't realize the extent of her career in it either. I was surprised to read that both of them smoked. I wouldn't have thought dancers would be smokers--and it turned out the smoking caused problems in their airplane too as well as making it more likely that he would get hypoxic while piloting.

I also didn't realize Patrick had done gymnastics (also doing quite well at it) and diving and football. I didn't realize he had knee issues stemming from football that recurred throughout his professional career. Or that he drank so much.

By the time he passed away, Patrick and Lisa had been married at least 34 years. These days, I almost feel like long marriages do not happen in Hollywood, so I applaud them for staying together that long. They are honest that there were rough spots in their marriage that they had to work through, but they did work through them.

I was also disappointed that he chose Buddhism. I can't really fault him for moving away from Catholicism--I too have issues with aspects of Catholicism--but if nothing else, growing up Catholic should have exposed him to the truth--something he later chose to reject. It made it hard to read about him wondering about Heaven knowing that.
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LibraryThing member indygo88
This memoir was written co-written by Patrick and his wife, Lisa Niemi, though Patrick wrote the majority of the book, with a few small snippets interjected by Lisa. It was written during the gap of time between his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and his death 20 months later at age 57. I read the
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audiobook version, which is abridged, but read by Patrick (and Lisa).

Patrick Swayze didn't really enter my radar until I saw him in 1987's Dirty Dancing, and like most other teens in the 80's, I love(d) that movie. I also loved his subsequent appearance in Ghost with Demi Moore, though I have to admit that I haven't seen many of the other movies that he's been in, other than (only recently) The Outsiders. But like most people, I was truly saddened to hear of his death in 2009.

I knew a little bit about Patrick's history with dancing (his mother was a dance instructor), but my knowledge of him was mostly pretty basic. I really had no idea how talented he was in so many areas. The guy was motivated and driven, and if one thing didn't work out, he'd fall back on something else that he was also good at. Other than acting, he also, at other points in his life, excelled at dance (various types, but specifically ballet), singing, songwriting, football, rollerskating/ice skating, horseback riding, woodworking, piloting, and probably several others that I'm omitting. He met his wife Lisa while they were still teens in his hometown of Houston, TX.

There are very few memoirs that I don't enjoy because I always learn so many interesting things about the author that I never before knew. But as far as memoirs go, I wouldn't say this ranks up there as one of the better ones I've read, though I did enjoy it for the information I learned. While it was nice to hear Patrick's voice again in this audiobook, he sounded tired, which I expect was a result of the disease process. And while I appreciate the fact that he felt such a strong love for his wife Lisa, his constant reinforcing of and references to her throughout the book were a bit much, and I didn't at all care for her audio contributions to this book, as her voice was a droning monotone. But it's definitely a memoir worth reading for anyone who's even casually a fan of Patrick Swayze. (And I really have a strong urge to go watch Dirty Dancing again, as well as some of the other well-known movies of his that I've not yet seen.)
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Audie Award (Finalist — Audiobook of the Year — 2010)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

288 p.; 8.44 inches


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