Feature on John Larroquette in the Wall Street Journal today. Excerpt:-
If Mr. Larroquette's professional life has been smooth sailing (nevermind the 1999 series "Payne," an ill-conceived Americanization of "Fawlty Towers"), his personal life has been more roiled. Between 1979 and 1982, he had a simple ambition borrowed from Dylan Thomas: to be the drunkest man in the world.
He's been sober for 30 years now. But really, he's just traded one addiction"”booze"”for another: books. Soon after his last bender, Mr. Larroquette, an avid reader, wandered into a Venice, Calif., store that held bric-a-brac and a shelf with titles by Samuel Beckett, his guiding light.
"I didn't have enough money to buy the signed first edition of 'Krapp's Last Tape.' So I bought the unsigned first edition. And the feeling it gave me was just euphoric"”and much like getting high, frankly," recalled Mr. Larroquette as he sat one morning last week at Argosy Bookstore, where he recently bought a first edition of Joan Didion essays for his wife and mulled over an opening-night gift for Mr. Jones.
That first Beckett find led to another store where he fixed on Robinson Jeffers and, most enthusiastically, Charles Bukowski. "I read a lot of him during my drinking days thinking 'that's the life,'" said Mr. Larroquette, who estimates his collection at a few thousand volumes.
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