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Reviews for Look For Me There

by Luke Russert

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Former NBC News correspondent Russert recalls the life of his late father, “America’s most beloved political TV journalist.” This memoir is a sort of why-are-we-here meditation that sometimes strays into mawkish territory, though it’s certainly well intended. After his father, Tim Russert (1950-2008), fell victim to a heart attack, the author was courted as a kind of dynastic heir. “You have a gift,” said one executive. “You could be a very good presence on air. TV needs more young people.” The author worked for a few years until being pushed to follow his bliss by several guiding voices, including, surprisingly, John Boehner, who, in a profanity-laced (“Shut up, asshole”) bit of tough love, encouraged Russert to hit the road and see the world. The soul-searching that follows is the least interesting part of the book (“Am I trying to show Dad, beyond the grave, that his boy could be like him?”), but the next steps have their moments. The author visited places like Bangkok and Buenos Aires, where he connected with his mother, herself a former correspondent and bon vivant who has a gift for tucking away both her fame and her grief in individual compartments. Russert too easily falls into canned travelogue-speak: “It’s hard to leave Japan. I’ve fallen in love with the country’s decency, its honor, and its order. It’s odd, I suppose, to travel the world, cutting ties with the demands of the past, seeking a free-spirited existence and yet craving the orderliness of Japan.” At his best, the author is aware of his privileged position as a traveler with no apparent limits on time or budget. Thankfully, Russert doesn’t spend too much time feeling sorry for himself, honoring his father’s observation, “Nobody likes a martyr.” A middling memoir, but those working through grief may find some solace in Russert’s pages. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.