December 18, 1989 12:00 PM

by George Burns with David Fisher

This book dances (tap tap taptaptap). Burns always wanted to do a tap-dancing act, never found the spot, and delivers “the best tap dance anybody’s written in years.”

But tap dance-writing isn’t the best part of George Burns’s seventh book. It is yet another love story, following his touching tribute to his wife, Grade: A Love Story. This one is about his lifelong affair with show business. All show business. Vaudeville, radio, television. Jessel, Hope, Durante: “Remember, when we all started Harpo spoke and Durante didn’t, I told jokes, Jack [Benny] played the violin…Berle did his own material and Fred Allen got hit in the head with turnips, but those acts didn’t work and we all had to try something different. I was probably the luckiest one of all…. One day I looked to my left and Gracie was there.”

So many stories, so many tributes, so much detail. There is an authentic, if not elegant style, in the way co-author David Fisher (best known as umpire Ron Luciano’s co-writer) captures the 93-year-old perennial Sunshine Boy talking about show business. Take the comedic kibitzing and the card-playing that has always gone on at the Hillcrest Country Club in Hollywood: “I still go to Hillcrest to play bridge almost every day when I’m not working. I have a little lunch and I look around and I see that big round table where we all used to sit with all those empty chairs around it. It’s not so bad; now I’m definitely the funniest man at the table.” (Putnam, $17.95)

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