Freedom Found: My Life Story
Warren Miller, Warren Miller Co., 512 pages, $12.95. Warren Miller always has appeared to be one of those rare creatures who has been able to say he’s living the dream without irony. That’s the premise most readers will bring to Miller’s autobiography. Many fans already feel like they know Miller, who has delighted multiple generations of audiences with his annual, big-screen odes to that rush of “pure freedom” that comes with an initial ride on skis, snowboard or any other means of fresh-air transcendence, movies that he built a business upon. At first glance, an autobiography from Miller, a 92-year-old resident of Orcas Island and Montana might seem like career overkill — based purely on the unique strength of his career. So personal was the distinctive playful, self-deprecating style of Miller’s films and books that many longtime fans might feel they already know him. Yet “Freedom Found” sheds notable new light on just what it was that Miller was seeking freedom from in the first place. Not many details are spared here — the book, supplemented by 100 images, runs 512 pages. It’s far from the joy ride one might expect from the guy who famously made a career out of what the rest of us do on vacation. With co-writer Andy Bigford, Miller is frank about a dysfunctional Depression-era California childhood. After his introduction to the outdoors, the Miller story enters more familiar territory but spares no detail (sometimes too much), including his many personal ups and downs and his painful realization of his own business naiveté as he struggled to control his own company.