Kirk Douglas--the muscular star of movie classics like "Spartacus"--turned from the tinsel immortality of the silver screen toward deeper truthsafter being in a helicopter crash at age 71, in which two younger mendied. Douglas, though born a Jew, had never paid much attention toreligion before the tragedy. But as he struggled to regain his physicalstrength, he recovered his Jewish roots while seeking to make sense of thecalamity. "Climbing the Mountain" is his spiritual memoir, and it hasabout the depth of insight you'd expect from a Hollywood icon.

Fortunately, it's also Douglas's lame but amusing effort to palm off lotsof little anecdotes about life as a movie star in the guise of a bookabout religion: The time his son, movie star Michael Douglas, gave him anew car for his birthday. Flirting with Liv Tyler at a gas station ("Whyis it that I meet the most beautiful girls when my wife is around?").Seeing Michelle Pfeiffer at synagogue ("Maybe Michelle will convert toJudaism--what a boost that would be for the Jews"). Although it's hard tokeep from rolling your eyes while reading this book, it's also hard to put"Climbing the Mountain" down.