Adam West doesn't like the term "camp," thinks he was a pretty good actor, really believes he should have had the big-screen role that went to Michael Keaton and seems proud to be associated with a pop-culture icon that helped define the 1960s.
If any of these ideas grate at the very fabric of your being -- if you refuse to believe anything written by such a man -- then don't bother with "Back to the Batcave," which claims to offer "The real story behind 'Batman' -- from the star of the classic TV series."
But if you think the TV series was a hoot, if you never tire of Mr. West's deadpan delivery, Julie Newmar's skintight Catwoman outfit or Burgess Meredith's Penguin waddle, then you might get a kick out the book.
Whatever you call it, millions of people loved "Batman," and many still do. They'll enjoy the behind-the-scenes tales Mr. West spins -- everything from the reason they decided against shaving Cesar Romero's mustache when he played the Joker (it was simply covered with white make-up) to his audience with Pope Paul VI, who said he enjoyed the show.
And Mr. West seems happily resigned to his connection to Batman. He takes his job -- although, refreshingly, not always himself -- seriously, and seems genuinely moved by the affection people still feel for the show.
"Back to the Batcave" makes enjoyable light reading for those who remember when their TV screens were plastered with "ZAP!" "BOOM!" and "KAPOWWW!"
Mr. Kaltenbach is a reporter in the features department of Th Sun.
Title: "Back to the Batcave"
Author: Adam West
Publisher: Berkley Books
Length, price: 257 pages, $12