Although some of the most mundane human stories have been transformed into works of art, this assuredly isn't one of them. Woody Allen was able to take Diane Keaton's life and struggles and turn them into a universal love story that touched us all. But Diane Keaton's story told by Diane is unbearable to the point of tears. She has a lovely voice, you want to hear what she has to say, but most of it sounds like those letters you get from family members at Christmas who can't be bothered to send more than 1 letter so they send it to 800 people. She reads from her mother's journals. I have nothing against journals. One of my favorite audiobooks is Nella Last's Diaries, the diaries of a anonymous WWII wife in Great Britain.It was so great to hear about the difficulties she faced during WWII and how she dealt with them. But listening to the very personal and private life of Diane Keaton and her sisters and brother and parents and grandparents in their most intimate details WAS EXCRUCIATING AND BORING FOR ME. Diane has a good voice which is how I managed to get to CHapter 10 without giving up. But not another word, it's too awful . Not even her relationships with interesting people are interesting to hear about. She's still trying to be cutesy at almost 70. It's a bit much. Her acting is a pleasure because she is able to connect with people, but her writing connects only with her navel. This is the wildly mis-edited fantasy project of an overindulged grown up confused over what she wants to be when she grows up.
Mom of one 27 year old, PhD in Rhetoric, Retired AF Captain, Avid Kayaker, Hiker, Biker, Sailor, & Dog Lover
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to get to know this extraordinary woman, her gentle world view, and the love she has for her family. I enjoyed this as much as I did the memoirs of Penny Marshal and Carol Burnett. All three women inspire me with their honesty, humor and kindness.
I was so inspired and touched by this book that I teared up at the end of most of the chapters. It is simply poetic. That's the best way to put it. And at the last chapter, I hugged my little dachshund and wept like a baby. It was just so well said and read with such heartfelt sincerity. If I could, I would thank Ms. Keaton personally. Read this book everyone. It is outstanding.
I just downloaded "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" and can't wait to listen.
Yes! I played hooky a bit so that I could continue listening. In fact, I'll do so again very soon. The reason I wanted to continue is that Ms. Keaton reminded and taught me the importance of loving my family with acceptance and compassion. Not preachy in any way whatsoever, just a good example of how to embrace all of one's family with both realism and gratitude.....
Buy Duke a surfboard. Purchase this book.
It's so down to earth and true to life. Probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much if Diane Keaton herself wasn't narrating.
Yes. Couldn't wait to get back to it.
This was a disappointing book for me in many ways. Unfortunately it was also fairly lacking in highlights or even low low points, making its most outstanding feature being like a featureless landscape, a one note sonata that can pretty much be summed up with the opening Hi, my name is Diane, I love Woody Allen, to, Bye, my name is Diane, isn't Woody the best?! PS, I never was a WA fan, it could have been a prejudicial reaction on my part.
Not for film buffs! Not enough attention to her film career or professional experiences. She is fixated on the death of her parents. File under death, dying, hospice.
Insiders view of filmakers and filmmaking; professional anecdotes.
hard to say. I'm wondering whether the skipping back and forth between the mother's diary entries, letters and notes as well as letters and notes from former lovers and friends - not to mention from Keaton herself - and Keaton's present account, was made harder to follow without any layout hints. maybe different background sounds or something could have been added to help the listener?... or maybe it was just that some bits just weren't all that captivating?
very honest and touching
Reads and yarns, chocolate and naps!
I liked Diane Keaton's reading of her memoir. It was more personable than just reading her words.
Keaton weaves her memories together with journal entries from her mother, so the stories are told from multiple perspectives. It adds a quirky layer to this memoir.
Keaton's performance is outstanding.
When Keaton talks about her children and what life is like, I was particularly moved.
Not possible. The author shows virtually no insight, no growth, or maturity coming from her experience. She merely rambles on, lingering far too long on her mother's illness and death,
No, I love biographies and autobiographies.--I'm just turned off by poorly written ones. From John Adams and Abigail Adams to Steve Jobs, biographies can be entertaining and enlightening.
Keaton was passable as narrator. At times though, she would have an insincere little laugh that left me feeling uncomfortable.
I've enjoyed Keaton on-screen in many roles. It is true she oftern plays the same "Annie Hall" type character--which you hear often in the book. Unfortunately, she did not seem to know who she was--and thus she failed at how to play herself. Her lack of insight left me disappointed.
Not recommended reading.
The continuous reminder to 'Think'. I felt it was such a profound word and simple statement for a woman suffering from Alzheimer disease, during and before the disease started talking affect.
Her voice is always soothing but I think her realism really gets to me in this performance. Letting people know... it doesn't matter who you are... the things we all deal with in life are alike, though never the same.
Then Again... I might mirror my Mother but during her struggles, I found my own way to reflect in what has made me who I am... more a part of her than I realized and much a stronger self.
I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.
Mothers and Daughters
I'm not certain--this book seems "sui generis". It is NOT a celebrity memoir (although there are some aspects of it that might seem so). Perhaps I would call it a non-fictional, trimmed-down contemporary version of a book like "Buddenbrooks" or "The Forsythe Saga".
She seemed very natural and off-the-cuff. Reading her own words, her reactions were sometimes very personal. I like the fact that the book is only roughly chronological.
The story of her mother's death.
The double meaning of the title provides a "vade mecum" into the essence of the book: it's primarily a meditation on living in the shadow of death; on living with parents with all of their caprices; of acknowledging the inescapable, ineluctable pull of family life, of the fact that 1946 can be as fresh, compelling, and memorable as yesterday afternoon was.
But I don't think that any thinking, feeling person need have any similarities to Keaton to appreciate her thoughts on the loss of parents. Keaton's mother left journals, photos, and other documents of her own life which Keaton is able to use as a launching pad for her own memories and perceptions.
I liked the entire book, but interestingly found the family dynamics in Keaton's life more absorbing than the discussion of film and other actors.
I really hope that Keaton writes some more--perhaps more about aging, or reflections on "still life", or on adult sibling relationships, or the art of bringing up children in this bewildering time.
I notice that quite a few reviews are negative and I suspect that they come from people who lack either introspection or experience, or who would have preferred more gossip. I did not find any longeurs or moments of tedium in "Then Again" at all. I would not want anyone to be put off from a deeply rewarding reflection because of some negative responses. I give Keaton's work 5 stars unreservedly.