The book was good and entertaining until the last hour when he became preachy on the subject of over population (this from a man with 5 kids and 10 grandkids), the evils of a capitalistic, consumer driven society (this from a billionaire), and Americans who drive big cars and own big houses (this from a man with a number of properties all over the country). Until his "do as I say not as I do" finale, the book was very entertaining.
The author never met Tammy, but was, and is still a big fan. Still, he manages to portray Tammy warts and all. He's never mean spirited and tries to be fair to her and to those in her life, even her last husband George Ritchie, who is not a very sympathetic figure. He's done a ton of research, and loads of interviews, but the book is never dry. Tammy left us way too soon, and under some still questionable circumstances, but what a life! After listening to the book I had to go over to itunes to listen to some snippets of her songs again. The author is right, what a great voice. Tammy, Loretta, Dolly, George Jones. They were truly country before country was cool. Tammy lamented how country music was changing,and not for the better, towards the end of her life in the late 1990's. After listening to this wonderful book, you'll agree 100%.
Tony Curtis' heyday was a little before my time, but his stories of famous people he knew in Hollywood in the 40's, 50's and 60's were very interesting. However, at the end, I couldn't help but think Tony Curtis just isn't that likeable of a guy. He had a tough childhood, to be sure. I guess because of that, he did not seem to be able to connect emotionally with any of his ex wives, or his children. To this day he has very cool relations with his grown children. He admits he wasn't a very good, or available, dad, but it is disconcerting to hear him mention *twice* in the book that one of his ex wives, Janet Leigh, filled their daughters heads with negative comments about him, and claims that's part of the reason he has a poor relationship with them today, decades later. At 80 something years old, it's time to take full responsibility for these relationships, or lack of them, as the case may be, and stop blaming your ex. He mentions the births of his children only in passing, and very little about them as little children, but goes into great detail about his many, many affairs. That probably tells you where his priorities were. He admits he sometimes didn't see his children for months. He also had no problem cheating on his wives, even when he was newly, and still happily, married. He mentions one of his wives cheating on him and being very upset when he found out. He admits he cheated as well, but somehow his cheating wasn't so bad because he was "discrete". It's probably no surprise he is currently on his fourth marriage.
The stories he tells about the famous people he knew are interesting, but Tony Curtis himself? Not so much.
This isn't a weight loss book, although she does discuss her weight issues throughout. It's much more than that. She discusses her entire life, pre-fame, One Day at A Time, marriage to Eddie Van Halen, motherhood, with a great deal of honesty. If you came of age watching One Day at a Time, you'll enjoy this book very much. Valerie herself narrates, and does a great job. It's like listening to a good friend talk about her life.
If you're looking for just another "how to" weight loss book, this is not for you.
Cynthia herself narrates the abridged version of this book. Listening to "John" is like having Cynthia over for a cup of tea, while she tells you about that most interesting time in rock 'n roll history.
You'll come away with less respect for John after hearing about how he neglected his son both financially, and emotionally after divorcing Cynthia.
The villan of the piece is, as Beatle fans always suspected, Yoko Ono. But while she may have held some sway over John, he certainly had no excuse for neglecting his son. I feel like Cynthia lets him off a little too easily by putting most of the blame on Yoko.
It's apparent Cynthia, while still somewhat bitter, still holds some affection for John.
Her narration of John's death is very moving. Her voice breaks just a little in some spots.
Her pride in her son is also apparent and justified. It is very moving to hear her describe how he insisted, at 17 years old, to fly to New York from England, alone, after the murder of his father.
Those of us who grew up in the 60's and 70's, with Beatle music in the background, will not be able to help but enjoy this book and its' insiders view of that amazing time.
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