Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.
Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life in this memoir - from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.
More than a pause-resisting listen, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.
©2014 Rosie Perez (P)2014 Random House Audio
“I read Rosie Perez's magnificent, very real, and heart wrenching book with equal parts joy and horror--horror that the world can and routinely does inflict its terrors on its children, and joy that Rosie made it out to become not only the superior, iconographic artist she is, but the magnificent woman this book reveals her to be. Her voice is the captivating instrument here: forthright, funny, and utterly her own.” (Hilton Als, staff writer, The New Yorker)
“Rosie Perez's Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a shockingly brave, honest book, filled with so much grace, forgiveness and humor that you feel invigorated reading it. A deeply moving story, told with unapologetic courage and heart.” (George C. Wolfe)
“Reading this story I was shaking my head in amazement that Rosie is even walking around on the earth, still smiling, let alone creating, contributing and caring about the world. I know lots of artists who had to persevere and overcome a lot to get where they got and do what they do, but Rosie takes the prize for triumph of a spirit undimmed. Charles Dickens never dreamed up a more incredible hard-knocks story.” (Edward Norton)
“Rosie Perez has written a brave, hysterical, wise and compulsively readable chronicle of growing up and surviving the dual challenges of a crazy family and crazy life in Hollywood. Like Running With Scissors before it, Handboook for an Unpredictable Life is ultimately a story of survival and will inspire us all.” (Liz Garbus)
“With refreshing candor and sass, Perez transforms the painful details of her life into an inspiring reminder that even the most unforgiving of personal circumstances can be overcome. A spunky and heartfelt memoir.” (Kirkus)
I'd say it ranks near the top.
While it's great having the author read the book, I noticed she mispronounced some words. I have noticed this with a few of my other audio books. I mean, she wrote it and she doesn't know how to say certain words? I'm sure you can get caught up in reading and it happens, but why wouldn't they start that sentence over or something? I'm sure I'm just being anal about it, but it bothers me.
Great memoir, cute and inspiring story.
Rosie Perez brings so much life to her memoir, really brings a lot to the story.
I loved the fact that Rosie narrated the book. Her giving expression and emotion where needed drew me in.
I loved Rosie's ability too grow from all of her tumultuous experiences. Her never giving up is inspiring.
When she was with Lydia and then those times when she finally started to enjoy her father. (I was always rooting for him)
It made me laugh, cry become angry and feel appalled, to only feel her love through out this story.
This is absolutely one of my very favorite books now. I have always been a fan of Rosie's, now I feel a connection to her... God bless America two times!
I LOVED HEARING ROSIE TELL HER STORY.I FELT A CONNECTION TO HER WITH HER PAIN AND HER JOY.
MY BELOVED WORLD- SONIA SOTOMAYER. YOU CAN'T LET SOMEONE ELSE DEFINE YOU. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE THE SAME EXPERIENCES AS SOMEONE ELSE TO LEARN FROM IT.
MY HEART FOLLOWED ROSIE FROM THE START TO FINISH
I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER " GOD BLESS AMERICA 3 TIMES"," SCANDALOUS"
I JUST LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT
yes, It was very heartwarming and interesting.
Rosie of course. Her courage, sense of humor and her ability to narrate the story. I loved her expressions.
I can relate a little, because I went to a catholic school
Yes. I would recommend this audiobook because if anyone could use a dose of inspiration from a book, this is the one.
No, I have not listened to Rosie Perez's other audiobooks.
This was definitely an audiobook I could listen to in one sitting because it really captivated me mind, body and soul.
This is definitely an audiobook to inspire anyone who has or is trying to overcome adversity in their lives. There just as many moments of laughter as there are of tears. After completion of the audiobook, I wanted personally give Rosie a hug and say thank you for telling her story.
Rosie's honesty and the way her voice can make you feel what she felt.
For me, listening to Rosie's voice narrating the book allowed me to feel like I was there... when she was 3 arriving at the home and every other place she takes us in her stories.
Both! I can relate with Rosie's story in so many regards.
Thank you for deciding to write this book - you will touch many lives and perhaps even save others.
YES YES YES!!
The entire book from start to finish is wonderful.
the whole thing
when she saw crazy cindy for the last time. i cried!!
a must read.
It was interesting to learn about her childhood and life so far. I really commend her on being so strong and trying to rise above the trauma and sadness, through the years. I never knew anything about her, other than she was in a couple of movies that I had watched. Then I saw her on WWHL and knew I'd have to get her book. I definitely see her in a different light now, and will watch the other shows/movies she's in. I think it's refreshing(and brave) when a celebrity can be honest and share their experiences/life lessons/opinions....
Rosie. (Tia was a close second.)
Overall I enjoyed her story, and will recommend it. I hope her life is filled with happier days; she's had to deal with so much heartache in the past.
A story that tells many of our stories
I loved that she was honest and showed that family was everything and taking time to heal was okay, money wasnt everything to her but finding peace an happiness.
The way her emotions flowed through her as she narrated, you could feel it all as she spoke.
How as a child she strived to do right and have a good heart. Her love and her spirit was so amazing. Nothing stopped her she just kept striving for something better and stayed true to herself.
This book spoke to my life on so many different levels, I have already told my friends about it.
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