Audie Award Finalist, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2014
Shirley Jones is an American film legend of the first order, having starred in Oklahoma!, Carousel, and The Music Man, as well as playing her Oscar-winning role as a prostitute in Elmer Gantry long before The Partridge Family. On that iconic show, she portrayed the epitome of American motherhood, a symbol to generations of families in the 1970s, and she remains a cult icon today.
But for those who only think of Shirley as the prim and proper Marion the librarian or the chaste and demure Mrs. Partridge, a massive surprise is in store. Here, in this candid memoir, the real flesh-and-blood Shirley Jones is revealed at last.
In this hilarious and heartwarming, shocking and intimate memoir, Shirley dishes the raw truth about her own highly charged sexuality, her two husbands - the charismatic and deeply troubled Broadway star Jack Cassidy and the wacky TV comic Marty Ingels - her legendary Hollywood costars, and her interactions with the cast of The Partridge Family, including her rock star stepson David Cassidy.
From smuggling marijuana across the Mexican border to infidelity and her wild sexual escapades, movie and television icon Shirley Jones gives us an unparalleled look beyond the America's sweetheart exterior.
©2013 Shirley Jones (P)2013 Tantor
Many entertainment autobiographies are boring and self-absorbed. Jerry Lewis comes to mind in that regard. Not so this book. Besides still being a knock-out beauty, Shirley gives us a heartfelt and boldly honest (and yes, at times bawdy) peek into her life, work and loves. If nothing else can be gained from reading this book, it's the horror visited upon the person and family by bi-polar illness. Jack Cassidy and his family were as many were and still are, terrorized by this terrible disease. I was at times moved to tears by her recounting her and her sons' struggles with husband and father, Jack. In my heart of hearts, I believe that Shirley wrote this in part to eulogize Jack Cassidy so that his tragic life would not be lost to entertainment history. It is also a wonderful look into the life of who still is for me the greatest rocker of his times, David Cassidy, Jack's eldest son. Shirley and present day husband Marty Ingels are wonderful together and one would wish the both of them years more of happiness, the same for her sons, especially David. Neither let some reviews who chastise the book for its sexual revelations throw you off the experience of reading this book. It's just Shirley's bad-girl side showing off and it's wonderful indeed. Read and enjoy this rare gem!
The 25-Hour Mom
This is a trashy, "tell all" type book. I was hoping for an autobiography.
The cover picture is OK.
I really don't care if she went to Sammy Davis Jr's house and he had "lines of cocaine on every table and porn playing on tv", or that amyl nitrates enhanced her orgasms, and I REALLY don't want to know how she knows her stepson's (David Cassidy) penis is bigger than his father's (Jack Cassidy). This is simply a narcissistic, salacious tale about a woman who was handed a career on a silver platter.
If the purpose of this book is to completely annihilate her reputation as an "American Sweetheart", then congratulations. Mission accomplished.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I love Shirley Jones, but she is not a good writer, and her writing partner either was not allowed to edit much or she was also unskilled. This book is just badly written.
I enjoyed reading about the lucky break that got her started in show business; I liked reading about her favorite actors and directors; and I was interested to know how and why she stuck it out with Jack Cassidy.
But I didn't need to know that her sons are well-endowed nor her views on masturbation. I am confident that she wrote the book, in part, to shock people. In fact, she refers to this trait at one point, and more than once compared her real (shocking) life to Mrs. Partridge (goodie goodie).
All in all, not a good book.
70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.
It was shorter than most, but covered her life (so far) without boring the reader with insignificant and detailed accounts of every event. I was surprised at her impression of many of the actors/actresses she met along the way. I expected her to be little miss sugar and spice but that was far from the way she came across in this book.
Well, Shirley was the main character so, of course, she was my favorite.
All the characters sounded pretty much alike. It was always Shriley Jones' voice you heard.
No. I didn't laugh or cry. I just listened and was entertained.
All through the book - from the time she was a child - she tried to portray herself as a "bad girl". She was a rebel, didn't mind her mother, and was as far from the "girl next door" as anyone could be. She liked to let the reader know - over and over - how much she liked and enjoyed sex. As hard as I tried, I could not see her as the woman she wanted the reader to believe she was. I also found it hard to understand her extreme and stupid love for Jack Cassidy. No woman with any self respect would have endured that relationship. It was nice that she had a good relationship with HIS sons, but his treatment of THEIR sons was appalling. Her leaving him was the highlight of the book!
No, this is her life and she recounts it as she saw fit. At times, it sounded like she was a little "sick of it all," (kind of sighing at the beginning of each chapter), but hey, that's how life is and we all feel that way at times. There are a lot of other reviews that focus on the more "racy" parts of her life, but I was not put off my it at all. I appreciated her candor, honesty, and willingness to share that part of herself.
I really liked learning about her childhood and early years and would have liked to hear more about this period
Hard to say - liked the whole thing
No, this is good as is.
Shirley has a wonderful voice and this book is a very pleasant listen. The content however is often uninteresting. Much of the book she describes her relationship with her first husband Jack Cassidy, she always claims he was the love of her life but really cuts him to shreds. He seems to have had many affairs with both men and women, ignored his wife and children and was very jealous of their accomplishments. Shirley on the other hand did everything to please him from ignoring his affairs to participating in a threesome. That's basically the book. She often goes into lists of movies that either she or Jack had acted which are very long and boring. I found it strange at first that she would quote things she had said to others or letters that she had written but when I realized she is essence is an actress and probably have scripts for everything she ever said I guess it is to be expected. Shirley claims to still be that small town girl and I challenge anyone who listens to this book to agree with her at the end. She seems to be a very self centered person who was very superficial in all of her relationships. The men in here life were all successful perhaps the least of which is her current husband Marty, whom she has no trouble debasing by declaring that Jack Cassidy is still the only man she truly loved. One line stuck in my mind in it she says Jack and I knew our son was on drugs but weren't sure what specific drug it was. Yikes, a normal person would certainly find out.
With all of the recent biographies like Steve Jobs and Carson which really let you know the person this is more like sitting in the living room having Shirley tell you her version of her life.
I think the die hard Shirley Jones fan would like this book otherwise I would pass it by.
Shirley Jones was clear, concise and honest in the presentation of her life and those who were a part of her life. Having found celebrity with her roles in Oklahoma and Carousel people tend to equate the role to the person i.e. Julie Andrews and Maria Von Trapp. Neither of these two talented actress could live up to the people some fans ideal or what they wanted them to be. I found her frank and open story of her life refreshing and honest. I applaud her for making the decision to be so frank and honest and letting the reader that clear of a look into her most private of moments,hopes,thoughts and loves. She shared her story warts and all without being vidictive or mean. I was moved to read this book because I always thought Carousel was the best of all musicals and the very best of all the Rodgers and Hammersteins offerings. It was a high water mark for Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (so happy the fates kept Sinatra off the credits-great talent-wrong part). All the negative reviews I read before I purchased the book moved me more then anything to read the book...totally unfounded. Good book....very interesting and entertaining.
I remember first becoming aware of Shirley Jones in the Partridge Family not knowing she won an Oscar for the movie Elmer Gantry.
She's been on Broadway and played in Las Vegas and is a survivor in an industry that often dismisses talent, real talent for youth. This memoir is direct, earthly, and downright enjoyable - recommended!!
Shirley tells it straight. I also married a ladies man that I love even now that he has died. Her story is relatable on many levels. A good listen im her own voice.
I listened to a an interview with Shirley Jones on "Wait wait don't tell me!" And when the moderator said something negative about the book and Shirley Jones replied to it, I was curious and bought the audiobook. Big mistake! Miss Jones seems to feel that her life off screen was racy and unlike the characters she played on screen. I don't know or care what her sexual preferences or escapades were, but I was deeply disappointed that a woman I felt was a class act just turned out to be another complaining Hollywood narcissist. And trust me, once you read this book you'll never be able to watch any of her movies again with any enjoyment of the character she plays. The Music Man has always been on my top 10 list but now that I've listened to this book, I'll just have to turn the volume off when Marion the Librarian shows up! I'll also make sure I don't read any autobiography by Robert Preston!
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