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Unsinkable: A Memoir | [Debbie Reynolds, Dorian Hannaway]

Unsinkable: A Memoir

The definitive memoir by legendary actress and performer Debbie Reynolds - an entertaining and moving story of enduring friendships and unbreakable family bonds, of hitting bottom and rising to the top again - that offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite, from the glory days of MGM to the present.
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Publisher's Summary

The definitive memoir by legendary actress and performer Debbie Reynolds - an entertaining and moving story of enduring friendships and unbreakable family bonds, of hitting bottom and rising to the top again - that offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite, from the glory days of MGM to the present.

In the closing pages of her 1988 autobiography Debbie: My Life, Debbie Reynolds wrote about finding her "brave, loyal, and loving" new husband. After two broken marriages, this third, she believed, was her lucky charm. But within a few years, Debbie discovered that he had betrayed her emotionally and financially, nearly destroying her life.

Today, she writes, "When I read the optimistic ending of my last memoir now, I can't believe how naive I was when I wrote it. In Unsinkable, I look back at the many years since then, and share my memories of a film career that took me from the Miss Burbank Contest of 1948 to the work I did in 2012.... To paraphrase Bette Davis: Fasten your seatbelts, I've had a bumpy ride."

Unsinkable shines a spotlight on the resilient woman whose talent and passion for her work have endured for more than six decades. In her engaging, down-to-earth voice, Debbie shares private details about her man and money troubles, including building and losing her Las Vegas dream hotel and her treasured Hollywood memorabilia collection. Yet no matter how difficult the problems, the show always goes on.

Debbie also invites us into the close circle of her family, speaking with deep affection and honesty about her relationships with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher. She looks back at her life as an actress during Hollywood's Golden Age - "the most magical time you could imagine" - including her lifelong friendship with (and years-long estrangement from) the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Here, too, are stories that never reached the tabloids about numerous celebrities, such as Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Gene Kelly, and many more. She takes us on a guided tour through her movies with delightful, often hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdotes about every film in which she was involved, from 1948 to the present.

Frank and forthright, and featuring dozens of previously unseen photos from Debbie's personal collection, Unsinkable is a poignant reminder that there is light in the darkest times. It is a revealing portrait of a woman whose determination is an inspiration.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2013 Maxray Productions, Inc. (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (106 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
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4.2 (96 )
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4.1 (98 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    JayefromJersey Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    JayefromJersey Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    14
    6
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    1
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    "Loved this book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was well written and the narrator made it more interesting...she helped you feel like she was speaking directly to you


    What other book might you compare Unsinkable to and why?

    none, there is only one Debbie Reynolds


    Which scene was your favorite?

    all were good


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Here's Debbie!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 04-15-13
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 04-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    74
    31
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    "Unsinkable and Unforgettable"

    Loved it!!!! Debbie Reynolds' life has been full of high highs and some very low lows and she pulls no punches in describing these .... but always with humour. Her delicious Texan accent, not heard in many of her movies, is slight but it's there and it adds to the charm of this book. I totally loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Hollywood and wonderful woman who truly is "unsinkable"!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Scottsdale, AZ, United States 04-14-13
    Ann Scottsdale, AZ, United States 04-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    54
    2
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    0
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    "Such a Disappointment"
    What would have made Unsinkable better?

    There is no 'story' here, just Debbie Reynolds whining about her past divorces and how the world had dumped on her. She made very poor choices in men and finances, yet she takes no responsibility for it. Therefore the book is just a 'woe is me' diatribe.


    Has Unsinkable turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not really, I love biographies and autobiographies.


    What didn’t you like about Debbie Reynolds’s performance?

    Everything! While I admire Ms Reynold's age and applaud her for being a survivor, the narration of this book is painful as she struggles to finish each sentence and then have the breath for the next.


    What character would you cut from Unsinkable?

    I better not answer this :)


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your money on this.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    circuitmonkey California 06-22-15
    circuitmonkey California 06-22-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Queen of the Tangent"

    I saw her live about 5 years ago at a Q & A session that preceded the showing of one of her old movies. She had a wonderful, earthy sense of humor as she answered questions and seamlessly wove in hilarious anecdotes that invariably involved another famous person. And while I realize that hearing someone read their memoir is not the same experience as a live Q & A I was not prepared for how incredibly stilted this book would sound. Her inflection was by turns breathless and brassy as she constantly wanders off on namedropping tangents with no real payoff. If you drank a shot every time you heard "my dear, dear friend" (insert celebrity name here) you would be dead of alcohol poisoning before you were halfway through the book. While the woman is undeniably a survivor and one of the few remaining links to old Hollywood this book would have benefitted from sharper (or any, for that manner) editing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariceleste Grant Orange, CA United States 06-04-15
    Mariceleste Grant Orange, CA United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    "She's the greatest!"

    A fabulous trip down Hollywood Memory Lane by one of the finest and funniest artists. Debbie 's a great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dedeayhf 05-20-15
    Dedeayhf 05-20-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    3
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    "Great story"

    Loved this book she had an interesting life and I enjoyed Debbie's narrative
    A good listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    parsimony5 04-01-15
    parsimony5 04-01-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Wonderful biography"

    She really tells it like it was and is for her. Honest and fun story. Takes you through some bad times, good times, and shares her love for life and movies and performing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Bear, DE, United States 03-08-14
    Joy Bear, DE, United States 03-08-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    31
    22
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    "Pure Debbie Reynolds, funny and interesting!"

    I loved this autobiography and it was an extra bonus that it was narrated by the author. She is witty, self-deprecating, and full of great stories from Hollywood and her adventurous life. If you are looking for a good celebrity read, this is a great choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JimmyRae Sunrise, Florida 02-14-14
    JimmyRae Sunrise, Florida 02-14-14 Listener Since 2004

    Love & Light and Blessings so Bright!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Debbie Rocks"
    If you could sum up Unsinkable in three words, what would they be?

    I Love Debbie


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Debbie because she's the best


    Have you listened to any of Debbie Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and wept she is an amazing lady


    Any additional comments?

    Debbie baby you rock, Kudos and Kisses

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Anthony Melbourne Australia 02-09-14
    H. Anthony Melbourne Australia 02-09-14 Listener Since 2008

    Lizzie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Debbie shouldn't have narrated her own book"

    I am very sorry to criticise such a wonderful star but her narrating is just woeful. It sounds like she has had a stroke; her pauses are all in the wrong place. She pauses like there's a full stop and then she continues on with that sentence. Pretty poor. I haven't been able to finish the book it's that bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • K Cox
    London
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly fascinating"

    I bought this to listen to on holiday, thinking it would pass the time and be mildly interesting; My Mum loves her!
    I ended up chuckling along, not really knowing about a lot of the films Debbie mentions and having to go back home and find them to watch.
    Really funny insights into her life at MGM, sad tales of her second and third marriage's and real heartfelt sadness from Debbie about having to sell her beloved movie memorabilia.
    I really warmed to her, she laughs along at her own misfortunes at times, and you can tell she is genuine in her narration. A real character, and a real star of her generation.
    Ended up being the highlight book of my holiday.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • garth jacobs
    4/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "just Fab"

    just a great listen and is told very well funny and very touching. really enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sandor
    banbury, oxon, United Kingdom
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For those who love the golden age of hollywood"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unsinkable to be better than the print version?

    I read ( listened to) the first autobiography and this continues Debbie's life story concentrating on her love of all things Hollywood. Hearing it told in her voice is more personal than reading it, I believe.


    Have you listened to any of Debbie Reynolds’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I enjoyed Debbie reading her own life story, as I did in the audio version of her first autobiography.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have a great admiration for Debbie, and her desperate attempts to preserve the golden age of Hollywood through her memorabilia collection. Can't say it made me cry though.


    Any additional comments?

    This will only appeal to Debbie fans and movie nuts, I am both so I very much enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    United Kingdom
    2/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just not that interesting"
    What would have made Unsinkable better?

    Lacking in anything that really grabbed me.she has a nice voice but I just didn't click with her


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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