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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

4.0 (84 )
5 star
 (39)
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4.2 (74 )
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Story
4.1 (76 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 04-15-13
    Kerrie Kirrawee, Australia 04-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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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
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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
  •  
    Jane Doee Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    Jane Doee Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    13
    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!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Bear, DE, United States 03-08-14
    Joy Bear, DE, United States 03-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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
    8
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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
  •  
    NANCAN Charlottesville, VA 08-15-13
    NANCAN Charlottesville, VA 08-15-13 Member Since 2011

    NANCAN

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Same Old, Same Old"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Debbie re-hashes the same old stories. Nothing new here.


    What was most disappointing about Debbie Reynolds and Dorian Hannaway ’s story?

    Although I like Reynolds, she's not good at narrating her own story. It sounded like she was reading it, complete with pauses as she turned the page.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Maybe choosing another narrator.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Unsinkable?

    Everything she already put in her previous book.


    Any additional comments?

    Debbie, we've heard the story. Stop writing books like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah east balmain, Australia 07-31-13
    sarah east balmain, Australia 07-31-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What is this book about?"
    Would you try another book from Debbie Reynolds and Dorian Hannaway and/or Debbie Reynolds?

    Maybe


    What could Debbie Reynolds and Dorian Hannaway have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This book doesn't have a story. It's just a bunch of random stuff about her business dealings, divorces, financial tribulations, debts, etc. I'm not really sure why she wrote this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Traditio Little Rock, AR USA 06-30-13
    Traditio Little Rock, AR USA 06-30-13

    Augustine

    ratings
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    "Debbie Reynolds is my favorite biography!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unsinkable to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely


    What did you like best about this story?

    The detail from Debbie and the inside scoop of famous actors


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Where she is at the auction of all her memorabilia from MGM days


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

    How I fought and finally won


    Any additional comments?

    This book is tough to put down. Debbie is such a fine person and she had bad luck, but came through..........truly UNSINKABLE !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 05-28-13
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "More Hollywood Behinds the Scenes"
    Where does Unsinkable rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Same place as most celebrity memoirs. Fun to listen to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Debbie seems like such a spunky woman with a great sense of humor. I also love Todd for having been there for her through everything.


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

    This was the first one.


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

    What happened behind the scenes of one of the longest running "America's Sweethearts".


    Any additional comments?

    Ya gotta love Debbie Reynolds. A trooper, a survivor, an eternal optimist. And cute as a button even at 80 years old!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • 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.

    1 of 1 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
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