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A Little Thing Called Life

On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between
Narrated by: Linda Thompson
Length: 14 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning songwriter Linda Thompson breaks her silence, sharing the extraordinary story of her life, career, and epic romances with two of the most celebrated yet enigmatic modern American superstars - Elvis Presley and Bruce Jenner.

For the last 40 years, award-winning songwriter Linda Thompson has quietly led one of the most remarkable lives in show business. The longtime live-in love of Elvis Presley, Linda first emerged into the limelight during the 1970s, when the former beauty pageant queen caught the eye of the King. Their chance late-night encounter at a movie theater was the stuff of legend, and it marked the beginning of a whirlwind that would stretch across decades, leading to a marriage with Bruce Jenner, motherhood, and more drama than she ever could have imagined.

Now, for the first time, Linda opens up about it all, telling the full story of her life, loves, and everything in between. From her humble beginnings in Memphis to her nearly five-year relationship with Elvis, she offers an intimate window into their life together, describing how their Southern roots fueled and sustained Graceland's greatest romance. Going inside their wild stories and tender moments, she paints a portrait of life with the King, as raucous as it is refreshing. But despite the joy they shared, life with Elvis also had darkness, and her account also presents an unsparing look at Elvis' twin demons - drug abuse and infidelity, forces he battled throughout their time together that would eventually end their relationship just eight months before his untimely death.

It was in the difficult aftermath of Elvis' death that Linda found what she believed was her true home: the arms of Olympic gold medal-winner Bruce Jenner. Detailing her marriage to Bruce, Linda reveals the apparently perfect life that they built with their two young sons - Brandon and Brody - before Bruce changed everything with a secret he'd been carrying his entire life, a secret that Linda herself kept for nearly 30 years, a secret that Bruce's transition to Caitlyn Jenner has finally laid bare for the world. Providing a candid look inside one of the most challenging moments of her life, Linda uncovers the struggles she went through as a woman and a mother, coming to terms with the reality of Bruce's identity, and resolving to embrace him completely no matter what, even as it meant they could no longer be together.

And yet, despite her marriage unraveling, her search for love was not over, eventually leading her to the legendary music producer and musician David Foster, a relationship that lasted for 19 tumultuous years, resulting in a bond that spurred her songwriting career to new heights but also tested her like never before.

Filled with compelling and poignant stories, A Little Thing Called Life lovingly recounts Linda's incredible journey through the years, bringing unparalleled insight into three legendary figures.

©2016 Linda Thompson (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Its hard to not fall in love with the lovely Linda

Would you listen to A Little Thing Called Life again? Why?

I absolutely would listen to this book again for three reasons. First, because Linda is an actress and her voice, inflection, and tone is amazing. I hope she decides to read again for an audiobook production of a famous novel.... I can totally imagine her reading a famous novel... or at the minimum... reading to her grandchild. :-)

Second, I would read this again because I think Linda blends her journey at the time with what we know today about things like prescription drug abuse, transgender identity, and relationship understanding that only comes with age and (albeit very unique) life experience.

Last, I would listen to it again because I think Linda treated the people in this book with honesty and dignity. I have had the great pleasure in my life of knowing a few of the characters she mentioned personally myself, and I think she was guarded with her information as well as her heart, and I respect her all the more for sharing her story without being harmful.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed hearing about Elvis. He is a hero of mine and we all have been waiting for a long time to hear Linda's thoughts on her life with him.

What about Linda Thompson’s performance did you like?

Linda is an actress, that is clear! She is a wonderful reader and her accents and vocal range made the audiobook.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Listening to her version of what happened when Elvis died. I am not a mother, but I also found her experience as a mother very moving.

Any additional comments?

This is a great read. I know it cannot possibly be every morbid detail.... and there are some of us Elvis Fans Forever who do not need that. That being said, she does give us insight into the loving, fabulous man that Elvis was and brings a humanity to him that reminds me yet again why he is still so revered 39 years after he passed away. Thank you Linda for your honesty and compassion. This was a beautiful listen I will treasure.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I'm not the audience for this book but so what...

I'm positive I wasnt the demographic for this book. I'm near the age of Linda's oldest son and I know who Elvis is obviously. Thought he was good looking, can name about 3-5 of his songs, know where he lived and is buried, but beyond that, I have nothing for you. It was laying around at a farmhouse I airbnb'd, and I wanted to sip coffee and relax on the porch, so I grabbed it. I couldnt stop reading, that I downloaded it via audible and bought wireless headphones so that I could be mobile in my movement and still listen! I loved it. She made me think about, pardon the cliche, "that loving feeling". She described so well how she felt about each man, that it made me think of those feelings when I was in love! Then to discover she wrote a few of my favorite songs and is an accomplished song writer and actress made me respect her so much. I only knew her name because of the Real Housewives show, and because of the premise of the show, I had a very wrong assumption of her. Excellent book, fluid thoughts!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Surprisingly good!

I purchased this audio book expecting to be annoyed with Linda Thompson and her stories but was interested in hearing about Elvis none the less. Although, yes, Linda is a bit sappy, I actually really like her! She has a positive somewhat cheesy outlook on life but for some reason I think she's a really nice person and I loved listening to her experiences with Elvis and Bruce. She has a pleasant, calming voice which is easy to listen to and it was really interesting to have a peak into the private world of Elvis before his death. I really enjoyed this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Incredible life story

Any additional comments?

Linda Thompson has had the most insane life. I love celebrity memoirs and this is one of the best. She went from being a beauty queen sewing her own dresses to Elvis's partner for 5 years at the end of his life. She married the Olympian Bruce Jenner when he was hot and still a man, had Brody and Brandon, married David Foster, composed the music to the BodyGuard and has had so many celebrity interactions and rollercoasters of emotions in between.The book wrote itself, but she does an exceptional job being fair to herself and the subjects she is writing about --- if you're into this sort of book, you will enjoy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Book!

Ive known about Linda's relationship with ELVIS for forty years ,but just learned about her marriage to Bruce Jenner .I finished this book in two days.Thanks for sharing your story Linda! (my secret crush).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Gosh what a life she had lead. It's helped me to see that there is life after sadness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting life!

Loved this book. It was a teeny bit politically correct in delivery but she had an incredible journey and gave enormous insight as to what Elvis was truly like.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The author had me with "standing apart"

Good memoir - I admire when a person decides to place love, respect and empathy above making a quick buck, the spotlight and hurt feelings. Ms. Thompson takes the high road and taught a few lessons along the way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Labor Of Love - Soulful Storytelling

If you could sum up A Little Thing Called Life in three words, what would they be?

A memoir lovingly and generously shared with others.

What other book might you compare A Little Thing Called Life to and why?

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez.A similar kind of soulful story telling.

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

No.

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

Rolling With The Wizards Of Cause.

Any additional comments?

Really disgusted at some of the bad reviews I read. People can be so viscous and mean spirited. This is a very well written memoir and it was a lot of work. The stories are very well told and she made a concerted effort to portray people in the best way possible. She dragged herself up by the boots straps and put her best self forward to be valuable to others and worked hard to lift herself out of Tennessee. I know what kind of effort and determination that took. It disgusts me that there are people that pay a few bucks to read a book of work and trash it because it is just not possible for them to relate to someone with morals, empathy, and a desire to pull themselves and others up. The stories are generously told yet, I know she could have told a lot more and did not out of respect for other people's family and children. She was attracted to beautiful and extraordinary people. And she belongs with those kind of people because she is one of them. I loved listening to the book and it was a real pleasure. I was disgusted to find Bruce Jenner was a dead beat dad, while creating a lot of illusion otherwise. There is no excuse for these crimes of omission. But dead beat parents always have excuses for this. I wasn't a fan of David Foster before I read the book, but she made me one. She has done a lot to help, inspire, and lift up other people. I had no idea she had written one of my favorite songs before I read the book. She was a celebrity herself in Tennessee before she met Elvis Presley. That she committed herself to living in his bedroom sequestered for over five years with him, to care for him and devote herself to his well being, is evidence of her giving ways. Elvis had to be a very self important person to even demand that kind of sacrifice from another human being. I suspect his "generosity" was a ploy to illustrate his domination and power over others. To overwhelm them. I suspect he had narcissistic personality disorder. Thank you for sharing this story Linda. Standing ovation! May the red carpet continue to roll out for you and may you continue to flourish and prosper. That is a God given right when your heart is in the right place. And yours, clearly is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book, great story

Such great narration and the story is written beautifully. I've listened twice, it's that good!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • First time mum
  • 09-25-18

an amazing woman

I love her use of language and her philosophy on life.I just wanted to hear about Elvis' girlfriend but I got so much more. I am now a true fan of Linda Thomson. What an outstanding person, her talent and life inspire me.

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  • lidija
  • 06-14-17

i still have 3 more hours but i am really enjoying

Would you consider the audio edition of A Little Thing Called Life to be better than the print version?

such a nice book to listen to if you have to commute to work

Which scene did you most enjoy?

her life is just so interesting and also she comes across as somebody that you would want to be friends with

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I was on a long haul flight - DEFFF like this I have to keep it to enjoy every morning and evening commute...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-17

Very real and honest

Probably a very sincere account of life with Elvis and her other relationships and marriage

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-17

Amazing

Absolutely loved this book! It's honest, relatable and beyond engaging! it is a must read!!!!!!

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  • Suhair
  • 11-21-16

Great Book

If you're a fan of Elvis, this book is for you. If you've ever wondered what was behind that whole Bruce Jenner thing, this is for you. My favourite was the Bruce thing. Linda explained her side of course but honestly gives an amazing insight into the reasons behind it. She doesn't sound bitter which I commend her for as I think I would not have been as forgiving as she was. This is a very good book for all those wanting answers of many things we saw on TV. I highly recommend it.

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  • Helen Fearn
  • 09-10-16

A must read.

Honest & gut wrenching. Only a strong woman could handle so much with grace.