Regular price: $17.10

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

At age 10, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. As the sidekick to her father, Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities among her childhood friends.

But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother drifted in and out of her life. Her father grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past that would nearly kill her. Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

©2004 Tatum O'Neal (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In this honest, disturbing memoir, O'Neal...reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her lonely, chaotic life." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Deb
  • South San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 01-18-11

started out strong, but ended weakly

a little over half way through it turned into a typical "everyone is wrong" and "poor me." although i stayed with it, i found my interest waning and found myself yelling at specific comments made by Tatum. i am looking forward to reading McEnroe's book now to find out his side of the story.

the most interesting part of the book revolves around Paper Moon, and how she got there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very good book.

Interesting and honest look into the life of Tatum. Her struggles and pain are hard to listen to at times. Having so much in the way of fame, but really having so little

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The struggle for a good life in a bad environment

Tatum articulately expresses the difficulties of growing up in a family where appearances are all that matter, requiring denial, lies, blame-shifting, etc., much better than I am able to. I respect her courage to speak up (even though doing so is the ultimate 'sin'), her fight to protect innocence, and beyond that to forgive. What genuine love is there that is not founded on truth and dignity? None, and she instinctively knows this. I appreciate Tatum for the inner qualities she has nurtured, and the difference she has been trying to make in her world. This is the essence of the battle that is life. May God bless her in all the best ways.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book!

Tatum O'Neil's story is full of life changing events which makes it an amazing book about what it's like growing up in that environment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worth it

listened to 80% of it in just one sitting, very compelling book, great bio and even greater reflection of the consequences of having children.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very easy to listen to

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

A Paper Life is a fascinating story about Tatum's traumatic life. Tatum's stories are told from both memory and diary entries that paint a horrible picture of her parents and her ex-husband, John McEnroe. Since Tatum is a scorpio, I do sometimes wonder how much of her recollections are her creating drama where there is none like the scorpios I know are likely to do.

What three words best describe Tatum O'Neal’s voice?

I do love Tatum's whisky voice and while sometimes it doesn't sound like a smooth read, it didn't detract from my enjoyment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Revealing, in many ways.

Would you try another book from Tatum O'Neal and/or Tatum O'Neal?

Yes, I would. I was attracted to her honesty, or at least what I perceive to be her honesty, her willingness to be real. I did not find her tone blaming, just truthful.

What did you like best about this story?

She paints a very clear picture of the genetics of addiction.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her narration was very strange, as other readers have commented, but I got used to it. This in itself was revealing, I thought. It reveals the fact that these are not all Tatum's words; the book was cowritten. But it also reveals that Ms. O'Neal is not out to score points. I heard the little girl in her voice and it was earnest and endearing. I couldn't imagine anyone else narrating this book.

What else would you have wanted to know about Tatum O'Neal’s life?

What happened next? But I suppose I have to read the next book!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor Tatum

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was a good listen. This girl's life was hard from the time she was three. You feel for her, trying to escape her "genetic" short comings. The abuse is shocking.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tatum. Mostly from her child aged movies.

What three words best describe Tatum O'Neal’s voice?

Smokey sass

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • dawn
  • TAMPA, FL, United States
  • 09-02-12

Surprisingly poor performance. ..

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Sadly,I think if the book was read by someone elso other than Tatum it would have held my interest. I feel her performance was choppyand disjointed.

Any additional comments?

There was a alot of bashing of her father and John McEnroe, but her story is sad and her own. The story itself was interesting, but the performance made it difficult to listen to.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting insight into Tatum O'Neal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes this was the first audiobook I have ever bought. It was a great start. I was impressed that it was spoken by Tatum O'Neal herself. Sad story but great her story has been told.
I couldn't stop listening.

Have you listened to any of Tatum O'Neal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No but I will definitely be buying her other book.

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

Yes I felt sad for the O'Neal family that they were so dysfunctional.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be buying her other. Good luck to Tatum O'Neal