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Publisher's Summary

From Academy Award winner and best-selling author Diane Keaton comes a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself - no matter what anyone else thinks.

Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she’s accumulated through the years as a mother, daughter, actress, artist, and international style icon. This is a book only Diane Keaton could write - a smart and funny chronicle of the ups and downs of living and working in a world obsessed with beauty.

In her one-of-a-kind voice, Keaton offers up a message of empowerment for anyone who’s ever dreamed of kicking back against the "should"s and "supposed to"s that undermine our pursuit of beauty in all its forms. From a mortifying encounter with a makeup artist who tells her she needs to get her eyes fixed to an awkward excursion to Victoria’s Secret with her teenage daughter, Keaton shares funny and not-so-funny moments from her life in and out of the public eye.

For Diane Keaton, being beautiful starts with being true to who you are, and in this book she also offers self-knowing commentary on the bold personal choices she’s made through the years: the wide-brimmed hats, outrageous shoes, and all-weather turtlenecks that have made her an inspiration to anyone who cherishes truly individual style - and catnip to paparazzi worldwide. She recounts her experiences with the many men in her life - including Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and Sam Shepard - shows how our ideals of beauty change as we age, and explains why a life well lived may be the most beautiful thing of all.

Wryly observant and as fiercely original as Diane Keaton herself, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty is a head-turner of a book that holds up a mirror to our beauty obsessions - and encourages us to like what we see.

©2014 Diane Keaton (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A far-reaching, heartbreaking, absolutely lucid book about mothers, daughters, childhood, aging, mortality, joyfulness, love, work and the search for self-knowledge." ( The New York Times)
"A poem about women living in one another’s not uncomplicated memories... Part of what makes Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, truly amazing is that she does away with the star’s ‘me’ and replaces it with a daughter’s ‘I.’" (Hilton Als, The New Yorker)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, Interesting, Validating!

Would you consider the audio edition of Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty to be better than the print version?

Haven't read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty?

Oh boy! You're making this tough. There are many, many memorable moments. Just for starters…Diane carrying a folded up picture of Warren Beatty (during their brake-up), and using it for her emotional scenes during the shooting of a film she was making.

Which scene was your favorite?

Diane writes about a jerk make-up man who was making her feel less than beautiful during her make-over for a screen test for "MacMillan and Wife".

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

You don't have to love Diane Keaton (although I do) to enjoy this book. Her talents are many and she gives testimony to the idea of living your dream as she has. Mostly she is an inspiration to anyone who wants to live life to the fullest and lends humor to the inevitable end…death.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Comfortable in her skin

To the point: I don't dislike Keaton, I'm just not a fan -- I'm indifferent about Keaton. I didn't think Annie Hall was absolutely adorkable, and I didn't care for the much emulated fashion either. When friends started wearing gloves and turtlenecks in warm weather, I sincerely wondered if they had psoriasis, until another friend clued me in that it was a "Diane Keaton thing."

Every time I have seen Keaton interviewed, she seems to be an older extension of the Annie Hall character, still uncomfortable, self conscious, and awkward, now because she is aware that she is an older woman in an industry that devours anything female beyond 30. She comes on stage, is lovable and a little off-center, with that characteristic la-di-da body language. But looking beyond those high collars and bowler hats, and listening to what she has to say, is a study of intelligent contradiction. The actress is hardly a one dimensional goof-ball. She is observant, confident, self aware, and unapologetic about being passed middle-age in an unforgiving profession. Those un-botoxed eyes seem to look into the camera and declare, "Here I am, and I am beautiful, crow's feet and all!" It was this appreciation, and understanding of the value of earned beauty that drew me to this book.

Listening was like thumbing through Diane's journals. Each entry is its own story or experience, independent from the previous or the following. At times, it might seem a little disjointed, or extraneous, not unlike a meandering conversation between two people. She recalls memories, moments of gratitude, an epiphany here, a regret once in a while, lyrics that elicited vivid reactions (from The Shadow of Your Smile to Blurred Lines), old neighbors or friends. Many of her vignettes are shared moments between her and her two children. The most significant pieces deal with a young girl becoming a woman and trying to define herself through beauty product advertisements and *suggestions* about 'what to do with that bulbous nose' from film casting agents, or makeup artists, in a culture that valued beauty above all else. Fans expecting Keaton to dish on some of Hollywood's most beautiful leading men, or reveal any tongue wagging fodder will be disappointed. Those that admire her originality and conviction will enjoy sharing these little personal treasures from a woman that has gracefully endured in an industry that thinks 30 is old, age spots are unforgivable, and a sagging keester is the cold kiss of death.

Bottom line: It was OK, short, at times poetic and insightful, and it's always nice to read something that stays positive. But, if I had it to do over, I'd just sit down and re-watch Something's Gotta Give.



29 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Diane Keaton

If you could sum up Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty in three words, what would they be?

"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" was a reflection of how altered the public's perception of both fame and beauty have become. With the advent of reality shows and tabloid journalism,
that which is genuinely beautiful is portrayed as ordinary, and those who've been made "famous" are individuals who've done nothing for the improvement of the human race.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought Diane Keaton expressed quite accurately how distorted the concept of beauty has become, both in in the milieu of Hollywood, and in society in general. There are far too many people in Hollywood who are given reality shows and thereby made famous for nothing more than their own abhorrent behavior.

What about Diane Keaton’s performance did you like?

She depicted the the simplicity of days gone by in her youth when the world was a much different place in which to grow up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Can't think of a thing to say

It wasn’t bad, wasn’t great, not boring, far from riveting, not sure I get it, don’t regret it… does that help?

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Drevik
  • Reno, Nv USA
  • 05-30-17

Beauty through the eyes of Diane Keaton

Where does Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I enjoy listening to Ms. Keaton, as I am a fan of hers.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ms. Keaton, of course, because she is why I purchased this book.

What does Diane Keaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love when a celebrity reads their own book, as it feels like she is speaking to you, as if you are a close friend.

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

No, mostly because I listen late at night in my bed and have to eventually go to sleep.

Any additional comments?

I am interested in hearing more from Ms. Keaton

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

this book wasn't pretty

What disappointed you about Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty?

The "smart advice" and quick-witted commentary the book cover promises never arrives. What you get is a stream of consciousness that's a neurotic and awkward.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Sex Object

Would you be willing to try another one of Diane Keaton’s performances?

I might listen to her as a narrator but not as an author

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Even in the worst dribble you can always find a quote or two. Here's the best one, "Restoration is choosing to take the past into the future."

Any additional comments?

The shattering part to all this was realizing Keaten does not have the strong sense of self I always admired. The "bold personal choices she’s made through the years" are not bold at all or the result of some deep commitment to truly individual style as I always believed. This book is not empowering or inspiring as you'd expect or hope for.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • United States
  • 04-16-17

I gave up. The book had no point...

This book lacked a purpose. It filled with rambling musings, and after struggling to listen through three hours, I gave up. I'm sad I wasted a credit on it...I only purchased it because of an audible email suggestion. It's exhausting to listen to three hours of someone talking about their appearance. I couldn't fathom two more.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Love the person, but not her book.

I love Diane Keaton, her movies, her style. & personality....But I didn't like her book. She talked more about other people than herself. I had to skip through parts of the book because I simply found it uninteresting. Disappointing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Rupert, ID, United States
  • 06-02-15

Good but not what I had expected

Not quite what I had expected. But good. I had a hard time following a time line. I felt like she jumped around a bit. But still enjoyable.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

LOVE her - not so much the book

What did you like best about Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty? What did you like least?

I very much liked Diane's tone and ability to portray an emotion, a situation or a vision. She is an excellent storyteller - too bad the story was a bit boring.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

May - but only because I'm a huge fan of hers.