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Mommie Dearest: 40th Anniversary Edition

Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 19 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 40th anniversary edition of the “shocking” number one New York Times best seller with an exclusive new introduction by the author (Los Angeles Times).   

When Christina Crawford’s harrowing chronicle of child abuse was first published in 1978, it brought global attention to the previously closeted subject. It also shed light on the guarded world of Hollywood and stripped away the façade of Christina’s relentless, alcoholic abuser: her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford.   

Christina was a young girl shown off to the world as a fortunate little princess. But at home, her lonely, controlling, even ruthless mother made her life a nightmare. A fierce battle of wills, their relationship could be characterized as an ultimately successful, for Christina, struggle for independence. She endured and survived, becoming the voice of so many other victims who suffered in silence, and giving them the courage to forge a productive life out of chaos.   

This edition features an exclusive new introduction by the author, plus rare photographs from her personal collection revealing material not found in the original manuscript.

©1978, 1998, 2017 1998, 2017 by Christina Crawford (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for jean luettig
  • jean luettig
  • 01-21-20

Great listen

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, life certainly wasn't a happy experience having Joan Crawford for a mother.
Would definetly recommend this audio book.

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Profile Image for Bryan James
  • Bryan James
  • 12-10-19

A harrowing tale of child abuse

Most people will probably have seen Faye Dunaway’s performance as Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest" (1981). If you have seen it and think you know the whole story, think again. The film is like a trailer for the book in terms of content. Faye Dunaway had regrets about making the film, “I think it turned my career in a direction where people would irretrievably have the wrong impression of me,” she told People magazine. And Christina Crawford expressed her disappointment with the film saying “It was meant to be a window into a tortured soul. But it was made into camp”.

By comparison, the audiobook is shocking and often difficult to listen to. The level of cruelty and abuse suffered by Christina, and her brother Christopher (to a lesser, though still traumatic extent) is harrowing and moving. It paints a picture of a self-absorbed, spiteful and controlling alcoholic diva, seemingly without conscience and prepared to meet out excessive punishments behind closed doors to her adopted children whom she ruled with a rod of steel. It's hard not to think 'what a horrible bitch!' when hearing many of these stories of her vodka-fuelled temper as the isolated children became the objects of her anger and punishment on a continuous basis.

It's a credit to the author that she survived the experience without becoming bitter and twisted and managed to achieve much in her personal life and career, working with other abused children at a time when the condition was virtually unreported. She also had to cope with attacks from fans and Hollywood friends of Joan Crawford who didn't believe the outwardly-charming star could behave in such a way - with the exception of Betty Davis!

The ultimate rejection (rejection being an ongoing tactic) was when Ms. Crawford's lawyer read her will after her funeral and it stated that she was leaving nothing to Christina and Christopher 'for reasons they both know'. I think that was the point where Christina decided to go public and wrote 'Mommie Dearest'. A book, one senses, she would happily have preferred a happy upbringing to writing.

Highly recommended - the book somehow manages to be inspiring despite the cruel and sad treatment of two vulnerable children. Good luck for the future, Christina!