adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.51

Buy for $28.51

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography

A Hugo and Locus Award Finalist

Winner of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award

The Los Angeles Times Best Seller

A Thrillist Best Book of the Year

A Book Riot Best Book of 2019

One of Booklist’s 10 Best Art Books of the Year

The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick - one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters.

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short, and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since. 

Don't miss Mallory O'Meara's upcoming novel, Girly Drinks! 

©2019 Mallory O'Meara (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited.

Critic Reviews

2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography 

A Hugo and Locus Award finalist 

Winner of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award 

The Los Angeles Times best seller 

A Thrillist Best Book of the Year 

A Book Riot Best Book of 2019 

One of Booklist’s 10 Best Art Books of the Year 

More from the same

Author

Narrator

What listeners say about The Lady from the Black Lagoon

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    361
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    21
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    338
  • 4 Stars
    103
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    358
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    17

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

An important subject poorly executed

This book commits the cardinal sin of biographies... the author has made it more about themselves than the subject. I can't help but feel like the editor let down O'Meara by not steering the first time writer away from many pitfalls. At best the over indulgence to steer all topics towards herself comes off as juvenile and at worst egotistical. As an example that this book could have used more editorial direction, there's a passage describing who Walt Disney is. I'm sure anyone interested in movie history, and born on the planet Earth, knows Disney. All in all, this book was like going to a blog for a lasagna recipe and having to read 20 paragraphs of the bloggers life story and their love affair with lasagna before getting anywhere close to the hurried, mediocre recipe. I just wanted lasagna, dude. But, I hope the author continues to work and grow as a writer. And I thank her for throwing light on the subject of Milicent Patrick and the Creature.

PS... If you dislike vocal fry, the narration will be hard to get through.

145 people found this helpful

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

Not quite what I expected, but a fun read

I knew going in that there was not a lot known about Milicent Patrick so I expected it to be a little light on the bio part and probably heavy on the author's journey to uncover what she could. This was the case. What I didn't expect was a bunch of really interesting history (Hearst Castle, Disney animators, film history, etc.) that I didn't know. I also didn't expect it to be so heavy on the social justice/we need diversity angle--but I was ok with that too. It's true, after all. But she repeats herself quite a lot on this subject using the entire list each time about all the people who got the shaft: LGBTQ, people of color, women, the disabled (not her word), and so on. After the 25th repetition, I thought, it's like when you read a classic novel. Older people know usually know to steel themselves for some political incorrectness, misogyny, racism, etc. and you read it understanding the context.

It is clear, however, that she's speaking to a far younger audience than me. For example, while The Lone Ranger was years before my time, I watched the reruns as a kid. I didn't need that explained to me. There were a number of times that I thought, have I really gotten so old that younger people wouldn't understand X reference and she has to explain it?

The only thing that bothered me (and maybe if I were reading in print, I wouldn't be saying this--maybe there are citations, footnotes and or end notes), is that I often found myself thinking, and she knows this...how? For instance, she says how depressed Milicent was about turning 40. She makes all sorts of statements like this as the book goes on. Did she find a long lost diary she was quoting from? A letter? Did somebody tell her this? Since part of the book is about the author's journey, she could easily say, "While I was talking to so-and-so, a close friend of Milicent, so-and-so told me that ____________ (fill in the blank).

Still, this book was really a fun read (and the author does not have vocal fry). I liked all the information and really enjoyed the author's journey and the parts about her and her life.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Author needs to extract herself from the story

I heard about this book on an NPR segment and thought it would be interesting to learn about Millicent Patrick. While I have no doubt Millicent Patrick and the author have experienced discrimmination because they are females, the author's habit of regularly interjecting her experience into the story is WAY overdone. Further, her blanket assertions that all men are guilty of misogyny and discrimminatory behavior is exactly the type of stereotyping that the author so vehemently despises. I could have overlooked her frequent lapses into telling her story were it not for her overwraught commentary of ALL men. I too am a woman working in a male dominated field and have seen my share of male chauvanists. But I I found the author's apparent rage against all men very distracting from what it is truly an interesting story. Millicent Patrick's story, to include the discrimmination she experienced, is interesting. It would have been nice if the author had kept to that story without making blanket accusations.

137 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

not a bio of milicent patrick

Mallory O'Meara has written a biography of Mallory O'Meara. I look forward to reading a biography of Milicent Patrick, but this isn't it. Not recommended.

82 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

annoying

Was all excited to listen to this as it sounded interesting. after 15 minutes of listening to the author drone on and on in her irritating glottal fry and up talk about how she is constantly asked to smile by men in the subway and how there aren't enough women in the movie industry, I just had to stop. I wanted to hear about the woman that was supposed to be the subject of the book, not the self absorbed author.

82 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Milicent Patrick deserves better

It’s very difficult to write a bad review about one of the rare books that brings to light the life and career of Milicent Patrick. What’s even more difficult is listening to a book obscured in the un-journalistic trials, tribulations, likes, dislikes, opinions, and views of the author. Mallory O’Meara’s life and career should be a separate (and likely as fascinating) book, but piggybacking onto someone else’s story is distracting ... and demeaning to its subject.

2 people found this helpful

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

A women's right book

The story of Milicent Patrick eventually gets told, but it is more of a story about Hollywood's gender injustices. I don't think there really was enough material on Milicent Patrick, she even states that she wondered that, so she sprinkles in Millicent's past with the injustices that were prevalent of the times and ties it to today's issues. I loved reading about Milicent's triumph's - as a successful woman of today - not so much the rest of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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

Good book, fun listen!

I quite enjoyed this audiobook. The author read it well and the story was engaging.
Though there were times in the beginning when I was curious about the background info that seemed somewhat unrelated, when all of a sudden it made total sense why we went so far back in the history of one person or another.
I loved hearing the cool detective like sleuthing involved in gathering the info needed to write this book. I am so glad that Milicent and her story is being told. It's inspiring to all women in any field.

21 people found this helpful

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

Many Layers

There is so much in this book - part personal quest, part early history of film (including Disney animation, and monster and other effects), part California history, and part commentary on feminism then and now. And all through it, filling in a portrait of a remarkable woman.

The audiobook is well read (the author, who reads it, has a podcast and has done public speaking), but the audio leaves out the footnotes found in the physical and ebook versions. The non-audio versions also contain a few pictures, mostly of Millicent.

4 people found this helpful

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

Excellent. Must listen for fans of old Hollywood and horror.

This book shouldn’t work, but it not only works, it’s exceptional.

Warning signs, it was written by a fan of the subject, half the book is about the author and her journey writing it, and the author reads the book themselves.

The author doesn’t let her love of the subject narrow her view however, they instead tell us all they learned the good and the bad.

Half the book is about the writing of the book and while this is often filler for a topic that doesn’t have enough material for an entire book here that journey adds depth, context, and perspective to the subject’s life.

If a professional performer had read this a layer would have been lost. The author’s own personal joy at their discoveries transfers to the listener.

I’m a white male who found myself connecting and relating to the lives of two women, one of whom who was born over a century ago, that’s an achievement.

And if you’re a Creature from the Black Lagoon fan you should just get this one on general principle.

But even if you’re not, it’s a fascinating portrait of what was like to be a working woman in an era where we don’t even tend to think had working women. And juxtaposed with the authors experience, it’s a fine examination of the problems we tend to think of as solved being anything but.

Highly recommend, this one flies by and I’ll be making sure to check out anything else this author writes.

15 people found this helpful