• Mean Baby

  • A Memoir of Growing Up
  • By: Selma Blair
  • Narrated by: Selma Blair
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,345 ratings)

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Mean Baby  By  cover art

Mean Baby

By: Selma Blair
Narrated by: Selma Blair
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Selma Blair has played many roles: Ingenue in Cruel Intentions. Preppy ice queen in Legally Blonde. Muse to Karl Lagerfeld. Advocate for the multiple sclerosis community. But before all of that, Selma was known best as … a mean baby. In a memoir that is as wildly funny as it is emotionally shattering, Blair tells the captivating story of growing up and finding her truth.             

"Blair is a rebel, an artist, and it turns out: a writer." —Glennon Doyle, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Untamed and Founder of Together Rising

The first story Selma Blair Beitner ever heard about herself is that she was a mean, mean baby. With her mouth pulled in a perpetual snarl and a head so furry it had to be rubbed to make way for her forehead, Selma spent years living up to her terrible reputation: biting her sisters, lying spontaneously, getting drunk from Passover wine at the age of seven, and behaving dramatically so that she would be the center of attention.

Although Selma went on to become a celebrated Hollywood actress and model, she could never quite shake the periods of darkness that overtook her, the certainty that there was a great mystery at the heart of her life. She often felt like her arms might be on fire, a sensation not unlike electric shocks, and she secretly drank to escape.

Over the course of this beautiful and, at times, devasting memoir, Selma lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

In a voice that is powerfully original, fiercely intelligent, and full of hard-won wisdom, Selma Blair’s Mean Baby is a deeply human memoir and a true literary achievement.

©2022 Knopf (P)2022 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about Mean Baby

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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I'll check it out of the library because...

I'll be able to feel her emotion without hearing the forced crying.
I love her, I empathize and sympathize, she interests me, etc, but I had to stop listening at the first forced crack in her voice.
I know the feelings are real, but the "reenactments " felt counterfeit .

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Brilliance of Selma Blair

I sincerely feel that only Selma’s narration could have done her story justice. Her emotional rawness inhaled and exhaled her truth.

I never cry when listening to audiobooks but having a similar disease to MS; I often burst into tears while listening to Mean Baby. I binged it in a couple of days, and I continue to amass brief crying spells seemingly out of nowhere. When I stop and examine why, it’s not only how hard living with a chronic illness (me, 30+ years) but it’s also many other things. The relationship with her mother is so relatable. My mother is relatively recently deceased as well. And oh god, the overwhelming difficulty and worry of raising children are devastating. Though our children also help us to want to go on. They are the most critical and challenging issues of our lives. Ms. Blair paints a picture of her son and her relationship, and the light it brings is pure and vital to not giving up on life.

Her honesty about the addiction is heartbreaking. I am amazed by how one could cope with both.

Her wit! How I adore her consciousness of knowing when it’s time to hurl an amusing anecdote or make a joke to lighten the load.

Kudos, Selma Blair! You’re an excellent writer. Those who say otherwise don’t have your emotional intelligence.
Thank you so much for advocating for us who live with chronically shitty illnesses. You’re wickedly wonderful!!

10 people found this helpful

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Poor little privileged girl...

I was excited to read this book & then I realized all she does is cry (A LOT) and whine about really really bad choices all while talking about expensive clothing her mother bought her, the private school she attended, Hollywood parties, luxurious vacations, her self destructive, reckless alcohol problem, relationships chosen for insane reasons...the list goes on & on. I rolled my eyes so many times listening to Selma's cracking, crying voice over & over again...she's a mediocre actress & those moments felt forced, artificial & overly dramatic. Her penchant for drama & being seen as a victim in every situation or the "beautiful disaster" gets old quickly. She comes across to me as an emotionally immature, insecure mess. I finally finished the book but it was a chore.

9 people found this helpful

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Couldn't finish it.

There are few memoirs I don't like, and unfortunately, this was one. It just wasn't interesting to me. I forced myself to listen to almost half of it, and when I decided I could not get through it, I returned it. The narration was also a problem for me. While I don't like listening to robotic reading, Selma's style was too dramatic for my taste. Any time she read something that was supposed to be emotional, her voice would quaver and would sound as if she were crying while reading it. It was like she was acting and it sounded melodramatic.

8 people found this helpful

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Is there a point ?

Tried to engage but the book is dull and the narrator off putting when voicing her childhood woes.

7 people found this helpful

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Most beautiful soul

This is the best. People in pain make bad choices, especially when unheard by loved ones. But deep down is a survivor in this personal story.

5 people found this helpful

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Story was interesting

Interesting story, however I always find it difficult to listen to someone that cries so frequently during the read. Understand that the author wants to express emotion but comes off overly dramatic. Not for me.

4 people found this helpful

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Completely wrecked in a GREAT way!

Selma gives us a deep dive into her life from birth until present. It’s an intimate portrait of her life and her narration had me crying and at giggling. There were times I gasped, Selma, wanting to reach out and pull you in for a hug because we have been in similar situations. The delivery that you give/write, I felt in my soul. Molly is most definitely proud of this book! Absolutely well done! Bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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Laughed and cried and adore this Selma Blair

Amazing story that makes you laugh, cry and reflect. Absolutely loved this encouraging life story. I can’t put it into words how much this has touched my own buried struggles. Keep writing.

4 people found this helpful

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Wow

I couldn’t decipher what was more shocking her drinking or her MS struggle. The drinking by far. Perfectly narrated by Selma Blair her humbleness is apparent throughout.

3 people found this helpful