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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1987, a collection of anecdotes as well as opinions pro and con on a wide range of subjects by legendary actress Bette Davis!

A woman of strong appetites and opinions, Bette Davis minces no words. In frank, no-nonsense terms, she talks about the stroke that nearly killed her and inspires us with the story of her subsequent recovery from cancer - a lively and encouraging account shot through with the star's unique blend of spunk and wit.

Davis was famous for being as unsparing of herself as she was of others. Among the "others" of this book are President Ronald Reagan, who was a contract player at Warner Bros. when she was; Joan Crawford, her costar in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; Humphrey Bogart; Marilyn Monroe; Elizabeth Taylor; and Helen Hayes, Bette's costar in her first film after her illness, Murder with Mirrors. She also talks about her deep friendship with her longtime assistant, Kathryn Sermak, who nursed Davis back to health after her stroke and ushered her back into acting when Davis' doctors thought all hope was lost.

As Davis says, "If everyone likes you, you're doing your job wrong." This is a unique and controversial book by one of the most incandescent and unconventional acting talents of all time, as magnetic and supremely talented as the lady herself.

©1987 Bette Davis (P)2017 Hachette Audio

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Love this look into Bette Davis’ life and feelings

I almost didn’t get this in audio form because I was afraid it would bug me to hear someone else other than Miss Davis read the book but I ended up thinking Ms. Toren did a really top notch job. Not a charicature but just the right essence of tone and style. Very well done. The story is just what it says, This ‘n That. Some stories of family, some stories of friends (some famous, some not), some stories of behind the scenes on films, some stories of relationships and love and loss. Mostly stories of Ms. Davis’ feelings connected with each adventure and each person and they are all fascinating. This book was written just after her daughter wrote her scathing memoirs of growing up with Bette as a mother and Bette gets to give her side of the story and that is wonderful to hear, though difficult to hear the broken heart that writes. You often get to hear about Bette Davis from what other people think she was like. Take this chance to hear about her right from her lips. Hear not only about her life but how she feels as each story happens. This is not her entire life, she already did that in her book “The lonely Life”. She’s very up front that she is not going to cheat us by rehashing old stories. They are all new. She sets the record straight and tells it like it is, or at least as she sees it and she sees life in a fascinating and intense way. You will hear how her stroke and her mastectomy affected her mentally as well as physically. You will hear her fear and her frustration and her strength. She’s quite a person and I loved this glimpse into her life and her mind and her heart.

14 people found this helpful

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Great Book

This book is so well written, it makes you feel like you’re along for the ride. Bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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I liked this book.

it was better than Lonely Life and saved me from reading and wasting time on BD's book. I love that it was a very inspirational story verse a pity party!

2 people found this helpful

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No one like Bette

I’ll first admit, I’m a huge fan of Miss Davis so my review is written with some forgiving bias. This book seems to be just a means of retorting her daughter’s book. I’m inclined to forgive that, and all the little snips and shade she throws because this was her only recourse at the time. It’s a testament of courage though, and an ode to sheer will and tenacity. She was a brilliant performer, an exceptional woman and an honest to goodness, albeit egotistical, STAR. I wanted to hear about her recovery from her illnesses and while she does detail it somewhat, even her writing keeps the reader slightly at a distance, doesn’t let you quite *in*. I think it’s indicative of the generation, feelings just weren’t talked over in public like they are now. It was a decent read, not a thrilling or especially deep one.

The narrator does a decent job of making it sound a lot like Bette, without trying be Bette.

1 person found this helpful

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Love love love this book!

This is probably one of my favorite Audible books. I was a bit nervous because for Bette Davis, you've got to hear it WITH the Bette Davis voice. The narrator was terrific! I've heard so many books where they try to get the tone/voice right for the person they are narrating for and it sounds just silly. Suzanne Toren is great! I am looking forward to the next biography.
If you love Bette, or just getting to know her, try this audio book. It's a quick listen and I can't wait to listen again.

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Totally Engaging

Like Bette Davis, this autobiographical book is so interesting and gives so much insight into a celebrity I thought I knew everything about. If you like the Golden Age of Hollywood, and especially where Bette Davis fit in, you’ll enjoy this book.

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Honest Autobiography

I loved her book. Betty Davis was a fine actress. I can't imagine Betty Davis heart break over what her daughter BD wrote about her. it saddens me that they did not reconciled. Good book.

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  • Jules
  • 04-27-21

Captivating! Did not want it to end!

This is an incredibly well written and narrated tale. The narrator speaks in the tone of Bette Davis so you can really feel that it is Bette telling the story. Sad that it’s over!

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  • Massive fan of this read.
  • 08-30-17

a true insight to a Hollywood star

loved it. this is a real insight to a true Hollywood star. I highly recommend that you listen to Bette"s story