A Paper Life

  • by Tatum O'Neal
  • Narrated by Tatum O'Neal
  • 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At age 10, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. As the sidekick to her father, Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities among her childhood friends. But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother drifted in and out of her life. Her father grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.
Then Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past that would nearly kill her. Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

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What the Critics Say

"In this honest, disturbing memoir, O'Neal...reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her lonely, chaotic life." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

started out strong, but ended weakly

a little over half way through it turned into a typical "everyone is wrong" and "poor me." although i stayed with it, i found my interest waning and found myself yelling at specific comments made by Tatum. i am looking forward to reading McEnroe's book now to find out his side of the story.

the most interesting part of the book revolves around Paper Moon, and how she got there.
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- Deb

The struggle for a good life in a bad environment

Tatum articulately expresses the difficulties of growing up in a family where appearances are all that matter, requiring denial, lies, blame-shifting, etc., much better than I am able to. I respect her courage to speak up (even though doing so is the ultimate 'sin'), her fight to protect innocence, and beyond that to forgive. What genuine love is there that is not founded on truth and dignity? None, and she instinctively knows this. I appreciate Tatum for the inner qualities she has nurtured, and the difference she has been trying to make in her world. This is the essence of the battle that is life. May God bless her in all the best ways.
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- robinwoodpdx

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-24-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio