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Among the things that Shirley is over: people who repeat themselves (“when you didn’t care what they said the first time”); conservatives and liberals; ill-mannered young people; the poison of celebrity (“Why do so many people want to be famous when they see how it can destroy your life?”); being polite to boring people (“If they won’t stop talking, I go into a trance and meditate”); getting older in Hollywood (“How peaceful it is not to have to look particularly pretty anymore or to wear a size 6”).
In the opposite camp, there are some things Shirley will never get over: good lighting (“Marlene Dietrich taught me how to light myself”); gorgeous costars (“The vanity of male actors is an impossible wall to scale”); performing live (“Yes, it is better than sex”); and above all, brave people with curious minds (“Fear is the most powerful weapon of mass destruction”).
Along the way, she recalls stories of some of the true greats she has known—Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, the two Jacks (Lemmon and Nicholson)—and ruminates on the state of Hollywood past and present. She recollects her relationships and romances with politicians (including two prime ministers), scientists, journalists, and costars.
Shirley MacLaine may be over all that, but this irresistible book ensures that we will never get over her.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daniel on 06-12-11
Getting over all that
I've learned many things from watching Shirley MacLaine perfom and from reading her writing. One of the things that I've learned from this book, however, is that perhaps it's not good to get over all things and that concern for what other people think could keep us from becoming overly self involved.
I did find parts of the book interesting and informative, but spending time with this author who seems to value powerful people (affording much leniency) while saving her invective for people in service positions was a major turn-off. Throwing rocks at the paparazzi (she admits she acted like a bitch, but it seems in her telling of it to indicate how real and spiritual she is.),describing a security guard as fat and slovenly because he gave her a hard time about boarding with her dog (My God didn't he know who she was?) and how inattentive waiters and waitresses are. Even though she thinks of herself as a gypsy (a dancer who works like a dog in the background- often recieving little acclaim), she became famous very early on and I assume never had to work as a waitress or in a service position dealing with entitled rich people. If she has then it hasn't seemed to teach her patience with people who aren't in positions of power like herself, politicians, mafia types and the rat pack. I wonder if she believes that cream rises to the top and that a caste system is in fact fair because it reflects the karma one has earned over many lifetimes.
I believe her words, but it comes mixed with some rather unattractive features or so it seems from this book and her reading of it. (She even sounds crotchety and pissed off.) It was not always enjoyable to spend time with her in this way.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Maureen on 07-19-13
This is a rant by any other name.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
For someone who is supposed to take a broader, more metaphysical view, of life, MacLaine (who I otherwise truly like as an artist) seems to kvetch too much about young people and world events in that "in my day" critical, stereotypical-of-cynical-old-people stance. I had hoped she'd be more encouraging. Less cerebral, more spiritually uplifting. I don't know why I expected that, but I did. She seems pissed off by a lot of things none of us can control instead of sort of Zen-ish about it all. For example, there's a moment in the book in which she gripes about travel through airports and the TSA searches. I figured she'd be over that.... Most of us are....we don't like it, but I didn't really want to buy a book by someone bitching about it....and plenty of other silly things.
By the way....why not mention her daughter? Is she over her too?
Would you be willing to try another book from Shirley MacLaine? Why or why not?
Possibly. I'd like to read her memoir.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Shirley MacLaine?
Yes, I enjoyed hearing her familiar voice.
What else would you have wanted to know about Shirley MacLaine’s life?
I guess I'd like to hear what she has to say on a GOOD day.
Any additional comments?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful