Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty

  • by Diane Keaton
  • Narrated by Diane Keaton
  • 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Academy Award winner and best-selling author Diane Keaton comes a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself - no matter what anyone else thinks.
Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she’s accumulated through the years as a mother, daughter, actress, artist, and international style icon. This is a book only Diane Keaton could write - a smart and funny chronicle of the ups and downs of living and working in a world obsessed with beauty.
In her one-of-a-kind voice, Keaton offers up a message of empowerment for anyone who’s ever dreamed of kicking back against the "should"s and "supposed to"s that undermine our pursuit of beauty in all its forms. From a mortifying encounter with a makeup artist who tells her she needs to get her eyes fixed to an awkward excursion to Victoria’s Secret with her teenage daughter, Keaton shares funny and not-so-funny moments from her life in and out of the public eye.
For Diane Keaton, being beautiful starts with being true to who you are, and in this book she also offers self-knowing commentary on the bold personal choices she’s made through the years: the wide-brimmed hats, outrageous shoes, and all-weather turtlenecks that have made her an inspiration to anyone who cherishes truly individual style - and catnip to paparazzi worldwide. She recounts her experiences with the many men in her life - including Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and Sam Shepard - shows how our ideals of beauty change as we age, and explains why a life well lived may be the most beautiful thing of all.
Wryly observant and as fiercely original as Diane Keaton herself, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty is a head-turner of a book that holds up a mirror to our beauty obsessions - and encourages us to like what we see.


What the Critics Say

"A far-reaching, heartbreaking, absolutely lucid book about mothers, daughters, childhood, aging, mortality, joyfulness, love, work and the search for self-knowledge." (The New York Times)
"A poem about women living in one another’s not uncomplicated memories... Part of what makes Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, truly amazing is that she does away with the star’s ‘me’ and replaces it with a daughter’s ‘I.’" (Hilton Als, The New Yorker)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comfortable in her skin

To the point: I don't dislike Keaton, I'm just not a fan -- I'm indifferent about Keaton. I didn't think Annie Hall was absolutely adorkable, and I didn't care for the much emulated fashion either. When friends started wearing gloves and turtlenecks in warm weather, I sincerely wondered if they had psoriasis, until another friend clued me in that it was a "Diane Keaton thing."

Every time I have seen Keaton interviewed, she seems to be an older extension of the Annie Hall character, still uncomfortable, self conscious, and awkward, now because she is aware that she is an older woman in an industry that devours anything female beyond 30. She comes on stage, is lovable and a little off-center, with that characteristic la-di-da body language. But looking beyond those high collars and bowler hats, and listening to what she has to say, is a study of intelligent contradiction. The actress is hardly a one dimensional goof-ball. She is observant, confident, self aware, and unapologetic about being passed middle-age in an unforgiving profession. Those un-botoxed eyes seem to look into the camera and declare, "Here I am, and I am beautiful, crow's feet and all!" It was this appreciation, and understanding of the value of earned beauty that drew me to this book.

Listening was like thumbing through Diane's journals. Each entry is its own story or experience, independent from the previous or the following. At times, it might seem a little disjointed, or extraneous, not unlike a meandering conversation between two people. She recalls memories, moments of gratitude, an epiphany here, a regret once in a while, lyrics that elicited vivid reactions (from The Shadow of Your Smile to Blurred Lines), old neighbors or friends. Many of her vignettes are shared moments between her and her two children. The most significant pieces deal with a young girl becoming a woman and trying to define herself through beauty product advertisements and *suggestions* about 'what to do with that bulbous nose' from film casting agents, or makeup artists, in a culture that valued beauty above all else. Fans expecting Keaton to dish on some of Hollywood's most beautiful leading men, or reveal any tongue wagging fodder will be disappointed. Those that admire her originality and conviction will enjoy sharing these little personal treasures from a woman that has gracefully endured in an industry that thinks 30 is old, age spots are unforgivable, and a sagging keester is the cold kiss of death.

Bottom line: It was OK, short, at times poetic and insightful, and it's always nice to read something that stays positive. But, if I had it to do over, I'd just sit down and re-watch Something's Gotta Give.

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- Mel

Can't think of a thing to say

It wasn’t bad, wasn’t great, not boring, far from riveting, not sure I get it, don’t regret it… does that help?
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- Simone "Follow me on Goodreads too!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-29-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio