• The Book of Joan

  • Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation
  • By: Melissa Rivers
  • Narrated by: Melissa Rivers
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-05-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (362 ratings)

Regular price: $21.00

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Publisher's Summary

Joan Rivers was known all over the world - from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.

Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won't believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds - or boundaries, apparently. ("Melissa, I acknowledge that you have boundaries. I just choose to not respect them.") In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation, Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots ("Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good-looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?"), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household ("I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That's all the math you'll ever need."). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the center of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.

In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.
©2015 Melissa Rivers (P)2015 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Stittsville Shopper on 05-08-15

Love Joan and Melissa but the book misses the mark

What did you like best about The Book of Joan? What did you like least?

Joan's Ivy Day address was fantastic and still timely. Use your manners, take your punches and learn from adversity. Similarly, I enjoyed the stories that involved people Joan didn't particularly like or people who disrespected her. There were things to be learned from those situations. Unfortunately, the revealing or truly interesting stories were few and far between.

What aspect of Melissa Rivers’s performance would you have changed?

The book needed one or two more rewrites to feel professional and smooth. Linking phrases were repeated again and again. The material itself was thin and needed considerable fleshing out. The ghost writer and editor really did not do their job well.

Any additional comments?

I read / listen to a lot of biographical books. This one is weaker than many but far from the worse. I still got a sense of Joan but I was disappointed by the lack of depth. I felt the book had the opportunity to be so much more. It's a good first or second draft but needs more polish to be great.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Simone on 05-03-17

Homage to Joan

This was meant to be a humorous homage to Joan Rivers given by her daughter… except it’s not funny.

I felt like I was listening to a 5-hour long stand up routine by someone trying too hard to be funny. I didn’t find it was clever or dead-pan or comical at all, I think it missed the mark completely.

Perhaps if I was a Melissa Rivers FAN (as opposed to just knowing who she is) I might have seen glimpses of her personality in the prose and might have chuckled once or twice; sadly as it was, I think it was a flop.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By harry elstone on 08-22-16

Funny, hilarious, devastating

If you could sum up The Book of Joan in three words, what would they be?

Wow Melissa really knows how to tell a story and being to life, some people just read the words from the page but I really felt like I could sit with a cup of tea and for Melissa to be just sat in front of me telling me these stories

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Honestly I laughed I cried. I loved this book so much. I listened to it straight after I'd finished it

Any additional comments?

Well done Melissa, can't wait for the next one.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Suhair on 09-09-15


Im sorry to be writing that this book was boring but it so was. this is not a reflection of Joan Rivers whom i happen to be a great fan of (which is why i bought the book in the first place) but Melissa!!????.....lets just say there was this moment where she was describing something so mundane in so much minute detail that i can literally remember what i was doing that that moment and what i wanted to do when it got too much.... i was in my car and i literally yanked my headphones and cried "get on with it!!.."....Melissa knows that Joan was the one with the charisma and sadly it died with her. RIP Joan

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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