Lauren Bacall: By Myself

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3 thoughts on “Lauren Bacall: By Myself

  1. 15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A look into a legend’s life, March 5, 2004
    By 
    E. A Solinas “ea_solinas” (MD USA) –
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    This review is from: Lauren Bacall: By Myself (Mass Market Paperback)

    She was the husky-voiced rising star, and he was the grizzled veteran. While “Laurel Bacall: By Myself” covers much of Bacall’s life, the centerpiece of it is her marriage to Humphrey Bogart. Here Bacall reflects back on her eventful life, relationship and how things are for her since.

    Teenage Betty Bacall first saw Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” and decidedly did not think he was sexy. But she started to think otherwise when she became a rising model-turned-starlet in Hollywood, a nervous budding It-girl. She met and befriended Bogart, then trapped in an alcoholic, abusive marriage with a woman he didn’t love.

    Their friendship quickly become a hidden love affair, despite their age difference. After his divorce from third wife Mayo, the two of them married and had two children, until Bogart’s untimely death of cancer. Bacall chronicles her sorrow at his loss, and her life “by herself.”

    Bacall does a good job with this biography. She writes her own life story as a smart but insecure woman who isn’t afraid to reveal her embarrassments and flaws. She comes across as a lot stronger than she believes herself to be, though she falters quite a bit in middle-age. At times Bacall may frustrate readers by being somewhat clueless about her own relationships and marriages (drinking and marital discord).

    “By Myself” is not exceptionally written, however; the style is quite plain and lacks quite a few details. Bacall compensates somewhat with her dry, self-deprecating wit and forthrightness. There’s a bit of lingering displeasure with some people like her ex-husband and Bogart’s ex-wife Mayo, but Bacall keeps any negative feelings strictly reined in, and her discreet.

    Don’t expect lots of dirt and dish — Bacall clearly isn’t interested in talking about glitz and tawdry little affairs people around her were having. Nor does she name-drop a lot — after all, why would Lauren Bacall have to? Rather she’s interested in the solid, serious romance she and Bogie had, and the day-to-day life of acting, and her family with her adoring, very supportive mother and her children.

    This is “old Hollywood” as people like to remember it. For fans of real love and romance, not to mention old Hollywood, this is a must-read.

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  2. 17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Personal Favorite, June 3, 2001
    By 
    A. Eby (Texas) –
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    This review is from: Lauren Bacall: By Myself (Mass Market Paperback)

    Neither judgmental nor defensive, “Lauren Bacall, By Myself” is the best autobiography I have ever read. Extensive and quite well-written, it covers so much ground that fans of the old Hollywood and Broadway days will doubtless love this book whether they particularly like Bacall herself or not. I liked the fact that she did not divide the book into chapters; life is not that way and reading this bio is just like stepping into Bacall’s life and seeing it with your own eyes. Cleverly titled (am I the only one who senses a double meaning) and full of life, “Lauren Bacall, By Myself” is a literary achievement for Bacall and a great pleasure for any reader.

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  3. 9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Bogart and Bacall’s Great Love Story From The Source Herself, March 21, 2001
    By 
    carol irvin “carol irvin” (United States) –
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    This review is from: Lauren Bacall: By Myself (Mass Market Paperback)

    The biggest reason to read this autobiography is to learn about one of the greatest showbiz romances, between film stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren (Betty) Bacall. It culminated in marriage, movies and children together, lasted 11 years, and only ended because of Bogart’s death in his late 50s due to cancer. In and of itself, that is a wonderful story that any woman especially will adore. There are many other pleasures in this book though. Bacall recalls her growing up years with an extraordinary mother and close knit Jewish extended family that saw her through every milestone of her life, including her mother’s showing up at a college campus to find Bacall’s son when needed. She was a great beauty from the start and got her career going with modeling that ultimately branched off into acting. She also recounts her successes on the stage and her romances with Frank Sinatra (very odd) and Jason Robards, who she married and later divorced. She has two children by Bogart and one by Robards and touches on them as well.

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