I finished reading Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice by Maureen McCormick (Amazon has the hardcover marked down to a "bargain-priced" $8-something from $25-something, and doesn't that seem like that would be the kind of thing you wouldn't want to know if you were the author, even if you knew it happened to ALL hardcovers?), and I liked it.
Celebrity autobiographies must be very, very difficult to write, because of reader expectations. When I'm reading one, I want to be DISHED some DIRT. I want to hear about other celebrities. I want some behind-the-scenes stuff, and I want to hear some of the personal-life stuff the celebrity didn't talk about at the time it was happening. I want photos I haven't already seen in a magazine.
But! Too much dirt and I start feeling uncomfortable, or like the celebrity is so attention-hungry they'll say anything. Or I start thinking the other celebrities should have had an opportunity to respond to the startling accusations, and that no one should be revealing SOMEONE ELSE'S drug use, affairs, spending habits, etc., especially to enhance their OWN life story. And if I hear too much personal-life stuff, I start rolling my eyes and thinking, "Do you really think we CARE about that, just because we like your acting work?" And sometimes I come away from the whole thing feeling like I've gotten to know the celebrity better but wishing I hadn't.
I don't think I'd risk that impossible tightrope if I were them, and so I try to be merciful when reading. I think, "Remember, I ASKED for this" and "Well, at least there are TWO photo sections!" (There MUST be at least one photo section. If there are no photos, the book is crap. The end.) and "This is a CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY."
There is a part about halfway through the book where she Finds God (it's right around the time she gets interested in a Hot Religious Guy), and at first it seems as if the rest of the book will be like that. But it fizzles out, except for the occasional "blessed" or "humbled" or reference to how God gets the credit for keeping her slap-face marriage to Hot Religious Guy from falling apart (he felt he couldn't divorce her, seems to be the gist of it).
There are many long sections about the crazy feud she's having with her brother and father, and it made me feel a little uncomfortable because it seems kind of unfair that she gets to publish her side in a book. Not that I'd be all eager to give them their own chapter for rebuttal, if I were her, and it's hard to imagine a "their side" that would change anyone's sympathies.
Keeping all those things in mind, the Maureen McCormick autobiography falls into the Meets or Exceeds Expectations category. There were times when I thought, "I DID want to hear about this, but...perhaps not so many times?" (example: how hot she was for almost every guy she worked with, including the ones much older than her), or when I thought, "Being temporarily famous really does a number on people," or "Listen, I'm not sure that other celebrity's highly complimentary quote about you was, um, sincere"---but overall, I was pleased with the dirt/personal level, and I finished the book feeling more fond of Maureen McCormick than when I started reading.
Also, if I ever meet her, I will NOT say "Marcia Marcia Marcia!" to her. Not that I would have anyway. I would have been the sort who would have accidentally drawn embarrassing attention to our age difference by talking about how much I loved her when I was a little, little girl, and then would have made things worse by blurting how sad it was that I hadn't seen her in anything SINCE then, and then would have completed the triptych by saying sympathetically, "That show must be really embarrassing NOW, right? I mean, the plots! the acting! the singing! the hair-brushing! your PANTS! ...But it was the '70s, I guess. I was really too young to remember it."
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...