39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book was very interesting. I believe it was mostly factual. I was surprised at Ryan's candor especially concerning his career. I didn't expect that from him. It held my interest throughout. I had a different opinion of him after I read Tatum's 2 books which didn't have anything good to say about him or Farrah. I recommend this book if you have any interest in Farrah or Ryan. His children are all old enough to take responsibility for their lives/addictions. Time to stop blaming their parents.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
I'm a huge fan of both Ryan and Farrah. I appreciate that Ryan wrote this book. I do believe in his constant affirmations of his love for Farrah in the book and on tv. I can see both sides of his and Farrah's relationship now and also with his children. If you are a fan of either Farrah and Ryan, definitely read the book. There's a lot of interesting little things in the book that I didn't know before, i.e., Raquel Welch's catty remark to Farrah; what Ryan thought about Farrah's mother; the 18 mo. that Redmond spent in a horrible rehab. when he was very young, to name just a few. I have much more compassion for all of them after reading the book. Best wishes to Ryan and his family as they continue their healing.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in one weekend because it is so interesting and the sincerity was fully evident. It was a true love note for Farrah and for Ryan's children and I was surprised by his viewpoint of these relationships, having only been informed by the tabloid press. It is a very good book. I never expected it to be the case but I was left with sympathy and respect for Ryan. This was a really good book.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
After watching the moving video of Fawcett's battle with cancer, I was eagerly anticipating O'Neal's book.
I read it in only 1.5 sittings, despite the book (particularly the first half +) containing clearly beneficial (to the writer) "revisionist history", although the author does outright say at one point that his dates and events are his and he gives leeway for countering versions of the events. I found the opening page alone to not have the ring of truth to it and it takes perhaps 100 pages to come from behind after such a saccharine opening. I would absolutely LOVE to hear from friends and family if this event is a newly offered recollection - or had it been something both O'Neal and Fawcett had previously openly shared, as he said, with a laugh?
However, despite the attempt to bolster the self image, and an effort to minimize personal responsibility in many "watered down" recounts, it's clear that this was a beautiful although troubled union. The love for Fawcett is abundantly clear as are his efforts to portray his parenting as more responsible. I feel that his written words are often, during a tale, are more of a reflection of what he WISHED to be true rather than what may have been more accurate.
He struggles to take responsibility for his participation in often dramatic, chaotic and violent events but his hindsight is "spot on". I found the portions of writing where he ponders if the struggle of the dynamics and incidents with his previous children left her without the "energy reserves" she needed to rely on to win the fight over cancer.
Fawcett comes across as incredibly kind, intelligent and passionate, loving and having incredible intentions. What's true is only known to her immediate friends and family. However, I was spell bound by this amazing "Angel" and over the years have enjoyed reading about her personal life, which sounds pretty balanced in some ways despite the uncontrollable life around her. The passion and love she had for her only son was enormously clear and I respect that. It also feels that had the O'Neal children been less damaged, they too would have been offered this abundant love.
Tragic all around. I suspect that the book will open up further hurts with his children, particularly Tatum, who while trying to get her life together, still struggles with letting the past go. Felt like Ryan O did attempt to reach out at various times, though in his book, you root for him to try harder to to "own" more of this role.
The last 1/3 of the book seems to be more articulately written, could be he became more comfortable with his writing, or perhaps he felt he had unleashed his excuses - or possibly the co-authors had stepped in to wrap up the story. I found myself thinking that his "journals" may have been written more recently than their entry dates. I loved the parallel stories of fellow Hollywood personalities to be interesting and while inserted somewhat at random, they still were fascinating.
I suspect some is not completely dead on correct - but the feelings/emotions of a parent who's children are on a dangerous path are intact, raw and you can sympathize/empathize with him. True also in evaluating their complicated love story.
I'm about to upgrade my stars to 4, as the story really is good, despite some rather interesting portions that seem to have been written to convince himself, and not us as the reader of the validity of circumstances. Someone really should have taken out the corny 1 page "preface" if you will - it undermined the sense of truth from the beginning.
Ok, well, like him or don't like him - it's worth your $ and your time just to read what is important and what is ok to leave behind and move on. His reflections, call them Monday AM quarterbacking are moving and worth taking into consideration when you face something in your own life - parallel or not. We can all walk away with something he's written to make us more receptive to openly working through "stuff" and not deflecting/ignoring it.
It's a wonderful read, even if some of it is wishful/wistful. Enjoy
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I gave this book three stars because I read it in one night, and the story stayed with me the next day. I think anyone who's had any kind of troubled family life, could relate to many of the things Ryan O'Neal has went through with his family.
But there are many reasons I didn't, and couldn't, give 'Both Of Us' five stars. Some are not very fair, nor pertinent to the book. That being that I always found Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett to be despicable people. Ryan ran out on his kids for her and Farrah ran out on her husband for him. I have no doubts that her life would've been much less stressful if she had stayed with Lee Majors.
One of my biggest reasons, however, for the average stars, is because I could not figure out whether Ryan O'Neal was just outright lying in this book, or whether he was doing what people his age are prone to do--engage in revisionist history. I finally decided that he was just a liar, for several reasons...
1. Mr. O'Neal tries to come across as someone who fell in love with a married woman, and that this woman's husband was just 'in the way'. That the two of them couldn't help themselves, that's how strong their feelings were. I do believe on a physical level, that was true. But there is a disturbing pattern concerning Ryan O'Neal and the people he has in his life. His first wife was either a drug addict before he met her or became one while they were married. His second wife apparently had the good sense to get out early. All of his children, with the exception of Patrick, whom he had with Leigh Taylor-Young(the second wife) have been arrested and have been on drugs. They have also had physical altercations with Ryan. I am supposed to believe, when reading 'Both Of Us', that he never physically or mentally abused Farrah, like he did everyone else in his life? I believe when Farrah stopped looking like the pin-up poster girl, he tired of her. That part about the four year relationship with the younger woman, speaks volumes.
2. I think Farrah could've easily fixed things with Tatum. I don't believe Farrah tried to connect with her at all.
3. I find it interesting that neither Ryan, nor Tatum, in either of her two books, seems to put a lot of blame on Joanna Moore, Tatum's mother. That's where 50% of the blame for much of this, should lie.
4. But most haunting and disturbing, this book reads like a twisted love triangle. Ryan is just as obsessed with Tatum, as she is with him. And that did not become clear to me until i read this particular book. I could not help but feel that he was talking more to his estranged daughter at times, rather than the reader. It made for twisted, yet fascinating reading.
'Both Of Us' is a book worth reading, if you have followed the O'Neal saga and want to hear Ryan's version of it. But I am unsure as to whether he wrote this, because he wanted to honor Farrah Fawcett in some way, or clear his name after Tatum blasted him in her two books? Either way, the book certainly isn't boring.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
I don't agree with those here who call this a love story. I would put it more in the category of a maniacal and toxic relationship, probably based more on physical attraction than anything. I say that, given the fact that Ryan O'Neal states more than once in the book that their sexual relationship always thrived despite turbulence, fighting, and even physical assaults on each other. When you have a 6 year old son with a butcher knife in his hand threatening to stab himself if his parents don't quit fighting, this is not what I would put in the category of a love story between two selfish and immature "adults". Their relationship appeared to sink when her career soared (if briefly) while his plummeted. He says that he felt emasculated to be caring for their son while she worked, and having this fact pointed out by the press. If it was a love story as many say here in their reviews, I guess I am missing something as to why he wouldn't be happy for her success and have enough love in his heart for his son to not be embarrassed being Mr. Mom for awhile. The obvious reason to me that theirs was not a "love story" is that he shared so much personal information about her when she is not here to respond or defend herself. She knew she was dying and he knew she was dying, did he ask her if she would be comfortable with him writing a book about the two of them after she was gone? Would she have given it her blessing? I think not. People who have swallowed this book hook, line, and sinker need to remember that everything in this book is from Ryan O'Neal. And those who want to bash his adult children need to reserve judgment. Even Ryan O'Neal states that their son Redmond was put in the role of trying to be peacemaker for his parents. What a love story.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is truly a love story but with many mistakes made in Ryan and Farrah's love affair. I have always thought they were a striking couple and was glad Ryan wrote this book. I takes two to tango so all of the problems in this relationship were not all Ryan's fault. Especially with his kids. I think Tatum was "in love" with her dad, Ryan. She wanted him all to herself and did not like him being with Farrah. She did some pretty mean things to him as punishment such as not inviting him to be in her wedding to John McEnroe - Ryan was not asked to walk her down the aisle. I think that was one of the cruelest things ever to do to a parent. Her need for constant attention was extreme. I think she is bipolar because of her erratic behavior throughout her whole life - especially her drug addiction. I do think it would have made a difference if Ryan and Farrah had married and lived in one house and not had separate residences. There was a lack of maturity on Ryan and Farrah's part in the raising of Redmond. However, I do get it that Farrah was the love of Ryan's life. At the end of the book when telling about Farrah's fight to live and the horrible cancer treatments and ultimately her death...even though I saw the documentary that was made and know the story, I still became teary-eyed and very, very sad reading about it in Ryan's words. It touched my heart deeply. I am a Texas girl who was raised in a small town 25 miles from Corpus Christi where Farrah was raised and also we are the same age. I am a cancer survivor so I know about cancer treatments. I wish Farrah could have been saved.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
It's hard to separate fact from fiction in this book. Some of the factual errors are glaring. Twice Ryan O'Neal refers to Farrah's "blue" eyes, when they were in fact green. Did he not proof the ghostwriters' copy first? He refers to her returning for four contracually obliged episodes of Charlie's Angels when in fact it was six. So, when faced with factual errors like that, you start to wonder about the veracity of the rest of his musings. His recollections are certainly selective. For example, he makes much of wanting to remove Redmond from a particular rehab centre, while he says Farrah wanted Redmond to stay. So he's painting himself as the good guy. But according to Farrah's business partner Greg Lott, the following happened: Ryan argued with Farrah and insisted Redmond leave the centre in Mexico, taking him to the car. Farrah then discovered she didn't have her purse, so she had no money or ID. Redmond gave her $50 and then he and Ryan took off. Farrah was forced to cross the border on foot from Tijuana, take a cab to the train station in San Diego, and then a train to LA. None of that is in the book. O'Neal reveals all sorts of intimate details that Farrah surely wouldn't have wanted public. But she's not with us, nor are any members of her family; her father, mother and sister are all dead too. So he can write what he wants, can't he? It's not a comfortable read, for several reasons. You don't know what's true and what's not; he reveals stuff without her being able to reply; and most readers who only know basic info about the two of them will swallow it hook, line and sinker.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
My critique of this book is going to brief as I'm simply unimpressed and unwilling to devote too much time to this dim witted attempt to sell himself as the 20th century white knight.
1. The writing is disjointed. It is random and rambling.
2. The author doesn't accept responsibility for any of his actions. He spends the first chapter of the book quickly establishing that Lee Majors,drank too much and thankfully he arrived on the scene to rescue this poor unhappy woman. He seems to believe as indicated by his writing thatLee Majors befriended him just for that purpose and later waffled trying to reclaim his wife? Ryan states Lee should just get out of the way. Can anyone say narcissistic ?
3. he uses the book to refute everything that his daughters book had alleged about him (I haven't read his daughters book but he in his own words refutes what is written by her and what she has said in the press).
4. He doesn't accept any responsibility for his parenting (or lack thereof) with all four of children. He does mention the one with his second wife turned out well in spite of her whacky doodle spirituality.
It was not an interesting read nor was it informative. I regret the energy spent on this novella and only write the review to save someone else from wasting their time.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
I had a really poor opinion of Ryan after reading A Paper Life by Tatum. But when I saw the OWN reality series, I saw that both father and daughter were equally to blame. I think it's unfair Ryan is blamed for a disease, which addiction is--and largely genetic at that. He did his best with the kids, which wasn't good enough, but Farrah didn't intervene when he left the kids alone, and she was far from perfect as well.
He's a scoundrel but I do believe he loved and loves his kids, loved Farrah and is a narcissist from all of his early Hollywood star days. Bur Farrah was wrapped up in her appearance as well, and I think they're both broken hearted over Redmond. It's tough on parents to have children who are addicts and I don't believe Ryan deserves the rap for that. I like the way the book was written, and he doesn't let himself off the hook. He's an aging romantic -- his daughter compared him to character in Sunset Boulevard and there's some truth to that comparison. I imagine it's hard for anyone to have been the heart throb he was at such a young age after Love Story and then go on to live a normal life. Despite his failings, he comes across as likeable --if a bit out of touch. But his love for his children is palpable and real, even if misguided. Since he's 71 and likely dying, it would nice if he was able to reunite his family before death.