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Enter Talking Hardcover – April 1, 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rivers's uninhibited comedy is vastly appreciated by TV and night club audiences. There is little to laugh at, however, in the performer's tediously detailed autobiography. It starts with reports of growing up in an affluent suburb near New York City and Joan Molinsky's embarrassment at her parents for living beyond their means. Then she complains cuttingly about lack of family encouragement as she pursued an acting career. The men in Rivers's life are described unfavorably, as are the showbiz folk who impeded her progress. These recollections accompany bitter memories of false starts, frustrations and heartaches while the entertainer worked in dives and endured rebuffs until she "arrived" at age 31 in 1965. Rivers's breakthrough was her first appearance on The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson, whom she duly thanks here for empathizing with her humor. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Cosmopolitan; Literary Guild featured alternate.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Who would expect a book by and about Rivers to be thoughtful, sensitive, and introspective? And yet here we have an autobiography of a brash entertainer that is not simply an excuse for one-liners and name dropping. Rivers, with the aid of Meryman, writes mostly about her early heartbreaking years of trying to make it as a comic artist. She also tells of her long love-hate relationship with her parents and their lack of support and faith in her burgeoning career. Rivers's recent rise to her present position as co-host of the Tonight Show gets scant coverage. More important is the author's explanation of how she tailors her comedy to fit the audience and her cogent analysis of what makes people laugh. Recommended for most public libraries. Literary Guild featured alternate. Samuel Simons, Memorial Hall Lib., Andover, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (April 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385294409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385294409
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
Joan Rivers did a fabulous job with this. She was extremely honest in her descriptions with show business and describes the "business" of it so openly. Her vulnerability and strength are intertwined so vividly.She is funny,honest,intelligent,good-hearted and insecure as most, but brave enough to admit it. I would highly recommend the audiotape and book as well. It is a great tool for anyone dealing with the emotional aspects of show business rejections. Joan Rivers proves that not only has she been a survivor thru tremendous hardships,but that she is indeed a fragile,yet strong human being. The audio makes for great listening for days stuck in traffic jams.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Will forever be grateful that I lived in the era of the inimitable Joan Rivers. Her father set the framework for her strong and resilient work ethic and her mother set the platform for stability. I had to wait forever for this book and can't literally put it down. I bill myself as Joan's Number One Fan for a reason. And, to learn that my older sister and her sister shared the same name elevated my adoration for her higher if that's possible. She didn't grow up poor and her rise to fame took place on hot coals. I truly believe Johnny Carson aimed to keep Joan to himself and she knew this which is why she never really disparaged Johnny. His selfishness towards her was understood by a remarkable comic, undoubtedly the best comedian of my lifetime, including the men. The walk, the prance onto the stage with both hands perpendicular to her side ready to come together for that question: "Can We Talk." This is an excellent book all the way through. Lessons learned and tears. Love forevermore to Joan Rivers.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book. As a humourous fantasy novelist myself I'm exploring humour, what people find funny and why, or not, and particularly the struggles people had to go through to 'make it big', I found myself constantly engrossed in Rivers's struggles through about ten long years of failure marked with occasional pockets of small success. So it's not the laugh-a-minute Rivers's stand-up routines were, but it's very much worth reading if you want to see the very definition of the word 'resilience'.

I don't think I could have done what she did. She says you have to be absolutely obsessed with what you want to do and I believe she's right, because it's the only way to get through all the horrible experiences she went through - the sleazy dives where she told jokes between strippers, the skanky managers, the abysmal theatrical production she was in (with Barbara - three a's at the time - Streisand) and the many, many times she bombed. I was particularly interested in the changes she went through as she ever so slowly developed her own style, discarding what didn't work (usually way too late) and never really asking herself, it seems, why she couldn't write her own jokes instead of stealing so much from others as she did in the early days.

I always liked her as a comedienne even though I found her a bit mean-spirited sometimes and there were times I felt sorry for the celebrities she poked fun at. But I guess I understand now where all that anger came from. The only problem with this book is it ends at her first real breakthrough on the Johnny Carson show. I guess she picked the story up in a future book. I'll find it and read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OMG, don't even start me on this book. A bible! A guiding light to every aspiring entertainer. So uplifting. You get to understand what Joan Rivers went through in her 20's to get to her success. Immense barriers. And nothing broke her. If you ever had family that didn't support your artistic aspiration, if you ever allowed yourself to veer off into a career that was "the correct one", if you ever were terrified by the rejection of your artistic beginnings - so was Joan. When you read the book, you will be blown away by how she handled the rejections. And how it all paid off amazingly.
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Format: Hardcover
I am reading this book for the second time. I read it the first time years ago and scenes she described have stayed with me and given me inspiration since then. Her tenacious spirit is humbling. There is no preaching, no rah rah cheerleading. It's her deeply personal openness which makes you feel like you're reading a letter from a very close friend. If I had never heard of her the narrative would still be uplifting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are wanting to know about Joan Rivers' life from birth to age 31; this is the book for you. A truly amazing life of forbearance and determination. Joan bears all about her family and her struggle to become a top comic. It is a page turner, hard to put down; sprinkled with her humor.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joan Rivers autobiography is an entertaining read. I have not finished the book yet (have about less than 100 pages to go), but wanted to urge customers to buy this book. Her life story from Joan Molinsky, to stage name Pepper January (in Boston, when emceeing a strip show), and to her present name Joan Rivers (Rivers was borrowed from an agent she went to see), is a heart-wrenching life story. Moments in the book when her parents tried to discourage her from a stage and comedy career, I felt deeply with the author. But Joan Rivers kept on going. What a woman!! Oh well - I am going to stop writing this review, so I can pick up the book and finish it!!
Thank you Joan Rivers.
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