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Floor Sample Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1ST edition (May 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424948
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At 57, Cameron, famous for her semispiritual approach to healing artist's block (presented in 1992's The Artist's Way) still seeks her creative and emotional center. She now details her creative struggles, framed by her fight to maintain sobriety after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. Early fame writing for Rolling Stone led her to the most cataclysmic relationship of her life, a youthful marriage to director Martin Scorsese, with whom she had her only child. The relationship lasted less than two years. For 10 years after, Cameron chased similar creative ground to Scorsese's, attending film school, making small films and screenwriting for film and TV. She seemed unable to settle down, moving between Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Taos, and details a constant, painful struggle to find a creative touchstone. Her one focus remains her art—yet that often resembles monomania and leads her to periodic psychotic breaks. She leaves her daughter adrift to work on her art; relationships crash and burn because she is a workaholic and egomaniac. Cameron is best at revealing the dark side of her privileged life: her descent into alcoholic blackouts and drug-induced paranoia as well as descriptions of her bouts with psychosis. These are disturbingly vivid; the rest is febrile New Age rhetoric. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Creativity guru Cameron presents a page-turning, richly textured, and wrenching memoir that begins with her strict Catholic childhood in a book-filled Illinois house. Brainy and longing to emulate Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, she was "a bad girl waiting to happen." At Georgetown University, she spent her evenings in bars writing, downing doubles, and experiencing memory blackouts. During her junior year at Fordham, she stayed out drinking until dawn while still maintaining a stellar GPA. She then became a hard-drinking, hot young writer, first at the Washington Post, then at Rolling Stone; then met filmmaker Martin Scorsese and followed him to Los Angeles, where she added cocaine to the mix. Finally, a postpregnancy return to alcohol and drugs and Martin's romance with Liza Minelli pushed her to the edge. No longer able to write and drink, she foreswore drugs and alcohol, viewed God as her employer, and set the daily writing quotas that would win her fame. Now watch for Cameron on the talk show circuit, courting a "recovery" fan base. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of more than thirty books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: The Artist's Way, Walking in This World, Finding Water, and The Writing Diet. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and television.

Latest endeavor: Julia Cameron Live, an online course and artists' community led by Julia. It is the most comprehensive discussion she has ever done on The Artist's Way, and the first time she has allowed cameras in her home. www.juliacameronlive.com

Customer Reviews

Which is just weird and wrong.
A. F. Gillies
That doesn't mean she's undeserving; it just means she could leap ahead of other equally talented artists who married unknowns.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin
I loved the "The Artist's Way," so I was very curious to the read the memoir of its creator, Julia Cameron.
Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Unlike most reviewers here, let my state upfront that I was not familiar whatsoever with Julia Cameron. I saw this book and read the inside flap summary: "wrote for Rolling Stone, "was married to Martin Scorsese", hmmm, this could be interesting I thought, and off I went with the book. What a surprise that was awaiting me.

In "Floor Sample" (405 pages), Julia Cameron brings her life story, and what a story it is. From her early days, strict Catholic upbringing, Julia describes how she started the party life in college at Georgetown, seeking ways to channel her obvious writing talents, eventually leading to Rolling Stone assignments, which in turn lead to a short-lived but high intensity courtship, and eventual, marriage to Martin Scorsese. Her drinking spiraled out of control, leading to the break-up with Scorsese. Then things really turn interesting: Cameron quits drinking altogether and starts life anew, seeking out writing assignments in magazines, tipping her toes in writing Hollywood scripts, and eventually writing many fiction and non-fiction books (the best known of which is "The Artist's Way", a sort of self-help book for budding artists), poetry, and musicals. But along that long journey Cameron also suffers bouts of depression or psychotic episodes (it's never really clear which one, or perhaps both), and she describes them in frightning detail.

One of the things that struck me the most in the book was the never-ending moving back-and-forth, restless, living between Los Aneles, Taos (NM), New York, London, etc. It's just dizzying. Cameron seems very much aware of her own frailness and relies on praying constantly to make it through ("Please guide me"). That said, the book ends disappointingly open-ended, as it appears once of her musicals seems on the verge of making if (off) Broadway, but we don't find out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book from start to end, and I highly recommend it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had the privilege to attend a workshop with Julia recently and was impressed by her humor, her strength, her passion, and her talent. And yes, her vulnerability. This is a fabulous book, reflecting all these facets of this complicated, gifted woman.

It's a brave memoir, in that she details serious problems, including alcohol and drug abuse as well as two failed marriages, and a great stuggle with emotional stability. But throughout it all, Julia remains true to her dual calling, that of an artist and a teacher. No matter what transpires, she not only continues to create her own art of many kinds, but works hard and with great generosity to help other artists find their muse and working rhythms.

The big message of this book is that an artist is about her work. The work continues no matter what. She preaches this, yes, but lives it too. That's what she means by "Floor Sample" - of her own method, The Artist's Way.

Unlike another reviewer who found this to be self absorbed (but what is a memoir if not an examination of self?) I found it to be inspiring and fascinating. I particularly enjoyed her discussion of balancing her teaching and mentoring with her own art work.

So few women have the courage to pursue their art despite all, but Julia has done it, and against great odds. I applaud her and admire her. If more of us could stand up to our own demons as well as Julia has, the world would be a more beautiful, and art-filled place.

Inspirational reading for those who want to keep their art in focus at all times.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Carlson on October 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I know Julia Cameron as so many of us do, by way of "The Artist's Way" and I was anxious to read about HER.

From the first page I was captivated by a seasoned story teller with a heck of story to tell: her own. Reading this book is like meeting up with an old friend for dinner that you haven't seen in ages and letting the world pass you by as you are drawn into her world and all that has taken place. Pretty soon you realize the restaurant is closing and you've forgotten where you are.

Cameron writes very well and is painfully honest and objective about herself and her struggles with addiction -to alcohol first, and then other abstract things including the high she gets from not eating. She chronicles her two marriages to Martin Scorsese and then to her work partner Mark Bryan. Her lifestyle includes leapfrogging across the U.S. with her daughter in tow, making her home wherever life takes her. Throughout it all she remains committed to her writing, and spiritual guidance.

Hers is an adventurous and difficult life to say the least. But clearly her strong network of support has helped her thrive and continue to bring her wonderful creations to the world, and teach the rest of us in the process. I actually got even more understanding out of reading about how she uses morning pages, and her other "Artist's Way" tools, than I had in reading "The Artist's Way."
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By love books and music on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read the Artist's Way, The Sound of Paper, The Right to Write, A Vein of Gold, and now Floor Sample. I am thus familiar with Julia Cameron. Oddly enough, I read this book quickly in two days, finding it hard to put down, but the last 100 pages or so seemed to be rushed and erratic.

It was a brave memoir, she is obviously a talented artist (but didn't we all know that already?) Some of the mental/emotional instability issues seem to me to make it difficult to recall her in a more objective sense. I have absolutely no prejudice against mental illness and am not saying that gives her less credibility. Instead, it just came to be distracting to me, and I want to be able to work her books and reread them without having this personal information about her come to mind.

When I finished this book, I had the distinct feeling that I wish that I had never read it.

Not recommended
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