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I'm Wild Again: Snippets from My Life and a Few Brazen Thoughts Hardcover – February 1, 2000

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Never shedding the "Cosmo Girl" identity she created and perfected over 32 years as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the redoubtable Brown muses over her life, career and philosophy. Relentlessly candid, she reveals a difficult childhood: her mother was a depressed young widow, and her older sister contracted polio before the vaccine was developed. Brown was a veteran of 17 secretarial jobs before writing the provocative bestseller Sex and the Single Girl. She also reveals a brief stint at being kept ("keptive") by a married man, and an affair with boxing great Jack Dempsey, among other romances. Brown's self-portrait as stingy and demanding is in sharp contrast to that of her husband of 40 years, movie producer David Brown, whom she paints as a dapper, generous genius. A good portion of her memoir is given over to Brown's relentless quest for a youthful appearance, which may trouble some readers. She's probably kidding when she calls exfoliating dead skin one of life's pleasures, but she is deadly honest about her diet ("skinny is sacred to me"), exercise regimen (two 45-minute sessions seven days a week, even now), breast augmentation, and battle with thin hair. She's equally open about having had a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Brown, who transformed Cosmo into a powerhouse, is a publicity pro who can still charm (though replaced in the editor's chair at age 74, she is still editor-in-chief of the international editions). Whether playfully describing a man as "wife-encumbered" or fretting over a "poochy tummy," Brown's voice is uniquely hers, although the book feels padded and repetitious. Overall, to use one of Brown's favorite words, it's only "pippypoo." 16-page photo insert not seen by PW. (Feb.)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

For former Cosmopolitan editor Brown, work, sex, and good looks have not lost their importance even at age 75. Full of spice, this memoir reveals Brown's past, growing up in Little Rock, AR, and explains the prodigious energy that sustained her through 17 secretarial jobs and then over 30 years running Cosmopolitan. The author of seven previous books, including Sex and the Single Girl, shocking for its time, and New York Times best seller Having It All, Brown writes in a chatty, anecdotal style about face lifts, her brush with lung cancer, and the constant battle to stay thin, occasionally providing information on how to keep a man and succeed in a career. Despite tiresome name-dropping and bragging, Brown has a giggle-inspiring sense of humor that--combined with her "live life to its fullest" philosophy--makes this book entertaining and fun to read.
-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Brockport
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312251920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312251925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Refreshingly candid as always, even regarding her unceremonious ouster as Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo. Read between the lines and who can blame her for laughing up her sleeve at her replacement's(Bonnie Fuller) quick departure? Ms. Brown comes from the old school where loyalty still counts for something. She's had a remarkable life and she(and her husband, David) continues to show that life isn't over at 50. Indeed one can thrive to the end. Dear Helen, hope you have a few more books in you.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joy Olson on June 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
People react in strong ways to Helen Gurley Brown and her "Cosmo Girl" outlook: with rage at her success despite her often politically incorrect views OR with a sigh of relief at her wonderfully whimsical, life's-a-party attitude.Obviously, I find myself in the latter camp.
In her latest candid memoir, HGB gets perhaps more personal that ever with revelations about tough times she's gone through (breast cancer, leaving Cosmo, assorted indignities of aging) with her usual unsinkable style, but perhaps revealing more depth and vulnerability than in her prior books, which tended to concentrate heavily on "land that job, land that man."
I think this is Helen at her best- the wisdom that comes from living a remarkable life (that should give hope to any late bloomer), the confidence of a woman who's succeeded too well to worry about appearing flawless, and of course, the ever-present insecurities that made her every Cosmo reader's friend on lonely nights because she'd been there, survived and eventually thrived.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Helen Gurley Brown is not especially "wild again" as the title of her latest book promises. In fact, considering the recent rash of blush-inducing tell-alls, she comes across as rather tame - opinionated but tame.

However, opinions and advice have been the now 78-year-old Ms. Brown's stock in well paid trade for over three decades. As Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, considered the Holy Grail by millions of women, she brought sex out from under the covers, altered views of the workplace, proffered beauty hints, and dispensed dictums on whatever crossed her mind.

This eternally slender little girl from Little Rock who held 17 secretarial jobs before rising to the top of the publishing heap also penned "Sex and the Single Girl" (1962), which all but defined a decade.

I'm Wild Again defines little and rehashes much, ie "...fashion is to be taken seriously, even if it is ludicrous. Why? Because it's fun! Draping or shoeing yourself in different designs and colors every so often makes you feel frisky and new."

On the cusp of the millennium, one wonders how many women would toss away hard earned cash on something "ludicrous" in order to feel "frisky." (Which by the way appears to be Ms. Brown's most sought after condition).

Frivolity is fine, when it is recognized as such. But one has the uneasy feeling that Ms. Brown wishes to be taken seriously, even when her vocabulary includes "kissypoo" and her description of a beloved is "the man you're all squidgy about."

Never afflicted by timidity, the author offers opinions on subjects with which she has had no experience, such as being a working mother. She writes, "...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HeyJudy VINE VOICE on January 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Helen Gurley Brown tells it like it was, and her life has been more interesting than any fictional character's. She really spills the beans about the way she was; she clearly is a nice woman who had her own code of morality. That niceness keeps shining through the details, regardless of how, yes... wild those details sound. I'M WILD AGAIN is written in the same breezy style she made famous while putting the ailing COSMOPOLITAN magazine back on to the top of the heap, re-defining the magazine publishing industry in the process. She's had a hell of a ride as she moved from struggling secretary, counting every penny, to a living legend--still counting every penny! In WILD AGAIN, HGB lets her fans tag along for part of that ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By steve on June 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have always admired HGB, so I had to get this book, and I was not disappointed. This book will make you laugh out loud. Not only is the book funny, but its full of wit and wisdom. HGB has truly had an amazing life. I hope that she continues to share her life with us through her books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Helen's personality comes through clearly in the voice of the text. I wish I had read her book, Sex and the Single Girl, many years ago. What a career with Cosmo! I have huge admiration for this lady and her practical sense and good, sound advise. I admire the relationship between her and David Brown, and from her words I know I'd love David, too. She was devoted to him and their marriage. I'm so glad the two of them have shared their notable careers and life styles with the world.
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