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My Life So Far Paperback – April 4, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Random House Trade Paperback Edition edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812975766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812975765
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

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See more Fonda DVDs --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Thanks to Fonda's bravura reading, this eloquent abridgement of her stirring 500-page autobiography is one of the best audiobooks of the season. Her tour de force performance ranges from hilarious (an imitation of Ted Turner trying to say "monogamous") to heartbreaking (her final days with her dying father). This probing and articulate memoir follows Fonda's quest for self-discovery: "To have a good third act you need to understand what the first two have been about. I don't want to die without knowing who I am." With unsparing honesty, she admits to 30 years of bulimia and anorexia, dissects three failed marriages and details her cathartic, four-hour meeting with Vietnam vets in 1988 as a "raw, angry, emotional... exorcism" of the myth of Hanoi Jane. With the exception of Barbarella, Klute and On Golden Pond, the abridgment skims the two-time Oscar-winner's films in favor of her political awakening, budding feminism and emotional and spiritual growth. It's a fascinating, surprising journey, brought vividly to life by Fonda, who chuckles and ad-libs at will. On a side note: kudos to Random's inside packaging for including five photos from the book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Her writing style is very clear and she is extremely candid in telling her life story.
Spider Monkey
If you can put aside your anger & bitterness, you will see that Ms. Fonda is a genuine person with a heart just like everyone else (only bigger than many).
I'mFonda'Books
Clearly, Jane Fonda is a wonderful human being who tries hard to live her life as a good person.
Bruce J. Cameron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 124 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 17, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*****

Jane Fonda's "My Life So Far" is an atypical celebrity memoir. It is intelligently and beautifully and gently written, extremely introspective, and not primarily about the author's celebrity associations (although she does address them), but instead about the maturing of a woman who lived during a fascinating time in American history. After reading this book, I have great respect and admiration for Jane Fonda, an imperfect woman from whom I have learned a great deal through this autobiography.

"My Life So Far" covers the author's involvement in the Vietnam War in great details---her perspective may surprise some readers who have relied solely upon the media for their information. The author admits her mistakes with the wisdom of hindsight. She details her political activities and the reasons behind them. For those who hate Jane Fonda, of whom there are many, I recommend this book as a solution if they want to move beyond their hatred to understanding, whether or not they agree or disagree with her choices. The memoir has a tone of brutal honesty; I was touched and I do believe that the author is a very different person from her public persona. It is also excruciatingly intimate---it is a rare glimpse of a woman's life---raw and open. If you go in for that sort of thing (as I do), this memoir will appeal greatly to you. An additional theme of this book is Jane's struggle to live her life "embodied"---in her body, owning her own voice and opinions---topics that will appeal to many women.

The author shares her experience being objectified as a woman in her first marriage for her looks and sexuality, and then in her second marriage, for her intellectual prowess and political activities.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Mariane Matera VINE VOICE on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You can't bring your own prejudices and misconceptions to the table for this book. If you read with an open mind, you'll hear about a life not so different from any woman's. Who among us didn't make mistakes when we were young and eager to find a place for ourselves in the world? Now imagine if your every misstep made national news.

Many of us can identify with growing up with an emotionally stunted father and the damage that does to a young girl's psyche (not to mention having a mother who commits suicide and a variety of stepmothers, some wonderful, some not so), how she becomes too eager to find approval in the arms of a variety of men whose demands reshape her personality, even her appearance. As she herself admits, she becomes the reflection of each of her husbands, the sex kitten for Vadim, the political activist for Hayden, the glued at the hip companion for the neurotic Ted Turner. Where is the real Jane? Even she wants to know.

And all the husbands cheat on her, and she is as devastated and hurt as we commonfolk. I was surprised, imagining movie stars had so many options, they could quickly move on. It is a puzzling life, to be able to be naked on a movie stage and fake intimacy with another actor, and then be able to feel betrayal and pain when you find out your husband is cheating on you. When you step in and out of fantasy and reality like that all your life, how can you blame her for letting her political activism and visit to Hanoi get out of hand? It was another role, and she is well aware what it cost her, although she proves in one chapter that one-on-one, she is willing to face the Vietnam veterans who so hate her and by the time it's all said, everyone is hugging and crying together.
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316 of 408 people found the following review helpful By Fox in a Box on April 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some folks, after more than 35 years, are still fuming about "Hanoi Jane" to the extent that a few can't resist writing a lousy review of a book they never read.

They give her dramatic protest more credit than it deserves because Jane Fonda continues to serve as a lightening rod for their hatred.

A little reality check is in order, here. Fonda neither initiated the anti-war movement, nor supervised it, nor stood alone in opposing it. Many millions of others, including hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families, stood with her to help bring the Vietnam War to an end. Duh.

Fortunately, "My Life So Far" is the story of a woman who appears to be considerably more complex and forgiving than her critics.

This biography must certainly have been a difficult one to write. Those of us who have feared we are way over the hill, however, just have to look at Fonda's willingness to undertake a difficult journey toward self-discovery, to find a role model against which to measure our own mature lives.

Okay, Jane Fonda was a rich, well-educated kid whose father was a movie star. Snore. Since time immemorial we have looked to the larger-than-life for a glimpse at the universal qualities and lessons those lives embody. In this distillation from the general, they become emblematic -- little cautionary tales featuring wealth, royalty, beauty and great outfits on a world stage.

I suppose it gives us a little frission of comfort, too, to know that regardless of money, gorgeousness and yadda yadda, some of these people have been visited by the bad fairies more often than we have. Some live to tell the tale. Fonda is one of them.
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