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My Way of Life Hardcover – October 8, 1971

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Editorial Reviews

Inscribed By Joan Crawford..224 pages of Text

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 8, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671209701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671209704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,143,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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111 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Cookie Crawford on September 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
You will probably have to get this out-of-print classic either at an estate sale, or steal it off a friend's bookshelf, (as Crawford herself surely would have done), because there's absolutely no way that anyone who's ever read it would DREAM of selling it. Here is the late period Joan Crawford in all her tacky, Keane Kids-loving splendor; wife, mother, tycoon, ACTRESS, dressmaker....you get the idea. And as she lets you know on every page, she's a busy BUSY bee, so don't waste her time. Buy the book or get out!
Crawford tries to let her (shellacked) hair down, but is out of touch with her targeted, "over the garden fence" audience. She's forever telling her housewife reader to "do without some little luxury" (like bread, perhaps?) to save up for something nice...such as a full length, three-sided mirror for her dressing room, a bartender and maid for her dinner party, or suit jackets lined in the same pattern of silk as her blouse. (The only blouse, it seems, that ever goes with that particular suit. Daunting.) Here's my favorite, worthless tip, this one on buying a new dress: "When you're ready to say yes to a purchase, wrap it up, pay for it - but don't go home until you're sure you have exactly the right accessories. You should be ready to emerge in your new ensemble the next day!" Thanks, Joan. We'll manage.
Joan also wants us to know what a dedicated actress she is/was. "At times I've deliberately gained weight," she muses. "I did for [comeback role] Mildred Pierce because I thought it suited the part." (Yeah, right!) And if a scene "goes wrong" in rehearsal, (as it does on page 121), she's willing to improvise if everyone will just stand back and get out of her way. "I've got it," she insists.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Todd Craig on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I could not get enough of Joan's autobiography. Her "way of life" makes Martha Stewart look like a peasant. Her descriptions of what to serve for dinner, what time to wake up your weekend guests, how to become interested in your husband even though he may be boring, not to mention every thing Joan has been up to for the past 10 years, including posing with a miniature stuffed "ditka" ?!?! My very favorite helpful tip from Joan, though, may be how to assemble a guest list for your next frivolous extravaganza. Something about inviting a professional jockey, some lovely young actresses, a foreign diplomat, your visiting friends from Brussels, a bearded painter, and a nuclear physicist... Wow, I loved this lady. She is exhibitionist supreme. And she appears to take all this excrutiating detail with the utmost earnestness. She is so hilariously out of touch and since Joan had the glamour and money and stature to get away with it, the reader can just sit back and bask in her uniquely pretentious world. Better than any soap opera because you know it's Joan. Pure pleasure.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Dillard on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A friend who works at a stuffy private library loaned this to me, and it kept me in stitches for literally weeks. From recipes for peanut butter-and-bacon hors d'oeuvres to hilariously self-serving anecdotes about throwing parties, raising children and satisfying your man, it's equal parts Hints from Heloise and "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Pat Powell on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I, of course, have read, seen, and can virtually quote the dialogue from the film "Mommie
Dearest", (just like the rest of you--- LOL!) so all I knew about this Hollywood icon was from an
admittedly one-sided autobiography of an allegedly abused
daughter. In Christina Crawford's book, she says that Joan
Crawford used scheduling, planning, and military discipline
every day so that life would hold no surprises, and so her
mother could control every second of it- almost like an OCD
type of ritualistic behavior so that bad things won't happen.
This book, if nothing else, totally validates that part of her
daughter's book. I am telling you the truth, this woman
PLANNED EVERYthing, right down to the second, and she BRAGS
about it. I don't think she ever did a spontaneous thing in her
entire adult life. Joan Crawford gives us advice on how to eat,
how to talk to your mate, how to sleep, and even how to STAND, for goodness sake. If you think I'm exaggerating, even slightly, PLEASE buy the book. The sad part is that you can really tell she means well. Here are a few examples of her thoroughness, almost word for word, from the book. On eating: NEVER have two foods of the same color on your table- for instance, mashed potatoes and cauliflower, or strawberries and tomatoes, because it doesn't look right. On serving food at a dinner party: It is an insult, nay, a crime, to serve your guests food on plates right out of the cupboard, as there's nothing easier than having your MAID stack said plates in the oven for a few hours before the party commences. If you don't do this, you are, at best, a mediocre to poor hostess.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
from the first page of this book, joan crawford sucks you into this twisted world of warped dinner parties and bizarre egg rituals for the perfect hair conditioner. some times i laughed out loud, while other times i thought, "hey, what a good idea!" a must read for any one teetering on the edge of insanity
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