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Prairie Tale: A Memoir Paperback – February 16, 2010


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Prairie Tale: A Memoir + Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated + Way I See It: A Look Back At My Life On Little House
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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 Reprint edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599173
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hold onto your sunbonnets... [Gilbert's] autobiography is no clean-cut family drama: It's chockablock with juicy tidbits."
—Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

Melissa Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls on the hit television show Little House on the Prairie. She has also starred in more than forty television movies and has served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. She currently serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition, where she works directly with chronically and terminally ill children to provide them with care and comfort. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Bruce Boxleitner, and her family. An entertaining, sometimes heartbreaking, but ultimately inspirational memoir by actress Melissa Gilbert 9

Customer Reviews

This was an easy and fun read, very interesting.
Denise
Even if I don't like a show, I don't really want to know that actors couldn't stand each other in real life.
Jungle Red
I have not finished the book yet but I look forward every night to reading it.
L. B. McAllister

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Sherlock Sherman on June 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Melissa Gilbert has as many flaws as the rest of us and if you don't mind having her burst that bubble you'll get a good chuckle as she shares anecdotes involving the unbelievable behavior of some of Hollywood's familiar faces.

Melissa keeps her bumps in the road interesting and never once appears to be reaching out for pity as a means of distracting us from the unpleasantness in her life.

I would have preferred to keep her up on a pedestal but despite the revelations regarding her less than perfect behavior, the book kept my attention and moved along at a good pace. I especially enjoyed the snippy tidbits regarding Kent McCord, Valerie Harper and Sally Kirkland. I'll never be able to think of them the same again. Someone should write a comedy about the SAG meetings!

Lets hope the publicity from the book will bring Melissa back to prime time, or at least another TV movie.

This was a good summer read; you won't regret the purchase.
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98 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Blondzilla8 VINE VOICE on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What can I say? I'm a SUCKER for dishy bios on the stars I grew up admiring and wanting to be. My boyfriend saw nothing but my face buried in this great book over one solid weekend.

Melissa Gilbert was one of the truly admirable teen idols back in the '70s and an extraordinarily talented actor to boot. Her story, much of what I already knew from keeping up with her Tiger Beat and People magazine interviews through the years, is incredible and this book just reminds us that what we may perceive as the audience members of someone else's supposed "perfect" life, may very well be quite the opposite.

Gilbert is honest, irreverent, hilariously funny, and even when she's "dropping names" it doesn't feel like anything except that she is grateful for knowing and working with the legends she refers to.

Michael Landon, Rob Lowe, Patty Duke.....all very important people to Melissa - the people who truly shaped her life respectively. And so many more......but it never feels pretentious or "I bet you wish you were me".....she is just 10000% REAL when revealing the ups and downs of her colorful life. And what a life. I am so glad she had the courage and moxy to put pen to paper and share it with the people who've followed her since she was the adorable little girl on "Little House."

I also hope that young, ambitious and up and coming actors read this book because Gilbert is also the picture of dedication and professionalism sans the ego that seems to follow this generation of performers.

Melissa Gilbert is an inspiration. Her life is a wonderful lesson in perseverance, loyalty, and not taking "no" for an answer when you know deep in your heart that there's a better one.

A must read!!!
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By MommaMia VINE VOICE on July 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, I'm a HUGE Little House fan. That's why I bought this book. Although I knew from the get go that Melissa Gilbert IS NOT Laura Ingalls, I guess I had put her on a pedestal, and didn't even realize it. I imagined that all those years I spent growing up and making mistakes, that Melissa had somehow been able to avoid all that because she was immersed in the Little House world of morals and values for so long. I find that not only were we both adopted around the same year as infants, but we also had chicken pox as adults...spent lots of time seeking the wrong type of man and adoring our children that we longed for since we could remember. I guess I didn't realize that she would have flubbed up along the way too. What an eye opener for this idealistic fan! I loved her style of writing. It was an enjoyable eyeopener, however, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to watch her first love scenes with "Almonzo" the same way again! Is that good or bad, I'm not sure. Some times I think some things are better off left unsaid. I'm not sure I needed to know lots of things I now know about her personal life, however, I admire her ability to share herself so intimately. I could never open up like that. She is obviously an accomplished actress and she has come a long way professionally and personally and I wish her well in the future. No matter what she'll always be "Half Pint" to me!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donna H on December 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author should have followed her mother's advice cited on page 5...write the book and then burn it. It would have been "healing" for the author to put her life-long unpleasantness behind her and it would have "saved" the reader from hours of mind-numbing reading of her sexual conquests, poor judgement, name dropping and obsession, even at age 44, of blaming her mother for everything. If you enjoy reading yet another poorly written tale of an actress who's excessive drinking and drug use is only outdone by her self inflated opinion that she is a good actress, mother, and role model that still thinks of herself as "America's Sweetheart", then this is the book for you. Otherwise, read the jacket cover in the library and put the book back on the shelf. It's not even worth checking out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Poulin on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I took the advice of some other reviewers and got this book out of the library. It was a good decision. This memoir seems like the few other celebrity bios I've read in the past. Plenty of name dropping throughout the entire book and plenty of just plain bad judgment. Everyone seems to be on drugs, drunk half the time and sleeping with anything that moves.

When I read the accounts of Melissa's Little House years I took note that she cried when Victor French departed for LA after filming the pilot and then she never mentions him again. She wrote about drinking, partying and having plenty of sex during the time frame that he died but she never mentioned visiting him or attending the funeral. When Michael Landon was dying she admitted to not having seen him in quite some time and then she reluctantly made her goodbye visit and then gave a eulogy at his funeral. Still no mention of Victor's death 2 years earlier and Michael had long been out of her life prior to his getting gravely ill. I guess they may not have been as close as Melissa made it seem in the earlier part of her book. I was also sensing some strong self-absorption.

It seems as the book progresses and Melissa allegedly matures nearly every paragraph becomes some crisis that sends her reeling and crying and having hissy fits. How exhausting! And then the section about her presidency of the Screen Actors Guild is a yawner.

If you want to read about someone who has fame, money, plenty of friends and travels all over to make films all the while whining and complaining and having emotional breakdowns then this is the book for you. I'm still incredulous over the time her husband had sex with a hooker right in front of her and she just went to bed and left him with the hooker. LA must be a crazy place.
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More About the Author

Melissa Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls on the hit television show Little House on the Prairie. Post-Little House, Gilbert appeared in numerous Lifetime movies and recently served as president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Children's Hospice and and Palliative Care Coalition, where she works directly with chronically and terminally ill children to provide them with care and comfort. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce Boxleitner.