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Rocking Horse - A Personal Biography of Betty Hutton

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593933210
ISBN-10: 1593933215
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (January 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593933215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593933210
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wilbur Scott Ward on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'd like to start off by saying that I'm very appreciative that a Betty Hutton biography has finally been written and published after all these years. There's been talk of a Hutton autobiography since the 1970s, but nothing ever emerged. Gene Arceri, who has previously written biographies on Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Hayward, would like us to believe that this is Betty Hutton's story the way she wanted it told and is an acceptable substitute for that unpublished autobiography. I'm not so convinced.

Mr. Arceri befriending Hutton for a few months in the late 1970s during a difficult period in her life. The book starts off promisingly with a recollection of a 1977 comeback attempt Hutton made in California during the time she and Mr. Arceri first met. It was during this time that Hutton spoke candidly with Mr. Arceri about her life and career. Mr. Arceri apparently made audio recordings of these conversations and it is through these recordings that this book is apparently based on. But, "Rocking Horse" is generally skim on the details of Hutton's life and career and breezes through the events with little insight or detail. There are no on-set accounts or recollections of Hutton's co-stars other than Howard Keel or any depth to other events and relationships. I suppose "Rocking Horse" generally tells the Hutton story well enough, but at 118 pages, it's too short to really dig deep into anything. The main focus here seems to be on the brief time Mr. Arceri spent with Hutton, and if this book had been promoted that way, it would have been fine enough, but the back cover states, "Betty Hutton gives her own point of view of the spectacle, stardom and nostalgia. This story Betty said is for them!" On top of that, some of the facts, dates and chronology are incorrect.
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Format: Paperback
Betty Hutton was one of the brightest star on the screen in the 1940s, delighting audiences with unstoppable energy and an engaging sense of humor; by the mid-50s she had practically disappeared, mired in bills, drugs, and alcohol. Her story is an exercise in faith and perseverence and deserves a respectful, full-blown biography. THIS IS NOT IT!

I can't understand how previous reviewers could possibly give this book a good rating. While there are some revelations to be found here, the syntax is impossible to follow, with chronic over-use and misuse of punctuation that makes reading the book more of a chore than a pleasure. Chronology has been thrown out the window, and quotations are begun and never closed, making it impossible to know just who is speaking at any given point. At the end of the book, Mr. Arceri made me laugh out loud with this statement regarding Ms. Hutton's attempted autobiography: "My only comment: it's a disaster." If anything could be worse than this book, Mr. Arceri, I'd like to see it.

This skimpy 118-page volume is the disaster; an unintelligible mess with a smattering of uncaptioned, poorly-reproduced photos and no filmography. Simply put, this book is a travesty to the memory of a magnificent performer who deserves much, much better.

Until a decent biography is written, The Betty Hutton Scrapbook is the only book I can recommend that does justice to Ms. Hutton's memory. Assembled with Ms. Hutton's full cooperation and with access to her private mementos, this elegant, privately printed limited-edition book is, unfortnately, extremely hard to find.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long time Betty Hutton fan (since 1946) I was extremely disappointed in this bio. Every chapter has misinformation -almost as if, the author, had done no research at all. I was disgusted when I began reading this book, and as a LTBHF, finished it with even more disgust. Someday I hope someone can write a bio that gets the information right, and has more compassion for Betty's amazing highs and lows. This author claims to have known her, but it seems clear it was for a very short period. Anything to make a buck, I guess.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
Anyone who watched movies during the World War II period or shortly thereafter knows Betty Hutton but like most film connoisseurs, I wasn’t familiar with her personal life. Ms. Kathy Garver, as an accomplished and veteran narrator, brought an honest tone and forthright style which welcomed the listener to the story. I valued her professional delivery and precise diction which allowed me to relax and become involved feeling that Ms. Hutton’s story would be shared in a confident manner without a misstep in the narrative. The story was well paced and Ms. Garver’s voicing and accents developed for each character were cleverly delivered, adding depth and variety to the story line.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
WOW...AS USUAL, KATHY GARVER...YOU DID A FABULOUS JOB ON THIS PROJECT! YOUR VOICE IS SO WONDERFUL, CLEAR AND EASY ON THE EAR...ENTHUSIASTIC AND ALWAYS ENJOYABLE. WHEN ARE YOU DOING ANOTHER AUDIO BOOK?
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This account was very entertaining much due to Kathy Garver who brought it to life with narration that was excellent. Her energy is on a par with Betty Hutton's. It brings back many fond memories and insight.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Could it be possible, the man who wrote this transparent little book actually had the nerve to take a nasty swipe at Betty Hutton's own autobiography in his final chapter? He referred to Miss Hutton's memoirs as a disaster, and yet, he claims to have been her friend. If that's not contradictory, I don't know what is! It seems likely to me that Mr. Arceri wished to be the sole voice to ever appear in print on Betty Hutton and her life. Worse yet, the swipe he took at Miss Hutton's own writing seems to be based entirely upon some unedited pages he saw in her own hand years before her book was ever even published. Sorry to have to inform you, Mr. Arceri, how the world operates. Often times, things can turn around and bite you right in the tail when you say things that are made to make you look like the sole authority on a subject. Does it make any sense at all, as Mr. Arceri claims, that Miss Hutton would entrust her life story to a man she had known for a few short days to eventually tell? I think not!

Needless to say in an amazing turn of events, and thanks to The Betty Hutton Estate, Miss Hutton's book which was started in the 1970s is no longer a mystery to her fans. Thank God Miss Hutton's TRUE voice has finally been established through her very own written word in, "Backstage You Can Have: My Own Story by Betty Hutton".

Make no mistake folks, "Rocking Horse" IS NOT Betty Hutton's story. It is slim tale woven by a man who claims fame by having known Betty Hutton for a brief fifteen minutes. It's actually quite a frightening thought to ponder; if Miss Hutton's own book had never been released, "Rocking Horse" would be the Bible on Betty Hutton. There we would be forced to repeatedly turn for vast amounts of misinformation about the woman and her life...
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