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The Fat Lady Sang Paperback – November 12, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Readers expecting a follow-up to veteran film producer Evans’ swaggering 1994 memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture, may be surprised by this book’s deeply personal slant and by its author’s vulnerability. In 1998, Evans, producer of such classic movies as Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, and Chinatown, was incapacitated by a trio of strokes. The right side of his body, “head to toe to tongue,” was paralyzed. Evans’ account of his difficult, almost miraculously speedy physical recovery sparks memories of his earlier life (a neurosurgeon with a bad bedside manner, for example, reminds him of his encounter, in the early 1970s, with famed “rice doctor” Walter Kempner, whose clinic Evans refers to, not entirely comically, as a concentration camp). Evans tells stories about his personal life that he left out of The Kid Stays in the Picture, covering the same period of his life but from a different angle, and his account of his life since the strokes is deeply personal, a mixture of tragedy (an impulsive marriage, barely two months after he nearly died, ends in annulment) and triumph (his narration of the audiobook of The Kid leads to a new career as a voice artist in film, television, and radio). The book feels, now and then, like a man on his deathbed telling us the story of his life, but by the time we reach the end, we see that, although his life has been fundamentally changed, Evans has no intention of leaving it just yet. A compelling and, at times, deeply emotional memoir. --David Pitt

Review

Starred PW Review:   In April '98, film producer Robert Evans suffered a series of three debilitating strokes.  In this brutal memoir, Evans revisits that time with the same insight and candor that made his previous memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture, an immense success...Evans's stories never cease to amaze..a remarkable story of endurance, faith and determination; even readers who've never heard of Evans will find this to be both entertaining and inspiring.

Praise for The Kid Stays in the Picture:“The best Hollywood memoir I’ve ever read!” (Michael Fleming, Variety)

“Don’t even try to put it down.” (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

“A naughty, outrageous, and wild ride--and perhaps the best Hollywood memoir ever written.” (Publishers Weekly)

Top Three Greatest Hollywood Tell-Alls (Entertainment Weekly)

“A sequel better than any [readers] could have anticipated. . . It’s a remarkable story of endurance, faith and determination, even readers who’ve never heard of Evans will find this to be both entertaining and inspiring. A harrowing but lively supplement to The Kid Stays in the Picture.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“The notorious kid is still in the picture. . . Evans has produced a quintessential Hollywood memoir.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A compelling and, at times, deeply emotional memoir.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062286048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062286048
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Evans was the chief of Paramount Studios in the 1960s and 1970s, and produced many of the most acclaimed and successful films of all time, including The Godfather, Chinatown, Marathon Man, and Urban Cowboy. He has been the inspiration for characters played by Robert Vaughn in S. O. B. and Dustin Hoffman in Wag the Dog. He lives in Beverly Hills, CA, in the estate known as Woodland, once owned by Greta Garbo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ryan R. Rayston on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As movie-loving fans, we approach autobiographies with trepidation, fearing that, stripped of melody and rhythm, our lyrical heroes will reveal themselves to be unremarkable artists, suits, or shallow thinkers. But from the opening pages of The Fat Lady Sang, Robert Evans does what few authors ever do: he one-ups himself from his last, successful book, The Kid Stays in the Picture.

After a series of debilitating strokes, the effervescent and handsome Evans (former head of Paramount and mega-movie maker of such blockbusters as The Godfather, Chinatown, Marathon Man, to name merely a few), listens to the convoluted freeway of beeping monitors keeping him alive.

We lie with him in his struggle and go where his mind goes, and here, through a series of flashbacks you are hobnobbing with politicians, vacationing in the Caribbean, witnessing the inside scoop of mega-celebrities, money makers, and fixers. It is these remarkable, insightful stories that evoke a sense of what it must be like to live such an extraordinary life--and dwell within an extraordinary mind--while not being able to move. All these stories are intertwined with his recovery and, more importantly, his self discovery.

We root for him to walk, to speak, to survive, and this, indeed, is a survivor's tale.
As in most autobiographies, it is the original story that holds greatest fascination, and this indulgent, funny, philosophical, angry and, at times, dazzlingly brilliant tome feels authentically the work and mind of the one and only Robert Evans. It's an all-access pass to a rich inner world that one can't help to admire. If you admire him, know him, or just love his movies and moxie, you can't help but fall in love with him.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Tierney on January 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you REALLY want to understand narcissism and hubris on a molecular level, this is your book.
I enjoyed 'KID' because Evans actually had a great career during the period that book covered.
This is more the late night ramblings of a man whose time and moment has long passed. When a highlight of your life is having smoke blown up your orifices by Brett Ratner, you are a pale shadow of the the man you once were.
And it does Catherine Oxenberg no favors either.

An appallingly sad book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Irwin D. Miller on December 28, 2013
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I greatly enjoyed Robert Evans' first biography, "The Kid Stays In The Picture" published in the early 90s; the title refers to Evans having been cast in the screen adaptation of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises in 1957 as a Spanish matador and love interest for Lady Brett, portrayed by Ava Gardner. The cast, including Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn thought that Evans' acting was a joke , however, Darryl Zanuck, head of production at 20th Century Fox, came to Madrid and announced through a loudspeaker that "the kid stays in the picture". Evans, after an undistinguished acting career, became the head of production at Paramount, anointed by Charles Bludhorn, and he oversaw the filming of Coppola's The Godfather [ he butted heads with the director over the construction of the film] Rosemary's Baby[ he fought for Polanski as director and Mia Farrow as star; her refusal to leave the film cost Farrow her marriage to Frank Sinatra]; Love Story [ he ultimately married its star Ali MacGraw ], True Grit, and The Odd Couple. Thereafter, he became an independent producer of such critical and commercial successes as Chinatown and Marathon Man. This sequel deals with the rebirth of his career following the phenomenal success of the first book and the well received documentary produced by Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair, and to a great extent with his miraculous recovery from a series of debilitating strokes suffered in 1998. He documents his convalescence from the strokes which initially caused a paralysis of his arm and leg and impaired his speech and gait. He defied his renowned doctors, who projected a dramatically limited existence, and he made a full functional recovery.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JM Reviews Books on March 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Evans should have stopped after "The Kid Stays in the Picture" which was great reading.
The fact that it was published as a paperback original should have been my first clue. It reads like the outtakes fromt he first book.
That editor was smart enough to edit. This editor should have never encouraged Evans to rehash much of what was in the first memoir.
Hopefully, Evans is through writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read his first book, "The Kid stays in the picture"and that was pretty good. This new book is OK. The dialogue always sounds like a B movie however, but perhaps that's the way he really talks. His ego is huge but to accomplish what he has in the past, I guess it's a necessity. He is trying so hard to remain relevant in today's Hollywood, and that isn't easy. so the book comes across as sad really, as he tries to remain a force. I do admire his fortitude, but to grow old gracefully may be something he finds difficult to achieve. Not sure if I like him or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Renee Riebe on February 10, 2014
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He is a gifted storyteller that keeps you interested from start to finish. What a life he has led! Amazing!
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