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The Art of Men (I Prefer Mine al Dente) Hardcover – November 6, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kirstie Alley is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress and popular product spokesperson. She currently has her own line of natural supplements on QVC. She lives in Los Angeles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I like children. If they’re properly cooked.

—W. C. FIELDS

The Art of
“Retarded” Young Men


MIDWAY THROUGH filming Look Who’s Talking Too with John Travolta, we were night shooting in an airport in Vancouver; it was about 2:00 a.m., and it was freezing. I couldn’t wait to wrap and get back to my cozy hotel room. Turns out I was one month pregnant, and it was really hard to stay awake. I recall being so tired that if I’d fallen into the gutter and a Nazi put a Luger to my head and threatened to blow my brains out if I didn’t rise—I would have told him to pull the trigger.

Just as we were filming the last shot of the evening, an airline captain approached me. He informed me that his 20-year-old “retarded” son had recently been in a horrible car accident that had almost taken his life. He had been badly burned and had broken both legs and an arm. He told me his son was my number one fan and that he’d brought him to the set to meet me. He inquired as to whether it was possible, right after we finished shooting, that I could come into the hangar and take just a minute to meet him. Suddenly me being pregnant and freezing my ass off didn’t have much relevance. A retarded (it wasn’t politically incorrect to say that word back then), badly burned, and broken lad had traveled all this way just to meet me. Of course I said yes!

When we completed the final shot of the night, the director yelled, “Cut, print, wrap.” John escorted me to the hangar, and I set eyes on the poor, retarded, bandaged young man sitting in a wheelchair. I took a deep breath because he was covered in gauze and splints and was more damaged than I had imagined. When I approached him he began to laugh and gyrate in his wheelchair back and forth. He was ecstatic to meet me. These are the times being a celebrity really pays off—to bring that much joy to an individual is . . . joyous.

He put his bandaged hand out—I took it. He said in his retarded way, “I love you.” I reciprocated, “I love you, too.” He pulled me closer. He was really strong! “I love you,” a little louder and more audible. “I love you, too,” I said. He then took both my arms and pulled me much closer. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” he said, and I proclaimed, “I looove you soooo much” in the sort of half-real, half-anxiety-ridden way you’d act if a retarded boy was mauling you. He was holding me so tightly it was actually hurting me, but he was retarded, so I persevered.

The next thing I remember is that he put both arms fully around me and was squeezing me so intensely that I feared I would stop breathing. Suddenly he flipped out of his wheelchair, pushing me down on the ground, and was lying on top of me. I began to get nervous—I was pregnant—and he’d just been in a hideous accident with broken bones and third-degree burns. As he was face-to-face atop me he began chanting, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” and started slightly humping my legs. My fear turned to nervous, hysterical laughter, and then I noticed this odd thing happening around me. The crew members were watching us—so was John—and so was the retarded kid’s dad. I began reaching out to them, mildly pleading for help, nervously saying “OKAY, OKAY, I love you, too, but I don’t want you to get hurt. Hey, you guys,” I said, reaching for the director and cinematographer, “need a little help here.”

But no one would help me. No one would reach back for me. I felt like I was in a bad episode of The Twilight Zone. John just kept smiling this bizarre smile; he looked like Chucky. Why wasn’t anybody helping us?? Why wasn’t anyone worried that either I would miscarry or the retarded boy would have to be taken to the emergency room . . . again??!! I really started to flip my shit, and I began tearing up. My eyes were welling and my mind was racing as I tried to pry the broken, retarded, burned, humping young man off me. My panic increased, “You guys! He’s going to get hurt! John! I’m pregnant! Help us! Somebody PLEASE help us!!!” Like a bad dream of being stuck in the middle of a satanic coven, the ring of camera crew, directors, John, the retarded boy’s father, and everyone else began laughing like jackals. I almost fainted.

Then . . .

The retarded boy leaped up and started ripping his bandages from his face! Was it a miracle?! Had this “retarded” young man’s love for me healed him???

No! It was Woody Harrelson. Fucking Woody Harrelson!

I hadn’t had a single clue. It was the perfect caper. He wasn’t even filming in Vancouver!! No, he had traveled all the way from LA, JUST to trick me. The entire cast and crew were in on the prank.

To this day Woody and I remain excellent friends—I would do anything for Woody—and he would do anything for me . . . or to me.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451673582
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451673586
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying I bought this book because one of my best friends is a Scientologist and I wanted to see what has kept Kirstie in Scientology lo these many years when so many celebrities have left the church with nothing good to say about it. I also bought this book because I have liked Kirstie on "Cheers" and in the movies.

When I started this book, I called my Scientologist friend for the 411 on Kirstie. My friend had worked with her on a volunteer project for Scientology and said that she was crude and not nice. Only she didn't use the words "not nice" but I don't know the Amazon policy for dissing an author. She screamed at everyone who had showed up to donate their time. After reading this book, I don't doubt my friend for a minute.

But I digress. It is too bad that Scientology doesn't believe in therapy [and I'm not talking about auditing with an E-Meter but the real thing] because if anyone is a candidate for it...that person would be Kirstie. But I think she takes an inordinate amount of pleasure in straddling the crazy line. However, she ends up being a mass of contradictions, and I was left scratching my head that a 60 year old woman knows so little about herself as well as suffering from a serious case of arrested development.

She read "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard while seriously whacked out on coke. She understood the book. I read the book stone cold sober and didn't understand a word of it. Maybe that's the only way you can understand the book. Go figure. Kirstie credits the book and Scientology for ending her serious cocaine addiction but it has had relatively little effect on the rest of her life and she doesn't even realize it much less explain it. Take her relationship with "Mr. Black.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of Kirstie Alley and her irreverent personality, but I was disappointed in much of the book. It felt too scattered and frenetic. I enjoyed reading about her life in Kansas and her romantic encounters, also the glimpses into her family life, but I think she would have served herself and her story better if she had focused a bit more and tightened the scope of the book.

I really did not want to read about Scientology and skipped that entire chapter as she indicated one should do if you don't want to read about it. I also just skimmed through many parts where she pontificates about life, etc. I really just wanted to read about her and her life, and the men in it. I wanted to know what did happen with her and Patrick Swayze and John Travolta especially. I felt she left us hanging, though, (SPOILER ALERT) when she wrote that she and Patrick's wife Lisa Niemi are good friends today, but she isn't sure if Lisa knows about Kirstie and Patrick talking about running off together when they filmed North and South. I really hope she gave Lisa the head's up before the book went to press, otherwise that's not a very good friend.
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By Karen on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
That's an appalling anecdote on the main page. What kind of creep would make fun of retarded people and endanger a pregnant woman at the same time. Harrelson would be off my friend list forever. I can't imagine why Alley put up with being treated this way. The attitude of the people watching and not helping her when she was in distress is grim also. God help the women being treated this way. It reminds me of Grace Lee Whitney's book and how she was harassed on the Star Trek set. I sure don't want to read more stuff like this.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
disgusting book. Why would such a talented, beautiful "star" choose to relate all the very private (sometimes sordid, disgusting) details of her life. I don't agree, I think you are a tramp, Kirsty . . . .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kirstie starts out with a few stories from her childhood that I didn't enjoy reading about. But once she moved on from that the book was very interesting. She writes about the men in her life the have influenced her and made a difference, for the better or sometimes worse. I enjoyed how she wrote about her husband Parker and her love for John Travolta among others. I found the part about Patrick Swazye an eye opener. (I read his book and nothing was mentioned about her, go figure)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Kirstie Alley on DWTS and watched her Big Life...Fat Actress etc..have enjoyed her movies and her other book was ok too...this was just NOT interesting..rambling on about the men in her life. Really disliked the Patrick Swayze chapter as I read his book and recall no mention of an affair with her...and John Travolta..please..ugh. Totally not worth the money.
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By Regenius on January 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very funny and charming. Btw I totally know who "Christian Black" is and howled with laughter when she said she could picture other women reading it and realizing they went out with him too. Loved the Woody Allen chapter. Xo
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By Victoria on June 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like her style of writing, it was as expected, entertaining. I did not learn much I had not already heard but it was a good read, nonetheless. It is clear her sense of humor gets her through the tough times and that works for her audience.
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