- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (1972)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440011434
- ISBN-13: 978-0440011439
- ASIN: B0006C3WUM
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,402,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Center Door Fancy Hardcover – 1972
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Top Customer Reviews
Joan Blondell's novel is notorious for being a thinly veiled autobiography. It opens winsomely and seems very much like an idealistic story about growing up. As it progresses, however, it seems that the memories become more vivid and therefore less embellished. Most of the names have been changed, but the true identities are painfully obvious. Blondell is Nora, David is first husband George Barnes, Jim is Dick Powell, Teresa is Marion Davies, Amy is June Allyson, and Jeff is Mike Todd. Knowing their identities makes the reading all the more interesting. Most notably is the split between Blondell and Powell. Anyone who has read Allyson's side of the story will be interested to hear Blondell's which is drastically different. This book will also provide some insight into Blondell's actions which makes her more endearing.
Whether it is read as a work of fiction or as an autobiography, Center Door Fancy is a quick read. It is filled with sentiment, heartbreak, and insight into the world of vaudeville and old Hollywood.
Center Door Fancy is an autobiographical novel by actress Joan Blondell covering her life from her birth into a Vaudeville family until her third divorce. (Click on the "Joan Blondell" tag at the end of this review for reviews of some of her films.)
Except for one thing: the heroine of Center Door Fancy is not Joan Blondell but "Nora Marten." The name of every other major "character" in Blondell's life has been changed, too (with walk-ons like James Cagney and Clark Gable retaining their monikers) -- but, presumably, everything that Blondell writes about really happened.
Blondell doesn't shy away from anything: her attempted rape by a policeman, her multiple abortions during her first marriage, and her third husband's volatile nature are all here. Her childhood and each of her marriages are handled in detail, making it very easy, as Matthew Kennedy states in the quote above, to tell who is who. "Johnny Marten," writer and star of "The Boy Is Gone," is her ambitious vaudevillian father Ed Blondell (writer and star of "The Lost Boy"); "Ceecy Quinn" is her ultrareligious mother, Katie Cain.Read more ›
Well worth looking for a copy, because you'll read it until it wears out..
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent Book. Anything Joan Blondell i like. I wish it was as detailed in the last few chapters as it was the rest of the book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer