- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439167990
- ISBN-13: 978-1439167991
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,009,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Della: A Memoir of My Daughter Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
With much regret and a father's love, former game show icon Barris (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) recalls the life and unfortunate death at 36 of his only daughter, Della. She "drank too much vodka, snorted too much cocaine, and died just like the death certificate said she did, from an excessive amount of everything." Known in the '60s, '70s, and '80s for TV hits like The Gong Show and The Dating Game, Barris achieved major success in his professional life, but his personal life was a shambles. He and his wife divorced, and Della moved with her mother, first to Switzerland, then New York, then back to Southern California, where she lived once again with her father and attended Beverly Hills High. Sending Bella to the notorious school was, Barris explains, among the biggest mistakes he ever made: "Drugs, dope, and alcohol were rampant there at the time, especially for susceptible kids like Della." She dropped out and left home, traveling on the trust fund Barris established for her. Disappointed in himself most of all, he recalls or reconstructs the mistakes he made in an honest attempt at salvation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Barris, the game-show producer turned author of offbeat fiction (The Big Question, 2007) and purported nonfiction (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2002), shifts gears with this tender, affecting book about his daughter, Della, his only child, who died in 1998 at the age of 36 of an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. Barris traces her life through to its tragic end, charting her downward course, but he’s interested here in celebrating his daughter not mourning her. Her life might not have gone the way a father would have wanted, but there were times of happiness, of love, of a father and daughter sharing a special moment. This isn’t the surreal autobiography of Dangerous Mind, where we wondered whether Barris was simply making the whole thing up. This is Barris at his most introspective and honest, assessing (perhaps at times too harshly) his own shortcomings in raising his daughter and seeing reflections of himself in her own life. The book proves once and for all that Barris, no matter his subject matter and no matter his persona of the moment, is a talented storyteller. --David Pitt
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Top customer reviews
we lost touch.Not like these days with internet and Face Book. Boy wouldn't that of been great. I never knew she had such troubles, we always had a great time. She lived with her Mom and her Dad was always part of the fun.
I'm bummed and mad she fell with the drug crowd. Divorce sucks for kids.
The Book was a good read, I learned even more than she ever talked about. She didn't like much talking about her family.
We just always had a great time tons of Laughs. she had a car at 16 a CJ7 or 5 Jeep. she picked me up everyday for school.
we used to go up in the hills of Hollywood & Mulholland to go off roading, man did we have fun.
I Love You Della and I will always think of how you made my life so much better. xoxoxo
Della is a girl and then a woman in pain. She wants and needs her parents and finds them unavailable. She is given educational opportunities, financial support, and plenty of trinkets. Mr. Barris seems to think that if she had received more guidance and love that she may not have self-destructed. Possibly. But life is not a movie script. In the real world, love cannot fix everything.
For me the stand-out story is of Della at age 10 skiing fearlessly in Switzerland. That was her approach to life: thrill-seeking.
I sincerely hope Mr. Barris can forgive himself for not being a perfect father and not torture himself with guilt over Della's death.
and refreshingly different because the author Chuck Barris, does not deny or avoid his responsibility in all that happened. If you are looking
for a happy upbeat fairy tale kind of book, this is not it. For those of you who prefer to deal with reality, this is great!.