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By Myself and Then Some Hardcover – March 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 311 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Raised by her wise and loving immigrant mom and uncle, Lauren Bacall (b. 1924) knew, even in high school, that she wanted to be an actress. She took acting classes, modeled clothes, sold industry papers in the theater district, ushered at shows, danced at the USO—anything to get a break. Barely 18 when director Howard Hawks brought her to Hollywood for a screen test, she soon fell in love with Bogart, married and started a family. After Bogart's death a decade later, she rebounded with Sinatra, but tied the knot with Jason Robards before finding her way as a single woman, with friends and work as her passion. Bacall's intimates—from Katharine Hepburn to Adlai Stevenson—weren't the standard air-kissing, gossip-column regulars, but people who loved and respected each other for their work and their values. Sadly, like Bogart, they're also of a generation older than Bacall, so there's a lot of dying in these pages. Indeed, this sequel to 1978's By Myself is mostly a discussion of the deaths of some great friends: Roddy McDowall, John Gielgud, Gregory Peck and many more. Bacall does discuss the roles she's played as an older actress, but this work's real theme is the experience of surviving the death of so many wonderful friends. Readers looking for basic Hollywood romance and drama can stick to the first 400 pages; those seeking a more mature portrait can brave the final 100. Either way, Bacall's a class act. Color, b&w photos. (Mar. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Expanding on her best-selling 1979 autobiography, By Myself, Bacall entertains with her signature breathy prose, straightforward manner, and unmatchable style. The past is more elaborately drawn out, and the intervening 25 years add maturity and worldliness to this most respected of Hollywood icons. Much of what's discussed anecdotally in her 1994 book, Now, is delved into in more detail here. While readers will find Bacall's recollections of her days of hobnobbing with Bogart, Hepburn, and other stars of Hollywood's Golden Age as captivating as always, even more appealing are her personal stories--stories of family and single motherhood, of hope and tragedy. As a celebrity and as a woman, Bacall was always a bit more independent than the times usually allowed, but what shines through is her generosity and giving nature. She shares how her love for FDR and her travels to many foreign lands helped shape the bittersweet relationship she now has with the U.S., which, she feels, while making so many great strides toward inclusion and human rights, has also taken many steps backward in these and other areas. Certainly more intelligently written than your average celebrity autobiography, this memoir tells a fascinating story of one woman's journey through life with an intimacy that's sure to engage legions of readers. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060755350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060755355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Wend on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and one of the books I enjoyed as a teenager was the short biography of Mr. Bogart by Joe Hyams. One of my great pleasures was seeing Lauren Bacall in Applause when the show was touring in Chicago. I have not read Ms. Bacall's book about Humphrey Bogart but when I saw her being interviewed about her current book - By Myself and Then Some - I got a copy immediately,

The book is written in a conversational style that works very well. It is as if Betty Bacall were speaking to you, relating the story of her life. At first, I did not find quite as absorbing as I thought but as I began the story of her relationship and marriage to Humphrey Bogart, I could not put the book down. The story of Mr. Bogart's illness and death made me feel as if I had been a witness to his pain and suffering. I learned quite a bit more than I had even thought about "Betty and Bogie's" relationship and certainly much more about life with Jason Robards. I was very impressed on how Ms. Bacall was able to convey her emotions in her book. One comes away from the devastating deaths of Bogie and her mother with a real sense of the loss and the pain of her divorce from Jason Robards becomes your own. But there are also the triumphs, like Betty's winning her Tony award for Applause that are joyously written. I also enjoyed reading about her close relationships with her children and her devotion to them and the times that she wanted to do more. The stories Ms. Bacall relates about friends, like Roddy McDowell, are interesting and poignant, and in the latter case especially an introduction to someone I would like to have known.

It is disappointing to see that some reviewers gave this book one start because of Ms. Bacall's critical remarks about George W.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone has their preconcieved ideas & expectations of someone as famous as Lauren Bacall. Put them aside for a day or two while you read this book, for Lauren Bacall let's you see inside her PERSON; she shares an intimate portrait of a life. She will be the first one to admit the luck (and gratitude)she feels, to have shared her life & enduring friendship with people who to all of us are only icons. As with her own life, her friends are those whom we've only glimpsed in their public personnas. We have seen them and devoured their movies and their "private life" in the arena of the world press.
Lauren Bacall shares her life, her fears, her triumphs, loves and friends with you in a setting so personal, so intimate, that you feel you actually share a kinship with them as you read this autobiography. That is the great thing about this book. She puts herself out there for you to care about or not, she offers no apologies for any choices she has made.
From the time she was a small child growing up in New York, Betty (her real name) knew she wanted to be an actress. She was the child of an immigrant family from Romania and an American father who was absent from her life totally, to all intents and purposes. Her mother tried to love her enough to make up for any lack on his part, and her mother's family were devoted to loving and caring for her too. So surrounded by love but little in the way of worldy goods, she turned to her inner strength and her imagination. Some of that inner strength came from not having a father, but knowing he was "out there somewhere", but did not care about her, some of it came for the poverty and want she experienced in her childhood. Both her reserves of inner strength and determination would serve her well throughout her entire life to the present day.
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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Bacall surprised me as an insightful, funny, real down-to-earth human being!

I always thought of her as this aloof ice-princess... tall, blonde, gorgeous, ethereal... marrying THE hunk of the day, having children by him, marrying Robards, more children, etc. But I was wrong. This is a real woman married as a child. Mr. Bogart truly fell in love with a mere child who grew up fast as a wife and mother and then was alone. Ms. Bacall describes the events following Bogart's death with incredible depth and realism. Those feelings are exactly what any young, widowed mother would feel. Especially being woo'd by Sinatra. I applaud her for being able to see he was not for her.

How can you not fall in love with this memoir? Such honesty is refreshing in a time when the comments from stars of the day are so censored and so carefully controlled. There's no honesty anymore, everybody's afraid to speak the truth. It's awful.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will recommend it to my four sisters and my Mother.
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Format: Hardcover
As a child, I was steeped in the Bogart-Bacall magic. They were one hot ticket and the stuff of many a kid's dreams. This gem of a book is an essential contribution to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Bacall is one classy lady--and smart. Funny how little that's discussed in these reviews. Her brains are evident on every page, even those where her heart pulls her headlong into some funny, tender, and poignant trips that make up her remarkable life. How lucky I feel to be living during her lifetime, albeit a few decades behind her trail. How lucky she was to have such an extraordinary mother and uncle. What a foundation that gave us this utterly unique American woman.
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