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Prime Time: Love, health, sex, fitness, friendship, spirit--making the most of all of your life Hardcover – August 9, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Letter from Jane Fonda

In my memoir, My Life So Far, I defined my life in three acts: Act I, from birth to 29 years; Act II, from 30 to 59 years; and Act III, from 60 until the end. It really seemed to resonate with people, and a few years after the book came out, my editor at Random House, Kate Medina, came to me and suggested I write a book focusing more on the Third Act. I was interested in doing this because I was already well into my Third Act and relished the challenge to dig deeper, to understand its meaning, to learn how to make the most of it, and to navigate the inevitable challenges of aging--what is negotiable and what isn't.

Third Acts are important. They can make sense out of what may seem like discordant, confusing First Acts. Third Acts can, if we think about it, allow us to discover who we really are. Entered with intention, Third Acts can help us become midwives to ourselves before we die.

I knew that this exploration is especially important now, because in the last century, the average life expectancy has expanded by 35 years! Think about it: At the time of our founding fathers, the average person died at around 35 years of age. Now we can expect to live, on average, 80 years! An entire second adult lifetime! This amazing gift of time means that Third Acts have gained a whole new significance.

Yet we are pioneers within this new reality. We need a road map to show us how to navigate the new terrain. I wanted to create this roadmap--for myself, as well as for my readers. We who are approaching our Third Acts (or are already in the midst of them, as I am), can show the way for those coming up--our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

We are still living with the old paradigm of aging, which can best be described as an arch: We are born, we peak at midlife, and then decline--age as pathology.

While researching my book, I discovered another paradigm, one that is far more appropriate given the longevity revolution. It is the image of a staircase, an upward ascension until the end--age as potential--for wisdom, authenticity, and wholeness.

This metaphor for aging is one that I myself am experiencing, and I wanted to understand why this is so and write about it. Yes, my body is experiencing the effects of age, but after coming through a very difficult, painful midlife, I find that I am happier, more peaceful, and more content than I have ever been. My relationships are deeper and less anxious. I find this is true, by the way, for most of my older friends. This was not at all what I had expected at this stage of life! Yes, we forget things, but we also remember a lot and with more vividness now because we know why we want to remember them. Yes, we lose eyesight, but we gain insight. We learn what we need and what to let go of. We tend to make lemons into lemonade instead of mountains out of molehills. Scientists call this the Positivity Factor and their research shows it to be the case for most women and men over 50, regardless of their circumstances, even in the face of physical challenges. How, I wanted to know, can we ensure this is true for us?

I sat myself down and made a list of all the things I wanted to know about aging, from sex to exercise; from nutrition to wisdom. A to Z. I talked to scientists, doctors, priests. To centenarians. To men and women in long-term marriages, and those who were looking for love or needing a way out of loneliness. I write about my own experiences and much more.

I realized that to better navigate our Third Act, we benefit by reviewing the first two acts. I call this doing a Life Review, and it can profoundly alter our understanding of ourselves, our past, and what we need to do to complete ourselves as we ascend the staircase to the end. This is why Prime Time includes a discussion of Acts I and II and the developmental issues that lie within each of them, as well as questions you can ask yourself about how you were at those times. Understanding these things can help you swing into your Third Act as prepared as possible to make it your Prime Time.


“Reassuring . . . upbeat . . . Prime Time is part autobiographical confessional, part life advice, the two intertwined, so that reading the book is often like talking to a friend.”—Los Angeles Times
“A how-to book about being happy and self-aware [that] cites research and interviews with upbeat, lively, sexually active older people to extract some all-purpose lessons about endurance.”—The New York Times
“Warm, informative, and incredibly life affirming.”—Woman’s Day

“Read this, age gracefully.”—InStyle

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400066972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400066971
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate to receive an autographed copy of Jane Fonda's' Primetime' book a
week ago and started to read it immediately. I am a fan and follow her blogs and thus
was offered her book. This is her fourth book, and follows "Coming Of Age' where she
explored her life until the age of 60. Now she enters her seventh decade, and found she
is the happiest she has ever been. Jane Fonda researched many articles and subjects for
this book, and she has brought us the best advice she has found. More than advice this
book looks at how Jane and her friends have lived their lives, and what she has discovered
that helps to make her the healthiest and happiest. She brings us the best of Jane and the
best of our third act, what she calls 'Primetime'.

One of the biggest obstacles that most people face in moving ahead is that they really don't
know how to go forward. The best method is to look at the past and analyze what has occurred.
Find out where you have been, and then try to arrange a plan for the future- a life review.
Jane Fonda suggests using a stairway and steps as a metaphor. It sounds complex, but once you
read about the steps, it seems so plausible. Jane Fonda is very explicit in her discussions of
sex and sexuality in our later years. She discusses quite openly how to promote the best sex life
you can have, and the steps to take to get there. Jane shares her life. She lets us know where
she has been and where she is now,and where she hopes to be in 5 or 10 years. She is in a constant
state of learning, taking on new challenges one after another.

There is much discussion of nutrition and exercise, all that we know and some I was not aware of.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this wonderful new book on aging, the author Jane Fonda explores a new model for aging in the current longevity revolution--one that integrates learning, production, and leisure (all three stages of life) throughout the life stages instead of compartmentalizing them to youth, adulthood, and retirement--and how this integration can play out. She uses the metaphors of the arch (the old way of aging) and the staircase--continued ascent, especially in a spiral--the new way of aging. This book is about the last third of life, beginning at age sixty--for boomers and seniors, both male and female. Even though the author's perspective will appeal more to women than men, the book is informative and intended for both men and women.

The author discusses eleven key ingredients for vital living and successful aging: (1) not abusing alcohol, (2) not smoking, (3) getting enough sleep, (4) being physically active, (5) eating a healthy diet, (6) brain health through learning, (7) positivity, (8) introspection and life review, (9) connection, (10) generativity, and (11) caring about the bigger pictures. She covers these areas in depth, including working out (with an actual workout for older folks in an appendix)--which you'd expect. She includes a very frank, helpful, and in-depth discussion of sex (including masturbation, sex toys, and erectile dysfunction medications) in an open and tasteful manner. She also discusses practical social problems of aging like poverty, nursing home care, elder abuse, etc. She includes the topic of meditation--a work-"in"--as well as well as the discussions of working out.

The book is heavily based on current research in aging, but also includes the author's valuable personal experience and personal interviews.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife is a big fan of Jane Fonda and I bought this book as an anniversary gift for her. When it arrived I took a quick review and decided I would read it myself. My wife and I are in our sixties and try to eat well and exercise regularly and we are the targeted audience for the book.

Jane does a good job of pointing out many useful hints for dealing with the issues of ageing both physically and mentally. She covers areas such as health, exercise, food, sex, self-understanding, keeping young mentally, social growth, and touches on spirituality.

Jane makes the case that from 60 on can be years of growth and self satisfaction if we focus and plan for this period. I liked and agreed with much of what she writes about. I am in my 60's and have been spending the last few years redefining who I want to be. I have focused on fitness, diet, and health like Jane suggests but I also spend an equal if not more time on my spiritual development.

Jane has a chapter on dying but it is very superficial. She does not provide much real insight in how to cope with the ultimate issues of sickness, death, loneliness, separation from families, etc. Jane's book is upbeat and encouraging but when most people look at their lives they fall far short of this ideal presented by Jane.

I think the book is excellent and will be useful for anyone 50 plus. However, it is not the total answer for achieving happiness in our later years. I would advise readers to also look at books concerning spiritual growth. There are many fine books that deal with these issues and depending on one's religious and spiritual background I would suggest reading what gave you most satisfaction when you were a child.
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