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A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

3.6 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actress Huston achieves some moments of ringing clarity in this memoir of her youth, especially as regards her famous director father, John Huston, whom she was both terrified and in awe of (people considered him a lion, a leader, the pirate they wished they had the audacity to be). The daughter of his fourth wife, the dancer Ricki Soma (who was much younger than him), Anjelica Huston and her older brother, Tony, were raised in a remote 110-acre estate in West Country, Ireland, called St. Clerans, where being homeschooled; being visited by famous, quirky people; riding horses amid wildly romantic scenery; and playing dress-up filled her youth. Her father was frequently absent on far-flung shoots, and her exotic mother was out of her element. With her parents' separation, Anjelica moved between Ireland and London, where her mother lived and where Anjelica went to school in the 1960s. She gradually embraced an acting career, appearing in her father's A Walk with Love and Death, though without confidence. After the death of her mother in 1969, Huston slipped into a more comfortable role of modeling and serving as the muse for the troubled, brilliant (and much older) fashion photographer Bob Richardson over four tortured years. Huston ends her brave account by describing her complex relationship with her father. (Nov.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

With her high cheekbones and piercing dark eyes, Huston was fated for success as a fashion model. As the daughter and granddaughter of film and stage royalty, she was also assured a career as an actress. How she fulfilled those dual destinies is the subject of the first in a planned two-volume memoir in which Huston delves into her past in stunning detail. Growing up on a sprawling Irish estate, Huston was in thrall to her famous director father John Huston’s larger-than-life escapades and demands. As a teenager coming of age in London in the late 1960s, Huston fell under the spell of her passionately artistic prima-ballerina mother, Enrica Soma, who died just as Huston was coming into her own. Following that tragedy, the peripatetic Huston moved to New York where she captured the eye and captivated the attention of the day’s leading fashion photographers, including the famously mercurial Bob Richardson. As a multitalented contributor to her family’s theatrical legacy, Huston candidly reveals the heady and heartbreaking realities of life in that misconceived stratosphere. --Carol Haggas --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 6 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144236159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442361591
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished this book and found it very enjoyable. Most of my buddies are in line to read it. I read John Huston's autobiography years ago and it was so full of wit, fun and great stories- the family definitely lived a classy life in Ireland at their estate called St. Clerans. Anjelica weaves a story full of rich prose and beautiful description. She was a privileged teenager in London during the swinging 60's - great fodder! She definitely skips over some painful areas of her life including her relationship with her brother Tony which she hardly delves into - but that is ok with me, I believe the author should be able to choose what she wants to disclose. I recommend this book if you are a fan of the Huston family and Anjelica in particular. Looking very forward to the second book - and stories of her romance with Jack Nicholson.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though I enjoyed the book for sheer information about her parents and lifestyle, I was surprised that a mature woman whom I consider intelligent and, up till now, thoughtful, could simply make a list of happenings without pausing to reflect on them. As the daughter of one of America's most fascinating artists I would have thought Anjelica would have had, and shared with her readers, some views about his character and motivations. Ditto her also fascinating mother. The tone of the book read as though she were still a kind of clueless teenager (maybe she viewed it as an acting role instead of that of auteur) and I kept waiting for the part where she broke into adulthood and gave us some real grit. The book was also too short. She ought to have waited till she finished the second part and released them both as one piece. In short, the subtitle is what throws one off - there seemingly IS no coming of age; just a recitation of what she wore, her hairstyle, where she went, and whom she dated while this potentially great story took place coincidentally around her! Still, if the reader is just interested in what went on (on the surface), it's worth picking up. In fact, I may actually buy the second installment just to learn about her relationship with Nicholson. If I do, I won't expect anything deeper than the logistics and an occasional aside.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the telling very tedious and this is a person I looked forward to learning more about! The story was a series of places and names and events, one after the other....as if it was told simply chronologically with little creative color. I wanted to know how she FELT about these people, not just what happened. I wanted her to stay with a particular event and add more flesh to it. I'm sorry to say, it was a disappointment to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a little disappointed with this book. It seemed the only interesting parts were when her father, John Huston was the subject. I ended up skipping through parts because so much time was spent describing in detail what she ate, what others ate, what she smelled, what she was wearing, etc. It's hard to believe that after 40+ years she can remember all of this down to the smallest detail. I started to wonder if she had run out of material. I believe Angelica Huston is a very interesting woman, but this book dragged.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Angelica Huston's ability to recall meals eaten, clothes, worn, and so many people and events from her childhood is astounding. That said, the book reads more like a linear recitation of events and name dropping. Many great and some terrible things happened, but all of these are described in the same almost detached manner. We get no emotion and very little insight. From her point of view, was it great to be Angelica? We won't know. After a while, I kept wondering why she wrote the book. What did she want the reader to come away with? That she lived the life of wealth and privilege? That she met interesting people? Why does someone write a memoir if not to reflect and come to some insight or understanding about what happened? That said, I did find the descriptions interesting. She just doesn't give us much of herself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anjelica Huston gives us the story of the first half of her life in this book. The title comes from a nursery tale about magpies.

'One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a wedding
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a story lately told'

It seems her life contains all seven. She was born in Los Angeles, and her father,the actor/director John Huston was across the world in Africa making a film 'The African Queen'. Her mother, Enrica Soma, 23 years younger than her husband, gave up her life as a ballerina for the love of John. However, Enrica was John's fourth wife, and he was known as a womanizer. The love of women, drink, adventure and his profession kept him separated from his family most of their lives.

Anjelica tells us of her home, St. Cleans in Ireland, where her father lived in the big house when he was home, and the family lived in the little house, all the time. She and her brother, Tony, had many wonderful times, most of them lonely. They lived in the country, had a nanny or a tutor, and depended upon visits from friends of the family. They did have glorious times with their father when he returned, but he was a stickler for good behavior and manners. He believed in taking chances and competition. Many stories of horse racing and chances taken. Much was expected of Tony and Anjelica, and to live up to their father's needs and wants took a great deal of strength. At some point, Enrica and John separated, but no one told the children. Anjelica and Tony moved to London with Enrica. They entered private school where Anjelica was very unhappy. Soon, Enrica was pregnant with another man's child. He did not want the child, and when Allegra was born she became part of the Huston family.
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