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This 'n' That Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1988

4.0 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This autobiographical potpourri by one of the screen's most renowned actresses begins in 1983 with Davis's mastectomy and stroke. From there her recovery is chronicled, along with flashbacks and observations of her long career and often turbulent personal life. She is direct and never self-effacing in retelling her story; and even this hodge-podge of a book is pure Davis, as her fans know her on screen and off. The book ends with an open letter to her daughter, B. D. Hyman, in reply to the latter's book, My Mother's Keeper. A good purchase for all film collections. (Photos not seen.) Virginia A. Doser, Saddleback Coll. Lib., Mission Viejo, Cal.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1st Berkley edition (March 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425106241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425106242
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
SO glad that Bette Davis stepped forward and defended herself after he daughter's APALLING book. And what a fun read! I couldn't put it down. As far as "My Mother's Keeper" goes,

Shame on you, B.D. Hyman.

B.D. Hyman would like to come off as a victim who doesn't have any flaws, but her book about her mother, Bette Davis, has the opposite affect. B.D. Hyman comes of as a spoiled rotten, selfish, cold-hearted, and mean teenager and then woman, who has no tolerance for other people and their flaws.

So Bette Davis was a dramatic women, eh? What a shocker. It took her way too long to make Stouffers Macaroni & Cheese for you when you came over? How terrible. She got frustrated carving a chicken and ripped the meat apart with her hands? How obscene. She was irritated her 16 year old daughter wanted to spend their entire vacation in Europe with a 30 year old man? How dreadful. She sent a doctor over to see you when you were sick? What a witch. She spanked your son and put him in his room when she was baby-sitting him? How appalling. Your mother was eccentric? What a BOMBSHELL. She thought you were completely perfect and flawless? What a crime. She wanted you to say thank you when she brought you lobster from Maine? How very dreadful, and what a horrifying life you must have had.

It is clear from this book that Bette Davis had lots of faults. We all do. But none of them could be considered child abuse. And most of us don't have our faults written about extensively for all the world to see, in a fictional, exaggerated novel.

Poor Bette Davis, may she rest in peace. What a thing to have happen to you in your old age. She probably never recovered.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Bette Davis tells the second half of her own story close to the end of her life. She tells the difficult story of her battle with breast cancer, multiple strokes and her valiant fight to comeback to acting in films - which was her life blood. She also responds her daughter's trashy book. It's Bette at her finest hour, gutsy and proud. Michael Herskowitz did a great job at assisting Miss Davis with this effort. I could not put it down.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was not a fan of Bette Davis until I saw her being interviewed by Dick Cavett in 1972. The Dick Cavett Show - Hollywood Greats The second she walks on stage you know you are in for a collossal treat. I have watched it over and over. That is what made me a fan and prompted me to get this book (and fill my Netflix queue with Bette Davis movies). I found the book to be very entertaining and loved the letters concerning and reviews about her daughter's hideous back-stabbing stunt at the very end. I think if you are a fan of Bette Davis that you would enjoy this book.
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By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book tells about Bette as only she herself could. She had a sense of humor, and she's honest. This was her second autobiography, the first being called "The Lonely Life." She talks about her failed marriages, the movies she hated, and her costars in various movies (i.e. Faye Dunaway.) I strongly recommend this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"This 'n That" was written after Davis suffered and eventually recovered from a stroke. The first chapters are about her illness and recovery. There's also a chapter written by Davis's assistant, Kathryn Sermak, where she describes Davis's personality and what it's like working for her. The book then goes back in time to describe Davis's career during the seventies and the eighties, and also the making of "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" as well as Davis's work with the Hollywood Canteen during WWII. Towards the end of the book she writes about her failed marriages and her children and grandchildren. She only briefly mentions her daughter, B.D. Hyman's, critical book "My Mother's Keeper" and ends with an open letter to her daughter, as well as letters of support to Davis from, among others, Mia Farrow.

A very quick read. Recommended for Davis fans, and those who've read "My Mother's Keeper". It was interesting reading them back-to-back.
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Format: Hardcover
I can’t think of any current actress in the same class as Bette Davis. She had a long and varied acting career and many of her films continue to be very popular. In this book Davis writes about many aspects of her career and personal life, which often intertwined with each other.

The writing meanders a bit as Davis zig zags back and forth describing her illnesses later in life, her failed marriages, and all the wonderful acting parts she had. I thought it was interesting she did not try to glamorize the film industry. It was hard work and you were not always well treated. And she often lived far from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood – including New York and coastal Maine.

Davis had 3 children (two adopted) and her eldest, B.D., wrote a ‘Mommy Dearest’ type of book about Bette, which Davis addresses in This N That. Although I have no doubt Davis could be sharp tongued and a bit rough-around-the-edges in private, I can tell she was deeply hurt by B.D’s book, which she responds to near the end.

Davis is a bit unique in that she was not a stunning beauty or especially adoring to anyone. But she was a terrific actress and loved to work at her craft. She dishes out compliments to many co-stars, and knocks down only a few. She also recounts one of her greatest accomplishments which was not a film part, but helping operate the Hollywood Canteen for soldiers in WWII. The book is a quick read and not a complete autobiography in any way, but it does help shed some light on this Hollywood legend who lives on in her many films.
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