- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Globe Pequot; First edition (May 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780762759705
- ISBN-13: 978-0762759705
- ASIN: 0762759704
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 290 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 4, 2010
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About the Author
Melissa Anderson is an EmmyAward winning actress known to millions for playing Mary Ingalls on the NBC television series Little House on the Prairie, which aired from 1974 to 1983. She played First Lady Megan Hollister in the 2006 miniseries 10.5: Apocalypse. Born and raised in California, she lives with her husband, television producer and screenwriter Michael Sloan, and their two children.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I spotted Mike across the stage and headed in his direction. My heart was racing, and my stomach was tied up in a huge knot.
Um . . . Uh . . . Hey, Mike?”
He turned, saw me, and smiled. Hey, darlin’, how ya doing?”
Uh, well, good . . . I guess.” I was now having trouble looking him in the eye.
Something on your mind, Missy?”
And then, out it came. Is it true? Are you really going to make me go blind next season?” I waited for what seemed forever for my answer.
Yes, Missy, you will be going blind next season.”
My heart sank. I felt sick. The tears sprung up and out before I even had time to digest this news. I couldn’t hold them back. I madly tried to think of something, anything else, so I would stop crying and not humiliate myself any further.
Just about the time I almost really lost it, Mike said, Don’t worry, Missy. It’s going to be great. You’ll see.” He gave me a big hug.
R-r-really?” I sobbed. You’re not going to write me out?”
Of course not,” he said. . . .You have a great future ahead.”
I knew he wasn’t just saying it to make me feel better; he wasn’t that kind of guy. He went on to explain what would happen to Mary, and the show, and how he knew this would be a great opportunity for me. I trusted Mike and chose to accept the wonderful feeling of relief that had come over me.
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To call this a memoir or an autobiography is a gross overstatement. There is little personal information at all, it's more of am expanded IMdb listing than anything, so if you're considering a purchase hoping to gain some insight on her experiences as an actress, particularly regarding LHOTP, I cannot recommend it at all. The few personal experiences shared with the readers are written as though they were an actual script, including set descriptions and stage directions. A very odd way of doing so, but I think she needed to fill more pages with SOMETHING, and the way a script is spaced out filled up more pages in the book.
If you really need to read it for yourself just to be sure, I'd highly recommend using the Kindle Owner's Lending Library (if it's available there) or through your local library, rather than spending the $10 on this book. I think you'd be as disappointed with it as I am, especially after reading other cast biography / memoir's which are true biographies or memoirs of the women who wrote them, which is what I had hoped for in this book. I really disliked that 3/4's of the book is episode synopses, which certainly have their place. If the book had been written as an "insider's episode guide" (and I think there would actually be a market for that actually, but then she should include all of the episodes she was in) I would have bought that, and enjoyed the few tidbits thrown into it and been satisfied. But as a biography or memoir, it falls short of the mark.
The other noticeable element is she extensively (and somewhat monotonously) describes the plot of every episode in which she plays a major role. Occasionally, these evoke minor "behind the scenes" details, like when she was also filming a TV movie for which her nails have been painted red, and Landon noticed and asked her to remove the polish. Even though she can't (because there isn't time) she agrees and then hides her fingernails inside gloves, which she later removes inside a craft trailer to get a soda (Tab, as if we wouldn't have guessed, as Anderson apparently started a diet when she got the part as Mary at age 11 and never stopped) and is startled to find Landon there smoking a joint. This apparently is a huge let down for a now-adult Anderson, even though by now she has already recounted her awareness of his drinking, affair (and divorce), and "mean streak" (which seems to manifest as practical joking and giving honest feedback, such as his belief Anderson won't win the Emmy for which she was nominated - not because he doesn't believe she deserves it, but because of a theory he has about their selection process). Also, having now been a steadily-working actor for eight years, with everything else it's a little difficult to believe Anderson would think smoking a doob would be a shocking thing to find Landon doing. It reads like trying a little too hard to recount dirt on Landon. Plus, where is the resolution of this story? Did he see the nails? Did he seem he couldn't say anything because he was caught lighting up? It just ends abruptly.
By the end of the book, it becomes pretty ridiculous when, after spending a good part of the book describing the frustration of the classically trained Karen Grassle at constantly getting a repetitive one or two lines throughout the series, she then portrays Ma and Pa Ingalls as the stars of the show. If one had never seen the series or read the books, one would have the distinct impression that Anderson and Landon were the two leads in this series, but due to humility, she defers to Landon and Grassle as the stars. Melissa Gilbert is mentioned occasionally (as it would be impossible to leave out the actual star and primary protagonist of the series) but only as often or less than the other supporting characters. It's as if she is attempting to will away any of her perceived competitors in her book, as it seems she also did in real life.
If you're a fan of Little House it's worth a read, as her POV can be occasionally interesting and unintentionally amusing.
As many, many other reviewers have pointed out, the book truly is a collection of 'Little House' episode descriptions, punctuated by Missy's chiming in here and there about how great she felt she was in this one or that. It has always been a huge pet peeve of mine when actors refer to their characters as "me" or "I," and she does this to the extreme.
There is next to nothing about her personal life. She would appear to be an automaton who has also been programmed with a catty streak.
If you're a hard core LHOTP fan, read Alison Arngrim's "Confessions of a Prairie Birch," and then read it again until something else comes along. But don't waste your time on this, and certainly don't waste your money.
most of this book is cliffnotes on the shows. You could take a quiz after this book and know the plot of all episodes
that featured her. I hated this book .... not worth the read at all. very disappointed.