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Prairie Tale: A Memoir
 
by
Melissa Gilbert
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Prairie Tale: A Memoir

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  3,573 ratings  ·  577 reviews

A FASCINATING, HEARTBREAKING, AND ULTIMATELY UPLIFTING TALE OF SELF-DISCOVERY FROM THE BELOVED ACTRESS WHO EARNED A PERMANENT PLACE IN THE HEARTS OF MILLIONS WHEN SHE WAS JUST A CHILD

To fans of the hugely successful television series Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert grew up in a fantasy world with a larger-than-life father, friends and family she could count on

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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jennifer
If you have been a fan of Melissa Gilbert, and you'd like to continue to be a fan, don't read this book. It's disappointing. Way too much information is revealed. The language in the book is horrible. Just unnecessary. The name dropping that goes on is beyond ridiculous. Even though adopted at birth, she comes from a very well-connected Hollywood family, and after reading this book, I would struggle to name five Hollywood actors she didn't mention. Ironically, as cute as she was, and as pretty a...more
David
Chatty memoir of an actress best known for her work on Little House on the Prairie when she was a child. Some interesting gossip about her active love life including long relationship with (and broken engagement from) Rob Lowe, and blended family with her second husband, the actor Bruce Boxleitner. Eventful family (her father was married 13 times; her husband had a stalker who tried to break them up by intercepting author's phone calls and taping bits in which she revealed to friends an "emotion...more
Michael Payne
June 19, 2010: Within days of reading Melissa Sue Anderson's recent attempt at writing, I dove into Melissa Gilbert's memoir out of curiosity. I had been completely disappointed with the first Melissa's work that, I must admit, I was slightly hesitant to even begin another look inside the world of a Little House cast member. Surprisingly, by Chapter 3, I was hooked! And, before long, I found myself completely immersed in a truly well-written autobiography. At one point, hearing the telephone rin...more
Ginny Messina
Celebrity autobiographies are almost always fun but sometimes so unsatisfying. It often turns out that the celebrity in question isn’t nearly as interesting as the people you know in real life, and that’s the case with this book. And if you’re looking for a warm and cozy peek behind the scenes of Little House, then skip this book for sure. Despite the misleading title, there isn’t a whole lot here about the TV series. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever look at sweet little pigtailed Laura the same after...more
Laura
I was inspired to read this after reading Rob Lowe's autobiography - this book isn't nearly as much fun. Melissa is very serious; she luckily was one of the few child stars that was somewhat sheltered and therefore didn't really grow up too fast. However, she doesn't really probe how or why that happened. . she just accepts it. The relationship with Lowe is really interesting between the two books - she dedicates almost entire chapters to it, where her name appears in a few paragraphs in his boo...more
Holly
As a rabid Little House fan, I had to read this book. It was disappointing in the Little House remembrances, but that is to be expected since the woman did (and does) have a whole career after little house.
However, the overall book is disappointing for me because though I love memoirs, I am not overly interested in celebrity gossip. Gilbert couldn't have dropped more names had she thrown a phone book down the stairs. (I must confess with being a bit intrigued about the drama with Rob Lowe, thou...more
Dianesugars
Well, I looked so forward to reading this book and it ended up dissapointing me so very much! Like so many other reviews of this book, I was dissapointed by the amount of profanity that was used in this book, and also very dissapointed in all of the sex and cheating that the author felt the need to tell us about. All of that totally ruined this book for me. By the second time she tells the readers about her and a certain man getting back together and all the references to sex and how much, etc,...more
Carolyn
I purchased this book because I am a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie and thought Melissa Gilbert did an awesome job playing the character of Laura Ingalls Wilder. My mother introduced me to the series when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that Melissa Gilbert felt a need to use so much profanity throughout the book. It was really hard for me to read through most of the chapters because of the profanity. I enjoyed the last few chapters because...more
Candice
I’ll try to make a long story short. We now have “cable” tv and I record “Little House on the Prairie” on DVR so that my kids and I can watch when we have time. For me it’s a throw back to the ‘80s, watching TV after school with my mom and sisters. It was a tear-fest for us even as young girls. Now as I watch I see how manipulated the viewers’ emotions are typically by the music and over-the-top sad stories (at Michael Landon’s insistence the show did not stick to the books by Laura Ingalls Wild...more
Michelle Bouchor
Any of my childhood friends can attest to the fact that I was obsessed with Little House, making them play it everytime they came to my house. I wanted to be Melissa Gilbert and my dad even converted our garage into a "little house". It was fascinating to read about Melissa and who she was and who she has become. However, as much as I love her, she shouldn't give up her day job to become a writer. (Sorry, Melissa!)
Jennifer
Aug 02, 2009 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone, be warned there is swearing
Picked this book up on Thursday night and finished in 2 marathon reads by early Saturday morning. I grew up (like so many in my generation) watching Little House on the Prairie every week and also in syndication after school, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day if nobody took control of the TV from me. SO I loved reading about the early years of Melissa Gilbert. Ms. Gilbert tells her story carefully, it could have come off as a poor little rich girl story, but it doesn't. Melissa was a hardworking kid...more
Kellie
This is the 3rd Hollywood autobiography I’ve read this past month. It makes me wonder, what childhood actress didn’t do drugs? Didn’t have dysfunctional childhoods? Didn’t have insecurity? I have yet to read about one. Maybe Tori Spelling had a better childhood. I don't know. I haven’t read her book yet.

Out of the 3 autobiographies, this was the best one. The writing was more intelligent. The organization was better. It was overall more engaging than Valerie’s or MacKenzie’s. Melissa was adopte...more
Sharon
This book was not really what I expected. I was hoping for more relating to the Little House experience, the interaction between characters both on and off camera. Melissa Gilbert says very little about any of the characters, except for Michael Landon.

While the book was interesting, maybe a better title would have been Prairie Tail because she spent an enormous amount of time writing about who she and others had been in and out of bed with. There is a lot of name-dropping, which is expected for...more
Michelle
This book had a much less captivating narrative that most memoirs I have picked up in the past 12 months. It read very much like a book report or someone looking at old photos and saying, "oh, here's where this happened." The Little House years themselves were barely blips in the book. On one page she gets the part and then a few later she's suddenly on season six. Which is fine, the later years are no doubt far more interesting, but it is hardly a "Prairie Tale." And I didn't recall Melissa Gil...more
Rachel
This book has lots of Hollywood name-dropping, which you can't blame Melissa Gilbert for, since she was born into a Hollywood family and had met 500 famous people before she ever starred in her first commercial. It also has a good record of who slept with who in Hollywood in the 80's, and enough Hollywood gossip and bitterness to keep it interesting and a page turner. But besides that, as a little girl in the 70's-80's, I was obsessed with "little house on the prairie" and this is a great behind...more
Amber
May 27, 2010 Amber rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Zip
Recommended to Amber by: Nobody- found it at the library (thank God)
Shelves: 2010, true
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacey witte
Who knew Melissa Gilbert was so popular had banged many a hollywood stars. Easy read!
Loving Little House = Loving this book:)
Cherice
Jul 16, 2009 Cherice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: LHOTP fans
I admit it, I could not wait to read this book! I have always been a fan of Little House, and Half-Pint (of course) was a favorite. I still stop and watch if I come across a rerun while switching channels. I really enjoy memoirs and Melissa Gilbert's life was more Hollywood and less Prairie than I would have known. I loved reading about behind-the-scenes happenings while shooting Little House. I knew she and Alison Arngrim (who played nasty Nellie) were great friends off camera but did not know...more
Kdevoli
I thought this was a really fun read. Having grown up with Little House, it was interesting for me to see how that whole saga came to be, and then read about Melissa's romances with famous and not so famous boys, like Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise. She sure did a lot of made for TV movies, none of which I have ever seen. I remember being surprised a few years back to hear she was elected Pres of the SAG union, and was in some sort of feud with the actress from Rhoda, and this fleshes that saga out may...more
LiteraryDragonsRock
I was a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie for the first several years. I found the harsh reality of prairie life sometimes difficult to digest. How anyone could possibly live in such extemes was beyond my comprehension. I moved on with my life and had relatively few remembrances of the work that Gilbert accomplished after the series concluded. I was amazed to see how extensive her resume was in comparison to my memories.

Gilbert engaged her friends in the creation of the title for her memo...more
Kathy
Half-Pint bares all: the good, the bad and the ugly. Her life carries the baggage (and privileges) of growing up in a Hollywood family. Her grandfather introduces her to the old Hollywood legends who were his good friends. Her parents shelter her to the point of ignoring her growing (and grieving) pains. Her hit TV series (Little House on the Prairie) gives her a second family that is both loving and disfunctional. Hey, it's Hollywood. What do you expect? She succumbs to the usual problems: sex,...more
Melissa Norton
As a child in the late 70s and early 80s, I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and had read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books many times over. I was intrigued to read Melissa Gilbert's memoir on growing up in that arena, and who doesn't like a celebrity memoir, anyway?
Gilbert got her start in commercials and bit parts on 1970s shows such as Gunsmoke and Emergency, and then was chosen to star in Michael Landon's series based on the Little House books. Gilbert idolized 'Mike' and in many way...more
Cheryl Gatling
My husband brought this book home for me because he knew I had loved Little House on the Prairie as a child. There are some reminiscences here of what it was like to be a child star on a beloved show, to be America's sweetheart, and to work with the dominant force of personality that was Michael Landon. But most of this book is about what it has been like to be Melissa Gilbert, who grew up to be a woman who smoked, drank, cussed, took drugs, and had sex. Ms Gilbert would say that it took her man...more
Kathleen
Really enjoyed this! Gilbert is VERY name-droppy, but in an interesting way, especially since many of the people she dished about were the Brat-Packers I adored once upon a time.

She's also honest about her own shortcomings. Gilbert dishes about everyone, up to and including her own mother, but she also owns up to drinking, doing drugs, cheating on Rob Lowe, and being at fault in problems in her still-existing marriage to Bruce Boxleitner.

In fact the marriage stuff might be one of the best parts...more
Rhonda
As a long-time viewer of the Little House series, I was excited to read this book. After reading it, I found the title to be misleading. If you are looking for an actual memoir of her work on Little House, you're not going to find it here. There were few references to the actual Little House set and much more focus on Melissa Gilbert's personal life and the multitude of celebrities with whom she, her parents, or grandparents associated.

As an autobiography, it wasn't bad, but there were way too...more
Abra
Bah. I wanted Melissa Gilbert to be more political: she was the President of the Screen Actors Guild, for fuck's sake. But her memoir revealed her to be more humdrum than not; a repressed child, a woman who needed a daddy figure, and an alcoholic daddy figure at that, and an indifferently okay actress. I knew that last: I've tried watching her in anything past Little House on the Prairie and she was dreadful in every last role. I'm kind of curious to read Alison Arngrim's memoir about being the...more
Laurie
Dec 25, 2009 Laurie added it  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: my sisters
Shelves: nonfiction
Of course I had to read this book (and I'm sure my sisters will feel the same way). A fast, fun read (though it's a bit callous to call it "fun" considering all the sad events described). I especially enjoyed all the '80s Hollywood descriptions (and was interested to see how much the photos of teenage Melissa resemble my older sister, who is just a few years younger). There's not so much about Little House, though quite a bit about Michael Landon.

I'm surprised to see so many reviewers criticizin...more
Maria Camp
Disappointing, but somewhat interesting.

If Circumstances Had Been Different

If she hadn’t been adopted, Melissa Gilbert would not have grown up in the Hollywood family that she did, she might never have become an actress and she would be exceptionally unlikely to have ever come to play the role for which she is so well-known, that of Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie.”

Enjoyed Working on the Show

For the most part, she enjoyed working on the show, and it is pleasant to see that i...more
Camelama
Having just read "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" by Nellie Oleson (ha - that is, by Alsion who playd nellie!), I thought this book would be a great follow-up read. I was disappointed. Alison's book had a lot of detail about Little House, and I had hoped for the same from "Laura"'s point of view. It seems to have been rather glossed over, though she did talk about her relationship with Michael Landon. I just expected to hear more about such an incredibly significant part of her life, and that wh...more
Leslie
I gave this book two stars b/c it was a page turner. I have to say I had no idea how wild the actress was -- drinking, sleeping around, etc. At times, I found myself rolling my eyes at what she said -- apparently every male actor in Hollywood had a thing for her and wanted to sleep with her! Good grief! It was less Prairie Tale and more Prairie Tail... Ok, there I said it! ;) What a tell all and I mean all! I never saw such a name dropper! The most memorable part was her relationship with fellow...more
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“My therapist shared a theory she had come across, and I liked it. It held that before making your next journey in this life, your soul sits at a large, circular conference table and chooses the souls who are going to be a part of your life. As for which particular people would be chosen, I figured they would be individuals from previous lives with whom there was still unfinished business.” 3 likes
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