I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny
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I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  343 ratings  ·  66 reviews
When Johnny Cash died in September 2003, the world mourned the loss of the greatest country music star of all time. I Walked the Line is the life story of Vivian Cash, Johnny's first wife and the mother of his four daughters. It is a tale of long-kept secrets, lies revealed, betrayal and, at last, the truth. Johnny and Vivian were married for nearly fourteen years. These y...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published 2007)
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Jun 08, 2012 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
First, I would like to say that I had barely even known who Johnny Cash was or even heard any of his songs until the movie came out. With that being said, I was able to read this book from an unbiased view point since I have no pre-established loyalty or emotional ties to Johnny Cash or June Carter as individuals and/or their music. Furthermore, the only information I had upon starting this book was from the movie and I do not take Hollywood adaptations of "True Stories" very seriously (especial...more
I didn't read the letters part, which is actually probably worth it. (Though you have to ask yourself - how seriously can you take love letters from an 18 to 20-year old?)

As for the rest of it, I totally understand how Vivian feels betrayed and angry - it comes across loud and clear. OVER and OVER. I get that she wants her point of view out there - there's just not much of a point of view, except that June was evil, slight clarity on his addictions, and what it was like for her to be married to...more
Very little of this book is actually Vivian's story, that element of the book could be compressed into a well-edited pamphlet. Instead, it's mostly comprised of 240+ pages of his love letters from Germany, which I forced myself to read mostly to indulge my masochistic side. And let me assure you, there's NOTHING more painful to read than mooning love letters from a twenty year old male. Petrarca, he ain't.

Let me save you the time of reading this book. In a nutshell:
1. He was sanctimonious ass as...more
Wow... this book really impacted me. I really enjoy Johnny Cash's music. It makes me feel like when I was a kid and there are no worries. I absolutely loved the movie "Walk The Line" with Reese Witherspoon & Joaquin Phoenix. I had mixed emotions about how I felt about his first wife Vivian. The movie portrayed her in an uncaring, selfish wife type roll. After reading her book which had the blessing of Johnny & their 4 daughters, I have changed my perspective of her. What a strong woman t...more
Being a die hard Johnny Cash fan, it was a little difficult for me to read this and hear Vivians side to their story. I think Johnnys letters were cute but a little overpowering sometimes. If someone were to write me those kinds of letters I'd be scared rather than in awe. The kind of love he had for Vivian and June were very different and I don't believe for a second as Vivian says, that they would be together still after all those years had certain things not played a role in their lives. One...more
Everything about this book just seemed wrong. For a start, her name is NOT Vivian Cash - she was married to someone else for 30-odd years. Then, when I flicked to the photos in the middle, the same photo appeared twice. Only about 60 pages of the book were actually written by her, the remaining 250 being love letters written by Johnny. And I am of the opinion that love letters should only be read by their intended recipient.

I don't think that I'm speaking from the viewpoint of a disillusioned fa...more
I was surprised by the resentment and bitterness Vivian Cash had toward June Carter Cash, even when she died...
It wasn't a bad read, I guess both sides of the story needed to be heard....
Diann Blakely
Vivian Cash's memoir acts like a kaleidoscope in its own small world, turning this way then that on all of the characters involved. In the film I WALK THE LINE, the first and recently deceased Mrs. Cash is portrayed as a whiney shrew who wanted Johnny to work for her daddy rather than follow his musical dreams. “I will have him,” Vivian reports being told by June when Johnny was struggling between the two women. Being on the other side of June Carter’s ferocious ambition, says Vivian, was terrif...more
I was looking at this book for quite a while. I decided to read some of the reviews and read the one from her daughter Kathy. That review made me decide to read this book.

I have to admit that all the letters from Johnny Cash were getting to sound the same. I passed them by and started reading to book. Boy what an eye opener. I felt so sorry for Vivian. From the books she seemed like such a nice and trusting person. I can't beleive all the stuff she put up with from Johnny and June. It is amazing...more
I did not know much about Johnny Cash's first wife. It's been a while since I've seen "Walk the Line", so I don't think I was influenced by the Hollywood version of events.

Yet I felt VERY uncomfortable reading this book. The first 2/3 or so of the book are letters. I felt fairly uncomfortable about reading such intimate and personal letters, and actually got kinda bored after a while. When the book switches to prose, I felt REALLY uncomfortable at bitterness Vivian Cash still felt at the dissolu...more
Kathy Barton
I enjoyed hearing the story of Johnny and Vivian Cash's love and marriage, but could really have done without EVERY love letter that they exchanged for 3 years! It was the same thing over and over and finally I skimmed through them.

The actual telling of their life was very interesting and a bit sad when June Carter came into the picture. You really feel sad for Vivian, who was trying to hold her marriage together and got shut out due to another woman and drugs. Vivian believes that if the drugs...more
Kristina Hoerner
I was intrigued by this book which is the only time you get to hear Johnny Cash's first wife talk about her view on what happened in their marriage (she died in 2005). What a let down the book was. 3/4 of the story was the entire collection of love letters he wrote her while he was overseas in the Air Force before they married. Incredibly boring! The last tiny part of the book was an angry rant on why June Carter Cash was a wicked, drug-addicted woman who intentionally set out to steal away her...more
I was super interested in this book, written by Johnny Cash's first wife. They corresponded for three years while he was overseas in the air force. There are always two sides to every story, and this is Vivian's chance to tell her side of their life together and their divorce.

This book is 80% Johnny's letters, which are intimate and fun to read at first. After a while they become repetitive and almost boring. They reflect a childish sort of infatuation that young lovers experience, and the desp...more
This book was very confusing. On one hand, I want to believe Vivian's story of how things happened but maybe she was a little bitter? Then again, June had been married several times before marrying John so it makes it difficult to believe either story completely. I also think the media played a huge role in defining June and Johnny's relationship to make it a love story they could sell to the public.

Either way, my opinion of Johnny Cash is forever changed.
I felt like this book was nothing more than Vivan trying to say "Look world, he loved me and June is evil". I definitely felt bad for her, being in love with and married to an addict like that isn't easy but I felt the book was overdone and exaggerated. And the countless letters just got redundant, we get it, he loved you too! I just felt the story was entirely too one-sided, nothing more than a childlike rant.
Chris O'grady
Book OK. Got bored plowing thru all Johnny's letters but where the hell, yes, the hell were hers? Didn't she write any? Pure propaganda in my opinion. Sorry Viv but this is a miserable book. Big shame you're not still around to read my comment. Two sides to every story but this gave only one.
Jamie Leach
Too many love letters and too much bitterness...even though she claimed not to be bitter. I get it because I am divorced, but you can't wait to write a book until all the key players are dead and then claim that you are right and they are wrong...
The book was amazing! It was almost like reading a Nicholas Sparks book due to all the love notes. I learned a lot about Johnny that I never knew based on movies and other books.I like how the book gave us a n insight on how Johnny was before the music and drugs really got to him, this shows me that he was a truly down to earth man. I also thought it was neat to know the truth about Johnny's first marriage, whereas the only one the media seems to care about is him and June.
The only dislike i ha...more
"A few weeks ago I was careening through Barnes & Noble. I usually like to skim a book before I buy it because I’m not a big reader and let’s face it, books aren't cheap. For whatever reason, a particular book popped in my head that I was curious about. Some years back, Vivian Liberto, better known as Vivian Cash, wrote a book chronicling her marriage to the late Johnny Cash. She had apparently been planning to write this book for some time and even sought Johnny’s blessing to publish it. It...more
The majority of the book is Johnny's letters to Vivian during the war. They met two weeks before he left then stayed together for Three years while he was away. Reading the letters was a little like listening to someone on the telephone - you only got one side of the letters. Her letters to him weren't included. They also start to be repetitive pretty early on. The book really depressed me. It was hard reading the letters already knowing part of their futures. Although I think the truth lies som...more
Of the 323 pages, only 75 are Vivian's actual story about her life with Johnny Cash and beyond. The main content of this book are Johnny's letters written from Germany to Vivian during his three-year stint in the army. Johnny knew Vivian for three weeks prior to being sent to Germany, so the letters are revealing in the development of their relationship. However, the letters quickly become repetitive and redundant, which swayed my rating of the book to only average. Having seen "Walk the Line,"...more
Wow. His letters bordered on lunacy. He drank and ran around and berated her for one drink and having friends. I cannot believe she married him. I would have gotten a restraining order. At the very least, she should have been happy June "stole" him. He was NO prize, money or not. Take the alimony and be glad that worthless ass is gone.
Craig J.
This book was interesting but disappointing at the same time. 90% of the book is letters that Johnny sent Vivian before they were married. Again, interesting but got old after a while. There was not that much insider information with the book... fairly general.
Pris Campbell
Since I liked Johnny Cash's music and had seen the movie about his romance with June Carter, I was curious to see the other side of the picture. The book consists mostly of three years of letters from a lonely overseas service guy hoping his hometown gal he'd dated only a short time before deploying would wait for him. The last part of the book is narrative, describing the increasing use of pills and booze, his long absences, his affair with June Carter while the wife stayed home to raise their...more
This read was okay, at least 85% of the book is Johnny's letters to Vivian when he was deployed and it gets pretty redundant, and then it made me squirm when he was somewhat scolding her for having a good time with her friends and going out dancing and probably innocently flirting with other guys. I know times were different then, but it still made me slightly uneasy. His letters seem almost pathetic at times though, and it's hard to see him struggle with drinking when he is obviously miserable...more
Patricia Atkinson
I liked it but the story really drags and there is not much more than their love story .if you were a big fan of johnny cash its a really good book.
If you are into Johnny Cash, this is a good book to read. It's by his ex-wife, Vivian. The majority of the book is just made up of letters he wrote Vivian while he was in Germany. It really gives an interesting perspective of Johnny. He writes her every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and so it does get hard to read after a while. I found myself skimming after a while to get to the narrative section of the book because they all start sounding the same. While I was reading this book, I would...more
I read the beginning and then I read about 10 letters and then skipped to the end. I loved this book. It's strange because I've never been a huge fan of Johnny or June. I can't even really remember why I decided to check out this book. But I am so glad I did. It felt so sincere and raw, a woman's journey through betrayal, love and loss. It was emotional. I definitely have thought about it even after finishing and have picked up a June carter biography. These people are just so interesting and th...more
The majority of the book is letters from Johnny to Vivian, which I found to be really boring. I didn't read most of them. It was interesting to learn how they met and courted while he was overseas. And then, really depressing when he found stardom, then drugs, and it all fell apart. She had a lot of bitterness toward June (obviously) and the second third of the book is mostly Vivian talking about how June stole Johnny and was the one that got him addicted to drugs.
The book read as mostly a scorn...more
Peggy Howard
Interesting to learn her side of the story
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