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Unsinkable: A Memoir

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,746 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
The definitive memoir by legendary actress and performer Debbie Reynolds—an entertaining and moving story of enduring friendships and unbreakable family bonds, of hitting bottom and rising to the top again—that offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite, from the glory days of MGM to the present


Inthe closing pages of her 1988 autob
Audio, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by HarperAudio (first published January 1st 2013)
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May 26, 2016 Naksed marked it as dnf
Ayeayeaye! This is exactly what a memoir should NOT be. In Unsinkable , Debbie Reynolds settles scores with her scumbag third husband and goes into minutiae of her terrible business mishap, running her own Las Vegas hotel into the ground.

The parts that I would have been interested in, she just glosses over. A short nod to her daughter's no holds barred memoir Postcards from the Edge , which skewered their dysfunctional relationship, she glibly comments that it's only a movie.

Her behind the sce
Apr 22, 2013 Lcitera rated it did not like it
Pathetic. Here we have a woman with incredibly high self esteem and seemingly no reasonable justification for such. Perhaps honesty???? Well, she does freely admit taking her teenage children to a party that offered up serving dishes of cocaine, turning a blind eye when her young daughter took to smoking pot, and tho supposedly fraught with worry that her adult daughter was suicidal putting on an ever so brave face to not miss a moment of her own wedding reception number three. As to men...she c ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Mediaman rated it liked it
This book is merely an accountant-style overview of Debbie's terrible decisions in life, filled with too many numbers and excuses. While it starts out somewhat promising and is technically well written, Reynolds and her co-author don't understand what makes for a good memoir. We don't care about the hundredth story of her getting a million-dollar loan from a friend or about another lawsuit filed against her for her failing to pay her bills or even about how bad her third husband treated her when ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Julie rated it it was ok
While it appears to be a honest memoir, Debbie Reynolds' first autobiography is so much stronger and interesting. This one has the first half of the book bashing her 3rd ex-husband who managed to steal amazing amounts of money from her and eventually ended up forcing her into bankruptcy. While it appears that he deserved the bashing, Miss Reynolds also holds responsibility for not sufficiently protecting herself, especially in light of her experiences with her second husband. I found it interest ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
UNSINKABLE picks up where DEBBIE MY LIFE (1988) left off. "At the time I had recently married my third husband," Reynolds writes. "My life was chaotic, but I was very happy. I called my new husband "brave, loyal, and loving." How wrong I was! When I read the optimistic ending of my last memoir now, I can't believe how naive I was when I wrote it." The majority of this book concerns Reynolds's many attempts (and millions of dollars spent and lost) trying to find a permanent home (casino/museum) f ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up watching Debbie Reynolds and always loved her. She is such a talented person and a strong role model for us all. I love her candid memoir Unsinkable. It is well written and is one of the first biographies that doesn't violate my biggest pet peeve: she tells her story in chronological order so you don't get lost and wonder which thing came first and was it the same time as that! If she does reference, she gives you a reminder or a page number where you can find it. Also, her photographs ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Juanita rated it really liked it
Review: Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds & Dorian Hannaway.

Unsinkable was a fabulous remarkable book. The book is principally the story of how her three marriages went wrong and how all three men took advantage of her especially Richard Helmett the third husband. Eddie Fisher the father to her two children was the first to go when he left her for their good friend Elizabeth Taylor. Than she picks herself up and tries again with Harry Karl who treated the children (as they were still very young)
Katherine Coble
I don't know how to rate this.
It's well-written.
It's infuriating.
It's a huge cautionary tale.
It's a hymn to the pitfalls of not knowing when to let go.
One star for the story. Three stars for the writing. Five stars for Debbie Reynolds. Negative Five stars for the stupidity of Debbie Reynolds when it comes to her husband's fraud and deceit.
So...2 average.

And some rants:
1. When a man needs to borrow money for you for a business deal but won't let you sit in on the meetings, I don't care how
Nov 01, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
a *4.5* I am a fan Of Debbie Reynolds. I loved the Movie,"Singin'in the Rain" and also enjoyed The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Mother, to mention a few of her movies. I also read her first book "Debbie" that book ended in the mid 1980s. this book "Unsinkable, a memoir" picks up from the mid 1980s. Debbie Reynolds herself refers to her memoir as a "tell-some". she was honest about her not always wonderful life. especially the bad time she had with her third husband Richard Hamlett, who ended up betra ...more
Shylock Books
Sep 27, 2013 Shylock Books rated it liked it
This memoir was highly anticipated for me. Having read Debbie Reynolds's earlier memoir from the 1980s, I didn't believe she could write much more on her life---having had quite a full life already!
From her earliest days at the Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios, she was that “cute” kid with the really high voice that could do impersonations of famous actors. She had been through several divorces, multiple scandals, earned and lost millions, and worked with some of the most legendary stars of the silve
Apr 04, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book as I would a box of Godiva truffles - as you turn each page you are presented with a delightful anecdote that is more delectable that the last. Debbie's love story at the heart of this book, is her determination to create a Hollywood Museum. After 40 years of struggle to get this accomplished - she gave up last year and sold her massive collection. Her story was heartbreaking to a movie lover like me. I was lucky to see a small portion of that collection last year in LA befo ...more
Oct 31, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
Written by Debbie Reynolds (with help) and narrated by Debbie Reynolds. I don't think this book would have been quite as interesting without her voice, imitations and singing.
Most of the book tells of Reynolds's life since her last book and mostly deals with her disastrous third marriage and the resultant loss of her hotel and collection of Hollywood memorabilia. After that, she comments, in chronological order, about each movie she made and memorable people and events during each.
Not a book whe
Joy H.
Added 3/12/14.
I recently listened to an version of Unsinkable: A Memoir, written and read by Debbie Reynolds. I enjoyed the fact that Debbie Reynolds read her own bio. However, one reviewer commented that Debbie's reading wasn't very good and a different reader would have been better. I disagree. The reading may not have been perfect but Debbie's droll personality shone through the entire reading experience. That made all the difference to me.

Debbie's life had its ups and downs but s
Chasia Lloyd
May 28, 2016 Chasia Lloyd rated it really liked it
This has a really interesting set-up: picking up right where she left off in her first memoir (which I will probably read sooner than later), getting into the gritty truth of her third divorce & failed dreams, and waiting until the 50% mark of the book to talk about her career.

Reading the details of her biggest dream of owning a Hollywood memorabilia museum was so gut-wrenching. To see her work so hard and then it all failed... It's sad, but also a little inspirational. To see someone still
Jul 07, 2016 Anita rated it it was ok
As Hollywood tell-alls go, she has lots to tell. She was either a friend, a coworker, or married to a who's who of the golden age of Hollywood. The sordid doouble triangle of Debbie/Liz Taylor/Eddie Fisher/Richard Burton puts our present day Jennifer/Brad/Angelina to shame. Debbie's consistently bad choices in husbands--how can you always choose the crook that will take all your money?-are legendary. Her behind the scenes stories are interesting and would give any name-dropper pause. That being ...more
Tommy Carlson
Apr 16, 2013 Tommy Carlson rated it liked it
Here's the deal, the book has two sections. The first section is Debbie talking about the latter part of her life, namely getting married for the third time, buying a hotel in Vegas, and attempting to find a home for her vast collection of Hollywood costumes. The second section is simply Debbie going through each and every one of her movies, telling you a little about each and the folks involved.

I did get a chance to visit Debbie's hotel while she owned it. (I was attending Comdex. Debbie's hote
Nov 04, 2013 Arma rated it it was ok
I can't say I really enjoyed this book, but I did finish it, so I figure I had to give it two stars instead of just one. The first section of the book wasn't so bad, but I ended up skimming parts of the second section because I really didn't care to read a catalog of the movies she made. I probably would not have picked this book to read of my own accord because I am not all that interested in Debbie Reynolds. It was picked as a selection for my book club, so I felt I should read it. I think par ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Donna rated it it was ok
I read her two books back to back and the first one was much more enjoyable. She seemed like a very likeable person so I was surprised to find myself not liking her as much in the second book. If I'd read it first, I don't know if I would have read the other one. I realize she didn't really write either book. The first author/book made her seem naive more than dumb. This book made me question her intelligence. How can you have an attorney look over every paper you signed and still lose everythin ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Kitty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To add insult to injury, I got this book from the library, thus depriving Debbie of some extra money, which seems to be a main theme in her memoir. What I liked about this book was the placement of the pictures after each story and not all together as some books tend to do. This book was repetitive and a lot of blaming. I almost stopped reading when she wondered if she could still make a go of her third marriage after he cheated on her, put her in debt, said he was only using her for money and s ...more
Susan Haggerty
Feb 25, 2014 Susan Haggerty rated it it was amazing
I love Debbie Reynolds! She was a passenger on one of my flights to Las Vegas many years ago. Her hotel, now owned by another, was our layover hotel. She talked about how much she loved owning that hotel and how much she missed it. Little did I know then just how much heartache was involved. She signed autographs for our entire crew, each one with a special message. I loved reading about old Hollywood, especially the way she tells it. You may not agree with all the decisions she made along the w ...more
May 05, 2016 Pattie rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Debbie Reynolds
Shelves: biography-memoir
Oh Dear. My first thought is that someone else should have narrated the book. I realize Ms Reynolds has aged and that medication, or a complication other than alcohol could be responsible for her tone of voice -- a fall perhaps, a brain bleed. I say this out of respect for Ms Reynolds, an abundance of caution, and experience of talking by phone with my 90-something mother. Her speech is slurred at times and her reading is a bit halting/jerky. She sounds better/stronger toward the last half of th ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Jay rated it liked it
This is the middle of three biographies Debbie Reynolds has published. The first, Debbie: My Life, is a proper biography that covers her life through 1988, when it was published. The third, Make 'Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends, is more a collection of anecdotes and recollections of specific incidents and friends. This book picks up where Debbie leaves off, covering the period 1988 through 2012.

Much of this book is not particularly pleasant to read. The first third recounts the
Feb 28, 2016 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I wanted to read more about Debbie Reynolds' life after reading about her love triangle in the book It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History. My library didn't have her first book, since it was published in the 80's, so I was stuck with this one. According to most of the reviews on here, the first book is MUCH better than this one.

This wasn't bad necessarily, it was just boring. The entire first part of the book is Debbie talking about her crappy third husband, her failed hotel
Feb 08, 2016 Alison rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed Debbie Reynolds' movies so reading about her life story was, enjoyable is the wrong word. Ms. Reynolds puts herself out there, warts and all, to allow us into her life the good, the bad and the ugly. She grew up as a very trusting individual and was taken advantage of in all three marriages but she never gave up hope (as she, herself, quoted from "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" "I ain't down yet". Every time she was knocked down, she dusted herself off and moved forward.)

I don't
Rhoda Clarkson
Jul 20, 2015 Rhoda Clarkson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book for all fans of Debbie Reynolds and her films. For a woman who has endured so many disappointments, it is a surprisingly even-handed account. The book was entertaining enough to keep me reading till the end and for that fact alone, it deserves at least three stars.

The book started out on a bit of a sour note when she recounted her failed marriage to Richard Hamlett, her attempt to run a Las Vegas casino and theater, and most sadly of all, her struggle to hang on to h
Larry Dunlap
Aug 07, 2014 Larry Dunlap rated it really liked it
Shelves: twlitn-related
I picked up this book to read for personal and professional reasons. Debbie appears in a chapter of my memoir, Things We Lost in the Night, and I wanted to read more about her in recent years. The very first thing that struck me was how much this felt like a personal letter from a very close friend telling me intimate details about how she felt. I've always felt she carried her heart on her sleeve and it makes her endearing to most of us, and to open to criticism, to others. It is, technically, ...more
Diane Rapport
Dec 30, 2015 Diane Rapport rated it liked it
I love Debbie Reynolds, and I really wanted to love this book. Perhaps if I had read "Debbie Reynolds: My Life" first, this one would have been better. Unfortunately I didn't realize there were 2 books. Unsinkable begins when Ms Reynolds third marriage is deteriorating, so I never really understood what she saw in him in the first place. The book reads as a litany of one bad event / mistake after another. After each scenario gets bad enough, she sings a chorus of "I Will Survive" and moves on to ...more
Aug 10, 2013 JDAZDesigns rated it it was ok
I wouldn't say it's thrilling.
I wouldn't comment that it's sad.

I don't know if the first two thirds are worth the read. Though it's great to know that America's Sweetheart has a great work ethic and strong family values. Oh, and one who gets robbed before divorcing two ex husbands.

But it does have its moments.

The filmography in the last third is a nice quick read.

As the opening by Carrie reads, "It's not a tell all. It's a tell some." And the few inside tells? They're fun.
Apr 09, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes non-fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Unsinkable is the definitive memoir written by film legend and Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds. This book offers a deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite - from the glory days of MGM to the present. It shines a spotlight on this resilient woman whose talent and passion for her work have endured for more than six decades. Debbie Reynolds - legendary actress, comedienne, singer, dancer and performer - offers readers an intimate glimpse into her extraordinary life, spanning Hollywood ...more
May 13, 2014 George rated it it was ok

With Debbie Reynolds's reputation for being a 'gritty-gal,' and with a title like UNSINKABLE, the last think I expected to encounter in listening to to her story was a woe-was-me whine-fest. But, that is what about half of this audio book seemed to offer. Aside from that, many of the vignettes of her show business pals, and reminiscences about the movies she's been in, were interesting and entertaining.

MP3 Audio Book edition, 10 hours, 28 minutes
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Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer.

Initially signed at age sixteen by Warner Bros., Reynolds' career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) gave her a small but significant part in the film Three Little Words (1950), then signed her to a seven-year contract. In her next film, Two Weeks with Love (1950), she had a hit with the s
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“These are my recollections. If you remember things differently, send me your version—but only if it’s funnier.” 2 likes
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