J.H. Gordon's Reviews > Then Again

Then Again by Diane Keaton
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Jan 02, 2016

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bookshelves: memoir
Read from December 18 to 19, 2011

Wow, I was surprised by the tone of this memoir. I have always admired Diane Keaton for her refusal to conform to the Hollywood ideal of female beauty, and I saw her single status as a symbol of her fierce independence. This memoir shattered this illusion: Keaton is insecure, needy, and self-critical. She comes off as a teenage girl, lamenting boyfriends who left her -- Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Warren Beaty. She continually doubts her acting ability, critizes her lack of "prettiness" and "beauty", and recounts her discomfort around real "movie stars." In the end, it doesn't feel like she has grown emotionally from the time she arrived in New York in late 60s. Much of the book deals with the deaths (and lives) of her parents, and I got the impression that she has not recovered from this loss (they died in the 90s). This book depressed me, and made me cringe in parts. I wish I had not read it, not because it is badly written, but because my image of her as strong, smart, quirky, and independent has been lost.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Marybeth (new) - added it

Marybeth I agree completely. I thought I liked Diane Keaton, but as it turns out I liked the roles she has played. She is so not like the woman we see on the screen.

message 2: by Elle (new)

Elle sorry that your illusion has been shattered! one never gets over the death of one"s parents, no matter what the age, so i'm not surprised her grief was pervasive

message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Holt-New She was and is real. It's sad that people prefer illusions. This is why so many men and women put on an act and are never really true to themselves. Sad really.

Debbie Orta I don't get why some commenters are surprised that Diane Keaton mentions a lot about her parents. She very clearly states that the book is primarily about what she learned about her mother. I enjoyed her story and found it a quick and entertaining read. She is an ordinary, skittish, slightly neurotic woman, like many of us, but with extraordinary talent. She seems to have had a weakness for her leading men, but it was mutual. She is so much like Annie Hall and her character in "Something's Got to Give", artistically quirky and unaffected, not a beauty but very interesting to men. She's smart enough and talented enough to hold her own with some of the greatest minds and talents in cinematic history, yet seems like someone who would bring you a drink at a party or loan you her umbrella in the rain. What woman has never assessed her own beauty in private moments? Yet she has avoided misshaping her face, "Hollywood" style, in favor of presenting herself as an artist with longevity and integrity. I recommend it for true Keaton fans. She is true to herself and loving and respectful of all those around her. No sensationalism, but still juicy enough. gI didn't know she and Al Pacino had a thing.)

message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Thanks, I've enjoyed this dialogue :-)

Michael Laflamme I totally agree with your review.

Colleen Based on your review which I am in complete agreement with, I'm surprised you gave it 3 stars. You even noted it was poorly written. Trudging through it myself currently.

message 8: by Wendy (new)

Wendy I'm listening to it on audio ... Diane is reading it. I'm struggling as she seems so monotone. At times it gets really loud and then there are times I struggle to hear what she is saying. It doesn't seem to grab my attention ... Trying hard not to delete it!

message 9: by Jazmin (new) - added it

Jazmin Great book, I liked how honest she is.

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