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Unsinkable: A Memoir

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,576 ratings  ·  417 reviews
Unsinkable is the definitive memoir by film legend and Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds.

Actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer Debbie Reynolds shares the highs and lows of her life as an actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, anecdotes about her lifelong friendship with Elizabeth Taylor and her experiences as the foremost collector of Hollywood memorabilia, and intimate det
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,576 ratings  ·  417 reviews


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BAM The Bibliomaniac
Unsinkable is definitely an appropriate title for the memoir of Reynolds, who the acting community recently lost after her heart broke at her daughter, Carrie Fisher's death. Their close relationship is a constant topic.
The book starts where one thinks it would end, with the horrific tale of her third, and last, marriage; one that was in name only for Richard as he blatantly exclaimed he was only with her for her money, money that was hard-earned after her second husband bankrupted her. Since h
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Graceann
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hollywood history buffs, Debbie Reynolds fans
Shelves: memoir
I loved Debbie Reynolds. I loved her tenacity, her talent and her pure chutzpah. I saw a lot of myself in her (only in the bad/foolish decisions she made; not in her gifts as a performer).

When we lost her this last December, I decided the best way to remember her was to finally put Unsinkable at the top of my TBR list. I wish I hadn't waited so long, because reading it now is a melancholy experience. When she discusses her final wishes, and says "may we all live happily ever after," I got a litt
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Naksed
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
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Lcitera
Apr 22, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mediaman
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
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
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Lori
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jack
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mom
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Carol
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading show business biographies and I particularly like the way this one was laid out. The first part of the book was a basically linear narrative about her the person and what was going on in her life as she made movies, toured, and appeared on Broadway. The end of the book followed her movies in release date order, with directors and co-stars mentioned as well as any additional anecdotes that didn't fit into the narrative of the rest of her story. It made the book less disjointed tha ...more
Julie
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Haggerty
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kerstin
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Joy to read. Many celebrities that go through tough Times in their lives and write autobiographies feel sorry for themselves. Not Debbie Reynolds, she jokes about the Eddie-Fisher Scandal. In the end of the book she lists her films and How it was doing them and working relationships with cast mates,
Many people are upset that Eddie Fisher left Debbie and the children when he fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor. I am more angry that when Debbie Reynolds divorced he did not got in touch with his c
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Saturday's Child
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Another “Hollywood” entertaining read.
Kevin
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chasia Lloyd
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Alexandra
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
before i read unsinkable, debbie reynolds was just "bobbi adler" to me. which, to be fair, bobbi (grace's mom in will & grace ) is a pretty awesome character. (i also saw a few clips from singin' in the rain while waiting on line for the great movie ride but that's about it).

but after reading this book, she is so much more. i can't even believe all the hardships she went through during her lifetime. including but not limited to 3 divorces, one of her husbands trying to kill her, bankruptcy,
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Christina McLain
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to give this book four stars because of the great tidbits in it about life in Hollywood's Golden Age as well as juicy gossip about the rich and famous of 1950's Tinseltown. Debbie, who appears to be a Midwestern salt of the earth gal, was discovered in a talent contest at 16 in Burbank where her family had relocated, and groomed by Warner Brothers and MGM to be a dancer and musical star. She actually shared a studio classroom with her equally underage nemesis in training Elizabeth Taylor, ...more
Juanita
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
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Chrissie
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picking up with where she left off from her previous memoir, Debbie: My Life, Debbie Reynolds laughs off where she left that book. Having just entered into her third marriage, Debbie had all the hope for a happy and settled future. However, she later discovers that what she put into the marriage, wasn't worth the effort, time, or money it would cost her later. Now, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.

Debbie is, if you'll excuse any puns, an open book. She painstakingly details her lows, of which sh
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Laurel-Rain
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A story of a star from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Unsinkable brings us the inspirational tale of Debbie Reynolds, a woman who rose above the adversities that life offered…and soared. She truly excelled at finding the bright spots in her life, even though she was betrayed by the men she married.

Her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher, are truly the lights of her life, and despite Carrie’s struggles with mental health issues and addiction, she, too, has managed to turn darkness into humor and creat
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Shylock Books
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
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Diana Long
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bittersweet memoir from a talented and much loved entertainer, mother and human being. I found myself teary eyed at some points reading/listening to this especially when she talks about her children, mainly Carrie. Things didn't always work out the way she would have hoped they would but the title says it all, she was unsinkable and just kept carrying on. The audible is read by Debbie and it's enjoyable to hear her laugh, sing and I can imagine rolling her eyes at some points. I think that th ...more
Joy H.
Added 3/12/14.
I recently listened to an audible.com 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
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Linda
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
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Renee Thompson
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just the kind of Hollywood memoir I like! Opening with a description of her third wedding, Ms. Reynolds weaves the story of her third marital disaster with personal stories of her children, Todd and Carrie Fisher, and the many movie people, actors, writers, costumers, she has known. The book wraps up with stories about each and every movie she ever made. The more about this lady I know, the more I like her!
Billy
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful read!

I'm reading all the biographies of people related to Carrie Fisher. It certainly sheds new light on their lives when told from different points of view!
Margaret Dilloway
Started this before she passed...passages are extra super poignant now.
Richard Cardenas
I don't like reviewing memoirs, because I don't think you can review someone's life but I thought it was fantastic. :)
Traci Haley
I've had a hankering for old Hollywood lately and Debbie Reynolds was the perfect way to satisfy it. This bio is funny, interesting, and all around enjoyable! I have to admit I didn't care much about the stories at the end of the book covering all her movies. Simply too much minutiae to enjoy and I skipped over a lot. But her personal anecdotes of her life were delightful and it was so nice to visit with Debbie for a while.
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Debbie Reynolds was an Oscar-nominated American actress, singer, and dancer. She was one of MGM’s principal stars of the 1950s and ’60s in such films as the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as best actress. Reynolds received the SAG lifetime achievement award in January 2015.

Reynolds's first marriage, to popular
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“These are my recollections. If you remember things differently, send me your version—but only if it’s funnier.” 9 likes
“Carrie is my child, and I love her with every ounce of strength I possess. If love alone could cure our children, they would always be well.” 2 likes
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