Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It” as Want to Read:
Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  29 reviews
This autobiography traces Mae West's indulged Brooklyn childhood, through vaudeville success, a stage career which landed her in jail for the outspokenness of her lines, to spectacular Hollywood stardom. Witty and honest, she remained in control of her life, her career and her many, many loves. ...more
223 pages
Published (first published January 14th 1959)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  188 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
A fantastic first person narrative about the early part of Ms. West's career. Her signature one liners and frank conversation about her life are the stuff of legend. Her ability and willingness to take on the censorship of her early work is amazing. I really appreciated learning more about her vaudeville beginnings. Her comedy and sensitivity to her audience's appetites made her a success both on stage and behind the curtain.

But it's her open and candid treatment of taboo topics is what put her
A.E. Marling
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had a sense that Mae West made up most everything in this autobiography for entertainment value.
Perfect! With color and flare, she describes her life's achievements. And achieve she did. Her success in movies saved Paramount Pictures after the Great Depression, and she was the greatest woman wit of the twentieth century and possibly the millennium. Imagine Kim Kardashian with something to say, and a creative fire that never dimmed. Mae West wrote her own dialog (or carefully stole it). She per
Lisabet Sarai
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was thirteen and loved it.

Looking back, I'd say Mae had a significant influence on my life!
Samantha Glasser
Mae West was a star of the stage who successfully transitioned to films. Her appearances in My Little Chickadee, She Done Him Wrong, and I'm No Angel are unforgettable and entertaining. Her uber-sexual personality and wry delivery of clever dialogue have inspired characatures for decades.

This is her story, written in 1959 and obviously meant to boost a naturally diminishing career. While she is frank about her many love affairs, the storytelling is somewhat sanitized by the constrants of the er
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

"This autobiography traces Mae West's indulged Brooklyn childhood, through vaudeville success, a stage career which landed her in jail for the outspokenness of her lines, to spectacular Hollywood stardom. Witty and honest, she remained in control of her life, her career and her many, many loves." (From Amazon)

I picked this up at a local book store for $2 and it was more than worth the price. A great memoir and as honest as one can be. Mae West is cheeky and bold.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Mae West should be every woman's idol. Though the prose isn't perfect at every turn, if you want to learn anything about the amazingly prolific, talented, and self-assured Mae West, this is a fun and revealing read. I learned a lot from her. ...more
Becki Iverson
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I never knew much about Mae West so this landed randomly on my list but WOW am I so glad I read it! The writing style is so engaging and kitschy, much like West herself. She has such a unique voice, and especially unique experiences for the time in which she lived. West would be today's feminists' dreamchild - there has been so much talk about changing Hollywood, and West has already solved that problem. There are no parts you like? Simple: prove how much money you can make in films, then write ...more
Mae West has got to be the most quotable woman ever read. She is bold and unapologetic, and I loved her. There is no bending of her will, which I found both abrasive and endearing. I sometimes wondered how much was bluster, but it was fun to take it at face value.

I was surprised to find her referencing the Kinsey Report, which was published about five years before this book. Using his research as a premise, she's done nothing "abnormal" - she just lived out the urges that Kinsey says are common
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is another book I love reading. She was such a larger than life iconic figure. The book is her view of her life. It brings her more to life and gives a better understanding of the events in her life. She is such a great inspiration to people as she appeared to have the self confidence all of us need. I love reading this book over and over.
Sep 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Busty blondes
Shelves: loved-it, 2007
Wise as well as witty. I learned from this book to start lying about your age early. While I enjoy Ms Wests rampant sense of her own financial value, and healthy interest in her box office returns, the bit where she advocates a project she is investing in, is a wee bit too mercenary. and 80 years too late.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and this woman. She really was a pioneer for women and their personal freedom.
She talks of the Brooklyn streets where she was raised and the backstage of Vaudville and Broadway when they were the peak of entertainment. She is a wit and had control of her own world all the way into Vegas and Television.
Arsenio Peraza
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. Mae West new what she wanted and would not be denied she was well ahead of he time in Hollywood.
Janet Keeten
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this would be spicier. I was hoping for more Hollywood dishing. However, she was an amazing woman. She deserved a better autobiography.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs-n-bios
I'm so sad to finish this book. I SO enjoyed reading it. Mae West was certainly a pioneer and a woman WAY ahead of her time. It reads slightly as a brag book, but one I'd say is well deserved. ...more
Sparkie Allison
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mae West was an incredible actress and singer with an 8th grade education that started in vaudeville as a child and created a persona that became her life on Broadway and movies. At a time when the entertainment business was dominated by men, she demanded and became the highest paid actress, saving Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy.
She re-wrote dialogue and songs and eventually took over by writing the scripts of many plays. She wrote books and made sure she got screen credits for writing the
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as autobiographies go, this was readable but you never realise until now, how great Mae West was. According to this book, I don't think there is a man who didn't fall for her charms; an idea for a play that didn't go on to succeed without her input and a movie that wasn't a success without her 'creative genius'. Yes, I say that with my tongue firmly contained within my cheek.

I'm not a fan of Mae West's work however I do love to read about Hollywood stars of old. This was one of those book
Eva Tipps
Apr 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history and movie fans
Mae West's career was before my time, but understanding she was a legend, I wanted to read about her life. She was a no-nonsense woman who demanded complete control of her projects. Being a singer and dancer in Vaudeville to becoming both a playwright and an actress on Broadway, a novelist, becoming a radio star, then screen writer and Hollywood movie star, then TV personality, Mae was ambitious and unbelievably successful. The autobiography made me appreciate her achievements. ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Miss West lived a full and vividly life but she doesn't let the mask drop much here. Well written and occasionally with outdated attitudes, Miss West's continual assertions that everything she did was of only the highest quality doesn't feel like bragging, more like self-assurance. Of it's time (the fifties) by a woman born in the 1890s. Interesting as a bit of Broadway and Hollywood history but becomes a bit samey and less engaging, the more towards Miss West's present we get. ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's all in the title ...more

Clearly Hollywood muppetry is not a new thing.
Sandy Carmichael
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My kind of woman, ever true to herself---what a career she had.
Fullfaun Faun
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, her stories about behind the scenes of her movies is really great!
Tyler Jones
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender
Wonderful, witty and wise, West was ahead of her time in her refusal to be hemmed in by social expectation. She loved life and loved being a woman. She loved men, but didn't them push her around. The pattern in her affairs with the unfairer sex always seems to begin with mutual infatuation and end when the poor slob becomes a whimpering, besotted ninny that West cannot stand being around anymore. Most importantly she was a great defender of human rights. Today she is remembered as a slinking sex ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
She tells a great story. But the writing can be clunky in places. The pace is a bit sluggish...takes a while to get off the ground, though once it does the pros have a quick quip. She will definitely have you laughing out loud at times throughout the book.
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
I was always intrigue about Mae West being the "bad" girl. What surprised me about Mae is that she wrote many screen plays and acted in them. I would probably rather read an biography than an autobiography because it seemed so self indulging ...more
captain america
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
mae west does a great job at promoting mae west. oh. wait. that's all she's ever done, really. mildly entertaining. ...more
Sarah Hackley
May 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love Mae West - her writing, her movies, her plays - but I was expecting more than what this book offered.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bfmc Spook
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'd hit it... ...more
rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, by Mae West 1 5 Aug 16, 2013 12:22AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1)
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing (Sir Apropos of Nothing, #1)
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Apneia
  • Nothing
  • A Terceira Índia
  • Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why
  • A Nova Índia
  • Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
  • Sombra de um Peregrino
  • Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
  • Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)
  • How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
  • Don't Bullsh*t Yourself!: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back
  • Hollywood Babylon (Hollywood Babylon, #1)
  • Howl and Other Poems
See similar books…
Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol.

Famous for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress and writer in the motion picture industry.

One of the most controversial stars of her day, West encountered many problem

Related Articles

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
88 likes · 19 comments
“A man in the house is worth two on the street.” 60 likes
More quotes…