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Publisher's Summary

Filled with stunning revelations, here is the sensational memoir of one of Hollywood's most talented and troubled stars - an inspirational true tale of survival and triumph against all odds

Though she has shunned the media spotlight, Academy Award-winning actress Tatum O'Neal at last goes on the record to tell her story - a tale of personal turmoil and ultimate triumph that is part Hollywood tell-all, part Greek tragedy, and part Shakespearean drama.

In her trademark no-holds-barred style, she names names as she chronicles the ups and downs of being Hollywood royalty, including:

  • her nearly fatal addiction to drugs
  • her destructive relationships with mother, the late actress Joanna Moore; her famously overbearing and flamboyant father, Ryan O'Neal and his former longtime live-in love, Farrah Fawcett; and her wildly explosive ex-husband, international tennis pro John McEnroe
  • her early years - a time of tubulence, loneliness, and abuse - as a virtual orphan forced to raise herself and her "Irish twin", younger brother, Griffin
  • her explosive, untold stories of the top figures in pop culture and sports

Ultimately, we see the emergence of an extremely gifted, spirited, and intelligent woman - the ultimate survivor who is a role model to all women.

©2004 Tatum O'Neal (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In this honest, disturbing memoir, O'Neal...reveals the behind-the-scenes story of her lonely, chaotic life." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about A Paper Life

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Brutally honest

Sad, but with humility.
Couldn't stop wondering if she is in a better place now and found peace and happiness.

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  • Cptpslacy
  • 12-06-2018

POORLY WRITTEN INDISTINGUISHABLE BOOK

A lifelong fan of Tatum O’Neal I looked forward to this book. I looked for this book. Tatum as reader is understandable but unnecessary and lack luster which she reads it ruins it. I think. I could never discern whether the book was dreadful because of the writing, the reading, or Tatum’s life was insanely wealthy but dysfunctional. Welcome to America. Therefore, over-privileged shrugging on top with-poor-little-rich-girl underneath with the latter getting old very quick and often.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2020

Depressing entertainment

Barely goes beneath the surface. Leads with shocking statements of occurrences, then on to the next bombshell with little detail. Im left to believe due to narcissistic absentee parenting and personal drug consumption, perhaps she is left with low affect, or simply was rushing out a book for balancing finances. Mesmerized by the glimpses, Im off to other sources for all the finer details.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Old tennis player
  • 21-05-2021

Real and Compelling

Totally I understand child custody issues when fighting a spouse with money. Also understand feeling alone without anyone to lean into. Loved the book and hearing it from Tatum herself. I had no issues listening the whole book to the end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • susannatalya
  • 05-08-2019

Great Book - Honest and Bittersweet

This account is painfully honest and heartbreaking to listen to at times. It exemplifies that mad highs and lows of fame and wealth from a woman who seems to only be searching for something real and true. No one in her life and in the book is dashed but treated as the complex humans they are. I was fascinated by every word and hope the writer continues to heal and blossom. Tatum is a greatly underestimated actress.

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  • sara borelli
  • 19-02-2016

Worth it

listened to 80% of it in just one sitting, very compelling book, great bio and even greater reflection of the consequences of having children.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sarah
  • 10-01-2012

Sad story, terrible narration.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Seemed like she hadn't rehearsed before doing the narration. She sounds like a student forced to stand up in class and read a text she's never seen before. Was she unable to hear how bad this sounds or does she not care? Why didn't someone say something to her during the recording process? I just can't imagine any engineer allowing this kind of thing if the narrator was a non-famous person and not the author.

It sounds like she keeps reading along, getting to the end of a line on the page, and thinking the sentence has ended, she's taking her breaths in the wrong places...it's shockingly bad for a professional actor to turn in something like this.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tatum O'Neal’s performances?

Not for the right reasons.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deb
  • 18-01-2011

started out strong, but ended weakly

a little over half way through it turned into a typical "everyone is wrong" and "poor me." although i stayed with it, i found my interest waning and found myself yelling at specific comments made by Tatum. i am looking forward to reading McEnroe's book now to find out his side of the story.

the most interesting part of the book revolves around Paper Moon, and how she got there.

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  • MicheleC
  • 05-09-2021

not recommended

although I believe that Tatum ONeal has had a hard life and a horrible father, the tone of the first 2 hours of listening is whining and blaming. it's hard to listen. it gets better and although the father factor never improves, it is no longer the focus. glad she found her way through

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  • Grandmother
  • 15-11-2020

Sad what Tatum went through, as a child.

A very revealing memoir of Tatum's life.I listened from start to finish. I recommend this!

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  • anonymous
  • 11-03-2020

Nicely Done!

I loved every minute of this book. It will make you smile, cry and think. It was amazing! I wish nothing but the very best for Tatum! She is a Hollywood icon and strong woman!!!

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