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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1962, The Lonely Life is legendary silver screen actress Bette Davis' lively and riveting account of her life, loves, and marriages - updated with an afterword she wrote just before her death.

As Davis says in the opening lines of her classic memoir, "I have always been driven by some distant music - a battle hymn, no doubt - for I have been at war from the beginning. I rode into the field with sword gleaming and standard flying. I was going to conquer the world." A bold, unapologetic book by a unique and formidable woman, The Lonely Life details the first 50-plus years of Davis' life - her Yankee childhood, her rise to stardom in Hollywood, the birth of her beloved children, and the uncompromising choices she made along the way to succeed. The book was updated with new material in the 1980s, bringing the story up to the end of Davis' life - all the heartbreak, all the drama, and all the love she experienced at every stage of her extraordinary life.

The Lonely Life proves conclusively that the legendary image of Bette Davis is not a fable but a marvelous reality.

©1962 Bette Davis (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Lonely Life

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  • Aphrodite
  • 17-02-2019

The One and Only, Bette Davis

Even as a small child in an orphanage, Bette knew the power of drama when her Santa outfit caught fire. This autobiography was written by Bette Davis herself in 1962, and she added a couple of chapters in the 80’s to update the book. If you're looking for Hollywood gossip, this isn't the book you want; this book is about Bette and how she became the actress we all know.

The book starts with her birth in Lowell Massachusetts and takes you through her childhood, her theater days, Hollywood, her four husbands, her children, and beyond. Her father abandoned his young family, but thankfully she had a dedicated mother who did what she could to ensure that Bette’s dreams came true. Davis was always headstrong, confident, and a perfectionist in her life – even in the beginning of her career when Hollywood told her to change her name, she refused. They told her she had as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville, but she did not let them deter her from her goal of being successful. She lived in a time when women were supposed to be submissive, obedient, and compliant, but Bette claimed none of those adjectives for herself. She stood strong in who she truly was and offered no excuse for her brand of perfection. There are many humorous antidotes in the book, and I really enjoyed listening to it.

The narrator did a great job – it was delivered in a tone reminiscent of Bette’s own voice. If you are a Bette Davis fan, I recommend you listen to this book. As the great Miss Davis once said in “All About Eve”, “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.

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  • Rather Be Writing
  • 23-04-2019

Narrator sounds EXACTLY like Bette.

Bette Davis describes her incredible experiences on a spectrum from sublime to tragic. She spends considerable time detailing her many well-deserved accolades, but does not shy in the least when describing her foibles and failures. The narrators spirited performance and spot-on inflections made me believe that Bette was telling me the story of her life.

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  • Beth and Darrell
  • 30-11-2017

Love Bette Davis

Excellent book about her life. If you are a Davis fan it is a must listen to book.

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  • Boston Customer
  • 02-10-2019

Excellent Book and Excellent Narrator!

This autobiography is very good. Bette Davis doesn't "trash" many who she has worked with or come in to contact with but does give pretty good details on her life in and out of films. The narrator was perfect. She sounded like Bette without beuing over the top. Perfect! I recommend it highly!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-2019

Bette really liked herself...

I can save you hours. Bette Davis really liked herself. The book spends a lot of time on her early theater days. It ends with more space covering her awards than any other part of her life. I suppose autobiographies tend to be one sided, and this one is.

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  • LS
  • 27-08-2021

Bravo

Anyone thinking of going into the Business should read this book!! Honest Real Coming from the Best!! Bravo so enjoyed everything about this!! What a Strong Talented Amazing Woman!! Loved this

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  • Diana Stowell
  • 30-07-2021

Bette would be proud of this!

I loved hearing about Bette Davis‘s life through her own words. What was even better was how the narrator read it, like it was Bette Davis her self was speaking! I truly enjoyed this book!

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  • Sheila Hyland
  • 27-07-2021

A fabulous listen

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, narrated by a person who sounded more like Bette than Bette!! I learned a lot about this incredible actress and woman.
Thank you Audible.

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  • Cynthia Putman
  • 13-05-2021

wonderful book

Loved the narrator voice. I kept thinking it was Betty Davis talking! I finally heard the real story of her life.

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  • M. Cano
  • 18-10-2020

Great story

I really enjoyed this one. Love Bette Davis. There wAs and update in the end of the book.

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  • Jean Cornwall
  • 01-08-2021

Enjoyable listen what a life.

Loved this book.Read well very old school and a great sense of who Bette Davis was.

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  • lynda wadsworth
  • 22-06-2020

Amazing

Absorbing autobiography of the most amazing actress whos work spanned decades. Well written and beautifully narrated.

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  • Colin McIntosh
  • 04-02-2019

Enthrallingly Honest

Having read this I wasn’t sure I’d want to hear it but I was wrong. You’d swear Bette is Reading it even though you know she isn’t. The additions to the original book are fascinating and it’s a one sided but fascinating look at the glory days of Hollywood. I was lucky enough to meet Ms Davis so it was great to hear this.

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  • Garbo
  • 21-01-2019

She sure did do it the hard way.

An intriguing insight into the wonderfully talented Bette Davis - an essential read for all fans. The performance is especially good - I would have thought it was Bette Davis herself reading it.

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  • Franklymydarling
  • 23-10-2018

A stellar of a listen!

I’ve listened to lots of biographies but this is one of the best by far!!! Engaging, humorous, honest and interesting. You can’t go wrong with Miss Davis’s autobiography.

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  • RayP
  • 05-11-2017

A fascinating life story excellently read

great first half where Davis recounts early career in the Hollywood studio system. The coda is unfortunately a rather tedious self congratulatory round up that adds little.

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  • maura o hanlon
  • 16-09-2017

Betty , Bobbi and Mum

What a strong lady Betty was . I missed her when I finished the book .
She loved her work , terrible the way she was treated in the early days ,

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