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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (293 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellen Burstyn Narrator: Ellen Burstyn Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN: 9781429586085
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By the time Ellen Burstyn arrived in New York to study acting, she had already worked as a Texas fashion model, a Montreal chorus girl, suffered numerous toxic relationships, and just as many name changes and spiritual paths. Theater legend Moss Hart called her “a natural” but Ellen Burstyn was still trying discover who she was. This is the graceful story of a personal and professional quest, a life-long journey—by turns triumphant and terrifying, tragic and funny, thoughtful and illuminating.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie | 2/18/2014

    " Interesting approach to faith by one of my favorite actors. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 2/16/2014

    " Couldn't finish this book. Just repetitive actions over and over. I like her as an actress, but didn't realize I didn't need to not know anything about her life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caryn | 2/13/2014

    " I saw her appear on a late-night re-run of Oprah promoting the book. For some reason I was very drawn to her, even though I've only seen a handful of movies she was in. But she presented herself well both on TV and in the book. She has quite the amazing memory. It's a long book, but never dull. I've since rented a lot of her movies and she truly is a talented actress. What I enjoyed most was her depiction of her spiritual journey in Sufism; visiting various temples, going up mountains for spiritual retreats, etc. Her trying to deal with her schizophrenic ex-husband was also oddly engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 2/10/2014

    " Very interesting past she had! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 2/8/2014

    " such an amazing story about an amazing woman...i love hearing about journeys like this...not everyone has it "figured out" at 18... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 2/7/2014

    " Seriously blew me away- this life of her's! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 2/4/2014

    " This book surprised me. I thought I would get a typical actor's biography that focused mostly on movie roles and naming names. Instead she puts all her cards on the table from her mom's abuse to her husband's mental illness. She takes you on her spiritual journey as well which is something I rarely hear about from actors in their interviews. Burstyn is a survivor. Her acting is part of the story but it is only a fragment of all of the other experiences that have shaped who she is as a human being and how she has learned to love who she is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/21/2014

    " I listened to Ellen's narration of the abridged version. She overcame a tough childhood, and messed-up marriage, to become the celebrity she is today. Some might be turned off by the new-age aspect of her approach to life, but I found that the best part. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marsha | 1/20/2014

    " I love, love, loved this book. What an incredible life Ms. Burstyn has lived! From her abusive childhood to her mentally ill husband, to an amazingly accomplished career. This is truly a fascinating read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce Gillis | 1/18/2014

    " A fabulouse autobiography. Well written and inspiring. She's been through a lot, as many of us have, and survived it all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Griselda | 1/16/2014

    " This was a fantastic book! I really enjoyed it. Ellen discusses her life, and the many struggles and successes, while taking the greatest journey a person can take - finding you true self. Its an amazing journey, and I found it inspiring and very poignant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 1/16/2014

    " A remarkably honest accidentally spiritual book. Many lessons to be learned from her own journey and many inspirations gained by reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 11/24/2013

    " Very startlingly violent childhood and challenging adulthood as well. I enjoyed the book and I felt like I learned some things just by listening to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lydia | 11/6/2013

    " Ellen Burstyn is so bone honest that it is easy for me to get caught up in her memoir. Besides, she has a hint of Shirley McClain's paranormal sensibility. I get fascinated by that although I am not sure how much to believe. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 8/20/2013

    " The book read like a transcript of Ms. Burstyn's life. Unfortunately she got a little too into the new age stuff later in the book and lost my interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Fawcett-Swanlund | 8/7/2013

    " I adore Ellen Burstyn. She inspires me to live life to the fullest. She was a mother, an Academy Award winning actress, she went to live in an Ashram-she pushes the boundaries and eats life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 7/15/2013

    " While not particularly well written, this autobiography was a fascinating gaze into the life of one of my favorite actors. Her commitment to self discovery is inspiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 11/19/2012

    " amazing woman, amazing actress and i read this before i even knew she was going to be on oprah last year! (a b&n bargain book!) i give women like her who write so honestly about the abusive relationships they were so much credit! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Raquel | 7/3/2012

    " I loved this book. She is so honest and open about her life. I identified with her in several ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Oomny | 6/28/2012

    " I like autobiographies. I really really like them. This one in particular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan Watkins | 12/9/2011

    " Excellent!!! Saving to read again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 10/11/2011

    " One of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Everything about this woman and her life--equal parts pain & enlightenment-- is amazing. Very eloquently written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 9/24/2011

    " Amazing! I didn't want it to end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 8/1/2011

    " This is an amazing book about an amazing woman who has lived an amazing life. I became a huge fan of Ellen Burstyn. What an incredibly brave and insighful woman. She made her life an exploration of humanity. Not many people can say that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 1/14/2011

    " A remarkably honest accidentally spiritual book. Many lessons to be learned from her own journey and many inspirations gained by reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 7/28/2010

    " Couldn't finish this book. Just repetitive actions over and over. I like her as an actress, but didn't realize I didn't need to not know anything about her life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie | 7/2/2010

    " Interesting approach to faith by one of my favorite actors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 6/4/2010

    " Amazing! I didn't want it to end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 3/24/2010

    " Amazing autobiography from someone who is leading a brave life. It takes a serious commitment to personal honesty to be an actor and to practice spirituality. And to write an autobiography, for that matter. I love this woman's work, and I deeply admire this woman's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sydney | 2/22/2010

    " excellent memoir - writing and content. Her life was amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 9/20/2009

    " Not sure if Ms. Ellen Burstyn is loco for cocoapoops or is somehow in touch with the divine.

    (Add to queue: The Last Picture Show, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Oomny | 8/19/2009

    " I like autobiographies. I really really like them. This one in particular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 6/11/2009

    " Excellent!!! Saving to read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/8/2009

    " Very interesting past she had! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanie | 3/18/2009

    " Everyone's life is ineresting and probably worth a book. Her spiritual quest unexpected, and seemed to take presidence over her mothering. But it looks like it has all ended well for her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 1/14/2009

    " Great book. I love Ellen Burstyn. Much more spiritual than I anticipated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 10/29/2008

    " If you like memoirs, you have to read this. I know it's kinda random, but it's one of the best memoirs I've ever read. She may be an actress, but her story can relate to everybody, wherever you come from. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 9/17/2008

    " I thought this would be a great book but it was pretty depressing and I couldn't quite follow all of her religious ideas. I don't recommend it unless you enjoy reading about abuse and disfunctional families. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Griselda | 9/4/2008

    " This was a fantastic book! I really enjoyed it. Ellen discusses her life, and the many struggles and successes, while taking the greatest journey a person can take - finding you true self. Its an amazing journey, and I found it inspiring and very poignant. "

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About the Author

Ellen Burstyn’s career has encompassed more than forty years on stage, in film, and on television. She has been nominated six times for an Academy Award, winning the Best Actress Oscar in 1974 for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, as well as a Tony for her performance in Same Time, Next Year. She continues to serve as co-president of the Actors Studio in New York City.