Joan Rivers was known all over the world—from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.
Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won’t believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds—or boundaries, apparently. ("Melissa, I acknowledge that you have boundaries. I just choose to not respect them.") In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots (“Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?”), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household (“I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That’s all the math you’ll ever need.”). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the center of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.
In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read this in one sitting. It made me laugh, cry and reflect on my close relationship with my mother who passed away a year ago. Great job by Melissa! I so enjoyed her mother for so many years. From her comedy to QVC, books and of course the RED CARPET! I am thankful to Melissa and David D to keep her style and creations going on QVC! Bless you Melissa and Cooper! Miss you Joan. Your daughter has done good!
Thank you, Melissa. We all loved your mom and can't imagine how you're possibly dealing with this incredible loss. This book gave us one more peek into the life of Joan Rivers.
This book, although entertaining, is not what I expected. I didn't know that Melissa Rivers considered herself to be a comedian, so I was surprised to find that the book is written as a comedy act. It is organized in a series of choppy "essays," some of which are clearly focused but many of which are unfocused and underdeveloped. And it is hard to know when Melissa is being truthful/serious in her accounts or when she is being satirical. This simply wasn't what I expected. I would have preferred a straight up memoir of life with her mother -- as a child and as a business partner. Of course humor could have been (and should be) part of the gig, it would have been a more meaningful read for me.
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