NEVER BEFORE NOON: An Autobiography by Afdera with Clifford Thurlow Fonda

NEVER BEFORE NOON: An Autobiography

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Henry Fonda's fourth wife, an Italian woman, speaks of her past. This memoir amounts to a silly narrative by a rich girl of her mink coats, her evenings out with some famous people, and an occasional embarrassing episode such as a marijuana bust at an airport. About Fonda himself this book is unilluminating. After telling us that he was introverted, his wife offers little else that contributes to a character portrait. Fonda also reports that Papa Hemingway was in ill health and had a red face. If the personalities are poorly evoked in this volume, the places come off even worse. We learn, for instance, that Venice is ""wonderfully unique."" Art is likewise treated slightingly. Hitchcock's notable film The Wrong Man, in which Fonda gives one of his most moving performances, is labelled ""sad and boring."" There is little sympathy for Jane Fonda's adolescent episodes of bulemia, described somewhat unfeelingly: ""A real Narcissus; she would eat and then put her fingers down her throat and throw up so that she stayed thin."" One of the most vapid attempts at autobiography to appear in this or any other year.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1987
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson