THIS 'N THAT by Bette with Michael Herskowitz Davis


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A surprisingly formless, witless, pointless celebrity memoir from one of Hollywood's supposedly more intellectual and independent sorts. Not only that, but sleaze fans will find that--with the exception of a closing letter--almost all of this was written before the appearance of My Mother's Keeper, the not-so-nice Mommie Dearest rip-off written by Davis' daughter, B.D. Hyman. Miss D. announces in the forward that she has no intention of writing one of ""those books about Hollywood stars full of information that shouldn't be read by the world at large."" But what to write about then? She says that perhaps the story of her recovery from her mastectomy and stroke would help others, and so decided to write a book after all. Her recovery, however, is barely discussed in the book, and what there is of it is mostly whining about how hard it all was. Hardly inspirational. It is easy to believe that Davis was not popular with the doctors and nurses that cared for her. The rest of the book meanders through entertainment anecdotes of the most self-aggrandizing sort, and home-baked philosophizing that boils down to looking out for number one. The tone of the book just isn't very pleasant. Miss Davis is rightfully revered as a great actress, but even in a genre where a lack of grace, organization, and style can often be forgiven, this book is a bomb.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1987
Publisher: Putnam