📚 Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball

Reviewed Feb. 2020

Narrator: Lucie Arnaz
Length: 6 hours 46 minutes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2018

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Summary

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The one and only autobiography by the iconic Lucille Ball, hailed by TV Guide as the “#1 Greatest TV Star of All Time.”

Love, Lucy is the valentine Lucille Ball left for her fans—a warm, wise, and witty memoir written by Lucy herself. The legendary star of the classic sitcom I Love Lucy was at the pinnacle of her success when she sat down to record the story of her life. No comedienne had made America laugh so hard, no television actress had made the leap from radio and B movies to become one of the world’s best-loved performers. This is her story—in her own words.

The story of the ingenue from Jamestown, New York, determined to go to Broadway, destined to make a big splash, bound to marry her Valentino, Desi Arnaz. In her own inimitable style, she tells of their life together—both storybook and turbulent; intimate memories of their children and friends; wonderful backstage anecdotes; the empire they founded; the dissolution of their marriage. And, with a heartfelt happy ending, her enduring marriage to Gary Morton.

Here is the lost manuscript that her fans and loved ones will treasure. Here is the laughter. Here is the life. Here’s Lucy...

“The comic actress in her own words…intensely moving.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Filled with light and laughter.” —New York Times Book Review

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

If you love Lucy, you'll love Love, Lucy! It's a wonderful snapshot of Hollywood in the golden age. Love, Lucy is the official autobiography of Lucille Ball.

I've always loved Lucy, but I've never known that she had an autobiography. In fact, Love, Lucy was just released on audiobook two years ago. If you didn't know about it either, don't feel bad. Her own children weren't aware that Lucy had written a memoir in 1966 until around 30 years later.

Love, Lucy is an “As told to…” memoir, but don't get hung up on that detail. It sounds exactly like you're hearing these words straight from Lucy. The memoirist did an amazing job of capturing Lucy's spirit and staying true to her. In the forward from Lucie Arnaz, Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie admits as much, saying that reading the manuscript was like hearing from her mother beyond the grave.

In her memoir, Lucy proves herself to have been a class act. She doesn't skirt around the dames, drink, or divorce, but the memoir doesn't feel sensationalistic or gossipy. Despite an ugly divorce from her ex-husband Desi Arnaz, Lucy doesn't take any low blows at him in the memoir. Apparently one of her reasons for not finishing the memoir in her lifetime was not wanting to hurt Desi. I'm sure her grown children appreciated that decades later when the manuscript was discovered.

This isn't a long audiobook. I was able to breeze through it in a day. Once I began listening, I could not stop. Lucy is just as gripping in an audio memoir as she is on television. Devoted fans of the actress will likely have read this and many other biographies on Ball, but this audiobook is not to be missed. It's the perfect jumping off point for casual fans as well. I'm not sure if I'll ever pick up one of the longer biographies, but if I do, it will be interesting to see how the perspectives differ. Frankly, I'm more interested in picking up Desi Arnaz's memoir to hear his side of the same events.

Narration review: Lucie Arnaz, the grown daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, narrates this audiobook. When I first saw that she was the narrator, I internally groaned a bit, worrying that it was a poor decision. I could not have been more wrong! I had clearly forgotten that Lucie is not only the daughter of two talented actors, but a talented actor herself. Not only was having Lucie Arnaz as narrator a touching decision, but it was a stellar a decision from a performative standpoint as well.

I don't know why am surprised by this, but Lucie is able to impeccably imitate both of her parents voices and accents, as only someone who grew up with them could do. Lucie Arnaz narrating this audiobook turned out to be the next best thing (and nearly as good) as having Lucille Ball read it herself. ♣︎

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