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Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television, Belle Poitrine

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Back in print at last! From the author of Auntie Mame: the bawdy, bestselling, bountifully illustrated autobiography of an imaginary diva whose life is one hilarious mishap after another. For Belle Poitrine, née Mayble Schlumpfert, all the world's a stage and she's the most important player on it. At once coy and coercive, with a name that means "beautiful bosom" in French, Back in print at last! From the author of Auntie Mame: the bawdy, bestselling, bountifully illustrated autobiography of an imaginary diva whose life is one hilarious mishap after another. For Belle Poitrine, née Mayble Schlumpfert, all the world's a stage and she's the most important player on it. At once coy and coercive, with a name that means "beautiful bosom" in French, she claws her way from Striver's Row to the silver screen. Recalling Belle's career, which ranged from portraying Anne Boleyn in Oh, Henry to roles in both Sodom and its sequel Gomorrah (not to mention the classic Papaya Paradise), Little Me serves up copious quanitites of husbands, couture, and Pink Lady cocktails, with international adventures and a murder trial to boot. A runaway bestseller that made its way to Broadway, starring Sid Caesar in 1962 and Martin Short in 1998, Little Me is now reprinted--with all of the 150 historic, hysterical photographs depicting the funniest scenes from Belle's sordid life, including cameo appearances by the author and Rosalind Russell. Considered a collector's item, the first edition of Little Me was like a performance in book form. Now this glittering spoof of celebrity is gloriously reincarnated for connoisseurs of all things chick and cheeky.


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Back in print at last! From the author of Auntie Mame: the bawdy, bestselling, bountifully illustrated autobiography of an imaginary diva whose life is one hilarious mishap after another. For Belle Poitrine, née Mayble Schlumpfert, all the world's a stage and she's the most important player on it. At once coy and coercive, with a name that means "beautiful bosom" in French, Back in print at last! From the author of Auntie Mame: the bawdy, bestselling, bountifully illustrated autobiography of an imaginary diva whose life is one hilarious mishap after another. For Belle Poitrine, née Mayble Schlumpfert, all the world's a stage and she's the most important player on it. At once coy and coercive, with a name that means "beautiful bosom" in French, she claws her way from Striver's Row to the silver screen. Recalling Belle's career, which ranged from portraying Anne Boleyn in Oh, Henry to roles in both Sodom and its sequel Gomorrah (not to mention the classic Papaya Paradise), Little Me serves up copious quanitites of husbands, couture, and Pink Lady cocktails, with international adventures and a murder trial to boot. A runaway bestseller that made its way to Broadway, starring Sid Caesar in 1962 and Martin Short in 1998, Little Me is now reprinted--with all of the 150 historic, hysterical photographs depicting the funniest scenes from Belle's sordid life, including cameo appearances by the author and Rosalind Russell. Considered a collector's item, the first edition of Little Me was like a performance in book form. Now this glittering spoof of celebrity is gloriously reincarnated for connoisseurs of all things chick and cheeky.

30 review for Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television, Belle Poitrine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sketchbook

    A nutcake parody of star bios, the book's whipped cream comes from the spankingly whacked (and staged) photographs of Milady's ribald life. ~ Have a laugh reading some GR reviews that take it "seriously" as an Anything. One Poopy said felt he needed to be disinfected after reading. Here's a better idea : Kill yourself. ~~ Belle Poitrine's life rivals that of Libby Holman's, only the Libby story isnt nutcake. It's a banquet of creamy desserts. And it's true. Warble away, Libby ! A nutcake parody of star bios, the book's whipped cream comes from the spankingly whacked (and staged) photographs of Milady's ribald life. ~ Have a laugh reading some GR reviews that take it "seriously" as an Anything. One Poopy said felt he needed to be disinfected after reading. Here's a better idea : Kill yourself. ~~ Belle Poitrine's life rivals that of Libby Holman's, only the Libby story isnt nutcake. It's a banquet of creamy desserts. And it's true. Warble away, Libby !

  2. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Where has this book been all my life?! I laughed so hard and continually reading this gem, as sparkling as the Baughhdie diamonds, that my boss had to come over and see. And seeing is really half the fun with a 150 photographs supporting the text. Without the photographs, this would be a 5 star book, lampooning the glut of movie star biographies that came out in the 50s, the rise and fall and rise again of Belle Poitrine. The photographs elevate it to a piece of purest camp and if there were mor Where has this book been all my life?! I laughed so hard and continually reading this gem, as sparkling as the Baughhdie diamonds, that my boss had to come over and see. And seeing is really half the fun with a 150 photographs supporting the text. Without the photographs, this would be a 5 star book, lampooning the glut of movie star biographies that came out in the 50s, the rise and fall and rise again of Belle Poitrine. The photographs elevate it to a piece of purest camp and if there were more stars to give this, I would. Jeri Archer, nee Herman Beulahfield, aka Gladys Tinfow, is Belle Poitrine and the introduction to this edition talks about Patrick Dennis instructing his models to be more vapid or show "what the fuck" better, and does she ever succeed. I laughed through all of Belle's rise, from Drifter's Row in Venezuela, Indiana, whose mother worked at Madame Louise's "gentlemen's hotel and social club near the depot" to pornographic film actress, to burlesque, to silent film extra, to getting her claws into a rich Englishman, to disgrace, and then married to owner of Hollywood studio, couched in the happy narcissism of the autobiography. It was her spats with fellow star Magdalena Montezuma that were my favorite parts of this book and the romance of the century with Letch Feeley. The filming of her great classic The Scarlet Letter, which is a "college musical set in a big coeducational university," where Hester "wearing proudly the big red 'A' of Allstate, leads the team and student body in a big victory snake dance culminating in their wedding under the visitor's goal post. I felt that it brought home a real message to the youth of America." I can't love this book enough!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rupert Smith

    This spoof autobiography of the ‘great star of stage, screen and television’ Belle Poitrine is another of my ‘funniest books ever written’, and I read a chapter or two whenever I’m in need of cheering up. Dennis (real name Edward Everett Tanner III) was the writer who gave the world Auntie Mame, which is very charming and sweet – but this is much better. He captures perfectly the delusional egocentricity that’s endemic in show business and the arts (and Facebook): when I was a journalist, interv This spoof autobiography of the ‘great star of stage, screen and television’ Belle Poitrine is another of my ‘funniest books ever written’, and I read a chapter or two whenever I’m in need of cheering up. Dennis (real name Edward Everett Tanner III) was the writer who gave the world Auntie Mame, which is very charming and sweet – but this is much better. He captures perfectly the delusional egocentricity that’s endemic in show business and the arts (and Facebook): when I was a journalist, interviewing TV stars for a living, I had many a Belle Poitrine moment. The basic joke is pretty slim: Belle has no talent but a great pair of tits, which she uses to make (and lose) several fortunes. She lies about her age, screws anything in trousers (including a butch lesbian) and regards every disaster as a triumph. Dennis elevates this into great fiction by his pitch-perfect rendering of Belle’s voice, and the icing on the cake is the wonderful photos by Cris Alexander which illustrate the text. Little Me is the book that made me into a novelist; my first book, I Must Confess, was a homage/rip-off, as you wish.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    This was a classic of its time, yet it's largely forgotten today. It's the purported autobiography of stage and screen star Belle Poitrine, "as told to Patrick Dennis": a tongue-in-cheek sendup of star autobiographies, with hilarious photographs by Cris Alexander, featuring model and actress Jeri Archer as Belle, Dennis himself as her second husband Cedric, and even cameos by actresses Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass. The tone is spot-on perfect, as Belle narrates her rise to fame, with five hus This was a classic of its time, yet it's largely forgotten today. It's the purported autobiography of stage and screen star Belle Poitrine, "as told to Patrick Dennis": a tongue-in-cheek sendup of star autobiographies, with hilarious photographs by Cris Alexander, featuring model and actress Jeri Archer as Belle, Dennis himself as her second husband Cedric, and even cameos by actresses Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass. The tone is spot-on perfect, as Belle narrates her rise to fame, with five husbands and uncounted lovers along the way, and the brilliantly staged photographs complete the picture. Happily, it's back in print now, after being very hard to find for many years.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

    This is a weird great book. Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame) wrote the text, pretending it's a memoir by a faded actress. Also illustrated by photos that are totally faked. It's basically Patrick Dennis and buddies posing as characters, etc. It's hysterical! This is a weird great book. Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame) wrote the text, pretending it's a memoir by a faded actress. Also illustrated by photos that are totally faked. It's basically Patrick Dennis and buddies posing as characters, etc. It's hysterical!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richie

    One of the funniest books I've ever read! Campy, gay, and delusional; could easily be called the many misadventures of Lady Derp! One of the funniest books I've ever read! Campy, gay, and delusional; could easily be called the many misadventures of Lady Derp!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    2.5, rounded up. This faux autobiography of legendary (in her own mind) star Belle Poitrine (French for 'Pretty Bosom') is never quite as funny or clever as it wants to be - many have proclaimed it the funniest book ever, but it is at best only whimsically amusing, and never LOL hilarious. Worse, it strikes the exact same note over and over and over - it's like a symphony composed of only D flat minor chords - at first it's oddly interesting, then slightly irritating, then downright annoying and 2.5, rounded up. This faux autobiography of legendary (in her own mind) star Belle Poitrine (French for 'Pretty Bosom') is never quite as funny or clever as it wants to be - many have proclaimed it the funniest book ever, but it is at best only whimsically amusing, and never LOL hilarious. Worse, it strikes the exact same note over and over and over - it's like a symphony composed of only D flat minor chords - at first it's oddly interesting, then slightly irritating, then downright annoying and boring. Belle assumes a pose of fake naiveté, and says something that the audience intuits actually means something quite different - and usually the exact opposite of what she intends. Rinse and repeat. What saves the book are the approximately 200 staged photos (by Cris Alexander) purporting to illustrate Belle's life, with the incomparable Jeri Archer portraying not only Belle, but her mother, daughter and granddaughter - these are genuinely astonishing, and often borderline pornographic - apparently several were deleted by the publisher on such grounds. The book is probably best known now as the OTHER book by the pseudonymous Dennis Patrick of Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade fame, and the basis of the charming 1962 musical by Neil Simon and Cy Coleman - the latter's plot is much changed, however, which retains only the broad outline of the book itself.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg Kerestan

    If Jane Krakowski were a book, it would be this one. Hopelessly naïve and self-deluded, fictional fading movie starlet Belle Poitrine narrates her exploits in what she assumes is a highbrow literary biography, completely missing the fact that her tale is tawdry, racy and contains an impressive level of self-incrimination. Wherever Poitrine goes, she sows chaos and destruction willy-nilly, and even in the final moments of the book, which imply a grisly ending is in store, she remains no wiser to If Jane Krakowski were a book, it would be this one. Hopelessly naïve and self-deluded, fictional fading movie starlet Belle Poitrine narrates her exploits in what she assumes is a highbrow literary biography, completely missing the fact that her tale is tawdry, racy and contains an impressive level of self-incrimination. Wherever Poitrine goes, she sows chaos and destruction willy-nilly, and even in the final moments of the book, which imply a grisly ending is in store, she remains no wiser to her past or future. It's arch, it's campy, it's very strange, but if the comedy stylings of "30 Rock" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt" appeal to you, this will too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steve Kluger

    I didn't so much finish this novel as give up on it. "Little Me" is the fictional autobiography of Belle Poitrine--a self-titled movie star of the early to mid-20th Century who regards herelf as one of the great actresses of all time. In fact, she's a talentless liar, thief, call girl, and murderer who cheats her way to the top through blackmail and other similarly savory means means. This novel is commonly regarded as Patrick Dennis's best non-Auntie Mame piece of fiction--so much so that they ev I didn't so much finish this novel as give up on it. "Little Me" is the fictional autobiography of Belle Poitrine--a self-titled movie star of the early to mid-20th Century who regards herelf as one of the great actresses of all time. In fact, she's a talentless liar, thief, call girl, and murderer who cheats her way to the top through blackmail and other similarly savory means means. This novel is commonly regarded as Patrick Dennis's best non-Auntie Mame piece of fiction--so much so that they even made a Broadway musical out of it. I just don't get it. Belle Poitrine is so charmless and so smarmy that when I finally decided I'd had enough, I felt like taking a long shower with lots of disinfectant.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Flat out hilarious, and each time I reread it I discover yet another perfect sentence. This is the perfect antidote to Entertainment Tonight and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Dennis, who also created Auntie Mame, here turned his sights on the typical smarmy celeb autobiography style of the mid-century. Belle Poitrine's link to the Kardashians is a bullseye of foreshadowing. She is ruthlessly self-centered, and while it is obvious to everyone save Belle that she hasn't got a lick of talent, he Flat out hilarious, and each time I reread it I discover yet another perfect sentence. This is the perfect antidote to Entertainment Tonight and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Dennis, who also created Auntie Mame, here turned his sights on the typical smarmy celeb autobiography style of the mid-century. Belle Poitrine's link to the Kardashians is a bullseye of foreshadowing. She is ruthlessly self-centered, and while it is obvious to everyone save Belle that she hasn't got a lick of talent, her single-minded lust to be a celebrity carries her to increasingly higher plateaus of vulgar fame. Sound familiar? Dennis is a lot rougher on his characters than the cast of Auntie Mame, skewering every form of entertainment from 1915 until 1960, with Belle reaching nadirs of achievement in each one. Belle herself (and her mother, daughter and granddaughter) are all played by the visually stunning Jeri Taylor, who clearly had the time of her life and the visual wit to bring life to Dennis' outlandish descriptions. The photographs were by Cris Alexander, who also shows up as a character or two, along with Alice Pearce, Kaye Ballard and several other actors from the 1950s who are clearly having the times of their lives playing dress-up. The book is riddled with outrageous double-entendres and bawdy photographs (PG now, but eyebrows must have been raised at the time). A really guilty and wonderful pleasure. Highly recommend.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    "The film was a great success - both commercially and critically - and one reviewer even coined the word 'soporific' to describe it. This, I suppose, was meant to combine 'superb' and 'terrific' but the term certainly caught on as I have heard it used many times - once or twice even applied to my own performances..." Wanting to get away from...well, everything...I threw my eyes into the arms of Patrick Dennis. I read this when I was a teenager...having found a hardbound copy in an old barn conver "The film was a great success - both commercially and critically - and one reviewer even coined the word 'soporific' to describe it. This, I suppose, was meant to combine 'superb' and 'terrific' but the term certainly caught on as I have heard it used many times - once or twice even applied to my own performances..." Wanting to get away from...well, everything...I threw my eyes into the arms of Patrick Dennis. I read this when I was a teenager...having found a hardbound copy in an old barn converted into a second-hand bookstore with what seemed miles of floor to ceiling bookcases. But that was long ago. I remembered it as a pick-me-up so I let myself be picked up again. It's really Dennis' anti-'Auntie Mame'. It's just as madcap - but it's a darker (if still wildly funny) tale of the life of Belle Poitrine. In fact, it is her autobiography. She's actually a rather terrible person - a no-talent beauty who, with failure upon failure in her trail, wends her way through stage and screen, perpetually firmly believing she is a major star. To say the least, she's deluded and has no sense of self. Or any real sense of most of the people around her. In her eyes, Belle is noble and a good human being. But throughout her life she remains horribly naive as she vaguely alludes to having quite a bit of sex...and somehow manages to marry 5 or 6 men, all of whom (I think) die...leaving her free to marry again. Belle does go through some tough spells and low points in her...career. (At one point, she really does hit rock bottom - and is in the tight grip of a jealous lesbian agent who is 'overseeing' her brief stint as a chanteuse.) But she somehow always lands back on 'top' (-ish), finds the strength to go on believing in herself. At last...she even finds God! And, once again, money! So, ultimately, things turn out well for Belle, whether we know if we feel happy for her or not. But, what the heck, she's a survivor! Dennis' book comes with about 150 photographs of Belle's insane life in the entertainment world - and they hilariously off-set his wonderful way with words. This is perhaps the most charming book ever about the life of a vain, rank amateur. But it sure made me smile throughout.

  12. 5 out of 5

    🐴 🍖

    fun! what keeps this out of the tippy-top tier of p-denz novels for me is that it never quite makes up its mind whether belle is confabulating in service of her image or just astonishingly naive. i mean, either's a great joke; but superimposed like this i think it takes the book in 2 conflicting directions. a hoot nonetheless fun! what keeps this out of the tippy-top tier of p-denz novels for me is that it never quite makes up its mind whether belle is confabulating in service of her image or just astonishingly naive. i mean, either's a great joke; but superimposed like this i think it takes the book in 2 conflicting directions. a hoot nonetheless

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charles Adams

    Little Me is a book I read many, many years ago. It's a "fake" memoir told from the point of view of a woman who made many compromises in her effort of getting attention, all supposedly leading to her becoming a "star." The woman, Belle Poitrine, is a total hoot, a larger-than-life facsimile of many of the celebrities who went on to immortalize themselves in memoirs, some of which pretended to be "tell-alls." Well Belle Poitrine's story, true or not, is a tell-all tell-all. As an editor who got Little Me is a book I read many, many years ago. It's a "fake" memoir told from the point of view of a woman who made many compromises in her effort of getting attention, all supposedly leading to her becoming a "star." The woman, Belle Poitrine, is a total hoot, a larger-than-life facsimile of many of the celebrities who went on to immortalize themselves in memoirs, some of which pretended to be "tell-alls." Well Belle Poitrine's story, true or not, is a tell-all tell-all. As an editor who got to work with some of the great movie divas--Esther Williams, Faye Dunaway, Cher--I can tell you that Patrick Dennis (best known for Auntie Mame) nailed this one: it's a brilliantly exaggerated story of the rise to (kind of, sorta) fame, and the complications that come with that rise. The photos are priceless, and the fun you'll have if you just let go of your resistance to parody will be immense. Love this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    The would-be legendary Belle Poitrine makes the most of her obvious assets, whilst not letting limited talent and self-awareness get in the way, in a Candide-like story, where successes are short-lived and disasters many. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, which defied the censors in their time, it is quite possibly the template for every celebrity memoir of the 20th century. But accept no facsimile, there was only one Belle Poitrine.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Wendt

    A hilarious tome done by "Patrick Dennis" who was actually Edward Everett Tanner III , a bon vivant that spent all his earnings from his best book "Auntie Mame," and ended up as butler to McDonalds founder Ray Kroc A hilarious tome done by "Patrick Dennis" who was actually Edward Everett Tanner III , a bon vivant that spent all his earnings from his best book "Auntie Mame," and ended up as butler to McDonalds founder Ray Kroc

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vlbayman

    This is a surprising little gem I just recently discovered (yes, I am very late to this party). I can't believe this book is almost 60 years old! It could have been written yesterday and would be just as on point. This is a surprising little gem I just recently discovered (yes, I am very late to this party). I can't believe this book is almost 60 years old! It could have been written yesterday and would be just as on point.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sean Hall

    Hilarious satire of celebrity memoirs with fantastic photos. It was a lot of fun to discover but it did start to wear a little thin towards the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steven Kinzler

    Not an easy book to find, but worth the effort! By the author of Auntie Mame. A very funny, read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carl Kleinebecker

    SO.... OK so I LOVE Patrick Dennis and his quirky sense of humor and writing style, but... this book... MEH not so much... at first it was kind of fun... was a little creeped out by the very YOUNG Belle Poitrine being victimized by not only her mother but the letches (no pun intended read the book and you will get the pun :) )... then there was the fact that Belle was living in a world where she was completely clueless as to how the world worked... or how she worked in it... at first it was "cut SO.... OK so I LOVE Patrick Dennis and his quirky sense of humor and writing style, but... this book... MEH not so much... at first it was kind of fun... was a little creeped out by the very YOUNG Belle Poitrine being victimized by not only her mother but the letches (no pun intended read the book and you will get the pun :) )... then there was the fact that Belle was living in a world where she was completely clueless as to how the world worked... or how she worked in it... at first it was "cute" but then it just got old (OLDER THAN BELLE LOL)... unlike Mame who knew EXACTLY what she was doing and how to go about getting what she wanted... Belle just stumbled though life... am I glad I read it... Yes... will I read it again... meh probably not... I'll see the play if given a chance... now excuse me while I download Auntie Mame An Irreverent Escapade... for the 4th time... if you want a book that will make you clammer for MORE read Auntie Mame (and FYI there IS a sequel to it!!!)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    This is such a peculiar book. I first saw it in my parents' bedroom, not long after it came out. Dad was hiding it, so of course we had to peek at it, and the "naughty" photos absolutely riveted us--just because they were naughty. But the story made no sense. I stumbled on a copy in a used book store decades later, and the first couple of pages made me laugh out loud--it was a sendup of star memoirs, probably of Gypsy Rose Lee's autobiography, which I think came out around then. The joke very soo This is such a peculiar book. I first saw it in my parents' bedroom, not long after it came out. Dad was hiding it, so of course we had to peek at it, and the "naughty" photos absolutely riveted us--just because they were naughty. But the story made no sense. I stumbled on a copy in a used book store decades later, and the first couple of pages made me laugh out loud--it was a sendup of star memoirs, probably of Gypsy Rose Lee's autobiography, which I think came out around then. The joke very soon wore thin, but what kept me going was actually the photos--I got a sense that this was a group project, and a great deal of fun was being had. I always find that disarming, even if the finished product isn't all that great. Anyway, I wish Dennis had kept this to novelette length at most, before the joke really wore off.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I read this book in its original hardbound 1961 version, sneaked from my parents library. It took me a long time (at 12 or so) to understand that it was a FUNNY book, because I was way more interested in the naughty pictures than picking up subtext... Written by the author of "Auntie Mame," the book purports to be the memoir of a fictional "innocent" named Belle Poitrine (didn't realize at the time that that meant "Nice Bustline" in french) led into a life of adventure by a series of untrustwort I read this book in its original hardbound 1961 version, sneaked from my parents library. It took me a long time (at 12 or so) to understand that it was a FUNNY book, because I was way more interested in the naughty pictures than picking up subtext... Written by the author of "Auntie Mame," the book purports to be the memoir of a fictional "innocent" named Belle Poitrine (didn't realize at the time that that meant "Nice Bustline" in french) led into a life of adventure by a series of untrustworthy men. Very very funny, as the the character avows her innocence, while the pictures belie every word she says. Piss yourself funny. The original is a real collector's item, I'd say worth the money, but there are two paperback editions as well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cydni Perkins

    It took me a couple chapters to understand the author's humor, but once I got it the book became hilarious. It's a satirical imitation of self-reverential celebrity memoirs, and Belle Poitrine is the most unreliable narrator ever. I'm probably used to books being straightforward and having the story handed to me, so I had to sort of learn to read between the lines -- it was worth it. Others who are quicker on the uptake will probably do better than I. Anyway, the story is shocking and amusing, a It took me a couple chapters to understand the author's humor, but once I got it the book became hilarious. It's a satirical imitation of self-reverential celebrity memoirs, and Belle Poitrine is the most unreliable narrator ever. I'm probably used to books being straightforward and having the story handed to me, so I had to sort of learn to read between the lines -- it was worth it. Others who are quicker on the uptake will probably do better than I. Anyway, the story is shocking and amusing, and the ending is perfect. I had a blast reading this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ann aka Iftcan

    I still remember reading this many years later. It was screamingly funny at the time I read it, but then, I had been reading a few other "real" celebrity bio's at that time, and decided that this was, without a doubt the best one I'd ever read. The photographs in the book just provide that little bit of "over the top" camp that was needed to keep this book light and frothy. A really good "beach" read, if you want something that is light, amusing and doesn't really engage the brain cells all that I still remember reading this many years later. It was screamingly funny at the time I read it, but then, I had been reading a few other "real" celebrity bio's at that time, and decided that this was, without a doubt the best one I'd ever read. The photographs in the book just provide that little bit of "over the top" camp that was needed to keep this book light and frothy. A really good "beach" read, if you want something that is light, amusing and doesn't really engage the brain cells all that much.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Another Patrick Dennis brainchild...this one way ahead of it's time. This story also found another successful venue on Broadway in the early 1960s. So funny and still on point with the bizarre lives and exotic memiors of entertainers, both then and now. Belle Poitrine is a delighful egotist and her life story is a hoot. The photos are hilarious! Another Patrick Dennis brainchild...this one way ahead of it's time. This story also found another successful venue on Broadway in the early 1960s. So funny and still on point with the bizarre lives and exotic memiors of entertainers, both then and now. Belle Poitrine is a delighful egotist and her life story is a hoot. The photos are hilarious!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brad Geagley

    A faux autobiography of a fictitious movie star, this book - along with its posed photos - is a sendup of every self-serving celebrity biography that has ever ruined a forest. Starting in 1900, when Belle Poitrine - nee Schlumpfert - is born, and ending in 1960 with the chapter "Frankly Forty", this ranks with "Myra Breckinridge" as one of the best satires in fiction. A faux autobiography of a fictitious movie star, this book - along with its posed photos - is a sendup of every self-serving celebrity biography that has ever ruined a forest. Starting in 1900, when Belle Poitrine - nee Schlumpfert - is born, and ending in 1960 with the chapter "Frankly Forty", this ranks with "Myra Breckinridge" as one of the best satires in fiction.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Professor

    A very entertaining parody of washed up celebrity tell-alls, complete with very amusing faked photos and innuendo. The book is about as camp as camp can get with more nudges and winks than I could even fish out, not to mention sly references to real stars of the screen and stage.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    One of the funniest books I have ever read. Patrick Dennis is sheer genius. This was camp before there was camp. This book was so far ahead of it's time, I can't believe it was published (1955) and was on Broadway in the 60s with Cid Caesar. One of the funniest books I have ever read. Patrick Dennis is sheer genius. This was camp before there was camp. This book was so far ahead of it's time, I can't believe it was published (1955) and was on Broadway in the 60s with Cid Caesar.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom Ratliff

    I have to echo the other reviewers! At first, I thought it was a strange autobiography of an unknown star...but when I started getting into it, I realized it's a spoof of a fictional star, but over the top campy and hilarious! So many laugh out loud moments. I have to echo the other reviewers! At first, I thought it was a strange autobiography of an unknown star...but when I started getting into it, I realized it's a spoof of a fictional star, but over the top campy and hilarious! So many laugh out loud moments.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    If you read this, you must either read it on an iPad reader, or the original print version. The pictures make this book. I had to put the book down for about 15 minutes after seeing the movie poster for Belle's rendition of "The Scarlet Letter." If you read this, you must either read it on an iPad reader, or the original print version. The pictures make this book. I had to put the book down for about 15 minutes after seeing the movie poster for Belle's rendition of "The Scarlet Letter."

  30. 4 out of 5

    casetheplace

    This is what happens when words and photos collide to tell the fictional autobiography of the world's greatest megalomaniac. This is what happens when words and photos collide to tell the fictional autobiography of the world's greatest megalomaniac.

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