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For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and discussing her romantic relationships, her weight problems, her spiritual beliefs, her charitable donations, and her strongly held views on the state of the world. After a quarter of a century of the Oprah-ization of America, can there be any more secrets left to reveal? Yes. Because Oprah has met her match. Kitty Kelley has, over the same period of time, fear¬lessly and relentlessly investigated and written about the world’s most revered icons: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, England’s Royal Family, and the Bush dynasty. In her #1 bestselling biographies, she has exposed truths and exploded myths to uncover the real human beings that exist behind their manufac¬tured facades. Turning her reportorial sights on Oprah, Kelley has now given us an unvarnished look at the stories Oprah’s told and the life she’s led. Kelley has talked to Oprah’s closest family members and business associates. She has obtained court records, birth certificates, financial and tax records, and even copies of Oprah’s legendary (and punishing) confidentiality agreements. She has probed every aspect of Oprah Winfrey’s life, and it is as if she’s written the most extraordinary segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show ever filmed—one in which Oprah herself is finally and fully revealed. There is a case to be made, and it is certainly made in this book, that Oprah Winfrey is an important, and even great, figure of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But there is also a case to be made that even greatness needs to be examined and put under a microscope. Fact must be separated from myth, truth from hype. Kitty Kelley has made that separation, showing both sides of Oprah as they have never been shown before. In doing so she has written a psychologically perceptive and meticulously researched book that will surprise and thrill everyone who reads it.


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For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and discussing her romantic relationships, her weight problems, her spiritual beliefs, her charitable donations, and her strongly held views on the state of the world. After a quarter of a century of the Oprah-ization of America, can there be any more secrets left to reveal? Yes. Because Oprah has met her match. Kitty Kelley has, over the same period of time, fear¬lessly and relentlessly investigated and written about the world’s most revered icons: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, England’s Royal Family, and the Bush dynasty. In her #1 bestselling biographies, she has exposed truths and exploded myths to uncover the real human beings that exist behind their manufac¬tured facades. Turning her reportorial sights on Oprah, Kelley has now given us an unvarnished look at the stories Oprah’s told and the life she’s led. Kelley has talked to Oprah’s closest family members and business associates. She has obtained court records, birth certificates, financial and tax records, and even copies of Oprah’s legendary (and punishing) confidentiality agreements. She has probed every aspect of Oprah Winfrey’s life, and it is as if she’s written the most extraordinary segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show ever filmed—one in which Oprah herself is finally and fully revealed. There is a case to be made, and it is certainly made in this book, that Oprah Winfrey is an important, and even great, figure of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But there is also a case to be made that even greatness needs to be examined and put under a microscope. Fact must be separated from myth, truth from hype. Kitty Kelley has made that separation, showing both sides of Oprah as they have never been shown before. In doing so she has written a psychologically perceptive and meticulously researched book that will surprise and thrill everyone who reads it.

30 review for Oprah : A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    I am a serious un-fan of Oprah's, but this book is so mean-spirited it made me feel dirty to read it. And I don't mean the "dirt": she was pregnant at 14! She was a prostitute! She did crack cocaine! She let men treat her like trash! Nothing wrong with Kelly reporting all that as those may be facts unknown to readers who haven't watched a lot of Oprah or read a lot of tabloids, but how many times do we need to be told about Oprah's love of fried chicken or how dark skinned she is? Apparently Opra I am a serious un-fan of Oprah's, but this book is so mean-spirited it made me feel dirty to read it. And I don't mean the "dirt": she was pregnant at 14! She was a prostitute! She did crack cocaine! She let men treat her like trash! Nothing wrong with Kelly reporting all that as those may be facts unknown to readers who haven't watched a lot of Oprah or read a lot of tabloids, but how many times do we need to be told about Oprah's love of fried chicken or how dark skinned she is? Apparently Oprah is the only person in America who isn't allowed to hate her high school or college without it being a symptom of underlying pathology. Oh, and Oprah breaks off contact with people who sell stories about her or who portray her publicly in a negative light? I'm sorry, but who wouldn't do that? That hardly rates up there on the "bad things about Oprah" list with encouraging rampant materialism and flogging an unending stream of egocentric masturbatory self-help nonsense for two and a half decades. Kelly undermines the purported objectivity of this biography by never using a neutral word choice when a derogatory one can be used instead. Her constant barrage of petty sniping detracts from the real critiques to be made, leaving me no more or less respectful of Oprah but awfully sure I wouldn't want to sit next to Kitty Kelly at a dinner party.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kimber

    This was my first Kitty Kelley--her reputation precedes her but she does do a good amount of research. But she's a little bit mean and slanted. She has very little sympathy for her subject yet this was hard to put down. Oprah was born Orpah but because of a typo it was accidentally written "Oprah" and it stuck. Her father Vernon Winfrey was not her "real" father but if it weren't for him, I don't think Oprah would have made it. She was born poor in Mississippi, an illegitimate child. She was rap This was my first Kitty Kelley--her reputation precedes her but she does do a good amount of research. But she's a little bit mean and slanted. She has very little sympathy for her subject yet this was hard to put down. Oprah was born Orpah but because of a typo it was accidentally written "Oprah" and it stuck. Her father Vernon Winfrey was not her "real" father but if it weren't for him, I don't think Oprah would have made it. She was born poor in Mississippi, an illegitimate child. She was raped and molested from the ages of 9 to 14, got impregnated by an uncle and gave birth at the age of 15 only to suffer the baby to die 36 days later. Oprah, after giving birth at that young of age dissociated from herself. The baby died. She started to use drugs and prostitute herself. Her mother threw her out of the house in a rage and in denial of the sexual abuse that happened. Vernon was asked to take care of her and even though he knew Oprah wasn't his, he still stepped in and set her on a strict path, insisting she went to college and paying for it himself on his earnings from his barber shop. The fact that that man did that for her really touched me. The success that Oprah has achieved is absolutely astounding. But you won't find much praise from Ms. Kelley. She snears at O. throughout the whole book as if she's got some axe to grind. A more neutral, objective tone would have been better (but that is not K.s bag). O has come a long way from those talk show beginnings. It was a strange time- the fascination the public had on shows of that type. But Oprah's genius was in how she talked to people and how she used the show for her own catharsis. She had many, many episodes that dealt with sexual abuse. She cried with others who went through it. She confessed that it happened to her, too. She was really able to generate her own kind of therapy for herself and for others through the medium of television. Not every episode.... There were times when it was sweeps and it was all about entertainment or sensationalism. But I do believe Oprah did do a lot of good for people. (Kelley will remind us that she did not give quite 10 percent of her income to charity--but she did more than give money, she inspires.) I actually thought I was going to read this book and come away thinking Oprah was a hypocrite but despite Kelley's snide tone, which is just nitpicking and judging, Oprah is only human like the rest of us and flawed. "Fame and tranquility were never bedfellows," Montaigne. Oprah endured being harassed by the tabloids constantly (even in her own backyard), rumors always about something from her past, lawsuits, malicious gossip, fat jokes. And Kelly adds her own petty insults- which I don't want to mention. Wealth does not equal happiness but Oprah seems to have found inner peace within her spirituality. I wish her well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ro

    1. Feel a bit dirty after reading. 2. Interviews are almost from all people who were slighted by her. 3. I feel even more akin to her now that I see how her family resents her that she rose above them. 4. Appreciate the knowledge that how she wants to portray herself to fans is different than how she may behave privately. 5. Revelation: Wow. She's a real person. We all cross people in our lives. Oprah seems to cut off people the minute she has a bad experience with them. Good for her. There are so f 1. Feel a bit dirty after reading. 2. Interviews are almost from all people who were slighted by her. 3. I feel even more akin to her now that I see how her family resents her that she rose above them. 4. Appreciate the knowledge that how she wants to portray herself to fans is different than how she may behave privately. 5. Revelation: Wow. She's a real person. We all cross people in our lives. Oprah seems to cut off people the minute she has a bad experience with them. Good for her. There are so few she could trust anyway. She has used her difficult past as fuel to be totally driven and ambitious. A bit addicty if you ask me, but again, one more reason for me to feel akin to her. 6. I would have to say I learned a side of her that I did not glean from being a fan of her talk show for decades. 7. But after all, she puts her pants on one leg at a time, like everyone else. She is not a god. She is a human and you don't get to where she is without pissing some people off. 8. Hats off to author who definitely did her homework. 9. If you do not want to muddy your idea of Oprah as a goddess, don't read this book. If you want a slightly sleazy read for distraction, be my guest. It was interesting to see her career chronicled so in-depth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leeanna

    Oprah: A Biography, by Kitty Kelley This book is like watching reality television. It's so bad, but you just can't stop. I can't find one redeeming thing about this book; the author is clearly biased against her subject, writing one negative chapter after another. Anything good Oprah has done is mentioned briefly, and followed by pages of criticism on why she did it, why it wasn't good enough, etc. There are also a large amount of pages devoted to describing Oprah's lavish lifestyle, including th Oprah: A Biography, by Kitty Kelley This book is like watching reality television. It's so bad, but you just can't stop. I can't find one redeeming thing about this book; the author is clearly biased against her subject, writing one negative chapter after another. Anything good Oprah has done is mentioned briefly, and followed by pages of criticism on why she did it, why it wasn't good enough, etc. There are also a large amount of pages devoted to describing Oprah's lavish lifestyle, including the money spent to decorate her houses, her wardrobe, trips, expensive shopping sprees, etc. Kelley focuses on the seedier side of Oprah's life, the "dark secrets" she claims the celebrity talk show host is hiding. Oprah is probably hiding secrets, but I'll do more reading before I believe everything Kelley wrote. That said, I somehow couldn't quit reading, but the whole time I was, my brain kept telling me, "Brain cells are dying!" Sensationalism at its best. Well wait, there might indeed be one redeeming feature of this biography. Hopefully it will encourage people to take a deeper look at Oprah, and read between the lines a little. 1/5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peachy

    Oprah in one word? Gluttonous I’ve been watching Oprah ever since her show went into syndication over twenty years ago. I spent countless afternoons with my grandmother, watching in amazement as the scandalous scenarios played out on Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera, and Oprah Winfrey. Talk TV was my lifeline to grownup happenings, and I felt like I was defying childhood by being able to watch it. Oprah was always my favourite. There was something about seeing a fearless, heavyset, black woman on TV, Oprah in one word? Gluttonous I’ve been watching Oprah ever since her show went into syndication over twenty years ago. I spent countless afternoons with my grandmother, watching in amazement as the scandalous scenarios played out on Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera, and Oprah Winfrey. Talk TV was my lifeline to grownup happenings, and I felt like I was defying childhood by being able to watch it. Oprah was always my favourite. There was something about seeing a fearless, heavyset, black woman on TV, when all I had been used to seeing were skinny, coquettish, white women, that empowered me and gave me a sense that not all was lost in the world. Even as a young, white tween I was proud of Oprah and what she stood for as a role model to females everywhere, regardless of their ethnicity. I saw her show as a place where all women could come together as sisters, and bridge the gap between the races. This was a feeling that I carried with me well into the new millennium when I became an occasional viewer but remained a devoted fan. Over the last five or six years I have found myself pulling away from Oprah. There is something about her unabashed arrogance that has been grating on my nerves. I wonder who she thinks she is when she stops one of her ‘expert’ guests mid sentence to put in her all important two cents. Although it took me a long time to realize it, it would appear Oprah’s fame and power have gotten to her head. As Kelley mentions in the book, “Shakespeare says it best; ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’” Even though I don’t read tabloids, I know that gossip often leaks out to the mainstream media surrounding highly influential people, but somehow Oprah seemed to stay off the radar for her first ten or so years. I figured this must have been a testament to her purity and philanthropic ways. If I am to believe Kitty Kelley, this had more to do with the omnipresent, controlling grasp of one of the most powerful women in the world, who held the media and entertainment industries in her clutches like a vulture on its prey. Oprah is a private person who has fought tooth and nail to keep her secrets out of the limelight… at least those that she has not divulged to her audience at various key moments, like sweeps week. Kelley professes that working at Harpo Studios is akin to being part of a cult. Employees are made to sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from ever discussing Oprah or any facet of her company. The imperial restrictions she puts on her staff are proof of an extreme paranoia that has daunted her as rogue journalists have tried to break down her seemingly impenetrable walls of silence. I can only imagine the despair that she is feeling with the publishing of this book. Kelley walks us through Oprah’s life step-by-step, from her humble beginnings, to her hard working and positive attitude that moved her swiftly up the ranks in the television world. We learn of the tragic sexual abuse that she suffered at the hands of family members, and her consequential promiscuity. We feel sympathetic for her bad choices surrounding men, drugs, and an unyielding food addiction, and sit like voyeurs through the details of her awkward relationships with Steadman and Gail. None of these things had me disappointed by Oprah. What really crushed my opinion of her was more the prima donna-like behaviour that seemed to become more and more prevalent with each passing year, and every additional dollar. The book is full of her snooty antics. In one instance she showed up extremely late to an appointment at an art gallery, where she had her assistant phone ahead of time and make a big stink about them needing to be ready for her arrival, and that she mustn't be kept waiting. Upon her hours late arrival she then proceeded to tell the staff there that “Oprah does not do stairs,” when she was asked to look at things on another floor of the establishment. I’m flabbergasted by her temerity, especially when part of Oprah’s image over the years has shown her as ‘every woman.’ At least as Oprah got richer, her donations to charity got larger. That doesn’t take away from the fact that she is in my opinion the queen of wastefulness. To hear of the millions of dollars spent on lavish parties and gifts for her wealthy friends is enough to make you dizzy. She just doesn’t seem to recognize the value of money and what it can do when used thoughtfully. It is certainly admirable that she has built a school for girls in South Africa, but with the money that she spent on this one facility, she could have built twenty more frugal educational centres. This would have been a lot less insulting to the many disenfranchised observers who stood to benefit nothing from this grand castle, that was erected for a few hundred overly-spoiled girls. Oprah: A Biography is a large and long book, and I’m glad I didn’t have to lug it around, as I listened to it in audio book format. Kelley is the reader, so we are able to get the properly intended emphasis on her words. If I had been reading it from the book, I’m sure I would have gotten bored at times, as she tends to jump back and forth in her laying out of the story. (The beauty of listening to a book while cooking dinner or washing dishes is you can tune out the slow parts.) Kelley offers her disapproving opinions of Oprah’s actions on more than one occasion, but she more or less sticks to ‘the facts’ as she has compiled them, and appears to be fairly unbiased in her delivery. This is a very informative book for those that want the scoop on Oprah, but for those who consider themselves devout followers of this blinding star, be forewarned: you may end up angry, hurt and even disappointed. Although I am proud of her self-made success, and the message that regardless of where you come from you can rise to the top, I’m not ashamed to say that Oprah is no longer one of my heroes. Check out more of my reviews at BookSnakeReviews .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This book irritated me. Why? Because I am really starting to dislike Oprah. Unlike some die-hard Oprah fans, I actually believe what Kelley writes because it makes sense. She has interviews to back up her claims and she is writing in such a way as not to slam but Oprah. but simply to tell the truth. That's something, it appears, that Oprah has lost the ability (or actually never had the ability) to do. My favorite part of the book (and the part that I feel encapsulates Oprah as a person) is on pa This book irritated me. Why? Because I am really starting to dislike Oprah. Unlike some die-hard Oprah fans, I actually believe what Kelley writes because it makes sense. She has interviews to back up her claims and she is writing in such a way as not to slam but Oprah. but simply to tell the truth. That's something, it appears, that Oprah has lost the ability (or actually never had the ability) to do. My favorite part of the book (and the part that I feel encapsulates Oprah as a person) is on page 398, when Oprah is said to have mocked a male audience member for not standing up and applauding for her when she walked out to the stage. She tormented this man for 4-5 minutes saying "'Oh no. I don't havbe to stand up and cheer for Oprah. No, sir. Not me. I'm the man. I won't bow to Oprah.'" Yeah, turns out the poor guy was mentally challenged and physically disabled. Nice, Oprah. Still, while it appears that Oprah is a self-aggrandizing person, it's true that she does a lot for less-fortunate people (let's face it, anyone is less fortunate in comparison to Oprah). While her intentions for doing so may not be pure, she *is* still providing monetary and sometimes spiritual support to many, many people.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    First of all , I love Oprah. Having said that, this is a well researched book on her life (no lawsuits followed the book's release). What one comes to understand is that people are people, each person vulnerable to the same weaknesses as the other. As we begin to understand our neighbor perhaps we will begin to understand ourselves. First of all , I love Oprah. Having said that, this is a well researched book on her life (no lawsuits followed the book's release). What one comes to understand is that people are people, each person vulnerable to the same weaknesses as the other. As we begin to understand our neighbor perhaps we will begin to understand ourselves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    William Wardall

    I didn't expect this to be a love letter to Oprah,I knew there would be some negative stuff. What I didn't expect was such a boring telling of her life that reads like a high school book report. It's full of facts and numbers laced with diatribes from people who obviously have an axe to grind. Kitty Kelley must be proud of getting Oprah's own father to belittle her achievements by claiming her every move is a calculated public relations stunt. I found this book to be full of innuendos and gossip I didn't expect this to be a love letter to Oprah,I knew there would be some negative stuff. What I didn't expect was such a boring telling of her life that reads like a high school book report. It's full of facts and numbers laced with diatribes from people who obviously have an axe to grind. Kitty Kelley must be proud of getting Oprah's own father to belittle her achievements by claiming her every move is a calculated public relations stunt. I found this book to be full of innuendos and gossip with a side dish of boring numbers (this cost this and she spent that). I regret buying it...

  9. 4 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests-often the biggest celebrities in the world-to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests-often the biggest celebrities in the world-to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and discussing her romantic relationships, her weight problems, her spiritual beliefs, her charitable donations, and her strongly held views on the state of the world. After a quarter of a century of the Oprah-ization of America, can there be any more secrets left to reveal? Yes. Because Oprah has met her match. Kitty Kelley has, over the same period of time, fearlessly and relentlessly investigated and written about the world's most revered icons: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, England's Royal Family, and the Bush dynasty. In her #1 bestselling biographies, she has exposed truths and exploded myths to uncover the real human beings that exist behind their manufactured facades. Turning her reportorial sights on Oprah, Kelley has now given us an unvarnished look at the stories Oprah's told and the life she's led. Kelley has talked to Oprah's closest family members and business associates. She has obtained court records, birth certificates, financial and tax records, and even copies of Oprah's legendary (and punishing) confidentiality agreements. She has probed every aspect of Oprah Winfrey's life, and it is as if she's written the most extraordinary segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show ever filmed-one in which Oprah herself is finally and fully revealed. There is a case to be made, and it is certainly made in this book, that Oprah Winfrey is an important, and even great, figure of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But there is also a case to be made that even greatness needs to be examined and put under a microscope. Fact must be separated from myth, truth from hype. Kitty Kelley has made that separation, showing both sides of Oprah as they have never been shown before. In doing so she has written a psychologically perceptive and meticulously researched book that will surprise and thrill everyone who reads it. *****Rate this 5/5. I always anxiously await Ms. Kelley's biographies because I can always depend on them to be meticulously researched and a good read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It only reinforced my original opinion that Oprah is a narcissistic demigoddess! I used to wonder why she had to be constantly in the spotlight but eventually grew to believe that she has to be, that is the love of her narcissist ego. She has taken it now to a level where she truly believes that her God wants her to be who she is and bring pleasure to the masses. It is sad that this is the only true love of her life. Power is a need to some people, to Oprah it is a lifeforce.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    I don't want Kitty Kelley writing about me. She will find childhood friends that tell how I lost all the birdies out of the badminton set, forgot to touch second on one of the ball games in Lee's front yard, and who knows what exaggerations I make when I tell my stories. That being said, you have to admire her for taking on Oprah. Of course Oprah tells stories that put herself in the best life; she is driven beyond all reason, and she has stepped on toes. I understand that. What is fascinating a I don't want Kitty Kelley writing about me. She will find childhood friends that tell how I lost all the birdies out of the badminton set, forgot to touch second on one of the ball games in Lee's front yard, and who knows what exaggerations I make when I tell my stories. That being said, you have to admire her for taking on Oprah. Of course Oprah tells stories that put herself in the best life; she is driven beyond all reason, and she has stepped on toes. I understand that. What is fascinating about this book is the documentation of her professional life. I kind of realized how much her show has changed: from trashy, to celebrity, to new age goddess, but it was interesting to watch those developments. She does make me uncomfortable in her self-appointed "I know how to help you live your best life" and her rampant consumption--money and food. Her power is frightening when documented like this. This snarky book was fun, and did give me insights about how much she has done and given up to achieve her dreams. I won't spoil the surprises, but there were several that I didn't know. (Yes, I have always been aware of "my best friend Gail"). Kitty has documented everything, so she won't be sued, but I'm sure she will suffer for calling out the emperor's wardrobe. 'A' for guts. It's always fun to read something dishy once in a while.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hydee Davis

    While I thought this book was an interesting read, I struggled with the fact that most of the people who were interviewed for this unauthorized biography were those who felt they had been slighted by Oprah at some point. I thought the author made an attempt to be unbiased but, it was evident that she didn't have many 'pro-Oprah' interviewees during her research process. Perhaps the most annoying part of the book was that the author tried to write somewhat chronologically but used examples that we While I thought this book was an interesting read, I struggled with the fact that most of the people who were interviewed for this unauthorized biography were those who felt they had been slighted by Oprah at some point. I thought the author made an attempt to be unbiased but, it was evident that she didn't have many 'pro-Oprah' interviewees during her research process. Perhaps the most annoying part of the book was that the author tried to write somewhat chronologically but used examples that were out of order to confirm the point she was trying to make. She would later re-introduce the story that she had previously mentioned where it would fit chronologically. I found the repetition to be unnecessary. Having always been somewhat interested in Oprah and her road to success, I thought that this was worth the time it took to read {it was a quick one}. This book provided me with enough 'Oprah stories' to last a lifetime. Unless, of course, Oprah decides to publish her own autobiography. I would be interested to compare notes from the two.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mlleelizabeth

    This is a book. For a full review, please go to: http://mlleelizabeth.booklikes.com/ GoodReads's policies no longer comply with my review policy. Therefore my reviews will be posted at BookLikes going forward. Thank you for following my reviews here. I hope to continue discussing books with you on BookLikes. This is a book. For a full review, please go to: http://mlleelizabeth.booklikes.com/ GoodReads's policies no longer comply with my review policy. Therefore my reviews will be posted at BookLikes going forward. Thank you for following my reviews here. I hope to continue discussing books with you on BookLikes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Sabina

    "Probably going to lay down for a bit. Writer has been very negative with her writing about Oprah. Because of her tone I have decided to put it on my did-not-finish shelf. Perhaps one day I will read the rest of it." "Probably going to lay down for a bit. Writer has been very negative with her writing about Oprah. Because of her tone I have decided to put it on my did-not-finish shelf. Perhaps one day I will read the rest of it."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shan

    K is for Killing with Kindness This little saying I just now made up (based off of the sentence V is for Vendetta, obviously) could possibly describe Oprah. It was not, however, accomplished by Kitty Kelley in this book, though it should've been because, umm, her initials are K.K. I think for her, what would be more fitting is KKK. Bad joke? Okay, sorry. In my mind it was clever, but maybe it's just distasteful. But you know what, Kelley was COMPLETELY distasteful in this whole "biography"!!! Lem K is for Killing with Kindness This little saying I just now made up (based off of the sentence V is for Vendetta, obviously) could possibly describe Oprah. It was not, however, accomplished by Kitty Kelley in this book, though it should've been because, umm, her initials are K.K. I think for her, what would be more fitting is KKK. Bad joke? Okay, sorry. In my mind it was clever, but maybe it's just distasteful. But you know what, Kelley was COMPLETELY distasteful in this whole "biography"!!! Lemme 'splain. It seems like Kelley was out to get Oprah for no apparent reason. I think someone has a chip on her shoulder, and it's not Oprah--that would be in her mouth, Kelley would probably say. Yes, I did find this book to be entertaining just because of how stupid Kelley's arguments were to try to portray Oprah as an awful human being. That is why I categorized it under "humorous" but I'm sure no one noticed that, anyway. Oh! But I didn't end up finishing this book because it was too stupid. Can things be stupid and funny at the same time? Sure, just watch Dumb and Dumber. But I actually finished Dumb and Dumber, and in fact have watched it multiple times. Maybe Kelley should strive to be more like Lloyd Christmas, then she'd have more of a positive presence (or presents...because, you know, the whole Christmas thing...). Anyways, to the point: Examples used in the book to make Oprah look terrible, but that I found to be so stupid that they made me chuckle: -It was stated that Oprah had a gay brother. Apparently, she said just like this to his face when he was dying of AIDS, "You're going to Hell!" because of his sinful acts. Okay, okay. Maybe she may have told him that she was worried for him in the afterlife because she was raised in a religion that believed homosexual acts were a sin. I'm sure she didn't visit him on his deathbed and say, "You're going to Hell, sucka!!" then walk out. But this is how Kelley seems to portray Oprah's personality. I think the more likely scenario is that Oprah visited her brother, had a long, heartfelt discussion with him and mentioned that maybe he wouldn't make it to the highest degree of glory, or something along those lines. I can imagine her sitting by his bedside, patting his hand and telling him she loves him and that she's worried for him but that she knows he's a good person. But I don't know Oprah personally. And neither does Kelley. So which one seems more Oprah-esque to you? -Before Oprah was huge (and I don't mean literally, but Kelley does take stabs at Oprah's weight, which I don't put a lot of weight into) and was a host of some other show--sorry, I stopped reading this over a month ago and my mind is kind of hazy so it's hard to recall some things--Oprah was interviewing some women who had been married to men but wound up divorced because now they were lesbians. Kelley makes it sound SO appalling that Oprah would even consider asking these women HOW THEY TURNED LESBIAN. What, as if that's not a legitimate question? Well, guess what, it is. I mean, if these women had been married to men for over a few years and all of a sudden they reveal to him that they're attracted to other women, you can see how we straight folks could be confused. And some of us believe our sexual identities are not necessarily nature, but could be nurture, or a combination of nurture and nature. I don't want to have debates over this, but let me just say that Kelley made herself look stupid by trying to make Oprah seem stupid by asking this question. It was in the '80s and this hadn't really been talked about on day TV and the women (and men) who watched the show were probably wondering the same thing. -Kelley tried to undermine Oprah once again concerning same-sex attraction. When Oprah was still a host on the show before she had her own show, she interviewed women who, I guess, figured out they were lesbians after having been roommates. To this, Oprah jokes, "Well, I'll never have a roommate then!" Kelley uses this example to remark how terrible Oprah is. I use that line by Oprah to show how Oprah has a personality. One that may even be good for TV, no? - - -im falling asleep will finish later. more examples up my sleeve. jk. theyre on my notepad. not a literal one. my phones, duh.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Izetta Autumn

    I should be ashamed that I read this. Not only did I read it, but I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish it. I should be deeply, deeply ashamed to admit that I read this. But I'm not. Why you ask? Because I'm just that much of a bookworm. I have no shame. I will literally, as this has now been established, read anything. It doesn't even have to be great. A few notable things about the book 1. I swear I wouldn't read this book, because I find it exploitative - using Oprah's name to write a biography t I should be ashamed that I read this. Not only did I read it, but I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish it. I should be deeply, deeply ashamed to admit that I read this. But I'm not. Why you ask? Because I'm just that much of a bookworm. I have no shame. I will literally, as this has now been established, read anything. It doesn't even have to be great. A few notable things about the book 1. I swear I wouldn't read this book, because I find it exploitative - using Oprah's name to write a biography that she has not asked to be written. I read it (see paragraph on shame above) because it was loaned to me. 2. Overall I don't think that Kelley really revealed much that wasn't known - i.e. Oprah's drug use, love affairs, and adolesence. What Kelley does do is put it more into context: if Oprah was a drug user herself, then how come she stands in such judgement of drug users on her show. 3. I'm not sure if people would find Oprah so narcissistic is she were a white male instead of a Black womyn. 4. Kelley covers many things that I found less than interesting (Oprah had a bad love affair, the Angel Network), and skated over things that I would have found far more interesting (Oprah's coverage of Katrina, how often statistically really does Oprah mention herself when doing an interview, does Oprah mentor people, how is it that she has built an LGBT following when she constantly as embedded homophobia in her shows) 5. Kelley mentions the ways in which race impact Oprah's career, but she seems to gloss over the fact that much of the criticism and fascination with Oprah is precisely because of her identity. Kelley was more balanced that I expected her to be, but she also glaringly endorsed racist perceptions i.e. the fascination over Oprah's weight and body is not just because Americans struggle with weight. Also Kelley constantly seems to assert that Oprah is not an attractive womyn. I disagree. Look, no she' snot Naomi Campbell but she's not unattractive.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Bashaar

    This book was a guilty pleasure for me. I usually can't be bothered to read celebrity biographies; I like to think that's beneath me. I've never seen a single episode of Oprah's TV program, but I love her magazine and I admire her generosity and her message of empowerment and self-improvement for women. Nevertheless, I knew she had to have a dark side - everyone does - and I was curious about it. This book gave due attention to the good things that Oprah has done and acknowledges her amazing ris This book was a guilty pleasure for me. I usually can't be bothered to read celebrity biographies; I like to think that's beneath me. I've never seen a single episode of Oprah's TV program, but I love her magazine and I admire her generosity and her message of empowerment and self-improvement for women. Nevertheless, I knew she had to have a dark side - everyone does - and I was curious about it. This book gave due attention to the good things that Oprah has done and acknowledges her amazing rise from a difficult childhood, but definitely portrayed her as often hypocritical, cold-hearted, and obsessed with ratings and money. It also portrayed her as paranoid, out of touch and very much the diva. None of that is really surprising. It would take ruthless ambition and a pretty cold heart to get from where she started to where she is today, and it's not surprising, either, that a billionaire would be a demanding diva. It was interesting to get a more complete picture of this admired woman. I'll still buy her magazine, and I honestly think she means well. I'm really glad, though, to hear that other people thought The Secret was a terrible choice of books for her to promote. What an idiotic idea: that everything that happens to you, happens because you somehow attracted it. Easy to believe when you're a billionaire!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Nobody expected this to be classy, and it isn't. It is trashy, gossipy, salacious and scandalous. And for what it is, it is very very good. Kelley delivers the goods and she circumvents biographer etiquette in the most clever way; she uses interviews Oprah has given to magazines and newspapers throughout her career to deliver statements in Oprah's "own words" to back up or contradict the research and interviews Kelley did herself for the book. Is it believable? Not always. It is entertaining? Ve Nobody expected this to be classy, and it isn't. It is trashy, gossipy, salacious and scandalous. And for what it is, it is very very good. Kelley delivers the goods and she circumvents biographer etiquette in the most clever way; she uses interviews Oprah has given to magazines and newspapers throughout her career to deliver statements in Oprah's "own words" to back up or contradict the research and interviews Kelley did herself for the book. Is it believable? Not always. It is entertaining? Very much so. I must admit, I feel slightly dirty for reading this, as if the taint of Kitty Kelley's questionable tactics as an author has rubbed off on me as a reader. But I do feel differently about Oprah now. I can't help it. It can't all be circumstantial and subjective. The book represents an impressive amount of research at the very least, and it is a fascinating portrait of an important and much-admired figure in American popular culture. But it still isn't classy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adri

    So, I've never read a Kitty Kelly tell-all unauthorized biography before. For obvious reasons. But, I'm always amazed by those who start out with nothing and achieve so much, so I thought it would be interesting to read about the most powerful woman in television. The beginning (about Oprah's growing up), was pretty interesting. But, then it just got to be TOO MUCH OPRAH for me. I couldn't even finish it (I skimmed to the end). I never want to know that much about anyone, ever again. Usually I lo So, I've never read a Kitty Kelly tell-all unauthorized biography before. For obvious reasons. But, I'm always amazed by those who start out with nothing and achieve so much, so I thought it would be interesting to read about the most powerful woman in television. The beginning (about Oprah's growing up), was pretty interesting. But, then it just got to be TOO MUCH OPRAH for me. I couldn't even finish it (I skimmed to the end). I never want to know that much about anyone, ever again. Usually I love biography and memoir, but where I feel this was lacking was in making a point. Usually people who are telling their own story have a reason to tell it: a point they want to make or lesson they want to share. This book, however, is mostly just a time line, an account of every little pitfall and promotion in the life of Ms. Winfrey. And, in the end, there really didn't seem to be a purpose in any of it. Anyway, I think I'll skip the other Kitty Kelly books....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    As I expected, this was no love letter to Oprah, which is probably why she didn't endorse it. Like many public figures who believe their own publicity, the person behind the façade is not the same as the public face. I was fascinated by the author's finds when she dug into the real Oprah behind the mask. While I admire her philanthropy, I do not admire the was she treats staff and family and puts herself above all else. I would hope that someone who came from such humble beginnings would be a bi As I expected, this was no love letter to Oprah, which is probably why she didn't endorse it. Like many public figures who believe their own publicity, the person behind the façade is not the same as the public face. I was fascinated by the author's finds when she dug into the real Oprah behind the mask. While I admire her philanthropy, I do not admire the was she treats staff and family and puts herself above all else. I would hope that someone who came from such humble beginnings would be a bit humble herself but no. Interesting read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    How I Came To Read This Book: After all the buzz out there, I put my name on the library waiting list and the rest is history. The Plot: Obviously, this is the unauthorized biography of Oprah’s life. It’s set up in a vaguely chronological format that looks at Oprah’s childhood, her early years in radio and television, and the rise of her media empire. That being said, once it’s established that her show exists, the remaining chapters each take a look at a specific element of her persona and empir How I Came To Read This Book: After all the buzz out there, I put my name on the library waiting list and the rest is history. The Plot: Obviously, this is the unauthorized biography of Oprah’s life. It’s set up in a vaguely chronological format that looks at Oprah’s childhood, her early years in radio and television, and the rise of her media empire. That being said, once it’s established that her show exists, the remaining chapters each take a look at a specific element of her persona and empire and examine it from the chronological time it begins all the way to its present (or finished) state. For example, the start of her book club in 1996, her impact on the literary world, and the 2005-ish James Frey ‘Million Little Pieces’ debacle, are all contained in the same chapter about ¾ of the way through the book, even though the events within it span over a decade. By the time you get to the next chapter, you’re back in the mid-90’s again. This may sound like a weird way to structure the book but it actually makes a lot of sense. Had Kelley simply written a book in perfect chronological order she wouldn’t have been able to effectively juxtapose the linking elements of Oprah’s empire as well as she does here. The Good & The Bad: Let me say, I’m not an Opraholic by ANY stretch of the imagination. I have barely watched her show over the years, and had basically just heard the whispers about her weight, her relationship with Stedman, her iron clad hush-up contracts, her legal battles in Texas, and so on and so on. I learnt a lot of new stuff about Oprah that I never knew before, but I still feel like this book is a pasted together compendium of those same whispers and dubious claims versus a true look at this American icon. To be fair, the subject matter was NOT an easy one to cover, given Oprah’s notoriously private persona. As I was reading the book I could easily pick out the problems people would have with it. Kelley all too often interjects her own opinions and translations of things – “Oprah was mortified”, “Oprah was furious” - that somewhat unfairly colour the actions of Oprah. Towards the end of the book in particular she gets really sloppy with overlapping information, leading you to read the same minor note or passage about something you’d heard about three or four times in the book by that point. The book is too little, too late when it interjects with “To be fair” or “To her credit” after a tongue-lashing for several pages. And in general, there’s just something catty (or Kitty ha) in the overall tone of the book. That being said? I imagine that Kelley took the material she was given and that shaped the book more than anything. Chances are there’s a reason why there is so much negativity in this book – Oprah is not a saint and her rise to the top has involved clambering over the backs of others, and that’s reflected in the sources that spill the beans to Kitty Kelley. The main thing this book did, and did quite well, was break down the myth of Oprah enough to allow you to form your own opinions of this woman. Rather than thing of her as excessively egocentric (although she certainly has an ego) or cold-hearted as Kelley seems to want you to think, I instead saw the rise of a very young, ambitious woman that maybe didn’t realize what she was getting into. I also saw the Oprah today, the one that can turn on a dime and send you to court, as a world-weary, self-conscious person that realized long ago that had she not put the lockdown on her precious persona, she certainly wouldn’t be where she is today. The façade, the brand, to be more accurate, is broken down in this book, but not in the venomous way Kelley probably intends it. The book didn’t make me particularly sympathetic to Oprah, but it did make me ‘get’ her in a few ways that I didn’t expect to, and Kelley certainly wasn’t the one drawing those connections for me. If you spend some time thinking about the book, you’ll probably get how situation A led to the Oprah in situation B. The Bottom Line: An interesting, easy to read, if not solid look at the many elements of one of America’s most polarizing characters. The book also made me realize I much, much, much prefer autobiographies. Anything Memorable?: This book kind of made me want to watch an episode of Oprah. Apparently there is a Twilight special on tomorrow so I might PVR it to see the screentastic Oprah in action. 50-Book Challenge?: Book #34 in 2010

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Jezebel referred to this as “stuff you already knew about Oprah” and it’s true, pretty much. I never read Kitty Kelley’s other books and the subjects of them don’t interest me, so I probably won’t. I did read that she’s well known for not citing her sources, having people she spoke say they never spoke to her or that they never said what she attribute to them, etc. I know Oprah is upset by this biography but I can’t really see why, to be honest. A lot of it is either public knowledge or common sen Jezebel referred to this as “stuff you already knew about Oprah” and it’s true, pretty much. I never read Kitty Kelley’s other books and the subjects of them don’t interest me, so I probably won’t. I did read that she’s well known for not citing her sources, having people she spoke say they never spoke to her or that they never said what she attribute to them, etc. I know Oprah is upset by this biography but I can’t really see why, to be honest. A lot of it is either public knowledge or common sense. And truth behold, she’s not really painted in that bad of light. Even in moments where Kitty brings up negative things, a smart reader can see the other view point. One case would be when one of Oprah’s foundations fail. Kitty criticized her for not sharing the reason or structure of operations with others but Oprah’s right when she was questioned: It was her foundation, ran by all her own money. If she wants to seal the records, it’s her business. The biggest theme of the book is that Oprah is a control freak: her weight, her business, her relationships. But again, it makes logical sense if you think it over. Which brings me to what I think the reasons is she doesn’t want it to get out: Are Oprah followers really thinkers? Are they really the type to read between the lines or form their own opinions? Was Oprah afraid they would read it and turn against her? Who knows, but I think that was the problem. Or maybe she just didn’t want a biography to be published about her. She pulled her own autobiography in the 90s. Maybe its all part of her struggle between her private and public life. This book made me like Oprah more. I want her to write a career guide book. She got where she is through hard work, smarts, intuition and luck. And that’s fascinating. I did go and buy an O Magazine in response to this book. I will say that while Oprah is a little vain to have herself on the cover, that’s what sell. The content itself is not Oprah heavy. It really is smart, deep and fluffly at times. In a world where print is dying and magazines are ignoring books in favor of other media, it’s nice to read a magazine that has a section dedicated to books. In the end, I think Oprah has many good intentions. She may think less of her audience (and I stress the may) but she certaintly thinks they can be more. I have to admire her for that. I wouldn’t recommend buying this book at it’s $30 cover price but I did enjoy it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Oprah is an American icon. Kitty Kelly has produced an impressive book presenting an enormous amount of information, concerning the queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, in all her greatness along with all her contradictions. Kelley’s book begins with a preface explaining that her biography is unauthorized and despite multiple attempts to contact Winfrey, no such request was fulfilled. Kelley poured over interviews and video clips to give Oprah a distinct voice. She also interviewed those who had Oprah is an American icon. Kitty Kelly has produced an impressive book presenting an enormous amount of information, concerning the queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, in all her greatness along with all her contradictions. Kelley’s book begins with a preface explaining that her biography is unauthorized and despite multiple attempts to contact Winfrey, no such request was fulfilled. Kelley poured over interviews and video clips to give Oprah a distinct voice. She also interviewed those who had interactions with Oprah and those not under her restrictive gag orders. My impression reading this biography was that Kelley certainly presented Oprah in a fair, albeit a different one than perhaps Oprah wanted. Kelley covers Oprah’s life chronologically, but some chapters that dealt with certain topics would cover the subject up to the present time. Oprah’s childhood, college, early television working days in Baltimore, her book club, South African school for girls, are all discussed, as well as her relationship with Stedman Graham, her friendship with Gayle King, her weight struggles, the lavish parties, her celebrity friends, and her brilliant business moves, as well as her need for control and obsession with privacy and paranoia. Oprah is a fascinating woman. This book absolutely changed how I viewed her. I now see her as a complex individual, instead of a remote television personality. There is language, not heavily throughout; I believe one “f-word” and then a smattering of swearing throughout. The topics of sex sexual abuse, transgender, pornography, drug use and other controversial issues are presented because of Oprah’s past and the shows she did about them. There is adult content, but graphic, I’d say this one is about a PG-13. I listened to this as an audio book. No favorite quotes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Puccinelli

    No real surprises here. Kitty Kelley is a pretty decent writer and a pretty thorough researcher. I doubt it was a real challenge to find a lot of people who were willing to criticize one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in the world, but I found it sad that the most bitter words seemed to come from Oprah's own relatives. It was also sad to me that it's likely that Oprah isn't the down-to-earth unselfish philanthropist we all like to think she is ..... it's one thing to know that somewhe No real surprises here. Kitty Kelley is a pretty decent writer and a pretty thorough researcher. I doubt it was a real challenge to find a lot of people who were willing to criticize one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in the world, but I found it sad that the most bitter words seemed to come from Oprah's own relatives. It was also sad to me that it's likely that Oprah isn't the down-to-earth unselfish philanthropist we all like to think she is ..... it's one thing to know that somewhere below the conscious level but another thing to read all sorts of evidence and examples of it. It's also notable to mention that you can state the exact same fact to support two contrasting theses and have it work equally well in both cases if you know what you're doing. Ms. Kelley does - she's had a lot of practice. I would rather NOT have read this bio and been able to think of Oprah as being like the best part of the image she presents. Overall, I would use the word "depressing" to describe my experience with Kitty Kelley's book. This is the first book I read on my new "Nook" - the electronic book reader I received as an amazingly generous b-day present. I read most of -Oprah- on the train on my way to and from work. Once, as I was reading, two women (clearly huge Oprah fans) across from me were discussing this very work and an interview with Ms. Kelley that they had heard on TV. One of the women said to her friend, "If I see ANYONE reading this piece of trash, I will personally slap them silly!!" Thank God for the Nook with its generic cove. So basically, depending on this woman's aim and strength, I risked my life to read this book. Bottom line - it was interesting, but not worth getting smacked silly on public transportation for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aide Acuna

    This is a biography on Oprah's life. Although we think we know her from TV you will get to know her even better after reading this book. Kelley did an amazing job on researching Oprah's life and the type of evidence she uses just goes to show her dedication to writing such a real life story of a woman many people don't exactly know. Oprah is famous for all the talk shows she's had with famous celebrities and people in the world. She always seems to get the biggest secrets out during her show and This is a biography on Oprah's life. Although we think we know her from TV you will get to know her even better after reading this book. Kelley did an amazing job on researching Oprah's life and the type of evidence she uses just goes to show her dedication to writing such a real life story of a woman many people don't exactly know. Oprah is famous for all the talk shows she's had with famous celebrities and people in the world. She always seems to get the biggest secrets out during her show and she's even told stories about herself. Yet when reading this book my mouth dropped when I read about how much money she really has and all the difference she could be making if she wasn't to have all the things she did. Although she is famous for her large donations to many constructed places in her hometown as well as money to improve and start foundations she has a lot more to give. I was fascinated to find out that she was once a prostitue as a young girl because I've never heard that on TV. I recommend this book to many young adults in CPS. Oprah came from an abusive family and she even had a child in high school yet she managed to become a legend. She will always be famous although if one challenges the negative sides to her maybe one can't see her as the same person as we once thought she was. Satisfying statement: People aren't who they seem to be.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Ahh, the unauthorized bio from Kitty Kelly! You know you are in for a good time when you pick up her shit. Oddly, I never had before and I don't really know why I picked up this one as I don't really care about Oprah all that much. Well, whatever! I am always up for learning something new that even if I don't care about, I wonder why a lot of people do. The big topics in this book were weight and race. I remember all shit that went down with her weight and stuff but maybe because I grew up in LA Ahh, the unauthorized bio from Kitty Kelly! You know you are in for a good time when you pick up her shit. Oddly, I never had before and I don't really know why I picked up this one as I don't really care about Oprah all that much. Well, whatever! I am always up for learning something new that even if I don't care about, I wonder why a lot of people do. The big topics in this book were weight and race. I remember all shit that went down with her weight and stuff but maybe because I grew up in LA and race wasn't a big deal like it was in the South when she grew up. I liked the parts about before she was famous and stuff and then once the book started getting into the business side of things, I was like all confused with the names and times of everything. The book was very issue based as well, which chapters dedicated entirely to issues her show dealt with which was kind of interesting as a lot of it was in the 80's and 90's and that was before I really cared. I wish the booked talked more about her spin off things, but oh well. Some of the quotes and things on record were lame. All in all, only an interesting read if you care at all about Oprah, which I do not, especially these days.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    I am always hesitant to read an "unauthorized" biography, as sometimes they can be looking so hard for trash in the person's past, the events can get sort of clouded. I have to say this time, it wasn't that way. Kitty Kelly reported factually to her best ability and always was clear where the information came from. I had no idea that Oprah was a prostitute, that she was sexually abused, or that she had a child while in high school. I had no idea of the drive that made her what she is today, start I am always hesitant to read an "unauthorized" biography, as sometimes they can be looking so hard for trash in the person's past, the events can get sort of clouded. I have to say this time, it wasn't that way. Kitty Kelly reported factually to her best ability and always was clear where the information came from. I had no idea that Oprah was a prostitute, that she was sexually abused, or that she had a child while in high school. I had no idea of the drive that made her what she is today, started when she was a child. I had no idea that she was sort of mixed up and her father really tried his best to straighten her our. I had no idea, because she didn't want the public to know. This book chronicles Oprah's life, from a child in the south to the mega-mogul she is today. It was fascinating to me to see what she would do to remain on top, and to see how she valued certain people over others. I have never been a huge Oprah's fan, but I was very interested in this book. It was a quick easy read, and I feel empathy for the women who no matter what she said, the other side would get offended. Interesting, even to someone who didn't love Oprah. 3 out of 5 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolann

    I think I had expected more - more revealing insights, more details, more about things we haven't already heard about. I think it's almost a little too trite to say that Oprah has embraced the elitist, celebrity culture pervaisive in the western world. I supposed her abondonment of the underpriviledged African American and seeming inability to question the self-serving righteousness of the "American dream" is somewhat perceptive, though not remotely surprising. That Oprah has an over-inflated eg I think I had expected more - more revealing insights, more details, more about things we haven't already heard about. I think it's almost a little too trite to say that Oprah has embraced the elitist, celebrity culture pervaisive in the western world. I supposed her abondonment of the underpriviledged African American and seeming inability to question the self-serving righteousness of the "American dream" is somewhat perceptive, though not remotely surprising. That Oprah has an over-inflated ego should not come as a shock to anyone, nor is it a shock that she appears to lack moral conviction. She is, after all, made by and for television. She cannot ever admit that her rise was in any way assisted by timing, a lot of helpful talent, opportunity and a lot of generous people - to do so would perhaps illuminate her singular greed and unabated ambition. Kelly's book confirms this and does so without appearing unduly judgemental. I'm only giving it three stars, though, because it could have been a lot shorter if it was better edited

  28. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    I don't normally read "un-authorized" biographies but I just couldn't resist this one about Oprah. Kitty Kelley has portrayed Oprah as quite the Diva and very demanding. Personally, I've always thought that off-camera Oprah would be a completely different person than when she was on-camera. What I read in Kelley's biography, I don't doubt for one minute. She doesn't slander her throughout the entire book and does make mention of the good deeds Oprah has done over the years through her Angel Netw I don't normally read "un-authorized" biographies but I just couldn't resist this one about Oprah. Kitty Kelley has portrayed Oprah as quite the Diva and very demanding. Personally, I've always thought that off-camera Oprah would be a completely different person than when she was on-camera. What I read in Kelley's biography, I don't doubt for one minute. She doesn't slander her throughout the entire book and does make mention of the good deeds Oprah has done over the years through her Angel Network and many other charities she gives too, but the message I got from the book is that Oprah is self-centered and a narcissist. She does overestimate her appearance and abilities and, I believe, has an excessive need for admiration. Would I recommend this book to other people? No, because there isn't anything in it that we didn't already know.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Audio -- After I decided that after 25 yrs of watching O almost everyday, that I was not going to follow her to the OWN channel. I do not live my life according to Oprah and found some of her shows not relevant to me. so now that I am going to leave Oprah to do what it is she will do, I was curious enopugh to listen to this book. As anyone else who is very rich, isolation and paranoia come with fame. I was actually glad that Kitty was not able to break the O barrier. I thought Kitty was kinder to Audio -- After I decided that after 25 yrs of watching O almost everyday, that I was not going to follow her to the OWN channel. I do not live my life according to Oprah and found some of her shows not relevant to me. so now that I am going to leave Oprah to do what it is she will do, I was curious enopugh to listen to this book. As anyone else who is very rich, isolation and paranoia come with fame. I was actually glad that Kitty was not able to break the O barrier. I thought Kitty was kinder to Oprah than she probably deserves. I have felt for at least 5 yrs, that Oprah has lost the very people who used to watch her everyday. Moving on is normal so I the audience will watch 1 hr (maybe 45 minutes of recording time) less of TV a day. Oprah many times stated she does not watch TV, so why did she decided on her own channel... A void that needs to be filled or perhaps control.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I actually didn't finish it, because it was so hard to read. I'm not a huge fan of Oprah, so I was looking for some good dirt. But because I don't really care about her, it was hard for me to go on reading about her life. The book reads like it was written by me, in the ninth grade. The structure is atrocious!! It tries to be chronological, but some paragraphs jump back fifteen years, and others reference things in the future. It's like the author took all of her notes, didn't organize them, and I actually didn't finish it, because it was so hard to read. I'm not a huge fan of Oprah, so I was looking for some good dirt. But because I don't really care about her, it was hard for me to go on reading about her life. The book reads like it was written by me, in the ninth grade. The structure is atrocious!! It tries to be chronological, but some paragraphs jump back fifteen years, and others reference things in the future. It's like the author took all of her notes, didn't organize them, and just started typing. Lots of information, but so jumbled it made me mad!! Horribly written!! One things for sure though, I still don't care about Oprah.

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