|Plot Summary of A Paper Life|
|"Tatum O'Neal's autobiography paints a stark and brutal picture of the actress' early years growing up as the daughter of Hollywood actor Ryan O'Neal. The daughter of film star Ryan O'Neal and actress Joanna Moore, Tatum struggled from an early age due to the divorce of her parents and the addiction of her mother. After the divorce Tatum and her younger brother Griffin were sent to live with their mother, who was a hopeless addict. Subjected to neglect, Tatum and Griffin were barely cared for as their mother spiraled out of control and their father was busy making films all over the globe. When their mother can no longer care for the children both children are sent to boarding school, although Ryan O'Neal gives Tatum a reprieve and takes her home to live with him in Hollywood. Although Tatum at times shares a magical relationship with her father, his chaotic and temperamental moods turn ugly. When Tatum is given the role of Addie in Paper Moon (co-starring dear old dad) Ryan can barely contain his jealousy when Tatum wins accolades and an Oscar nomination. According to Tatum her father punched her in the face when he heard of her nomination. On Oscar night when Tatum was the youngest winner in history neither of her parents attended the ceremony.
Through the years living with her father Tatum recounts incidents in which she is molested, her father sleeps with her best friend, her father sleeps with numerous women and serious drug use/abuse occurs. Tatum recounts her low self esteem as a adolescent and her growing alienation from her father. She details her father's relationship with Farrah Fawcett and the major rift that began to develop with her father during that period. Tatum writes about meeting John McEnroe and about their tempestuous relationship which yielded three children. The author paints a chilling portrayal of her own addication, the destruction of her marriage, the loss of her children and the way in which she rebuilt her life.
Sandra Calhoune, Resident Scholar
|"Tatum O'Neal was only 10 when she won an Oscar for her performance in A Paper Moon, which co-starred her father Ryan O'Neal. A beautiful child, she seemed to have it all, living in Hollywood and being a movie star. But as this book reveals her life was from from lovely. Tatum O'Neal's mother, the actress Joanna Moore, was an insecure woman who seems to have spent most of her time on her appearance (don't miss the photos of her in a wig with false eyelashes). Both she and Ryan O'Neal were neglectful parents. After they divorced, Ryan O'Neal would have a series of famous girlfriends. According to Tatum, he would become outright abusive to her.
In one of the most heartbreaking moments in this really rather matter-of-fact book, Ms. O'Neal reveals that she attended the 1973 Oscars alone. Neither of her parents could be bothered to come see her win her award. In the years that followed, she would keep acting. But her life was falling apart. She began to use drugs heavily.
This book really deals with just two parts of Ms. O'Neal's life - her childhood and her romance and marriage to John McEnroe. Her descriptions of life with the stressed and controlling McEnroe are as grim as the descriptions of her childhood. The details of their divorce made me shudder. "
Ann Gaines, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of A Paper Life|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Kids growing up/acting up?
- molestation--unpleasant gift from Daddy
- Fighting with Dad
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
- emotionally unstable
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- Very much smarter than other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 3 ()
- New York
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Book makes you feel?
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- rape/molest (yeech!)
- descript of kissing
- touching of anatomy
- actual description of hetero sex
Commentary on society?
- wicked rich people
- a lot of stream of consciousness
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of nearly entire life
- story of set of events during life
If this is a kid's book:
- Age 16-Adult
- A lot 11-15 B&W
- A lot in color 11-15
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
A LOT of info about personal vices?
Lot of titilating info about love life?
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 26-50% of book
- 76%-100% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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