Book review: Both Of Us (The story of Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett) F+

Farrah Fawcett Poster (Charlie's Angels)

Farrah Fawcett Poster (Charlie’s Angels) (Photo credit: Hobo!)

Ryan O’Neal has written a book about his love affair with the late Farrah Fawcett,  Both of Us. Maybe these two deserved each other. I’m not sure. At least Farrah could act.  Ryan is a terrific excuse maker.

According to O’Neal , he came from a nice family with stable parents. That just goes to show you that you can’t  always blame your bad choices on your terrible childhood.

He stole Farrah from Lee Majors, one of O’Neal’s good friends. Majors told O’Neal to take care of her while he was off making a movie.  That makes you think Majors was dumber than a box of rocks, and got what he deserved.

O’Neal  has 4 children from 2 different wives: Three of his four children—Griffin, Tatum and Redmond — have addiction problems. He also seems to have an odd relationship with his daughter, Tatum. He briefly discusses it. “First I save her [from her drug addicted mother] made her my whole world,  and then I pushed her out.” said O’Neal.

He also states that he has one child who is relatively normal, Patrick O’Neal. He is a successful sportscaster.  I guess his mother, Leigh Taylor Young, overcame O’Neal’s  parenting style.

Ryan skips over the fact that he was Redmond’s—his only child with Fawcett—main caretaker while Farrah was developing her acting chops. He talks about a conflict with Farrah on how to raise Redmond.  Whatever they both did, didn’t do this kid any good. He is constantly in rehab and jail.

He blames Redmond’s drug addiction on his son, Griffin, who was a rehab veteran by his early teens.   Maybe he should’ve considered keeping Griffin away from him?

What makes O’Neal more unbelievable is that he does not once mention he has any type of addiction problem. He does mention that his first wife, Joanna Moore, had a serious problem. He blames her genes for messing up their two children together.

O’Neal  comes off as an innocent bystander in his life’s travails. I didn’t sense that he takes any responsibility for anything that went wrong in his life. Apparently, he does believe  what he said in the movie, Love Story. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

One of his early accomplishments was dabbling in amateur boxing. He has used this skill on his own son Griffin, when he innocently knocked out his front teeth in a fight. It was all Griffin’s fault.  .

He paints Farrah as a person who was outside of all the drug shenanigans going on. The only honest thing he does say is that he misses her. I do think he loved her the best he could.

It doesn’t seem fair that this guy lives like a king in Malibu because he made several movies that hit it big, and made some good investments.  If anyone doesn’t need time on his hands, and big bucks it’s Ryan O’Neal.

To my credit, I didn’t buy the book, I borrowed it from the library. I’d hate to make him any more money. I wouldn’t recommend it. I  just gave you the crux of the whole thing.

I would say you can find a more interesting story in “People Magazine”. I give it a F+. (At least I believe he loved her, and the pictures are nice to look at.)  Although it had two writers plus O’Neal, the book is just like O’Neal— shallow.

Ryan O'Neal

Ryan O’Neal (Photo credit: Project M·A·R·C)


Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

by Barbara A. Topolosky (hoping4astory)

I’d always surmised that Steve Jobs was a difficult personality to deal with, but after reading his biography, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, I realized I didn’t know the half of it. It was disappointing to learn Jobs was the ultimate control freak, and not that nice to people he considered inferior to him.

It was enough to make me want to sell my MacBook, and ipod and forget about buying a brand new iphone and ipad.

Why Jobs would want anyone to honestly document his life when he was such a spoiled, demanding person is difficult to fathom.

He gave free rein to Isaacson to write an objective biography and Isaacson delivered.

Life didn’t start out easily for Jobs. His biological mother put him up for adoption. Luckily, he was adopted by people who adored him and he developed a close relationship with his father who taught him about quality and craftsmanship.

After his parents sacrificed money so he could attend a pricey private university in Portland Oregon, Reed College, he doesn’t even allow them to accompany him on campus.

What is strange about Jobs is that he adopted Eastern Spirituality and identified with the Hippie Movement in the 60’s although he was hardly for ‘ peace, love, and happiness’―unless it benefited him.

Oddly enough he marketed brilliantly, and he motivated people to meet challenges and accomplish almost impossible goals. He used  and manipulated people. One day you were his best buddy, and the next were out the door.

He worked at an early age to perfect a stare to intimidate people. He insisted that a picture of his stare was on the cover of the book. (His only demand).

I almost wanted to cheer when he got thrown out of Apple. He didn’t  go without a fight.

He wasn’t completely malevolent. He seemed regretful about some of the people he hurt along the way.

His wife was devoted to him. His children respected and loved him. They understood why he didn’t spend a lot of  time with them.

I felt regretful when he didn’t get surgery when his cancer was first diagnosed. It seemed like his own arrogance ended his life prematurely. He wanted to use homeopathic means to control his cancer, but it didn’t work. He finally gave in to the surgery, but it was too late.

Jobs did create useful elegant products and was successful.  He co-founded Apple, and came up with one fantastic product after another. He put Pixar Studios on the map.  You wonder what great things he would’ve masterminded if he didn’t die an untimely death.

I recommend reading this book. You get the behind the scenes look at how Apple and Pixar evolved and the personalities involved. It is the story of a complicated genius.

Although the book is long, it does hold your interest, and is an easy read.

However, I am still wondering if I should ditch my computer.