Thursday 6 September 2012

Book ~ "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" (2010) Alison Arngrim

From Goodreads ~ For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a wretched, scheming, selfish, lying, manipulative brat on one of TV history's most beloved series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character—and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.

In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim describes growing up in Hollywood with her eccentric parents: Thor Arngrim, a talent manager to Liberace and others, whose appetite for publicity was insatiable, and legendary voice actress Norma MacMillan, who played both Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost. She recalls her most cherished and often wickedly funny moments behind the scenes of Little House: Michael Landon's "unsaintly" habit of not wearing underwear; how she and Melissa Gilbert (who played her TV nemesis, Laura Ingalls) became best friends and accidentally got drunk on rum cakes at 7-Eleven; and the only time she and Katherine MacGregor (who played Nellie's mom) appeared in public in costume, provoking a posse of elementary schoolgirls to attack them.

Arngrim relays all this and more with biting wit, but she also bravely recounts her life's challenges: her struggle to survive a history of traumatic abuse, depression, and paralyzing shyness; the "secret" her father kept from her for twenty years; and the devastating loss of her "Little House husband" and best friend, Steve Tracy, to AIDS, which inspired her second career in social and political activism. Arngrim describes how Nellie Oleson taught her to be bold, daring, and determined, and how she is eternally grateful to have had the biggest little bitch on the prairie to show her the way.

I hated Little House on the Prairie ... really, I truly hated it and didn't watch it.

But I like bios so I thought I'd check this book out.

I enjoyed it.  It was interesting to get the behind-the-scenes dirt (and sometimes it was literally dirt as "Laura" and "Nellie" fought in the mud!).  According to Arngrim, she and Melissa Gilbert were and still are great friends.  With Melissa Sue Anderson, not so much ... she wasn't very nice.   Michael Landon didn't like to wear underwear and had a weird sense of humour.  Alison became very close to her TV husband and after he passed away from AIDS, she became involved in the cause.

I liked the writing style.  It was funny and sarcastic.  At times, she talks about serious issues (like her brother sexually abusing her when she was six ... A-hole!!) and her nomadic upbringing (her parents sound flighty) but she discusses it in a honest manner.

Though not a fan of Little House on the Prairie, I became a fan of Alison Arngrim's.


Isabel said...

my grandma loves little house on the prarie. I've never watched it before.

Angie in T.O. said...

I loved Little House, I may read this one day.

Anonymous said...

It was an awesome book, I wish it had been longer.

Masshole Mommy said...

This one is actually on my list of books I'd like to read sometime this century LMAO.

Anonymous said...

She always frightened the crap out of me, but after that review Tee, I might have to give this book a read.

Marlene J said...

I gotta get this book.

Never even knew there was one around.


Marlene J said...

Teena, You still have this book?

Wanna trade this book for something in my shop?

Let me know.. Thanks :)