Wednesday 26 November 2014

Book ~ "John Wayne: My Father" (1998) Aissa Wayne

From Goodreads ~ In "John Wayne: My Father", Aissa Wayne delves into her father's childhood, his film career, and his life off the screen. The result is an affecting portrait that offers a new perspective on one of America's most enduring hero's humanity.

I wasn't a fan of John Wayne's (1907 - 79) but I wasn't not a fan.  I like reading memoirs/bio and I thought this would be an interesting one.

It's written by his oldest daughter of his third marriage (the fifth oldest of his seven children).  She tells us of his childhood.  Born Marion Morrison and teased about his feminine name as a child, his parents didn't get along and eventually split up.  His mother paid more attention his younger brother, Robert, and the author feels this is why as an adult he always needed constant assurance of everyone's love for him.  She also tells of his experiences making movies, his friends, his wives, his relationship with his kids and dealing with cancer.

Though it was interesting, I found that it was more about the author, though, than it was about John Wayne.  Because her parent were concerned about her getting kidnapped, she led a sheltered life.  As a child, she had elephants at her birthday parties, got to wear diamond for magazine photospreads and traveled the world with her parents.  She was born when her father was about fifty so he wasn't as hip and happening as her friends' dads.  The book seemed to focus more on her reactions to having John Wayne as her dad rather than him.

The book could have been tighter ... she went into a lot of detail at times and it was all about her.  But all in all, it was an interesting rea.

If you watch Amazing Race, the author is the mother of Jennifer Wayne who was on seasons 22 and 24.

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