The Way I See It

The Way I See It

A Look Back at My Life on Little House

Book - 2010
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From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie. Melissa, as Mary, is remembered by many as "the blind sister"--and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. Here, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon, who, Melissa discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Mariette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash. Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, this book is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult.--From publisher description.
Publisher: Guilford, Conn. : Globe Pequot Press, 2010.
ISBN: 9780762759705
Characteristics: xii, 243 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. (some col.) ;,24 cm.


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glass_hurricane May 10, 2013

If you're looking for amusing stories about the cast and crew of "Little House on the Prairie", well chosen anecdotes, and an endlessly entertaining voice, this is not the book for you.

You're thinking of "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated" by Alison Arngrim.

I decided to read Melissa Anderson's book after having finished "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch." Given Alison Arngrim's less-than-flattering account of Melissa Sue Anderson, I thought I'd check out the other camp. I am incredibly sorry I did.

It's been a while since I could honestly call a book tedious, but "The Way I See It" hits the mark. Some call it "clearly written." I call it "completely lacking in imagination." This is the story of a girl who had a highly extraordinary childhood; a child actress who spent seven years on one of the most iconic television shows of the 1970s. I have to hand it to her - it takes a twisted kind of talent to make those kinds of experiences sound as mind-numbingly lacklustre as she does.

Among the many crimes of boredom committed in the pages of this book:

- Play-by-play episode recaps of Little House on the Prairie and some of Melissa's other projects, shockingly devoid of anecdotes or personal reflection.

- Weirdly uncomfortable idolization of Michael Landon. Was the man even human?

- Bizarrely chosen personal anecdotes that make no sense within the framework of the book. Melissa relates the harrowing tale (in script form, no less) of cruising along in a car with twin friends who in any 80s movie would have served as the personality-devoid henchmen of whatever clique leader was tormenting Molly Ringwald. The girls are singing along with milquetoast 70s pop and fail to see the lights or hear the siren of the police officer following them. They apologize. He writes them a ticket - a chilling conclusion to traumatic tale. I'm ashamed to admit that I read the story several times to see if perhaps I was missing something.

- Self-flattering digs at other actors. "Although we were a year and a half apart, it could have been five. Melissa (Gilbert) was a clever kid. She knew what worked for her. I believe she was encouraged to act as young as she could, for as long as she could. She was very nice, but we couldn't have been more different." By the end of it, even I wanted to kick her!

Don't waste your time. Get the entertaining book instead.

lisajulene Nov 21, 2012

I got this book because I obviously enjoy Little House on the Prairie and I've seen all the episodes. I did not need a play by play of almost every single one. Good if you're having trouble sleeping.

LocketLibrarian Aug 02, 2011

Meh. Season by season recap of LHOTP. Lots of emphasis on the Mary episodes, of course. Good for the true devotee.

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