Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers

Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers

by Leslie Bennetts


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316261302
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 349,651
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Leslie Bennetts is the author of the national bestseller The Feminine Mistake as well as a longtime Vanity Fair writer and former New York Times reporter. At Vanity Fair she wrote many movie star cover stories in addition to articles on subjects ranging from priest pedophilia to U.S. antiterrorism policy, and she was the first woman ever to cover a presidential campaign at the New York Times. Bennetts has also written for many other magazines, including New York, Vogue, More, The Nation, and Glamour.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Last Girl Before Freeway 3

Chapter 1 Nobody Ever Wanted It More 13

"But She Has No Talent!"

Chapter 2 Dying Is Easy. Comedy Is Hard 38

Chapter 3 Dicks and Balls 54

Breaking Into the Boys' Club

Chapter 4 Stardom and Wifedom 69

Happily Ever After?

Chapter 5 Westward Ho 86

California Dreamin'

Chapter 6 The First Lady of Comedy 103

Nothing Is Sacred

Chapter 7 Victim as Enforcer 121

Terrorizing Women Into Submission

Chapter 8 The Temptation of Joan 134

Poisoned Apple

Chapter 9 A Thankless Child 152

"How Sharper Than a Serpents Tooth"

Chapter 10 Debacle 165

The Death of a Show, a Marriage-find a Husband

Chapter 11 Recovery 188

The Long Road Back

Chapter 12 Reinventing a Career 202

"I Can Rise Again!"

Chapter 13 Art and Commerce 216

All in a Day's Work

Chapter 14 Home Sweet Versailles 234

Marie Antoinette Meets Auntie Mame

Chapter 15 High Society 243

Putting On the Ritz

Chapter 16 But Is It Good for the Jews? 256

Sex, Politics, and Religion

Chapter 17 Men Are Stupid 269

Beauty and Betrayal

Chapter 18 Back to the Top 287

Fighting Like "A Rabid Pit Bull"

Chapter 19 Fashion Forward 299

Triumph of the Mean Girls

Chapter 20 Daughter Dearest 314

How to Succeed in Show Business

Chapter 21 The Time of Her Life 331

Fame, Friends, and Fun

Chapter 22 The Final Mountain 349

Gathering Shadows

Chapter 23 Grand Finale 364

Sudden Exit, Pursued by Bear

Chapter 24 Legacy 382

Laughter and Liberation

Epilogue: Updates from the Afterlife 393

"You WERE fat, you bitch!"

Acknowledgments 403

Note on Sources 405

Index 407

What People are Saying About This

Larry King

"Joan was a great friend of mine and this is one hell of a book. A terrific read from start to finish, it captures Joan completely. Five stars."

Gloria Steinem

"You may think you know Joan Rivers, but I'll bet you'll be shocked by the revelations in Leslie Bennetts' irresistible biography. Before there was a women's movement or much hope for a woman in stand-up comedy, Joan made it by ridiculing everything she craved, from beauty and respectability to fashion and power. With unmatched energy and an ambition that made Napoleon look like Gandhi, she broke the boundaries of taste and commonsense—and widened the path for us all."

author of The Diana Chronicles - Tina Brown

"The story of Joan Rivers is also the story of the trials and tribulations faced by talented and ambitious American women for decades, and Leslie Bennetts tells her story in riveting, surprising, heart rending, and hilarious detail."

author of The Bridge Ladies - Betsy Lerner

"Leslie Bennetts has delivered a big, juicy biography of comedy's First Lady that takes the reader behind the scenes in the male dominated entertainment industry. That would be fascinating enough, but what stays is a portrait of a woman whose drive is fueled almost entirely on self-loathing. We know by now that most comics are in great pain—this account understands the high cost of all of those outrageous over-the-top screamingly funny classic Joan Rivers zingers."

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Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still miss her. A wonderful tribute to her life. Except that one photo that labels her husband as her grandson...blech! ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Last Girl Before Freeway" is overall a great book if a reader wants to learn more about Rivers's outlook on the world and how her personality and insecurities contributed to her iconic sense of humor and comedic persona. The only complaint I have is that it becomes a little lengthy after a while, as the author includes little details that are not needed. This novel is suited for someone who really wants an insight to how Joan's everyday leadership qualities made her who she is and how her outlook on life contributed to her humor and catapulted her to fame. Overall, this biography by Leslie Bennetts is very informational but too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago