Hollywood actress Lee's acrimonious account of her 10-year relationship with Richard Pryor (including marriage and divorce) dominates this tell-all. Documenting Pryor's coke-snorting, mood swings, macho behavior and affairs, she evinces precious little insight into why she kept going back to a man who, by her account, beat her with fists and bottles. The rest of the book is an assemblage of mediocre gossip forced into a diary-like format. She has affairs with Warren Beatty and Art Garfunkel, hangs out with Roman Polanski, goes Vegas-ing with Adnan Khashoggisp ok , drops in at the Playboy Mansion and rubs elbows with Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Michelle Phillips, Ryan O'Neal et al. We are clearly supposed to feel sympathy for a woman who is making an emotional comeback and coping with childhood scars inflicted by a schizophrenic mother and a wife-battering father. But Lee is so breathlessly eager to shock, she simply bores instead. 35,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo; first serial to Penthouse. (Dec.)
Lee was raised in an upper-middle-class household near the Massachusetts Berkshires by a schizophrenic mother and confused father, and attended college in New York before becoming a part-time model with some acting ambitions. She spent the 1970s and 1980s learning guitar, writing songs, popping pills, and engaging in affairs with innumerable celebrities (for which she names names). Her autobiography is presented in the form of a diary, with over half the entries striving to make sense of an ultraviolent romance with and marriage to Richard Pryor. A curiously appealing character emerges--intelligent and occasionally discriminating. Nevertheless, her codependence in the Pryor relationship is bewildering, as is her conclusion that her life has been privileged.--Kim Holston, American Inst. for Property and Liability Underwriters, Malvern, Pa.