16 comments on “Old Hollywood Book Reviews: Veronica – The Autobiography of Veronica Lake

  1. Pingback: Old Hollywood Book Reviews: Veronica – Journeys in Classic Film | Latest movie Reviews

    • Aw no love for Lake! It’s people like you that make her forgotten lol jk! It’s far better written than Lenburg’s “She told a lie, SCHIZOPHRENIA” mentality of writing.

  2. This memoir by Veronica Lake was written with the help of a ghost writer, Donald Bain. The copyright is 1969, it was published in 1971, Lake died in 1973. I think Bain interviewed her or took dictation. From the style I think Lake talked and Bain wrote it down or filled in the blanks.The first half of the book deals with Lake’s early life and movie career. The question everyone has about Lake is the same: How did one of the 40′s most iconic actresses end up living in obscurity? Lake recounts her Hollywood days, failed marriages, and eventual ditching of Hollywood altogether. Alcohol as a curse is pretty apparent, and she’s pretty frank about it. Sadly, a lot of the details of her movie career are glossed over. Her relationship with Alan Ladd, for example, is summed up in a paragraph, even though four of her best known pictures were with him.The second half of the book is a bit bizarre. There are chapters devoted to her life after Hollywood, mostly doing off-Broadway and dinner theatre on the east coast. You get the sense that she was more proud of playing Peter Pan on Cape Cod than any of her film work. She talks a lot about a relationship she had with an alcoholic sailor who drinks himself to death, and about what sounds like a pretty weird, crazy cat lady life in Miami.The book ends with her sounded optimistic about the future. She talks about how her trade is really her life, and how she’ll keep acting. Sadly, she would die in only a few years at age 50.Whatever else anyone can say, Veronica Lake took acting seriously and was proud of her craft. That really shines through in the book. That she was plagued with substance abuse and mental problems, that comes through also. I think this is a frank, honest look back at her life. It’s tragic she couldn’t find the help she needed.

    • I didn’t know much about her either and as mentioned in the review, neither of the books written on her seem to tell a “definitive” story. Someone really needs to work on a proper bio on her.

  3. I read most of “Peekabook” and totally agree with you I found it to be a book of accusations of who he thought she was instead of giving us actual information about her, he just focused on the publicly bad parts of her life. I couldn’t even finish the book because I was so tired of everything he said about her. Didn’t sound like a fan to me, if he even was. Anyway I have been trying without any luck to get my hands on a copy of her autobiography. I tried ordering it 3 times and each time the seller sent me the wrong book, then I would find out that they didn’t even have a copy to sell. I have given up for the time being, I don’t want to go “chasing the wind” as some say. But I am still determined to read it someday. But it’s good to know that it’s better than the piece of trash “Peekabook”, so I’ll keep searching. Until then, I’ll just keep watching her films, especially “I Married A Witch”.

    • And what was frustrating is there’s no bibliography so there’s no way to prove ANYTHING he wrote was true. I mean if your going to make claims at least be able to provide evidence to back it up other than the word of a woman with an obvious grudge. I was lucky to have a copy of this in my library. Inter-library loan if you have it might be the cheapest route. I ADORE I Married a Witch, the first Lake film I saw, and you might just be seeing it reviewed on this site for Halloween…just saying.

      • Her mother without a doubt had a HUGE grunge, and it was stupid of him to go talk to her about anything. Not a very trustworthy source to use even if it is her mother. I did try my local library, but they didn’t have it which is to be expected since my library sucks. Maybe if I lived in a bigger city they might have it, but I’d much rather have my own copy, if possible. Yeah “I Married a Witch” is my favorite film of hers, so I definitely look forward to reading your review. I know it will be one of the films I’ll be watching on Halloween.

      • Exactly, and regardless he’s only capable of getting one source? For the entire book?! I don’t know any author today bold enough to make a biography limited to one source. I don’t live in a big city, I’m just lucky to have a library with different branches spread out I guess lol. I Married a Witch was the first Lake film I ever saw! It’s hard for me to decide if I love her more in that or Sullivan’s Travels.

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