Confessions of A Prairie Bitch

Confessions of A Prairie Bitch

How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
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The actress who played the villain Nellie Oleson on the telvision show "Little House on the Prairie" shares her experiences on the show and discusses her life, from her bohemian childhood in West Hollywood to her recent charity work involving abused children and HIV awareness.
Publisher: New York : IT Books, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061962141
Branch Call Number: B ARNGRIM
Characteristics: xiv, 302 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm


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Jul 14, 2019

How compelling is a decade-old memoir about a child actor in a TV show you never watched? If it's written like this one, it's quite worth every minute you spend transported into the world of sit-coms, child actors, drama on and off set, Hollywood families, dysfunctional childhoods, and later AIDS activism and what those child actors lives are like after they aren't so marketable anymore. And so much show info that I feel as if I have experienced all I need to know about Little House on the Prairie without actually watching any of it.

The best part is this writer completely owns the attitude of her character and the snark just fills each page. And it could have been annoying or overwhelming but there's such love and honesty and positive perspective that I ended up with an incredible amount of respect for someone who was once a child actor. I know, hard to believe. But such a fun and funny journey. Inspiring and joyful, sad and yet full of serendipity. Like a hug from that blurting, smart-mouthed family member who can be nasty but, in the end, makes you laugh until your stomach hurts.

Dec 16, 2016

Highly recommended if you need a laugh. Also some interesting "Little House on the prairie" gossip :>

JCLHeatherM Jun 10, 2016

An entertaining, personal, and poignant look at Arngrim's personal history as well as life on the set of 'Little House'. A very good read.

CMLibrary_gjd Apr 04, 2016

I do love a celebrity bio; I really have no recall as to why I picked up this book. It was very thoughtful and engaging. Ms. Arngrim had a TERRIBLE childhood; but we never saw that impact her performances. I highly recommend this one!

glass_hurricane May 09, 2013

I was seduced by the title and stayed for a hot weekend fling. Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on the syrupy 70’s family staple Little House on the Prairie, regales the reader with anecdote after anecdote that confirms that the earnest, old-timey vibe of Little House was just as much a wooden facade as the town of Walnut Grove. Arngrim relates, in a voice that pretty much matches her stand-up persona, the bizarre circumstances of 70’s TV stardom. She describes in hilarious detail the cutthroat world of being a child actor in Hollywood and the alliances (Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura) and rivalries (Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Mary) that developed as a result. She recounts Michael Landon’s somewhat unorthodox behaviour on set, which included an aversion to directing without having first imbibed three or four fingers of Wild Turkey. Alison Arngrim is fearless in her description of fan reactions to her appalling character; to this day having heavy objects thrown at her head is not unheard of. Arngrim also touches on darker topics, such as childhood abuse that she suffered at the hands of a family member and the tragic death of her good friend and on-screen husband, Steve Tracy. Sinister events such as these initially sound a little too dark for the book, but she makes it work. My only criticism of this book is that Arngrim tends to present herself as an eerily mature young teenager. Her purported reactions to the events in the book strike me as more the sensibility of a 40-something than that of a 12 year old. Perhaps this is due to her unconventional upbringing, but I find that it comes off as hollow and improbable. I personally can’t imagine reading a script as a 12 year old and casually remarking to my father: “This girl is kind of a bitch.” (Even if the girl in question is the odious Nellie Oleson) If you’re a die-hard Little House fan who feels that times were more gentle in the 1800s, who longs to experience the delicious sensation of petticoats and button-up boots, and that things were better in a world where all problems could be fixed by a strong father figure and weekly doses of Protestant indoctrination, you’re probably going to hate this book. I got all that stuff out of my system during the Road to Avonlea years, so I loved it. It’s a hard book to hate – an unchallenging read that entertains from start to finish. It's not high literature, but with a title like "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch," it would be foolish to expect the book to be anything but what it is. This book is best enjoyed whilst reclining on the sofa with the gentle hums of the computer, washing machine, and dishwasher in the background, reminding you that the big-bad 21st century still retains some charms.

Jun 30, 2012

I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot about what happened on the Little House set and also about what was going on in her own house. I thnk that she's very brave to share all the things she shared in this book.

PrimaGigi Apr 29, 2012

I never watched Little House on The Prairie. But its a pop culture reference I know about, for the simple fact my mother grew-up (she was a teenager in the Eighties) recalling it and remembering it. I am not going to lie, the reason I read it was because it had bitch in the title and I was hoping for some scandalous insight into a world that was so wholesome and lasted about eight years on TV. There had to be some "eye-opening" moments. I learned that through Nellie, Alison became a strong, independent, sassy woman. Her book is something entirely different and wonderful. Alison shares her tale in such a strong voice, that you wouldn't believe that she had overcome such horrifying tragic events; as losing her (on-screen husband)best friend Steve Tracy to AIDs or fighting to fix an amendment in a bill on incest with regards to family. Openly admitting her own trial with incest (she is still heavily activity in both persists. At the end of the book there are sites you can look up to join or send money to or just simple to raise awareness). The fact that she played such a bitch like Nellie helped her triumph her pain. Whereas must actors and actress become their characters to a point (of negative) submergence, we never get a glimpse of what strength can be given, when you are allowed to become someone else and what it teaches you about your own character.

Everyone loves the bitch. She's the fighter in us all.

Feb 03, 2012

I enjoyed the book! It's an honest, positive, insightful, and fun autobiography about the actress who played the character Nellie Oleson (whom we loved to hate on "Little House on the Prairie"). The humorous behind-the-scenes stories on the set are something you would not want to miss!

Jun 23, 2011

Ths is a funny and passionate autobiography by Alison Arngrim who played Nellie Oleson on "Little house on the Prairie" for seven years. Many actors become bitter when they are forever confused for their TV characters, but Alison has embraced evil Nellie and even uses her to further her stand-up career, and her volunteer work and activism. This is sort of a celebrity "purpose driven life" because she honestly believes that her happiness is the result of her volunteer work and activism. She has been involved in AIDS groups for fundraising and awareness since the early days when ignorance was everywhere Funny and inspiring..

May 11, 2011

Great read!

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