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4.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy a book that can make you laugh, cry, and strip!
I could not put this book down! I felt that Gypsy Rose Lee was talking to me directly. It was as if I was her friend, and she was just telling me her life story. I was captivated from beginning to end always wondering what the next adventure would be. From their childhood, where they toured Vaudeville to Gypsy's rise to stardom in Burlesque, there was never a dull...
Published on May 10 2002 by meredith gifford

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3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, but Leaves 'em Wanting More
Much like the style of her burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee's memoir offers just a tantalizing glimpse of the real Louise Rose Hovick.
Breathlessly relating her childhood spent in the popular, family-oriented entertainment of the early 1900s vaudeville variety show circuit with her star younger sister, "Dainty" June, and their shrewd stage manager and mother, Rose, Lee...
Published on March 30 2004 by mziemba3


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3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, but Leaves 'em Wanting More, March 30 2004
By 
mziemba3 (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
Much like the style of her burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee's memoir offers just a tantalizing glimpse of the real Louise Rose Hovick.
Breathlessly relating her childhood spent in the popular, family-oriented entertainment of the early 1900s vaudeville variety show circuit with her star younger sister, "Dainty" June, and their shrewd stage manager and mother, Rose, Lee easily engages readers. Pages fly by, from skits in front of local lodge brothers to shows before burgeoning audiences in lavish theaters across the country as they tirelessly shop their ever-polished singing, dancing and comedy act. A faint picture slowly emerges of Lee as a bright, introverted young girl yearning for more attention. Despite the rough road life and her own disappointment, not much self-pity shows.
What does show clearly is Lee's budding business savvy. After her sister leaves the act, Lee turns the tragedy into opportunity with a little peroxide and PR. Cleverly, she also leaves her hair dark, creating a distinguishing detail out of a common hair color. As vaudeville dries up and she transitions to burlesque, she again demonstrates uncanny sense in choosing her famous stage name. A shorter portion of the book details her rise to the top of the burlesque world, a story peppered with desperate scam artists, benevolent gangsters and jealous stars.
Disappointing is the absence of some relevant detail. Dates are rarely specified, which might otherwise allow readers to more easily trace Lee's story and place it in context with other historical events. No discussion is offered about burlesque and the law, or Lee's thoughts about it. Famous vaudevillians such as Abbott and Costello are mentioned, but only in passing. Significant details are also conspicuously absent. Despite mention of her son, Erik, no mention is made of his father, and hardly any of her relationships are discussed. Privacy, timing and taboo may account for these latter absences, however.
Perhaps, in not telling all, Gypsy Rose Lee suggests her greatest talent, grace.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy a book that can make you laugh, cry, and strip!, May 10 2002
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This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
I could not put this book down! I felt that Gypsy Rose Lee was talking to me directly. It was as if I was her friend, and she was just telling me her life story. I was captivated from beginning to end always wondering what the next adventure would be. From their childhood, where they toured Vaudeville to Gypsy's rise to stardom in Burlesque, there was never a dull moment.
Along the way you come across an incredible cast of characters. Starting with Rose Louise Havick (Gypsy's birth name), who lived her younger sister's shadow for years. June (her sister) was supposed to be the star not Louise. Mama Rose, Gypsy and June's mother who wanted nothing more than to have one of her daughters become a star. There are also many famous faces in this book, from Broadway's funny girl, Fanny Brice to gangster, Waxy Gordon. You even meet Gypsy's first love (of course you will have to read the book to find out who that is)!
Gypsy is the ugly duckling who discovered that she was really a beautiful swan. When June ran away to get married at 13, Gypsy's life turned upside down. She went from chorus "boy" to becoming the most well known stripper this country has ever known. And you can bet her mother was there every step of the way. This is a story for anyone who has ever been told they are not good enough. Gypsy Rose Lee was told that...and look where she ended up!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, emotional, & entertaining tale of an ugly duckling!, May 9 2002
By 
sderico NDP World Lit 2 (Pontiace, Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
I could not put this book down! I felt that Gypsy Rose Lee was talking to me directly. It was as if I was her best friend, and she was just telling me her life story. I was captivated from beginning to end always wondering what the next adventure would be. From their childhood, where they toured Vaudeville to Gypsy's rise to stardom in Burlesque, there was never a dull moment.
Along the way you come across an incredible cast of characters. Starting with Rose Louise Havick (Gypsy's birth name), who lived in her younger sister's shadow for years. June (her sister) was supposed to be the star not Louise. Mama Rose, Gypsy and June's mother who wanted nothing more than to have one of her daughters become a star. There are also many famous faces in this book, from Broadway's funny girl, Fanny Brice to gangster, Waxy Gordon. You even meet Gypsy's first love (of course you will have to read the book to find out who that is)!
Gypsy is the ugly duckling who discovered that she was really a beautiful swan. When June ran away to get married at 13, Gypsy's life turned upside down. She went from chorus "boy" to becoming the most well known ...[dancer] this country has ever known. And you can bet her mother was there every step of the way. This is a story for anyone who has ever been told they are not good enough. Gypsy Rose Lee was told just that...and look where she ended up!
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most entertaining autobiographies ever., March 11 1999
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This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
Gypse Rose Lee (nee Louise Hovick) had an incredible childhood, one that provided not only material for this wonderful book but the Broadway musical "Gypsy", later made into a classic film. She was the daughter of "Mama Rose", perhaps the most intense and certainly the most famous stage mother of all time. Gypsy spent her childhood in vaudeville, as a chorus "boy" in the act that starred her younger sister "Dainty June" (later June Havoc, Broadway star).
The book is written in a snappy, witty, anecdotal style, which is perfect for Lee's endless supply of anecdotes. Spending her childhood in an endless round of theaters, trains, cars, and cheap hotels, meeting an endless number of incredible characters. Actors, mountebanks, con artists, carnies, all seen through the eyes of a bright and observant child, and recounted by a witty adult with a talent for storytelling.
The book is deeply personal as well. This is THE classic ugly-duckling story as well as the quintessential book about vaudeville in its last days. Gypsy/Louise was very much the "other" child until she was fifteen, her little sister was blonde, pretty, talented, and The Star. While Dainty June was getting thousands a week as a vaudeville headliner Louse was ignored, used in the chorus and otherwise pretty much forgotten by her mother and everyone else. Even she wondered if she would ever by any good at anything, even though she was so bright that she educated herself fabulously with nothing more to work with than a little trunk space for books. Everything changed when June ran away to get married at age thirteen (a story told in her own book "Early Havoc", a good read) at the same time that vaudeville was dying out. It's here that Mama Rose revealed the depth of her obsession with stardom, trying to make her seemingly plain, talentless, and ungainly daughter a star in a medium that no longer existed. The truly amazing thing is that she succeeded, although not the way she intended.
All in all a fine read, a real-life comedy, the chronicle of a bygone era and vanished world, and the story of an ugly ducking becoming the most glamorous of swans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy : A memoir by Gypsy Rose Lee, Oct. 28 2001
This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
Gypsy is one of the most well written memoirs I have read. It is definitly a must read.
For anyone who wants to get taken back to the "good" old days, of the traveling Vaudeville circuit, and the risky days of burlesque. Gypsy is the book for you. The memoirs of America's most celebrated stripper are a hilarious account of her childhood in vaudeville, and her rise to stardom in burlerque.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Review on Gypsy, April 30 2000
This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
This is one of the best books I have ever read! Never have I experienced such drama and entertainment. There was no spot in this book that I wanted to stop and do anything else. This kept me interested right through the last sentence. This is a book about a girl raised in vaudeville who becomes the queen of the strip tease. But her act is just that, tease. She was incredible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy Fan, Jan. 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper (Paperback)
If you like the movie, you'll love the book. Although be prepared, they are different in many ways.
I enjoyed the writing and content.
She made a hard life entertaining yet real.
Being a fan made this book even more enjoyable.
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Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper
Gypsy: Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper by Gypsy Rose Lee (Paperback - July 15 1999)
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