Reader reviews for Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

Reason for Reading: I'm a big fan of LHOTP. I read Melissa Gilbert's memoir and was anxious to find out more and very excited when I saw Alison had a book out.Alison Arngrim's narrative is a pleasure to read. Just by reading the title we get a glimpse of what kind of attitude we can expect to find inside the covers. Arngrim is also a stand-up comedienne and with that knowledge it explains the easy going narrative style full of humour that made this book such a fun read.Alison starts by telling of her childhood, brought up in an unconventional family, and of her s*xual abuse by her older brother. The meat of the book, though, concerns her life growing up on the Prairie and she provides fans with what was so sadly lacking in Melissa Gilbert's book. We get a behind the scenes look at the filming and the actors. Alison is funny and no holds barred without being catty or dishing dirt. Yes, she tells what people were really like, if they were generally not liked she says so. She has many funny and sometimes just strange anecdotes to relate about the seven years she played Nellie Oleson. I really appreciated her tone. She talked about every major character on the show, all the children, and the adults that Nellie would typically have scenes with. So unfortunately Mr. Edwards, one of my favourites, was only mentioned briefly in passing. I was thrilled that Alison spoke of Jonathan Gilbert frequently and so fondly since Melissa had reduced him to a few sentences in the middle of her book. Melissa Sue Anderson gets the short end of the stick as worst personality on the show. Mary was always my favourite and I was startled that Melissa mentioned her in passing only three times in her book. Alison refers to her many more times and while never being mean or nasty does relate many instances which let us know why she was not fond of her and she outs Gilbert's opinions of her as well. I would love Melissa Sue's view of this but apparently her book doesn't address any of this and is getting bad reviews so I'm not sure if I'll read it or not, at this point. The Little House cast were Arngrim's family and when she left the show she felt a real sense of loss without them in her day-to-day life. She and Melissa Gilbert became great friends on the show and remain so to this day.The memoir then ends up with Alison's life after the Prairie. Going on to her activism for AIDS, her two marriages (the second which has been successful) and her determined and relentless campaign on changing the laws on incest which at the time gave those perpetrators a loophole of not having to do any prison time. This involved her having to go public with her abuse on the Larry King show in 2004.A very satisfying read. I always have a nonfiction book on the go and usually read a chapter, perhaps two, at night before settling in to read my current novel. But Confessions was written in such an easy, fun, narrative style that I couldn't put it down after two chapters and read it as quickly as a novel. A great insider's peek behind the scenes of the filming and especially the personalities who made up The Little House on the Prairie.
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The best of all the memoirs of the Little House girls. Alison had a terrible childhood but was able to overcome it to become a caring, smart, misunderstood adult. This is chock full of little known facts about the whole Little House cast of characters! There is much for fans to discover within these pages!
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This book is a HOOT! Filled with behind the scenes gossip and truths that are hilarious. Alison has written a biography that is brave, heartbrakeing and laugh out loud funny! I love this book and forever will never be able to watch an Episode of LITTLE HOUSE, without being reminded of this memoir. Long live the PRAIRIE BITCH !
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"Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" by Alison Arngrim is an autobiography you do not want to miss. Who is Alison Arngrim?? If you don't see the cover of the book, you probably don't know. Alison Arngrim played the infamous Nellie Olsen on the beloved "Little House on the Prairie."I absolutely LOVED that show and like most, Nellie was not my favorite character. However, after reading her autobiography I will never look at Nellie the same way again. If you get a chance read this book as it can only speak for itself. You will get a new look at Ms. Arngrim as well as amusing anecdotes about the show and insight into the real lives of each of those lovable, and not so loveable, "Little House" characters!
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This book was really quite funny. Alison and Melissa Gilbert were the best of friends doing Little House. Alison gives you the inside scoop on many of the characters on Little House. Great book!
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Having grown up watching LHOTP and wondering why someone didn't just beat the crap out of Nellie and her mother I couldn't wait to read this book to learn about the actress who played a villian so well. I really enjoyed this book. She has a very dry, self depricating sense of humor that I love. I also feel she deserves a great deal of credit 1. for dealing with the years of abuse and coming out a success in life and 2. sharing her experiences of abuse with the world because I'm sure this will give someone else dealing with abuse the strength to move forward. Her passion for AIDS research and her compassion for her friends that are affected is inspiring. She obviously cares a great deal for people and especially for her former co-star "Percival" from the show. He was lucky to have her as such a close friend. I feel anyone familiar with the show and her character will love this book and enjoy seeing the real side of Nellie--no wonder she was such a bitch, I would be too if I had to wear that horrible wig each day!! Congrats to Allison and many thanks!
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Arngrim's parents were involved in show business; her mom was a very successful voiceover artist, working as the voices of Gumby and Sweet Polly Purebred from the Underdog cartoons. Dad was a public relations agent, though not as successful. Oh yeah, and he was gay, but that was never really discussed too much.After a start in Canada, they move to Los Angeles. Alison's older brother got work as a young actor, but when work dried up for him as he got older, he became abusive to his younger sister, beating her and sexually abusing her. Alison tried to tell her parents, but they did not want to hear it.Alison survived it, and when she got the part of Nellie Oleson, she spent most of her days working and away from her drug addled brother. Argrim recalls getting the part because she understood that Nellie was a bitch. Creator Michael Landon and another producer of the show howled when Alison read a line in a bitchy tone that aced the audition for her.Arngrim gives the reader an insider's view of working on Little House. She and Melissa Gilbert became good friends, visiting each other's homes. She describes working with Michael Landon, who fought for his vision of the show, and had his hand in every aspect of the show, from writing to costumes.Landon has been described by others as difficult, and Arngrim doesn't shy away from sharing his demanding personality. But she credits him with teaching the young actors the importance of being on time, learning lines, and not expecting special treatment. He expected them to work as hard as anyone else, and they have a saying about how none of the Little House young actors succumbed to the troubled lives of other child actors: "No arrests, no convictions".Arngrim is a terrific writer, and her her bubbly personality shines throughout the book. She shares the bad, as well as the good, and the fact that she forgives her parents, shows her strength as a person.Over the years, Alison has used her celebrity and time for good causes. When the actor who played her husband on the show died from AIDS, she became involved in helping raise awareness of that disease. She works tirelessly to get laws passed that help to protect children from sexual abuse and works to get more money for law enforcement to battle child pornography.Confessions of a Prairie Bitch is at times sad, funny and moving. You don't have to be a fan of Little House on the Prairie to appreciate this wonderful book, but fans will be rewarded with the wealth of insider information from this delightful writer.
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For the type of book it is, Arngrim's is one of the better ones. She has a fairly interesting story to tell, and she is not afraid to open up. I read Melissa Gilbert's and Melissa Sue Anderson's memoir around the same time as this one, and Arngrim's is by far the best. The title is great, but I don't think she really follows through with it: this book is more a memoir of the show and Arngrim's personal struggles...in the end, both peter out.
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I loved Little House on the Prairie when I was a little girl. I also loved Nellie. She and Mrs. Oleson were my favourite characters.In "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch", Alison Arngrim details, with great honesty and humour, her life and her days working on Little House, the abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother and the strange world that is the entertainment industry.I got to know Alison Arngrim by reading this book and came to like her. For fans of Little House or anyone who likes a good autobiography, I recommend this book.
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Like so many, I grew up a huge fan of the Little House series. I loved the Nellie character in the book series and found that I felt the same about her in the series. I really enjoyed Allison's open, honest revelations about the series, her character, and her personal life. It was difficult and painful to read about the terrible sexual abuse she endured, but this part was pivotal in revealing Allison/Nellie. I wept for the terrible parts of her life and laughed out loud at some of the things she told on herself and other cast members. Could have done without some of the stronger naughty words she used, but that is my personal preference in reading material always. Just wanted to give a heads up that some strong language is used in this book.
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