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Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and…

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain (edition 2010)

by Portia de Rossi

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6664514,402 (3.85)15
Title:Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
Authors:Portia de Rossi
Info:Atria (2010), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Biography/Memoir
Tags:memoir, kindle

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Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi


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Not as good as I had hoped. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
Not as good as I had hoped. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
I love to play armchair therapist. Books about addiction and recovery are a personal favorite of mine. It's fascinating to hear what drives others to the decisions they make, and to try to figure out what caused it all. In Portia de Rossi's case, it seems to be a destructive cocktail of her father dying at an early age, her drive for acceptance through modeling and acting, and hiding the fact that she is a lesbian, with a side dish of her feeling her mother wanted her to be perfect, pretty, and straight. Whether this is actually true or just what she heard internally, we can't really be sure, but she seems to have worked through most of it. I found myself wanting to sit her down and tell her that who she is will be enough, and to just enjoy life.

I first discovered Portia de Rossi on Arrested Development, one of my all-time favorite shows. I was never a fan of Ally McBeal so I had never watched her on it, and had only heard with half an ear about her struggles with her weight in the tabloids. To me, she will always be Lindsey Bluth. It was interesting to read about her descent into the depths of her eating disorder and how she finally came to terms with being who she really is, although hopefully she understands that's a journey that never ends, and she will be in recovery for the rest of her life. A well-written account of the struggles with an eating disorder. WARNING: some of her stories may trigger behaviors if you have struggled with ED in the past, so be careful. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
This memoir was fascinating and hard to put down. While it's not shocking that such a beautiful and talented actress can have had so many insecurities, it's also somewhat surprising. We're used to seeing only the public face of celebrities, and the intense pressure that they are under must be unbearable at times. To add the absurd obsession we have with weight in this country would certainly only fuel the fire of somebody predisposed to an eating disorder.

That said, I did find that this memoir glossed over pretty much all of the recovery aspects of an eating disorder. I felt like I was reading about a glamorous illness, turned the page and she was all better. I know that recovery is raw, gritty and painful. But you can't get better without it. And otherwise it seems like having an eating disorder is something that you can have and struggle with, and one day will go away. Unfortunately, that's just not true. ( )
  lemontwist | Jan 6, 2014 |
I love books. With fiction ones each is its own world, if you're feeling good you, the reader can play the hero. If you're pissed, play the villian who wants to destroy the world. With non-fiction you can be let in on real life experiences and places that you could never physically be allowed in by yourself.

I have read so many different sorts of fiction and non-fiction and things in between books, I chuckled and laugh at some, get pissed at others, but I have never, not even reading a book like 3000 Degrees (about the Worchester Warehouse Fire of 1999) gotten anywhere near tears. Guess there's a first time for everything.

I will say that at the beginning, part of the reason I wanted to read this book was because I Think Ellen DeGeneres is a very cool woman. The thing is, but the end of the book I Realized, nope, DeGeneres is cool, but de Rossi is so much cooler (and then if, as she said in the interviews, it's true that she wrote the book herself, her coolness just broke the coolness meter).

One part I really thought was interesting was how right before the epilogue they combined the pictures of de Rossi and the text. I also found the tone interesting. A lot of times 'celebrity' memoirs seem self-aggrandizing or they seem like large apology tomes. This didn't seem like either to me, just a memoir by a person (who happens to be sorta famous in most circles) who wanted to perhaps help other people who are going through something like she went through or at least plant a seed in the family or friends of people in trouble as she was. Six stars out of five for sure. Mostly because aside from the amazing narrative it was outstandingly written. ( )
  DanieXJ | Dec 3, 2013 |
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Known for her roles on the hit TV shows "Ally McBeal" and "Arrested Development," de Rossi delivers a revelatory and searing account of the years she spent secretly suffering from bulimia, all the while living under the glare of Hollywood's bright lights.… (more)

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