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I am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir

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Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations. Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities. From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations. Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities. From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such as West, Monroe, Midler, Cher, Madonna, and Gaga. “Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.” Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945. “After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker.” Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. Over the years, she told multiple versions of each important event. At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale. “This volume is 85% fact,” Lloyd explains. “The other 15% …who knows?” I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. Now you can read it for yourself.


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Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations. Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities. From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations. Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities. From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such as West, Monroe, Midler, Cher, Madonna, and Gaga. “Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.” Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945. “After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker.” Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. Over the years, she told multiple versions of each important event. At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale. “This volume is 85% fact,” Lloyd explains. “The other 15% …who knows?” I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. Now you can read it for yourself.

30 review for I am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    Before I started, my knowledge of Sophie Tucker was minimal and my curiosity was high. By 66%, all curiosity had been satisfied and my patience exhausted. As a fictional memoir, the authors chose a suitable voice and stuck with it. However, with a bloated 400 page narrative, I wearied of the jokey, red hot mama tone by 25%. One can only take so much of it. The tagline for this book refers to Tucker as the Forrest Gump of the early 20th century or something, and it's a schtick the authors ran with. Before I started, my knowledge of Sophie Tucker was minimal and my curiosity was high. By 66%, all curiosity had been satisfied and my patience exhausted. As a fictional memoir, the authors chose a suitable voice and stuck with it. However, with a bloated 400 page narrative, I wearied of the jokey, red hot mama tone by 25%. One can only take so much of it. The tagline for this book refers to Tucker as the Forrest Gump of the early 20th century or something, and it's a schtick the authors ran with. ("Run, Eckers! Run!") It didn't take long to catch on that the big reveal of roughly three-quarters of each long-winded story would be a celebrity or future celebrity, or one of those interminable party yarns that reek of "You'll never guess!" The stage boy who lent her his bicycle to pedal to her other vaudeville engagement every day was the young Louis B. Mayer! The gangster who abducted her for a personal performance was Al Capone! Her wardrobe malfunction was saved at the last minute by Ethel Barrymore! That squabbly Hungarian Jewish couple who helped her family on their migration from Buttfuck, Russia in 1887 were still squabbling in Buttfuck, Hungary in 1931 when she went there on a honeymoon! Her horse-riding buddy in the park was Nails Morton! And when Nails got thrown from his horse, there was a hit on that horse, thanks to Sophie's loose lips! Ain't that a scream?!? But those gangsters are good people, says Sophie. I'll cop that it was that point which made me DNF it. I was sick unto death of her blowhard (fictional or no) blatherings. Not to mention, the chronology was more than a bit of a mess. It starts out with her growing up and jumping into a career and then, much later, the narrative veers off into "OMG, I don't care" land with a tedious recounting of all the amazing coincidences and marvelous happenings of her parents on their long trek to America with her, Baby Sophie, in tow. (Her dad was personally ushered through Ellis Island thanks to the Pfizer Corp.! And her mom, meanwhile, got accused of murder in Glasgow! Oh, and her defense attorney was her new friend's brother-in-law, Artie Conan Doyle!) Ugh, too tooooooooooooooooooooooo much. The use of photographs was totally gratuitous. Mention the Beatles or Man O'War and a pic of said subject reference was slapped into the text to illustrate....what, exactly? The footnotes of Yiddish words were unnecessary. (If you need a footnote for schlemiel or schlong, I feel sorry for you.) It seemed apparent that the Ecker-penned BS was whatever didn't have photographic evidence presented, which is why I'm calling total BS on the "parents framed for murder" story because if it was that notorious a case, it'd have been in the papers. (Yeah, by the time I reached that point, this schtick had long ceased to be cute.) Blah. Some DNFs are well-deserved. This is apparently the first part of a trilogy. I can't imagine what else there is to tell. This would have fared much better as a straight-up biography. I honestly don't mind dramatic license, but when your choice of presentation is this one-note and lame, then cut the blarney (or whatever the Yiddish equivalent is) and just give the facts. My Kindle suddenly lost 33 46MB of weight and is happier for it. BAH-LEEEET. ARC received by Netgalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ea

    *sigh* I don't know where to start. Let's start out with the fact that I actually liked this book. Prior to reading it I had never heard of Sophie Tucker (or, I thought I hadn't, but as it turns out I have a few of her songs on my old-timey playlist) and I like to think this book was a nice way to be introduced to her. "Introduced". Because this is fiction. But you know what I mean. Thing is, though, it's lengthy. And, at times, absolutely out-of-this-world boring. And then BAM, something will h *sigh* I don't know where to start. Let's start out with the fact that I actually liked this book. Prior to reading it I had never heard of Sophie Tucker (or, I thought I hadn't, but as it turns out I have a few of her songs on my old-timey playlist) and I like to think this book was a nice way to be introduced to her. "Introduced". Because this is fiction. But you know what I mean. Thing is, though, it's lengthy. And, at times, absolutely out-of-this-world boring. And then BAM, something will happen and I sat there laughing out loud and momentarily changed my mind about this book. But in the end, it's too.. insincere. The writers have chosen a language and a format that is absolutely appropriate and anything else would have been wrong, too, but it's just too much.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen O'Brien-Hall

    I knew the name Sophie Tucker, but why I have no idea; I can only surmise that at some time I heard a recording, or perhaps saw a classic movie in which she appeared. The phrase “Last of the Red Hot Mamas” came to mind, but again, I didn’t know why. Born in 1887, Sophie was briefly married to handsome, but irresponsible, Louis Tuck and they had a son Albert. Louis developed a back problem when it came to work, but not when it came to dressing up in the latest style or going out all night and gamb I knew the name Sophie Tucker, but why I have no idea; I can only surmise that at some time I heard a recording, or perhaps saw a classic movie in which she appeared. The phrase “Last of the Red Hot Mamas” came to mind, but again, I didn’t know why. Born in 1887, Sophie was briefly married to handsome, but irresponsible, Louis Tuck and they had a son Albert. Louis developed a back problem when it came to work, but not when it came to dressing up in the latest style or going out all night and gambling every cent Sophie earned. In addition to working in her parent’s restaurant as a waitress, Sophie earned tips by singing for the customers. She didn’t quite see her life with Louis as her future, so with $90 in her pocket, she left her husband and followed her dreams. Sophie’s professional career began in 1906 when she was hired to sing in a brothel; the money was good and she sent money home to her family who cared for her son. Vaudeville called, but not until she worked in burlesque as a southern woman in black face. The story of how she managed to get out of black face and find her comfort zone, is just one of numerous hilarious stories in this, almost, autobiography. From these humble beginnings, she rose to be one of the most recognisable names in entertainment. She was friends with the famous and infamous. Household names such as the pianist Chauncey Oswald and ticket seller Luis Meir were her friends from the early times – we actually know them as Irving Berlin and Louis B Mayer. Sophie Tucker personally hired numerous ghost-writers to tell her story, but couldn’t find anyone prepared to publish her no holds barred autobiography. In 1945, Doubleday published a sanitised version – those were different times. Ms Tucker was the chronicler of her own life; over 400 scrapbooks were donated by her to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Centre. Another 100 are archived at Brandeis University, so the authors had a wealth of material at their command – and they read all 500 volumes over a 4 year period. Despite this wealth of research material, Sophie was known to exaggerate for dramatic effect. She told many versions of the same story and events until not even Sophie knew which was the true and which the dramatized version. The authors themselves state this autobiography is “85% fact, the other 15% …who knows?” This is a fascinating story for those of us who might know the name but not why. I love the anecdotes Sophie tells about her career and her friends. When you consider her date of birth, here is a lady well ahead of her time. She had the intestinal fortitude to leave a bad marriage, even though it lead to her being ostracised in her own community. Asked to appear at a Shriner Convention, Sophie requested she be inducted as a Shriner as part of her payment; what chutzpah! If you think Madonna and Lady Gaga push the envelope, bear in mind Sophie Tucker’s career started over a hundred years ago and spanned 60 years. She was larger than life, told bawdy jokes, knew how to use her sexuality and paved the way for these modern imitators. In I am Sophie Tucker there are enough famous names to satisfy the most avid celebrity watcher, but at the centre is Sonya Kalish, a big hearted, big voiced, womanly sized Jewish girl who became Sophie Tucker, The Last of the Red Hot Mamas. This Review is published on Starts at Sixty http://bit.ly/1Ad2BLc.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Milliebot

    This review and others posted over at my blog. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. From NetGalley: From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for future female performers. Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still h This review and others posted over at my blog. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. From NetGalley: From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for future female performers. Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945. “After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker. Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. This volume is 85% fact, the other 15% who knows?” I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. In short, this book was cute. I’ll trust in Ecker when he says the book is 85% fact, because I’m too lazy to do my own research. Really, I knew next to nothing about Sophie Tucker before reading this book, except that she was a bawdy singer from the 1920s or so. I just thought the book sounded rather entertaining, and it was. I’m willing to bet that all the major events in this book actually happened to Sophie and that the famous people she became friends with, were also her friends in real life. This book isn’t anything special – the writing didn’t blow me away, but it did keep me entertained and gave me a few chuckles. If Sophie was anything like she was portrayed in this book, she’d definitely be a celebrity I’d love to go back in time and meet. Her sheer determination to make herself famous is inspiring. There are also some great photographs and media material in here, that I think will look much better in print then they did on my first generation Nook. If you’re a fan of celebrity biographies/memoirs or the entertainment industry in the early 1900s, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.” I am Sophie Tucker is a timeless memoir on a entertainment icon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this awesome autobiography. Her life was amazing! Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, S Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.” I am Sophie Tucker is a timeless memoir on a entertainment icon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this awesome autobiography. Her life was amazing! Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945. “After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker.” Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. Over the years, she told multiple versions of each important event. At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale. “This volume is 85% fact,” Lloyd explains. “The other 15% …who knows?” I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. Now you can read it for yourself. This book is the first in a trilogy about Sophie Tucker. I can't wait to read more of Sophie's amazing tales! I received an ARC of this volume through NetGalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I've always thought it would be great to have lived during the Big Band/Vaudeville era, where everything was big, bold and brassy -- including the personalities. Although it wasn't easy for a woman, especially a woman from a poor family, to "make it" on her own, the story told in this book makes me want to travel back in time to see and hear these people for myself :) Sophie's early life was not easy, but she was determined to improve her lot in life. Fame did not automatically make life easier f I've always thought it would be great to have lived during the Big Band/Vaudeville era, where everything was big, bold and brassy -- including the personalities. Although it wasn't easy for a woman, especially a woman from a poor family, to "make it" on her own, the story told in this book makes me want to travel back in time to see and hear these people for myself :) Sophie's early life was not easy, but she was determined to improve her lot in life. Fame did not automatically make life easier for her, but she made some good friends that helped smooth the bumps in the road. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, and loved the photos included as well. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Thanks Net Galley and Prospectus Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was intrigued when I received an email advising that this book was available to request and read. I had heard the name Sophie Tucker, but I wasn't sure why or what she had done. Wow, this woman had one heck of a life. She hobnobbed with everybody who was anybody. Royalty, celebrities, inventors, authors, you name it, she hung out with them. I loved how the story was written and how when she would meet some Thanks Net Galley and Prospectus Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was intrigued when I received an email advising that this book was available to request and read. I had heard the name Sophie Tucker, but I wasn't sure why or what she had done. Wow, this woman had one heck of a life. She hobnobbed with everybody who was anybody. Royalty, celebrities, inventors, authors, you name it, she hung out with them. I loved how the story was written and how when she would meet someone the authors would describe the person and the situation and then tell you who it was. I think it got a little long winded when telling the story of Sophie retracing her parents leaving Europe. But, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this flamboyant characters life. I would have loved to have hung out with her as she sounds like a real hoot. I definitely recommend this book if you like biographies and reading about interesting people.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    When I first downloaded this book, I wasn't at all sure what to think. I had no clue if I was going to like it at all, but it wasn't had to get hooked with Sophie being the main character. The writers did a truly great job bringing her to life. The further I got into the story, the more I felt like I knew and understood who Sophie was. The surrounding characters, most of whom were Sophie's friends, because everyone seemed to love her, were also described in ways that made me be able to picture t When I first downloaded this book, I wasn't at all sure what to think. I had no clue if I was going to like it at all, but it wasn't had to get hooked with Sophie being the main character. The writers did a truly great job bringing her to life. The further I got into the story, the more I felt like I knew and understood who Sophie was. The surrounding characters, most of whom were Sophie's friends, because everyone seemed to love her, were also described in ways that made me be able to picture them even before their pictures were shown. I did truly enjoy seeing all of the real pictures that went along with her life though. Through this book, I was able to not only enjoy a good story, but I learned about an amazing entertainer and a time I knew little about. (I received this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    I am Sophie Tucker by the Eckers is a free NetGalley eBook that I began reading on my Kindle shortly after Christmas. I figure that, in winter, I'm alternating between biographies and historical fictions, so Soph will serve as a little of both. One of the prime purposes of this book is to unload and define alot of Yiddish/Jewish vocabulary and slang, which are kindly (and irritatingly) notated in a bibliography. In this way, the narrative voice of Sophie seems too educational in a rigged way. And I am Sophie Tucker by the Eckers is a free NetGalley eBook that I began reading on my Kindle shortly after Christmas. I figure that, in winter, I'm alternating between biographies and historical fictions, so Soph will serve as a little of both. One of the prime purposes of this book is to unload and define alot of Yiddish/Jewish vocabulary and slang, which are kindly (and irritatingly) notated in a bibliography. In this way, the narrative voice of Sophie seems too educational in a rigged way. And, if that wasn't enough, more than half of the inset photos are used to further illustrate Sophie's rigged narration in a name-dropping, insincere way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. If I had not received this book for free I would have stopped reading it much sooner than I did. I got 52% of the way through before I gave up. This is just a series of "guess what happened to me?" type stories strung together, and not even in chronological order. The book goes back and forth between different time periods in what seems to be a haphazard manner. On a positive note- The book is supposed to be Sophie Tucker te I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. If I had not received this book for free I would have stopped reading it much sooner than I did. I got 52% of the way through before I gave up. This is just a series of "guess what happened to me?" type stories strung together, and not even in chronological order. The book goes back and forth between different time periods in what seems to be a haphazard manner. On a positive note- The book is supposed to be Sophie Tucker telling her own stories and I think the authors got the voice and language correct for that effect.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I became aware of Sophie Tucker about a year ago when I saw an autographed picture of her in a shop. The more I've learned about her, the bigger fan I've become. Her brashness and blue humor as well as her big voice made her a star in her time, and her impact has resonated through the generations with those directly influenced like Phyllis Diller and Bette Midler and even the female sexuality of Madonna, Brittney, and Lady Gaga. Her life was so unbelievable between the people she knew and the dee I became aware of Sophie Tucker about a year ago when I saw an autographed picture of her in a shop. The more I've learned about her, the bigger fan I've become. Her brashness and blue humor as well as her big voice made her a star in her time, and her impact has resonated through the generations with those directly influenced like Phyllis Diller and Bette Midler and even the female sexuality of Madonna, Brittney, and Lady Gaga. Her life was so unbelievable between the people she knew and the deeds that she did, it is hard to tell the difference between the fact and fiction in I Am Sophie Tucker. I Am Sophie Tucker is a great homage to ballsy woman who made her own luck and worked her way up the entertainment ladder. I just wished that this book went even farther in her career to include the silver screen and beyond.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Del Lunde

    A little before my time . Would have been great to attend her performances. A good read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rumeur

    This book is categorized as a fictional biography. I'm assuming the major reason for that is since it's told by Sophie Tucker, who has been dead many years now. It's a great biography of the life & times of Sophie & her family with many old photographs of her playbills, family portraits & places from her era The story doesn't include up to her death but she had many, many years in show biz PART 1--this part Sophie tells about growing up in the Abruza household with her parents & an older brother This book is categorized as a fictional biography. I'm assuming the major reason for that is since it's told by Sophie Tucker, who has been dead many years now. It's a great biography of the life & times of Sophie & her family with many old photographs of her playbills, family portraits & places from her era The story doesn't include up to her death but she had many, many years in show biz PART 1--this part Sophie tells about growing up in the Abruza household with her parents & an older brother & younger sister. She tells about the family restaurant business which was run by her mother. She made the best goulash in CT!! Her early years were spent helping out in the restaurant along with her siblings & starts to tell about her early start in vaudeville. She was the first woman to be in the friar's club & although she wasn't a headliner at the time, she was becoming more & more popular. When first starting,she had to wear black make up & 1 of her goals was to some day be able to perform as herself without the black make up. While she was getting singing jobs, she also married for the first time to Louis Tuck. It is from his name & a misunderstanding while talking, that Sophie became famous for the name everyone knows her by : Sophie Tucker. At some point she realizes her husband is a deadbeat so she kicks him out but not before she gets pregnant & has her son, Albert. She becomes more & more known & busy with her career so she gives her son to her younger sister, Annie, who then raises Albert. Sophie sends money home to help her family & also for Albert PART 2-- Sophie tells how her family arrives from Russia to USA via a long, long way. She was an infant at the time & it was her, her older brother & parents who traveled with a cart & their things all through Europe. She talks about the places & countries they went through & people they met along the way while trying to get on a boat to USA. This is when she tells how they got their new last name of Abruza. The day finally arrives but due to lack of communication only her father got on the boat to America. Sophie's mother works to get enough money so the rest of them can come over when she's put in jail!! This family goes through many hardships & many are from lack of communications & misunderstandings but the day arrives when the rest of the family gets to go on the boat & meet up with her father in America. They first settle in Boston & stay with a cousin & his family but eventually move to Hartford, CT where they open their restaurant PART 3--now Sophie is telling more about her career, she's now a headliner, along with another woman friend of hers named Molly She's now considered a success in the show biz world & making good money considering the era She has become well known as the "fat woman" that sings loud. She's been married several times by now & a shocking revelation pops up at the end of the book. To tell it in my review, would definitely be a huge spoiler, so I won't mention what it pertains to. This is the ending of the book I enjoyed reading it the way the authors chose to write it, as told by Sophie, because they were able to show us her comical personality & get a feel for this heavy set woman singer with a personality just as big as her. It made it more enjoyable & not as if you're reading a class text book that might be boring & in which you're expected to write an essay about for your teacher. I felt as if Sophie was still very much alive & I could hear her telling me these stories as I read The authors did a wonderful job & were quite knowledgeable about the life & times of Sophie Tucker. The photographs provided, only added even more to their story I'd highly recommend this book if you like reading biographies, are interested in the early 1900's & early years of show biz, vaudeville & singing I got a copy of this book from Net Galley in return for an honest opinion. I'd like to thank the publisher & both the authors for allowing me the privilege of reading this book

  14. 5 out of 5

    April

    In 1973, Susan and Lloyd Ecker went on their first date to a Bette Midler concert. They had a wonderful time and especially loved Ms. Midler's Sophie Tucker stories. Over the next forty years, the Eckers married and had three children, but they never forgot Sophie Tucker and so they tried to learn as much about her as they could. Sophie Tucker was a vaudeville star and an extraordinary entertainer during the first half of the twentieth century. As Barbara Walters says, "She was the star attracti In 1973, Susan and Lloyd Ecker went on their first date to a Bette Midler concert. They had a wonderful time and especially loved Ms. Midler's Sophie Tucker stories. Over the next forty years, the Eckers married and had three children, but they never forgot Sophie Tucker and so they tried to learn as much about her as they could. Sophie Tucker was a vaudeville star and an extraordinary entertainer during the first half of the twentieth century. As Barbara Walters says, "She was the star attraction". The Eckers spent eight years reading Tucker's scrapbooks and interviewing her family and friends. What resulted from all of their research is I Am Sophie Tucker. According to an interview with the authors in the back of the book, Sophie was meticulous in her record keeping, but she loved to exaggerate and embellish. "At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale." The Eckers were unable to verify all of Sophie's stories and so they label their book "a fictional memoir". I admit I found this confusing because I didn't realize until I had reached the authors' notes in the back of the book that this wasn't completely fictional. I thought I was reading a very well done fictional representation of a fictional character. When I reached the end and realized that a large portion of it was true, it changed my perspective quite a lot. According to the authors, "this volume is 85% fact. The other 15%... who knows?" Included in this book are photos of Sophie Tucker and many are with her famous friends. Susan Ecker refers to Sophie as "the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s." The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking that very thing. Every famous person in the early age of the silver screen is in this book: Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, "Bojangles" Robinson, Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, George Burns and Gracie Allen, and many more. If all this is true, Sophie Tucker may be the most entertaining woman of the entertainment world. Ever. And as she says in the Prologue: ...Every word [is] the absolute truth- or even better! But the entertainment world isn't the only place Sophie made her mark, or her friends. Also mentioned in the pages of this memoir are Arthur Conan Doyle, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Al Capone, J. Edgar Hoover, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, and Queen Elizabeth. That's a rather varied roster of acquaintances. This book is funny and fascinating. There are so many bits that made me laugh. Talking about heading to the west coast for a run of shows, Sophie had this to say of her travels: The West was mesmerizing. I managed to hit a few of the tourist spots on the way to my first date. I saw the view from the top of Pike's Peak and I even rode down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a donkey. After bearing my load for eight hours, I'm sure they had to shoot that poor beast to put him out of his misery. It's a rare thing to get to kiss your own sorry ass goodbye. And this about all her hard work to break in to show business: By 1911, only the guys who built Big Ben had worked as hard as me to make the big time. The best part of this book is that we get to see how hard Sophie had to work to actually make it. She is certainly no overnight success. She worked hard night and day and employed some very interesting tactics to get the attention of the people who could help her, but never did she give up. In addition to this book, the first in a trilogy about Sophie's life, Susan and Lloyd Ecker have also created a documentary about her. You can view the official trailer here. I can't recommend enough that you look through the website the Eckers have created, sophietucker.com, look at all the amazing photos they have in the gallery and then read this book. It is a fabulous journey through the foundations of music and entertainment as we know them today. Check out more of my reviews at SmartGirlsRead! www.smartgirlsread.blogspot.com

  15. 4 out of 5

    Avanders

    Review based on ARC. Sophie Tucker was undoubtably a fascinating person. She seemed to know anyone who was anyone... from Al Pacino to Arthur Conan Doyle to ... well, herself! And this fictional memoir seemed intriguing. I didn't know much about Tucker going into it -- more a recognition of the name than anything else. But I thought it sounded intriguing... a murder mystery, an insider's look at early Hollywood (or, at least, earlier...), the world of Vaudeville.... ok, sign me up! And... it deliv Review based on ARC. Sophie Tucker was undoubtably a fascinating person. She seemed to know anyone who was anyone... from Al Pacino to Arthur Conan Doyle to ... well, herself! And this fictional memoir seemed intriguing. I didn't know much about Tucker going into it -- more a recognition of the name than anything else. But I thought it sounded intriguing... a murder mystery, an insider's look at early Hollywood (or, at least, earlier...), the world of Vaudeville.... ok, sign me up! And... it delivered. to some degree. So, fictional memoir. What was I expecting? I don't know, something more akin to Devil in the White City, I guess... a sort of novelization of real events. An adding of thoughts and emotions -- a researcher's best guess -- and maybe that's what this was. But it seemed a lot more fictional than that. It *felt* like someone was creating a whole persona for a real person. Which just felt weird. It felt like someone had decided THIS must be Sophie Tucker's *real* personality -- her behind-the-scenes personality. And.... it was unsettling to me. It felt surface. It felt false. It felt over-simplified. Like, rather two-dimensional. And, I understand the authors did an inordinate amount of research, and had scrapbooks and many items of Sophie's own words to pull from... so perhaps Sophie was really just a two-dimensional person? Seems far-fetched. Much more far-fetched than the so-called "life and times of Sophie Tucker." And that was my other complaint. Eyebrow-raising, inward gasping, behind-the-scenes reveals? meh. I get that this was a long time ago, and our standards are different now... but it still felt like this fictional character was going from "hey hey, listen to this CRaaaaay-zee story about me!" to yet another and another... nothing felt organic or ... well, real. Buuut.... It was Interesting. It was somewhat satisfying to read about that time from a so-called insider's perspective. It was ok. I didn't love Sophie; I didn't hate her. I didn't really feel that particularly strongly about anyone except for her first husband. As for the others... were they husbands? It felt like a lot was left out. How did she meet her 3rd husband? What happened? How did they break? What about the 2nd .... how did that become, er, formal? (did I just miss that altogether?) So yeah, it was the organization. The organization needed work. And as a result, the story suffered. But it was ok. And if you're really interested in Sophie Tucker's life, from an arguably inside perspective... check it out. The memoir is pretty consistent from beginning to end, so if you don't like the first few chapters, then you won't like it. If you do, you will. Overall, three of five stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Schuyler Wallace

    Bette Midler, some forty years ago, introduced Sue and Lloyd Ecker to Sophie Tucker’s flamboyant life. The Divine Miss M’s continued referrals to Tucker, who died in 1966, and her bawdy songs and jokes prompted the Ecker’s effort to bring Tucker’s life back to the world. After reading Sophie’s biography in 2006 and subsequent explorations through other books, 400 of her scrapbooks, and scores of interviews with her family, friends, historians, and celebrities, one thing became apparent. Tucker’s Bette Midler, some forty years ago, introduced Sue and Lloyd Ecker to Sophie Tucker’s flamboyant life. The Divine Miss M’s continued referrals to Tucker, who died in 1966, and her bawdy songs and jokes prompted the Ecker’s effort to bring Tucker’s life back to the world. After reading Sophie’s biography in 2006 and subsequent explorations through other books, 400 of her scrapbooks, and scores of interviews with her family, friends, historians, and celebrities, one thing became apparent. Tucker’s proclivity for stretching the truth made assuring authenticity of the many stories almost impossible. So, instead of a non-fiction biography, they wrote their fictional memoir “I Am Sophie Tucker.” Sophie Tucker’s brassy persona was the real her. She was brash, vulgar, loud and pushy. That behavior endeared her to millions of fans who packed the venues to witness each of her performances. She also cavorted with gangsters, royalty, and celebrities. She was either involved in or had first hand information about drugs, bootlegging, murder, and prostitution. She didn’t give a hoot about her public perception and made fun of her morals, her size, and her relationships in her songs and skits. Through all the smut she cultivated lasting friendships with people who would ordinarily snub the type of activities she engaged in. Again, because of her inability to tell the same story twice, the reality is blurred and hard to believe, but her celebrity is not. The Eckers, using Sophie as the narrator, have a lot of flexibility in telling their story. And, as a reader, I recognize their license to stretch the truth and accept their fictional interpretation. That doesn’t make the story less enjoyable. I found it to be extremely well done with authentic period dialogue and rakish comedy. It has a ring of truth to it, although some of Sophie’s adventures seem a bit outlandish. No one but her could pull off the antics she describes. As I read I couldn’t help but be reminded of another large woman, Kate Smith, who was billed as “The Songbird of the South;” another adored singer, some 20 years younger than Tucker. Her sweet voice was exactly the opposite of the brassy sounds coming from “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas.” But large women could become big stars in those days. I really enjoyed the book. It’s riveting entertainment with famous names and saucy banter throughout. Don’t miss it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    After reading this delightful fictional memoir, I spent hours listening to Sophie Tucker songs and reading and listening to her jokes. (Bette Midler’s ‘Sophie Tucker jokes,’ were written at least seven years after she died by Bruce Vilanch and they were dirtier than Tucker would have tried.) Tucker did get arrested for blue material, but the judge threw the case out. And the arrest was great advertising. How fun would it be for Mrs. Maisel to go on tour next season with Sophie Tucker and Moms Ma After reading this delightful fictional memoir, I spent hours listening to Sophie Tucker songs and reading and listening to her jokes. (Bette Midler’s ‘Sophie Tucker jokes,’ were written at least seven years after she died by Bruce Vilanch and they were dirtier than Tucker would have tried.) Tucker did get arrested for blue material, but the judge threw the case out. And the arrest was great advertising. How fun would it be for Mrs. Maisel to go on tour next season with Sophie Tucker and Moms Mabley?! I enjoyed both reading the book and the research I did after. Read on Kindle.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    When I was a kid, Sophie Tucker was an old lady who guested on TV shows and was a character in a story my dad told about going to New York City after the outbreak of WW II but before Pearl Harbour in his RCR officer's uniform. When Sophie Tucker spied him, she and Arthur Treacher wined and dined him and his Canadian friends throughout their leave. So I knew this larger than life lady had a good heart to match. What I did not know then but enjoyed reading about now was her outrageous and bawdy sid When I was a kid, Sophie Tucker was an old lady who guested on TV shows and was a character in a story my dad told about going to New York City after the outbreak of WW II but before Pearl Harbour in his RCR officer's uniform. When Sophie Tucker spied him, she and Arthur Treacher wined and dined him and his Canadian friends throughout their leave. So I knew this larger than life lady had a good heart to match. What I did not know then but enjoyed reading about now was her outrageous and bawdy side. To use an oft repeated phrase: they don't make them like that anymore. Talent, hard work, imagination and not a small dose of chutzpah, she tells the story of her parents flight from Russia, during which time she decided to make her debut. Everywhere they stopped they made friends until they finally landed in America. One of the reasons they made friends so easily was her mother's cooking. So it was no shock that her parents would run a very successful restaurant in Hartford Connecticut where they settled. Hartford could not hold Sophie, nor could any man. The story of her rise to the top is the subject of this first of several books. The authors have taken a great deal of what Sophie herself wrote. She tried to get the whole story printed but the best she could accomplish was a sanitized version. That was then and this is now. Reading through the book with 2015 eyes, nothing is shocking or beyond the pale. Yes, one could say her life was colourful and peopled with the high and mighty on both sides of the law. But using perspective of what would have been the norm back then, she at the least poked the edges of "decency" and at the worst plunged well over the cliff into scandal. Yet, it seems almost no one was immune to her charms. Certainly not a bathing beauty or sylph, she gives heart to all zaftig women. If you do not know Sophie Tucker, pick up this book and meet an outrageous but wonderful lady. If you do know her, pick it up and discover the wild lady who pushed the envelope before women could vote. I know you are going to like her. I look forward to the next installment of her life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    I'd never heard of Sophie Tucker before, but after reading this book, I'll never forget the name or the woman behind it. She was a Vaudeville star with an incredible sense of humor and zest for life. This fictional autobiography takes us from the time she was in the womb and her parents left Russia to come to the States through her first marriage and into the early days of Vaudeville and the Follies. And everything is told in a humorous manner, with Sohie Tucker wit. The laughs, smiles, and chuck I'd never heard of Sophie Tucker before, but after reading this book, I'll never forget the name or the woman behind it. She was a Vaudeville star with an incredible sense of humor and zest for life. This fictional autobiography takes us from the time she was in the womb and her parents left Russia to come to the States through her first marriage and into the early days of Vaudeville and the Follies. And everything is told in a humorous manner, with Sohie Tucker wit. The laughs, smiles, and chuckles were endless for me. "Mr. Elliot patiently explained each foreign term, like "marquee." Thankfully that was different than the Marky who sat next to me in grammar school. The only show he could headline was the Breaking Wind Spectacular." I enjoyed reading about Sophie and her mother. Her mother was something else. I can see where Sophie gets her "balls". I think one of my favorite scenes in the book was when her mother set a ball of soup in front of her boss and had a few interesting choice words for him. Sophie is fun and amazing too, as she goes from kitchen slave to singing in a house of ill repute to the stage, as she toes the line between "wholesome" and what sells, as she persistently writes funny letters to important people asking for a chance, as she survives stage rivalry and jealous divas, struggles to fit in dresses, and even becomes friends with Al Capone. There was one thing in the book that had me frowning at Sophie and it turned out I was wrong about the situation all along. In the end Sophie is a true heroine, selfless, loving, and there for those who need her. I loved every word of this story. The only thing that bothered me at times was how very often Sophie makes fun of her weight. She acts like she's an elephant. And looking at pictures of her back then, in her early Vaudeville days, I don't see such a large woman. I guess women were smaller then. Full review and favorite quotes: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2015/...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen Klein

    Note: A copy of this arc was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly had absolutely no idea who Sophie Tucker was when I first start reading this book, however once into the story, I came to realize that she was one very special person with special character traits - she was loud and funny! This story is divided into 3 parts...The beginning tells how Sophie grew up, basically poor, working with her brothers and sisters in the family restaurant. Even at a young a Note: A copy of this arc was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly had absolutely no idea who Sophie Tucker was when I first start reading this book, however once into the story, I came to realize that she was one very special person with special character traits - she was loud and funny! This story is divided into 3 parts...The beginning tells how Sophie grew up, basically poor, working with her brothers and sisters in the family restaurant. Even at a young age though, she possessed a great spirit and a wonderful wit. Her singing and personality brought many smiles to the people who owned the neighboring businesses and the customers that came into the family restaurant. Sophie knew that she wanted to be a stage performer at a young age and continued to dream and plan to make it come true. An unwilling marriage delayed those plans, but one day she decides she's had enough and leaves. It's a long, hard road but she slowly makes her way onto the stage and into the limelight. The 2nd part begins to detail her career and the famous people that she becomes friends with through her parts in Vaudeville, the Ziegfield Follies and the making of a movie or two. The end of this novel brings the reader back to the very beginning of Sophies existence...how her family came to the United States. There is also a surprise about Albert! I have to say that the author did a wonderful job of writing this. Somehow she was able to project that loudness of Sophie's voice into her writing. I could imagine the laughter, course language and the singing that Sophie would bellow out telling everyone all of this information. I'm not exactly sure what is fact and what is fiction but it all seems to be fact. The author has also included absolutely beautiful pictures of Sophie and other famous people. I think that this would be fantastic holiday gift for any reader. It's a story about determination, hard work and a woman who appeared larger than life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cluny

    I AM SOPHIE TUCKER excels in presenting outstanding first person voice of the lady herself. This book reads authentic and one forgets that it is not necessarily Ms. Tucker but the authors that are always speaking to you(tho some quotes from her actual published memoir are sporadically interspersed). The authors have done an excellent job in recreating her voice which in part is a direct result of their extensive research into this icon of the early twentieth century. I was too young to remember I AM SOPHIE TUCKER excels in presenting outstanding first person voice of the lady herself. This book reads authentic and one forgets that it is not necessarily Ms. Tucker but the authors that are always speaking to you(tho some quotes from her actual published memoir are sporadically interspersed). The authors have done an excellent job in recreating her voice which in part is a direct result of their extensive research into this icon of the early twentieth century. I was too young to remember much about this larger than life, large booming voiced., full figured star as she died when I was a child but the authors convey her personality, her talent, sense of humor and sometimes bawdiness along with her flaws and failings as a mother. She sounds like a true broad's broad that lived her life to the fullest, had few or no regrets, and made no apologies. This is a recommended read for anyone interested in vaudeville, burlesque and show business in general of the the early twentieth century as you need not know already who Sophie Tucker was ....you will find out in a pleasant foray into this book and you will also meet along the way some of her notable friends (and enemies). There are also many pictures that further bring the cast of real life characters to life. Character Development 5.0 out of 5 Writing Style 5.0 out of 5 Pacing 5.0 out of 5 Book Average 5.0 out of 5 Full Disclosure: eArc was provided courtesy of the publisher without any recompense or review expectations

  22. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    I have heard general information about Sophie Tucker as long as I can remember, but I realized when I saw this book was available that I didn't really know anything at all about her. This was my opportunity to find out what Tucker was really like back during the early 1900s when entertaining had to be an inner calling because it was so difficult to get ahead in the industry. These authors have taken information from a biography published in 1945 by Doubleday and augmented it with further facts, p I have heard general information about Sophie Tucker as long as I can remember, but I realized when I saw this book was available that I didn't really know anything at all about her. This was my opportunity to find out what Tucker was really like back during the early 1900s when entertaining had to be an inner calling because it was so difficult to get ahead in the industry. These authors have taken information from a biography published in 1945 by Doubleday and augmented it with further facts, photographs, and memorabilia they discovered in their research of the life of Sophie Tucker. The 1945 biography was a scrubbed clean version which probably doesn't represent the subject person very well. I'm sure this fictional memoir comes closer to showing what Sophie Tucker herself and the times she climbed the ladder to be a superstar in the entertainment industry were really like. If you have any interest in Sophie Tucker, this endeavor will supply you with all the who's and what's that got her moving to stardom. Unfortunately this isn't the complete story of Sophie Tucker since it is the first book of a proposed trilogy. The authors also plan a Sophie Tucker Broadway musical, a movie musical, and a television show as well as the documentary film they have already made. For me, this first segment of the fictional memoir has been enough to satisfy my curiosity about Sophie Tucker. I received an ARC of this volume through NetGalley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Franco

    Billed as “Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” Sophie Tucker is the huge star of the past you’ve never heard of. I certainly had no idea—even while reading this, till near the end—that Sophie Tucker had been real; since it was labeled a “fictional autobiography,” I had no reason to expect the protagonist wasn’t made up either. Later, looking at their website, I realized exactly what they meant: “This volume is 85% fact. The other 15% …who knows?” This is one of the most hilarious books Billed as “Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” Sophie Tucker is the huge star of the past you’ve never heard of. I certainly had no idea—even while reading this, till near the end—that Sophie Tucker had been real; since it was labeled a “fictional autobiography,” I had no reason to expect the protagonist wasn’t made up either. Later, looking at their website, I realized exactly what they meant: “This volume is 85% fact. The other 15% …who knows?” This is one of the most hilarious books I’ve ever read. Some of the jokes are obvious, but a lot of them come after a little bit of thinking, which makes it all the more fun when you do get it, a sense of accomplishment. Somehow the lady could make a funny about any topic, and was immensely self-deprecating, which of course helps to like her. There’s a chapter where the family had to stay in Great Britain a few weeks, and the famous person she meets there—who gets her mom out of jail by proving she didn’t kill the victim—is Arthur Conan Doyle. As much as I laughed at this reveal, I was mildly annoyed for not guessing it myself. A look at the website shows there’s a documentary that goes along with this book making the rounds of film festivals right now, and I have to admit I’m intrigued to see it. . .

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I was attracted to this book because of the time period. I really like reading books that are early 1900s, and this book had pictures which where really great. I still wasn't sure what historic fiction means, I have found that it means that the piece is written 50 years after it happened, and the writers are going by research. For this book the writers state "it is 85% fact and 15% who knows". Besides wanting to read about this time period I found the whole book really interesting, yes the book I was attracted to this book because of the time period. I really like reading books that are early 1900s, and this book had pictures which where really great. I still wasn't sure what historic fiction means, I have found that it means that the piece is written 50 years after it happened, and the writers are going by research. For this book the writers state "it is 85% fact and 15% who knows". Besides wanting to read about this time period I found the whole book really interesting, yes the book can bounce around, but I didn't find it hard to keep up. I loved the stories and am amazed at what the character Sophie Tucker lived through and fought her way to be the top. I am sure it can still be that way today as well. I also loved the part where she finds out the history of how her parents came to the USA. I have family that came to this country as well and find those stories really interesting. If you like to read about historical books with a view from the writer, meaning Sophie Tucker, then this is a book for you to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip Bailey

    Pisser. A great read. In telling the story of this larger than life woman the reader is taken on a ride through history. Appreciation of the characters may be lost on younger readers as names such as Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson are likely meaningless but hopefully Thomas Edison and Samuel Clemens will have a familiar ring. This reader never heard of (or do not remember) Sophie Tucker and in fact had to turn to google to see if such a character existed, and while I never attended or gave thought t Pisser. A great read. In telling the story of this larger than life woman the reader is taken on a ride through history. Appreciation of the characters may be lost on younger readers as names such as Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson are likely meaningless but hopefully Thomas Edison and Samuel Clemens will have a familiar ring. This reader never heard of (or do not remember) Sophie Tucker and in fact had to turn to google to see if such a character existed, and while I never attended or gave thought to Vaudeville I do remember many of the characters even if not a fan. To each his own. Were a reader completely unaware of any of the names, as if this was a completely fictional story it would still stand out as a great read. Written in a style to keep the reader engaged, merging the tale of an immigrant family and their struggle and the daughter who broke away from the family and her own struggle to find fame and fortune. I would easily recommend this book to anyone and definitely to those in my age group (65+).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Randall

    I am Sophie Tucker is a hoot! Honestly, I had trouble getting into this one. At first, it is comparable to the ramblings, albeit enjoyable ramblings, of an old person. However, this fictional memoir paints a hilarious and vivid picture of this audacious celebrity. Just as a conversation evolves from causal storytelling to an intimate recount of personal details among friends, Ecker’s delivers a book that resembles, in my opinion, what a conversation with the Hot Mamma herself. And, that conversa I am Sophie Tucker is a hoot! Honestly, I had trouble getting into this one. At first, it is comparable to the ramblings, albeit enjoyable ramblings, of an old person. However, this fictional memoir paints a hilarious and vivid picture of this audacious celebrity. Just as a conversation evolves from causal storytelling to an intimate recount of personal details among friends, Ecker’s delivers a book that resembles, in my opinion, what a conversation with the Hot Mamma herself. And, that conversation would be nothing but entertaining. Be prepared to spend time on this book, rereading certain passages, looking at pictures and even some time spent on Youtube. Congrats Ms. Susan Ecker you went back a hundreds years and created a fantastic fictional novel that has the big broad chuckling in her grave! I was provided a free copy of this story from NetGalley and Prospecta Press, in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I really liked this book, it's the fictionalized memoir of Sophie Tucker, the Last of the Red Hot Mamas! I wasn't familiar with her before I read this book and now I am a huge fan. If even half the stuff in this book is true-WOW-Sophie was something else! The book reads like a show biz who's/who and Sophie knew EVERYBODY. From Vaudeville to radio to the silver screen, Sophie had her own style and was truly a Red Hot Mama whose influence is still felt in entertainment today. This book is a re-do I really liked this book, it's the fictionalized memoir of Sophie Tucker, the Last of the Red Hot Mamas! I wasn't familiar with her before I read this book and now I am a huge fan. If even half the stuff in this book is true-WOW-Sophie was something else! The book reads like a show biz who's/who and Sophie knew EVERYBODY. From Vaudeville to radio to the silver screen, Sophie had her own style and was truly a Red Hot Mama whose influence is still felt in entertainment today. This book is a re-do of Sophie's 1945 biography with all the naughty bits put back in! As far as those 'naughty' bits-in today's terms it's tame stuff but back in 1945 it was way too over the top. If you like biographies and always wondered about what really went on behind the scenes back before we had 24/7 media coverage of celebrities, you will love this book. I received a copy-this is my own opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pam Koenig

    I received this book from Netgalley and am so happy I did. I just finished this book, & was very sorry to come to the end. I remember seeing Sophie Tucker on The Ed Sullivan Show many years ago. Somewhere in back of my mind I can still hear her voice, it seemed to be telling me the story the authors wrote. If even a little of the outrageous stories included are true, it gives a glimpse into a woman who was ahead of her time. She could go toe to toe with any man, famous or not, but turn around & I received this book from Netgalley and am so happy I did. I just finished this book, & was very sorry to come to the end. I remember seeing Sophie Tucker on The Ed Sullivan Show many years ago. Somewhere in back of my mind I can still hear her voice, it seemed to be telling me the story the authors wrote. If even a little of the outrageous stories included are true, it gives a glimpse into a woman who was ahead of her time. She could go toe to toe with any man, famous or not, but turn around & be all woman. In a time when women were expected to act demure & ladylike, she proved she could do it all & still be treated with respect. I can't wait to read more about her, her life, her friends & family tales.Keep stories like this coming so this generation learns that outrageousness didn't start with their performers, they just refined this "Old Girl's" act.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bookspective

    This book is the most outrageous book I have read...and I loved reading it. I had not heard of Sophie Tucker before reading this book. Now having read it, I wonder if Sophie were alive she wouldn't mind reliving her life as it has been written in this memoir. There is never a dull moment in this "fictional memoir". Sophie was born to sing and perform on stage. She pulls no stops to become a headliner, even land in jail for publicity when needed. As the memoir does not follow a chronological ord This book is the most outrageous book I have read...and I loved reading it. I had not heard of Sophie Tucker before reading this book. Now having read it, I wonder if Sophie were alive she wouldn't mind reliving her life as it has been written in this memoir. There is never a dull moment in this "fictional memoir". Sophie was born to sing and perform on stage. She pulls no stops to become a headliner, even land in jail for publicity when needed. As the memoir does not follow a chronological order and the chapters are titles of her songs, I could read this book at leisure and not feel overwhelmed with all the details or the tall tales. Everybody exaggerates when retelling their story, and Sophie probably loved exaggerating a bit more than everybody else. Read it with an open mind and you too will enjoy the show.

  30. 4 out of 5

    DANIELLE

    Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC of I am Sophie Tucker! This book is an absolute RIOT! Sophie Tucker was a larger than life burlesque and Vaudeville singer in the early and mid 1900s. Disappointed that all of the juicy parts of the first biography about her life ended up on the cutting room floor she instructed that the journals that she so meticulously kept over the years be published into a new biography but only after everyone in them was dearly departed. Sophie was a bawdy woman with the gift Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC of I am Sophie Tucker! This book is an absolute RIOT! Sophie Tucker was a larger than life burlesque and Vaudeville singer in the early and mid 1900s. Disappointed that all of the juicy parts of the first biography about her life ended up on the cutting room floor she instructed that the journals that she so meticulously kept over the years be published into a new biography but only after everyone in them was dearly departed. Sophie was a bawdy woman with the gift for storytelling. If half of the things in this memoir really happened then Sophie lead an incredible life with some notorious and talented show business and crime family legends. I don't often read biographies or memoirs but this title knocked my socks off.

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