Two autobiographies by Drew

“I had my first drink at age nine, began smoking marijuana at ten and at twelve took up cocaine.” 

Drew Barrymore’s legal emancipation from her mother at age 14, her self-driven ‘rebranding’ as teen-seductress, and her multiple engagements and three short marriages were still to come. So it should make for some wild reading, right? Actually, not really.

People who see what I’m up to on Goodreads probably noticed that I read one autobiography by Drew Barrymore after another. And then gave them quite shit scores.

I read her autobiographies because I had to do an assignment for uni and needed a case study. The lecturer was happy to provide case studies or we could pick someone we were “curious about”. I love Drew and I figured she’s someone with a lot of ‘material’. And so I ignored all of her drinking and drugs at age ten and her emancipation from her mother at 14, and focused on her other stuff – there was plenty of it. I have to say, at one point (in the wee hours the day before my essay was due) looking at Drew through an existential lens almost broke my brain.

Anyhoo, to the books. I read Wildflower first. The writing is truly deplorable.

Of a day out with Cameron Diaz she says – “When we arrived at the school we were met by a bunch of dudes. Hot doggers and bird chasers. I knew from first glance they were all up on my girlfriend’s tip.”

And bits that don’t even make sense. Of doing laundry she says –  “…it taught me how to tackle everything moving forward. You fall in love and try to conquer by way of mastering it!” and “The high-low of our need to stimulate the mind yet find silly things to do at night was just a silly juxtaposition, of course.” What?

Little Girl Lost was ‘co-written’ with Todd Gold. Unless Drew’s writing declined dramatically between 1990 and 2015, I’m thinking that Gold had quite the hand in Little Girl Lost.  There’s plenty of salacious celebrity tidbits, detail of the largesse of the eighties, and a Brat Pack roll-call. While I enjoyed the name-dropping (I wouldn’t mind claiming my first slow dance was with Emilio Estevez at Rob Lowe’s birthday party), I basically read the whole book wondering ‘What the fuck is Jaid (her mother) doing?’ Because really, eleven-year-olds don’t ordinarily snort lines of coke in the bathrooms at Studio 54 if they’re being supervised.

Drew, if you’re reading this: I really love you. Really, really love you. But I don’t want you to write any more books. Ever. Feel free to make more movies, take oodles of photographs, create cosmetics, bottle wine and whatever else takes your fancy but no more books. Ever. Okay?

1.5/5 (I’m feeling generous).


14 responses

    • I certainly do in this case – she was the breadwinner from age 11 months and with that came a huge emotional burden that any kid would struggle with (hence why she was a great case study for my essay about attachment issues!).

  1. I can relate. I gave up reading celebrity books. Sorry about the disappointment. I like bios of writers, travellers, refugees, people who are strong and interesting. Celebrities bore me silly (most of them) so not much chance of coming across this.

    • I read a lot of memoirs but agree, the best ones are from people who have something to say because they’re passionate about something, as opposed to people who feel they ‘should’ publish opinions/ their stories.

  2. I haven’t read these nor am I much of a film fan, but I do know the feeling – several years ago I read Bob Geldof’s autobiography ‘Is That It?’ – alas that turned out a remarkably prescient title for his book was simply utter shite! And as I’m a football fanatic, I’ve read so many footballer autobiographies and while there’s the odd exception, they are usually spectacularly dull!

  3. I love Drew too & had planned on reading these – I tried to get a copy of Little Girl Lost in the days before the Internet & it was impossible. Thank you for saving me from having to look at these ever – the stuff from Wildflower is just cringey when it’s even remotely comprehensible! I’m amazed the publisher didn’t insist she had a co-writer.

    • I could have opened any page and found similar (bad) quotes. Honestly, if I hadn’t been reading these books for uni, I would have abandoned them. I still love Drew but it’s going to be hard to forget just how shit Wildflower was. Save your reading time for Seven Types of Ambiguity.

    • She gave such good press when she released the book – the stories she told in interviews were funny and sad and everything in between, which makes me quite sure she should stick to being Drew, not writing about Drew!

  4. I love Drew as well and I was interested in her Wildflower book. But after this, I think I’m safe to skip it. I’ll stick with her movies and personality.

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