Joan Rivers was known all over the world—from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.
Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won’t believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds—or boundaries, apparently. ("Melissa, I acknowledge that you have boundaries. I just choose to not respect them.") In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots (“Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?”), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household (“I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That’s all the math you’ll ever need.”). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the center of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.
In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.
“Melissa [Rivers] has written a book, cleverly weaving Mom’s material into a bittersweet biography of their life together.”—People
“Joan Rivers famously asked, ‘Can we talk?’ So the question for her daughter, Melissa Rivers…is ‘Can she write?’ The answer is, clearly, yes.” —Newsday
“[A] touching, revealing and above all funny paean to her mother, Joan Rivers… the approach is light-hearted, affectionate – and funny.” —Portland Press Herald
“We have a winner. Oh yes we do. Of all the celebrity memoirs to have appeared in the last few months, we have from way back in the pack, the one that made an incredible stretch run to become the unquestioned leader…If there are any smart mothers out there notable for their outspoken candor and their pop cultural literacy, Melissa Rivers’ book will take care of their early summer reading needs quite nicely.” —The Buffalo News
“Very funny” —Page Six
From the Hardcover edition.