cover image Enter Talking

Enter Talking

Joan Rivers. Delacorte Press, $2.98 (398pp) ISBN 978-0-385-29440-9

Rivers's uninhibited comedy is vastly appreciated by TV and night club audiences. There is little to laugh at, however, in the performer's tediously detailed autobiography. It starts with reports of growing up in an affluent suburb near New York City and Joan Molinsky's embarrassment at her parents for living beyond their means. Then she complains cuttingly about lack of family encouragement as she pursued an acting career. The men in Rivers's life are described unfavorably, as are the showbiz folk who impeded her progress. These recollections accompany bitter memories of false starts, frustrations and heartaches while the entertainer worked in dives and endured rebuffs until she ""arrived'' at age 31 in 1965. Rivers's breakthrough was her first appearance on The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson, whom she duly thanks here for empathizing with her humor. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Cosmopolitan; Literary Guild featured alternate. (May 9)