Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelley
(Crown, 2010, 524 pages)
I never really felt a huge urge to read Kelley’s Oprah biography, but I needed an audiobook for my drive to work and this was sitting on the shelf. Kelley narrated the audiobook herself which was nice, except when she repeatedly mispronounced names and words. But that’s neither here nor there… Right? Sure.
For those who might not know, this is an unauthorized biography, meaning Oprah in no way participated or contributed to Kelley’s research. All the “direct quotes” Kelley included from Oprah were pulled from articles or directly from her shows. While I did learn a lot of interesting information about Oprah’s past and how she attained her uber-celebrity status, it felt like Kitty Kelley was trying entirely too hard to portray Oprah in a negative light. I’ll admit that I love Oprah and would undoubtedly cry if I ever got the chance to meet her, so the constant harping on her was hard to listen to over and over. Obviously, I know some of those negative things are true but I also understand they don’t comprise the whole of the woman.
A lot of time was spent talking about Oprah’s hyper-sexual youth, her “relationship” with Steadman, her “relationship” with Gayle, and her constant drive to be a star. If there’s one thing you take from the book it’s that Oprah is an ambitious woman and she will work to make her dreams a reality. I didn’t really enjoy the book, but I’m glad I read it so I could see what all the fuss was about.