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My Life So Far

Written by: Jane Fonda
Narrated by: Jane Fonda
Length: 21 hrs and 29 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

She is one of the most recognizable women of our time. America knows Jane Fonda as an actress and an activist, a feminist and a wife, a workout guru and a role model. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, Fonda reveals that she is so much more. From her youth among Hollywood's elite and her early film career to the challenges and triumphs of her life today, Jane Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Fonda divides her "life so far" into three "acts", writing about her childhood, first films, and marriage to Roger Vadim in Act One. At once a picture emerges: a child born to the acting legend Henry Fonda and the glamorous society princess Frances Seymour. But these early years are also marked by profound sadness: her mother's mental illness and suicide when Jane is 12 years old, her father's emotional distance, and her personal struggle to find her way in the world as a young woman.

By her second act, Fonda lays the foundation for her activism, even as her career takes flight. She highlights her struggle to live consciously and authentically while remaining in the public eye as she recounts her marriages to Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, and examines her controversial and defining involvement with the Vietnam War. As her film career grows, Fonda learns to incorporate her roles into a larger vision of what matters most in her life, and in the process she wins two Academy Awards, for Klute and for Coming Home.

In Fonda's third act, she is prepared to do the work of a lifetime, to begin living consciously in a way that might inspire others who can learn from her experiences.

Surprising, candid, and wonderfully written, Jane Fonda's My Life So Far is filled with universal insights into the personal struggles of women living full and engaged lives.

©2005 Jane Fonda (P)2005 Books on Tape

What the critics say

"Fonda's remembrances...nicely sum up more than 50 years of American history, seen through the eyes of one well-traveled woman." (Publishers Weekly)

"Whether you love her or hate her, all but her most venomous critics would have to conclude she has lived a fascinating life. As celebrity books go, this is a good one." (Houston Chronicle)  

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Biography/Memoir

"Intriguing, instructive, inspirational personal exploration is enriched by a flawless, captivating author performance. It's her life in her voice - and she delivers." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about My Life So Far

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Love it but it needs an audio edit

I loved this book, Jane is such a captivating storyteller and narrator. You are drawn into her life and feel like you are standing beside her through all of it. It really needs another edit to remove the many times there is a 5-15 second repeat of the audio. There are about a dozen spots in the book where this happens and is distracting.

2 people found this helpful

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Great read

I just loved this book. She is so honest and memorable. I just love her.

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Revealing

Very interesting and deeply revealing. She had me looking at myself and my own thoughts of where I am and what am I going to do about the rest of my life. Bravo Jane!

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  • Ludimila
  • 2013-06-29

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!!

I'm 26 years old, so I didn't know much about Jane Fonda. It was only when I read the reviews for the book that I found out all the controversy around her and her involvement in the Vietnam War. So for me this was an autobiography - and that's all.

I couldn't believe how naked she allowed herself to be in this book, and how honest it is. The first act made me so emotional I started to feel everything she described, and I couldn't wait to get it over with (although I enjoyed every second of it) I was suffering along with her.

The second act was a history class for me. It made me interested in the Vietnam war and I later researched and wanted to know more about it. Plus, her narration is wonderful, just wonderful! I don't really know how to describe it, because at the same time it seemed like a lullaby but also like she was right there with me, looking into my eyes and telling me her story with such intensity! It was just perfect!

The third act left me with that "give me more" taste... I do hope she writes another book. This one is enlightening and just a big life lesson.

I LOVED it! There's not really much more I can say.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Simone
  • 2016-12-02

Very Interesting!

What did I know about Jane Fonda before reading this book?

• Tense relationship with her dad
• Work-out videos & Legwarmers
• Hanoi Jane
• 9 to 5 (that’s just the first movie that popped into my head)
• Once married to Ted Turner
• Now stars in Grace and Frankie, a terrific TV show on Netflix (can’t wait for Season 3!!)

Needless to say I barely remembered the highlights of the highlights - but as I read on, many things I had forgotten quickly sprang to mind. On many occasions I said to myself “Oh yeah! I forgot about that!” like her activism, her struggles with eating disorders, her black adopted daughter, “Agnes of God”… all sorts of miscellaneous factoids.

I found her autobiography very honest and interesting. There was so much more to know about her than the superficial tid-bits I remembered. For example, I had no idea to what degree she was vilified during the Vietnam war and had been under investigation by the FBI! Yowza!

Other reviewers have said that her book is a little preachy and almost seems like a self-help book. I can understand that point of view; she is EXTREEMLY introspective, and I have to say some passages did start to feel a little too long and drawn out … but I never felt preached to, I thought she was just being passionate about what she believes in and therefore has a lot to say on the topic.

I listened to the audiobook and noted multiple technical glitches - MANY repeating sentences - but Jane’s narration was great. I liked listening to the sound of her voice and I think hearing her tell her own story directly made the entire thing even more interesting.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Mom of One (two if you count my husband)
  • 2015-11-12

Introspective and powerful

I can't say enough about how profound I found this book to be. All women should listen to this book! It had quite an effect on me in my "second act." I took much away in how I will live out the remainder of my second and third acts.

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  • glorie
  • 2016-02-29

great job!!!

gud book.
wonderful narration by jane.
makes u feel how she felt.
would recommend for a good book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • brenton miller
  • 2015-07-27

excellent audio book

excellent peformance and book good read by one of the biggest talents around an intriguing look into her private and public life

4 people found this helpful

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  • J F Whitmore
  • 2014-07-11

No ordinary Jane

Enjoyed everything about "My Life So Far." Jane is exceptional as always. Makes you want to keep listening. Quite a life. Narration is superb and you can feel her emotions. Jane explains her life of personal issues and public issues. I love her honesty. I am a lifetime fan.

13 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 2019-03-29

Get this!

This is the best memoir I have listened too. Jane is open about her life, (the good, the bad, and the ugly.) Her narration is very easy to listen to and well done.if you’re into memoirs, this is a must. If you’re new to them, start here.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cassidy
  • 2019-03-27

Jane FonDON'T WANT IT TO END!

This is a perfect audiobook and well worth the 21.5hrs. Jane Fonda is amazing and I not only learned about her life, but I also feel like I learned more about the world and myself. And her voice is awesome, obviously.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Fulton
  • 2016-03-11

This was a fantastic book

I very much enjoyed reading this book Jane is a great job of walking through her life for the very beginning mid 60s
She was very personal
and told me any different anecdotes about her life she shared everything

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jason
  • 2011-06-30

STUNNING

I have read and listened to many memoirs and biographies. This is, for me, the best I have ever had the good fortune to come across. Not only is it beautifully written with remarkable candor, moving insights and universal themes but it is performed by the author with an absorbing presence and sensitivity that really had me gripped all the way through, and left me feeling inspired.

16 people found this helpful