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The Way I See It - A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Anderson Books in Review
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The Way I See It - A Look Back at My Life on Little House
by Melissa Anderson
Globe Pequot Press
ISBN 978-0-7627-5970-5
Published May 2010 - Hardcover - 244 pages - $22.95

I found the tone of this book a little off-putting.  It's rather like reading the notes for Melissa (Sue) Anderson's book rather than a smoothly edited interpretation.  To me, it sounded as though she'd just watched some old episodes of Little House on the Prairie and relates bits and bobs about what she remembers; in other words, it's like it's all coming from her memory prompted from watching old episodes rather than from the back of her mind.  I know that's part of the book's title, but come on, all that script dialogue repeated on the pages?  To fill the pages perhaps?  The tone?  A little condescending, especially when she says, "As we say in showbiz" or "so I wore my emeralds", and also how she refers to Michael Landon from the get-go as Mike Landon, with no explanation.  I also didn't appreciate all the explanations (as though she's very kindly spelling it out for all us non-movie people) for "extras" (someone featured on camera but who never speaks any dialogue), or "dailies" (film that is shot each day and screened for the executives the following day), or "stock shot" or "stand-in"; we're not children who need everything explained to us — give us some credit!  Now, this endearing television series happened back in 1974 and was based on the books of the same name by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It was quite interesting reading about the filming and goings on at the time, but Anderson's book lacks "meat", and comes off as distant (oftentimes as though she was above everyone else) and as just reminiscings about some episodes and a few people she worked with or met; basically, a lot of name-dropping.  The bits I did enjoy were about Michael Landon and Karen Grassle (very little on Melissa Gilbert and almost nothing personal about Anderson's family life — just what it was like on set or at celeb parties here and there) and a few other guests, otherwise, I could have put the book down before I got half-way through.  I could have rented the series on DVD and got the gist of all the episodes she describes in her book.  A cop-out in my opinion and rather disappointing.  I didn't agree with the dust jacket's description of the book, that these stories were "...told with warmth (maybe) and a great sense of humor (I didn't pick that up at all — it was rather blah and monotone if you like).
Conclusion - Do yourself a favor and rent or borrow the series from your library.  A very disappointing book.

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