I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir

Written by:
Harvey Fierstein
Narrated by:
Harvey Fierstein

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2022
12 hours 32 minutes
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A poignant and hilarious memoir from the cultural icon, gay rights activist, and four-time Tony Award–winning actor and playwright, revealing never-before-told stories of his personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, and of his fabled career

Harvey Fierstein’s legendary career has transported him from community theater in Brooklyn, to the lights of Broadway, to the absurd excesses of Hollywood and back. He’s received accolades and awards for acting in and/or writing an incredible string of hit plays, films, and TV shows: Hairspray,  Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Cheers, La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Newsies, and Kinky Boots. While he has never shied away from the spotlight, Mr. Fierstein says that even those closest to him have never heard most of the tales—of personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, of his fabled career—revealed in these wildly entertaining pages.
I Was Better Last Night bares the inner life of this eccentric nonconforming child from his roots in 1952 Brooklyn, to the experimental worlds of Andy Warhol and the Theatre of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movements of the seventies and the tumultuous AIDS crisis of the eighties, through decades of addiction, despair, and ultimate triumph.
Mr. Fierstein’s candid recollections provide a rich window into downtown New York City life, gay culture, and the evolution of theater (of which he has been a defining figure), as well as a moving account of his family’s journey of acceptance. I Was Better Last Night is filled with wisdom gained, mistakes made, and stories that come together to describe an astonishingly colorful and meaningful life. Lucky for us all, his unique and recognizable voice is as engaging, outrageously funny, and vulnerable on the page.
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James R.

Spectacular! Harvey Fierstein is an important contributor to the history of the American Theater, and his memoir does not disappoint. From his early days, growing up Jewish in Brooklyn, starving and couch surfing as a young actor while trying to succeed in NY's fledgling off-off-Broadway scene, his observations are alternately hilarious, touching, and political when he explains how his work coincided with America's growing acceptance of Gay Rights. With his breakthrough work "Torch Song Trilogy," he shines a light on the act of creativity, and what it takes to succeed. He shares insights about other showbiz characters of the era, working with Ellen Stewart at LaMama, producer John Glines, and big names like Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, and more, then his award-winning successes with "Hairspray," "Newsies," and others, Harvey's insights had me hanging on every word. It's ideal that Harvey Fierstein is also the narrator for this memoir, which adds to its potency. His unique voice is half the fun!

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Kristen B.

Same as other reviews…if you’re not familiar with Harvey or the theater scene then this book is t for you. I was hoping to learn more about his personal experiences and overcoming challenges, something any reader could relate to. Very little to do with his personal life.

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only for “die-hard” fans of Harvey… its like being trapped in a theater, in the middle seat of a row, and can’t escape until the interval… and realize that there isn’t one!! … in fairness, I’ve never been a fan of his work and this effort just confirmed my opinion “in Spades”…

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