Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark – Book Review

Published Date: September 21,2021

Publishing Co.: Hatchett Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

How could one NOT have a good time with the Hostess with the Mostess?

I’m not going to go terribly in depth with this review. Where’s the fun in me telling someone else’s story?

Cassandra Peterson seems like a good time gal. The girl that you would like to party with, and a lot of people did. I enjoyed that she was candid about her experiences with other celebrities. Other autobiographies seem like they’re always trying to hide behind the details or gloss over it completely. This was the perfect combination of being honest about deep things and being shallow the other half of the time. Sometimes people focus on one aspect too much, but not Ms. Peterson. She knows how to tell a tale and tell it well.

I find it funny that some reviewers are upset to find out that she did not create the character Elvira by herself and then it ruins their idea of her. She never hid this and since when is it bad to accept help from your friends? She had an opportunity, and her friends helped her produce something fantastic and memorable. The greatest gift they gave her was helping her be successful for 40 years and she sounds like the kind of friend who returned the favor. When you produce that kind of icon, then you can be mad and judge her. She’s not going to care, but you can do it.

My one complaint would be her talking about how gross Divine’s body was. It is just out of place in this day and age. I can understand if that is what you thought at the time, but you know better now and it does not really have a place in the book.

Overall, this is one of my favorite autobiographies.

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14 thoughts on “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark – Book Review

    1. I think there is a lot of people like that and those are some of the ones getting weirdly upset about the character development. If that doesn’t bother you, you will enjoy this. This woman has lived quite the life.

      1. It’s that good ol’ American individualism. All the things you have you get yourself, and all the things you share are really just freeloaders taking it from you. The idea of collaboration doesn’t fit our culture’s sense of self. I say middle finger to that.

    1. Divine was a famous drag queen who was overweight. Apparently, he was shooting some film where she was living and laying on the beach mostly naked. It just seemed out of place to mention in the book and almost like a dig because he wasn’t in the Elvira fan club.

  1. That stinks she said that about Divine who I know was the inspiration for Ursula so we stan. It always gets me when people down rate a book based on their expectations that the author NEVER encouraged. I just finished reading a book that people rated lower because it didn’t do what they expected and it’s like that sounds like a you issue not the author’s but they have to suffer a lower rating? So what if she used ideas from friends. Lots of creatives do that! What a thing to be weird about.

  2. This sounds amazing! Celebrity memoirs aren’t my go-to thing, but when there’s a good one, they can be so good! She sounds like she had a super interesting life and how ridiculous that people are making a big deal about her not creating the character entirely on her own. Like you said, she produced an icon…what a weird criticism alongside that.

      1. Funny enough I just finished Ross Gay’s new book of essays, Inciting Joy, today, and a big theme he writes about repeatedly in it is how much there is to celebrate in doing creative things together. He discusses group exercises he comes up with for his creative writing classes to get participants to draw and write and create together, which inevitably leads to a lot of laughter and bonding and a richer creative atmosphere. He also mentions how much he hates this idea of individualism and who can be the toughest, meet the most standardized metrics, beat out all the competition, etc. It made me think of this! It’s something to celebrate when people can be creative together, let alone when she manages to make an iconic 40-year career (!!!) out of it!

      2. That honestly sounds like a ton of fun. You can create by yourself anytime. Creating with friends should be a celebration. I always disliked in art class rules that the teacher set. I know the point was to teach you different things but I feel like art shouldn’t have any rules.

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