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Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century [Kindle Edition]

Sam Kashner , Nancy Schoenberger
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From veteran entertainment reporter Sam Kashner and biographer Nancy Schoenberger comes the definitive account of the greatest Hollywood love story ever told—the romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Kashner has interviewed Elizabeth Taylor numerous times and is the only journalist given access to her extensive collection of personal letters and journals, and he and Schoenberger have also interviewed the Burton family at length, including Burton’s actress daughter Kate. This is truly an authorized and singularly informed biography of these two larger-than-life stars, and of their glamorous, volatile, and audacious relationship.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Life outdoes movie melodrama in this raucous, intimate, dual biography of Hollywood's ultimate It Couple. As told by journalist Kashner (Sinatraland) and biographer Schoenberger (Dangerous Muse: The Life of Caroline Blackwood), the romance between the glittering Tinseltown diva and the sonorous, self-loathing Shakespearean reprises their co-starring movie roles: it has the passion of Cleopatra (the Vatican condemned their on-set adultery as erotic vagrancy), the riotous merriment of The Taming of the Shrew, the poisonous marital fights of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a cast of thousands of paparazzi and shrieking fans. The well-researched narrative—the authors make good use of Burton's engaging love letters and diary entries—offers juicy details of his epic alcoholism and her towering tantrums, and is fascinated with the jewelry pieces, like the Taj Mahal diamond that Taylor famously extracted from Burton as tribute or penance. But from the binges and bling emerges a revealing portrait of the magnetic qualities—her vulgar warmth, his soulful virility—that glued the couple together. Here is that rare love story that holds one's interest beyond the wedding—and a reminder, after the thin gruel of Brangelina, of what a feast celebrity can be. Photos. (June 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Offering up "Brangelina" as the 21st century's lackluster answer to "Liz and Dick," critics likened the contemporary pair to I Love Lucy's Fred and Ethel Mertz. Those unfamiliar with "the brawling Burtons" will find juicy anecdotes in abundance here, but Furious Love rises above mere celebrity gossip by humanizing the mythic couple, taking readers deep into their A-list world of conspicuous consumption and private pain. Despite some repetitive, cliché-ridden prose, reviewers were still captivated by this powerful portrait of doomed love. Less successful, they noted, were the authors' attempts to connect Hollywood's emerging celebrity culture to the relationship, ceaselessly scrutinized by the tabloids. An "addictive page-turner" (Providence Journal), Furious Love is a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the most tempestuous romances of the 20th century.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4330 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061562858
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JBI2LQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Love of a Lifetime April 12, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Written with the cooperation of Elizabeth Taylor, who gave the authors 40 letters written by Richard Burton to her - including one she received a few days after his death - and his widow who gave them his diaries, this is probably the most realistic account of this couple that we are going to get. Elizabeth Taylor told the authors "I don't care what you write about me - as long as you honor Richard". Richard Burton does seem to be the most sympathetic character in this book.

After they met on the set of Cleopatra and fell in love, their lives were never the same. They sincerely loved each other but in the end, one of them was more destructive than good to the relationship. I ended feeling sorry for Richard Burton and thinking he would have been much happier wearing an old sweater and teaching at some university.

I'm glad I read the book. I now have a whole different view of an actor I've enjoyed for years.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure July 23, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I grew up with a mother who was an avid film fan, and read Photoplay and Modern Screen magazines, enjoying the pictures alone until I was old enough to read the stories. I lived through the years of Le Scandale, as Richard Burton described his headline-grabbing affair with Elizabeth Taylor. My mother was horrified by their daring and, to many, immoral, hedonistic behavior and was appalled to read a quote by Ms. Taylor, asking "What are they saying about us now?" during the thick of things. However, I, as a young girl, couldn't get enough of the news of these two larger than life stars. I later grew into a movie fan myself and was constantly amazed by the talent that these two people possessed, as well as their propensiy for excess.

I therefore could not resist purchasing "Furious Love" and devouring it with a great deal of guilty pleasure. It is a book that is obviously sympathetic to Richard and Elizabeth, as they preferred to be called, and referred to themselves. They apparently hated "Liz & Dick," as they were called in the press, but seemed to understand that, under those names, they were a product and were also news. I enjoyed coming to see these two people as human beings, with all their faults.

It is the story of Burton, a frustrated writer and magnificent stage actor who made the uncomfortable transition to movies, where he guiltily enjoyed the money and fame that move brought him, and his insatiable love for Taylor, which he could not quench in spite of the guilt that also produced in him. He left his wife and children, caught up in a grand passion for the woman he was never able to forget.

Taylor and Burton lived life to its gaudy fullest, drinking and brawling their way around the world.
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The roles of their lifetimes April 2, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The scandal in the 1960s of the love affair and then marriage of Elizabeth Taylor, then the world's most famous movie star, and the great Welsh leading man Richard Burton, may have been the biggest celebrity story of the 20th century that didn't involve murder. The word "paparazzo" to mean a celebrity photographer was even coined in LA DOLCE VITA to describe the kinds of press agents Federico Fellini observed congregating around the two stars during their courtship in Rome on the set of CLEOPATRA, and for the next fifteen years their relationship was inescapably in the public eye, often crowding off the front page the great political events of the period. This new account of this relationship--in many ways a biography of both stars--is supplied by unprecedented access to Burton's diaries and private writings, and by the express consent of Ms. Taylor herself and also Burton's widow Sally; this is probably as close to the full story as we'll ever get to this famous marriage until after Elizabeth Taylor's death.

Even so, she seems to have allowed Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger pretty full much full rein in writing whatever they wanted about her and Burton, and though the authors seem (justifiably) taken with the Burtons' prodigious talents and their charisma, they also do not stint in describing their selfishness, excess, and even at times their cruelty towards one another and (particularly in Richard Burton's case) towards others outside their circle. Burton and Taylor took great pleasure on as living as largely as they could, and their incredible profligate spending, drinking, eating, and sex was not only reported constantly but was very much the basis for their relationship: they both loved such glamorous excessive gestures.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.75/3.0 retelling of the famous love affair July 15, 2010
By SusieQ
Format:Hardcover
I had a hard time rating FURIOUS LOVE (and almost as difficult a time finishing it), for two reasons. The first reason is, I've read all this before. Burton's rise from nothing - his constant philandering - the overwhelming pull of his love for Elizabeth Taylor - being torn between 'serious' work in the theatre or the quicker buck of the film world; the gradual fall into alcoholism and career doldrums. Taylor's early screen successes - her (generally unsuccessful, with the exception of Mike Todd) search for happiness in her first four marriages; the extravagance and mutual excesses of her life with Richard Burton which would eventually bring the lives together to an end. It's been written before. (And better, in some instances - especially with regard to Richard Burton. Read Melvyn Bragg's life of Richard Burton for a better book about his life.)

The second reason I had difficulty finishing the book -(which somewhat impinges on reason #1)- is this: for the umpteenth re-telling of the love affair and marriage of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to be *really* irresistible reading, the writing had better be crisp and the re-telling of the facts revelatory and fresh. Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger are, at best, pedestrian authors. Maybe it's something to do with the dual authorship, but the writing is lackluster. It's a cut above a tell-all, but only just (it maintains a respectful tone, probably due to the cooperation of Elizabeth Taylor and Sally Hay Burton with the authors). But disappointingly, for a book about a "furious" love affair, the writing has no panache, no eloquence, and, despite Ms. Taylor's cooperation in sharing her thoughts and Richard Burton's letters to her with the authors - no lasting poignancy.

Too bad Ms.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Liz & Dick
I was too young to have a true grasp of the magnitude of E.T.and R.B.'s stardom. Of course I was aware of them because it could barely be avoided. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bf
3.0 out of 5 stars Good- if this is your first Burton/Taylor Book
I recently read again the Kitty Kelly biography on Taylor which renewed an interest in learning more about Burton/Taylor. So with the reviews I became motivated to read this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by AnneC
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
great story about 2 of the worlds greatests actors and lovers! juicy details and pix.i highly recommend it! a great fast read!!!
Published 2 months ago by Anthony G. Alansky
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Book. Held my attention
I enjoy biographies about people who I think I know. It was a very good story. They were the first to be publicly exposed for breaking up marriages. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathleen M. Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring!!!
After trying to read this book several times, I just got too bored to continue. It was not written in a way that held my interest.
Published 3 months ago by E. Emery
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn.
I don't know why I expected better, but really what can you reasonably expect from a celebrity bio? The excerpts from Burton's letters were enjoyable, however.
Published 4 months ago by Leigh Fellner
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Couple Ever.
Elizabeth and Richard's story is just so beautiful. They truly demonstrate that LOVE is possible in this world. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miss Mary Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Furious Love
Loved reading about Liz & Dick and the Marriage of the Century. All the glamorous details of a bygone time, when there were still big movie studios and HUGE movie stars, and a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by GA buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Furious Love
This book touched my soul. Such a beautiful love story and so real to life. I could not put this down. Brought tears to my eyes so many times...what a great love they had... Read more
Published 6 months ago by patricia
4.0 out of 5 stars Larger than Life Stars' Great Love
I knew a little bit about Taylor and Burton's marriages, but not that much. After watching the BBC production of "Burton and Taylor", I decided to order the book to learn more. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Shanbritt
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