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Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand [Kindle Edition]

William J. Mann
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Barbra Streisand’s story may be the most triumphant case of revenge in show business history . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand’s New York.”—New York Times

In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, she was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. In Hello, Gorgeous, the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into one of the world’s most beloved superstars.

“Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but author William Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique ‘star was born’ . . . Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography: shedding light on the formative years that shaped Streisand's persona, debunking some myths . . . and providing a cultural snapshot of the wild and free-spirited era in which Streisand blossomed.”—USA Today

“In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does."—Miami Herald



Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Before she was Barbra, she was Barbara, a homely Brooklyn kid who had an unshakable belief that she would be a star. What she didn’t think was that fame would come through her singing voice. Streisand wanted to be an actress; she saw Shakespeare in her future, not Fanny Brice. Mann takes readers from the day Streisand took the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan and ends with her as the toast of Broadway. He seems to have gotten closer than most to some friends and coworkers of the early Streisand—first love Barry Dennen, first husband Elliott Gould, manager Marty Erlichman—and he’s lucky that she left a paper trail of interviews. Mann seems to have combed through every one, looked at the old videos, and has even gone as far as to check Noël Coward’s schedule for 1960 to prove he could not have seen Streisand sing at Bon Soir. Though some of this is well-trod ground, Streisand fans will come away feeling they’ve had a ringside seat at her early career, and they will leave the show applauding. --Ilene Cooper

Review

"Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique 'star was born.'  Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography..."
USA Today
 
"Mann, who has written bios of Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, has found another great subject here, and he offers up many new tidbits about Streisand's early life: details of her first affair, with a bisexual actor; her rejecting moth's reaction to seeing her onstage for the first time; and some ruminations about those 3-inch nails." — People Magazine
 
"[An] excellent new work...One can only put down HELLO, GORGEOUS with renewed appreciation for Barbra’s single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle."
—Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
 
"Notable for its breadth of detail and fair-mindedness . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand's New York." —  New York Times Book Review
 
"Mann depicts not just her ferocious ambition and equally fierce insecurities, but also the people and strategies that enabled her rise. With many of those acolytes and assistants as sources, Mann provides an intimate, gossipy and sympathetic accounts of early Streisand." — The Forward
 
"In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date. . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does." — The Miami Herald
 
"[A] surprisingly suspenseful and masterfully paced biography."
Kirkus (starred)
 
"Streisand fans will come away feeling they’ve had a ringside seat at her early career, and they will leave the show applauding."
Booklist
 
"A compelling, detailed look at the rise of the multitalented Streisand from 17-year-old unknown to chart-topping singer and Broadway star. Highly recommended for fans of Streisand, biographies, and theater."
Library Journal
 
"Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman."
Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 20178 KB
  • Print Length: 605 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547368925
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006R8PGMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,662 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello, Barbra August 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It seems quite appropriate that Mr. Mann should publish this book now. This year marks Ms. Streisand's 50th anniversary in show business, she turned 70, and she is going on tour again and it is sold out!

In a day and age where stars are manufactured by a 10 minute appearance on television programs where they are glossed up and amplified to the hilt, Barbra Streisand remains that rare creature - a woman who has talent and has survived.

Tastes change as well as times do. From the beginning, when Barbra was singing classic Harold Arlen numbers and appearing with the old guard stalwarts of show business, she easily parlayed her talents to rock, disco and then back to classic Broadway.

In loving and sensitively portrayed wording, William J. Mann details Barbra Streisand's life in HELLO, GORGEOUS. It is not a cofee table book, nor is it something that can be ignored as a glossy collection of the woman's career complete with photographs. Mr. Mann clearly researched his subject. Although I suspect he is quite the fan of her multi-talents, he doesn't let his "hero worship" get in the way of his clean cut prose as he details her meteoric rise to the top. You read HELLO, GORGEOUS and are entertained by the facts. Although the author does not sugar coat his subject, he neither condemns her for being driven and over-bearing at times. You find yourself turning the pages and filled with the sense that you actually know Barbra Streisand personally.

A definite must read for anyone who wants to know who and what a star really is.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Appropriate Look At A Force Of Nature September 13, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I took this book with me on vacation. As it stands, this book overtook me on my vacation. It is a page turner in a true sense. It looks at the life and career of Streisand from its earliest professional beginning when she was starting out playing small clubs and living in a crappy apartment. In the course of the four short years that are covered in this book from 1960 to 1964, the reader is introduced to Streisand who didn't start out famous though her meteoric rise to uber stardom and fame certainly seems like it was always there.
Author William Mann supposedly didn't start out as a fan, but I get the feeling that through the course of his thorough research he has become one and has a lot of respect for Barbra while still being conscious to maintain honesty and objectivity when writing about his subject.
Streisand is put under the microscope and is often portrayed as self-centered and narcisistic. Definitely this is not always the most flattering manner in which to be portrayed, but personally I'd find it hard, if not impossible, to see her in any other light. I wouldn't expect Bette Davis to be demure and self-effacing nor would I expect the other B(as in Barbra) to be anything but confident and demanding and self-involved.
This book was extremely interesting and revealing and in no small part defines Streisand as someone, who despite being pretty much ignored by her mother, knew where she was headed and how to get there. It takes a look at her relationship with Elliot Gould as well as her collaboration with Ray Stark which elevated her to another level in terms of fame and her own versatility as the consummate performer.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One and Only Barbra! September 19, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Barbra doesn't have anything to worry about, now. After all, she's BARBRA. She starred in NUTS, and YENTL and sang vibrant songs on vinyl albums my parents played over and over again on the stereo turntable. As one who enjoys interviewing, what I recall (is the hearsay) that Barbra doesn't do interviews. So when I saw the book, HELLO GORGEOUS, Becoming Barbra Streisand, by William J. Mann, I had to have it. Never mind that I have about 15 books that I want to read in varying degrees of desperate; this one had me completely intrigued. I dropped everything to read it.

I could tell you that I met her on a public street in Manhattan, that I gushed over her and she rolled her eyes at me and smiled that mysterious, enigmatic smile in my direction. Neither is true of course. But I had wondered for years why she didn't give interviews. What really is the real back story behind the actress, and velvet voice and icon we now have known for decades as Barbra Streisand?

MANN captures a time when BARBRA was Barbara. Not as evolved, back when she was singing her heart out with Sleepin' Bee at the Bon Soir, in her early 20's.Back when she desperately wanted more than anything to be an actress.

There were very few moments, according to William Mann, author of this un-authorized biography, when she didn't believe in herself. HELLO GORGEOUS is peppered (at times quite a bit) with maybe's and probably's, but still paints a rather cohesive, and colorful portrait of the girl becoming a woman and then transforming into the icon.
I have always been curious about the "Elliot years", which are covered extensively. I found the story poignantly painful, and beautiful, inspiring and encouraging.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
lots of gossip no new information
Published 4 hours ago by dorothy sommers
5.0 out of 5 stars Determination and its deprivations
Insightful, well researched, honest –what more could you ask from a Biography of Barbar Streisand’s phenomenal first five years, It not about her entire life’s journey but a... Read more
Published 1 day ago by gary allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Still reading. Wonderful book
Published 2 days ago by pollypocket2
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a wonderful and well written book
This was a wonderful and well written book. It appears to be very well researched with some very intimate details about the life of an incredible woman.
Published 3 days ago by AZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Babs!
I am same age as Babs, and watched her climb to fame in NYC early career in local bars and shows all over town, so this book brought me back to those wonderous years in her young... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Charity Charles
3.0 out of 5 stars Very onteresting
Very interesting but it quit too early in her career
Published 5 days ago by marie porter
3.0 out of 5 stars I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT.
HEAVY ON THEATRICAL DETAIL WHICH LOST THIS READER. THE SNIPPETS ON BARBRA WERE TOO FAR BETWEEN AND THUS I FEEL THIS WORK WAS SO LENGTHY, ONLY THE MOST FAITHFUL FAN AND READER COULD... Read more
Published 7 days ago by frances k. smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with a great deal of research behind it
Written with a great deal of research behind it, this biography offers a vivid description of Barbra's early years in the business as well as rich detail about the times in which... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Catherine B. Seifert
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and redundant
She comes across as a very talented and manipulative and egotistical brat.
I think this book will preclude me from ever reading about celebrities again. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Luv2read
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Lots of wonderful information, but sometimes hard to follow.
Published 9 days ago by marla khayat
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More About the Author

I live in two of the most beautiful places on the planet ' Provincetown, Massachusetts, with its exquisite light and ever-shifting dunes in the summer and the fall, and Palm Springs, California, with its majestic mountains and invigorating desert air in the winter and the spring. I am indeed blessed.

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