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Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art & Anecdote Hardcover – October 13, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; 1St Edition edition (October 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821228366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821228364
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 1.1 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fricke nicely balances his tribute to Garland, placing a positive spin on her at times self-destructive behavior yet still accurately portraying her frailties. Garland's daughter Lorna Luft establishes a loving tone with her touching introduction, proclaiming Garland a wonderful parent. Fricke (The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History) chronologically covers the star's radio, film, TV and stage history (from the 1920s through the '60s) via superb, previously unpublished photographs, illuminating vignettes and blurbs from affectionate interviews. There she is at age two, sporting an adorable pixie haircut; another shot shows her performing in one of hundreds of vaudeville shows she appeared in through age 13. Fricke meticulously analyzes The Wizard of Oz and the increasing pressure that resulted in Garland's drug addiction. Brief references to unhappy affairs with Joseph Mankiewicz, Tyrone Power and Artie Shaw are secondary to Fricke's thesis: that Garland was not about tragedy, but about talent and an ability to survive any obstacle. Glamorous b&w images of Garland belting out a tune from Meet Me in St. Louis in 1944 give way to more garish shots of Garland at home with daughter Liza Minnelli in 1960. Fricke glosses over some harsher truths and only shows dark hints of Garland's instability, as in orchestrator Gordon Jenkins's statement, "Judy, like all great stars, is inclined towards moodiness." But he successfully shows readers why the star remains an immortal, cherished icon, and his comprehensive volume belongs on the shelf of everyone who loves Garland and the musical genre.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A detailed look at more than just the Judy in the public eye." -- Bookloons.com

"Cozy up to what will undoubtedly be THE book to own for all you Garland fans." -- Metro Source

"If you’re a fan, you won’t put it down." -- San Diego Union-Tribune

"The ultimate celebration of the humor, talent, professionalism and artistry of the greatest performer of the 20th century." -- Rex Reed, New York Observer

"This is a beautiful piece of work that is a sincere tribute to an entertainer . . ." -- CelebrityCafe.com

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Customer Reviews

It shows you a more personal side of Judy Garland, coming from those who loved her the most.
Katie
Speaking of photos, those chosen are pretty rare, most in color, VERY large (I'm tired of photo books crammed with tiny pictures)and so expressive!
JOSEPH L HAMILTON
Thank goodness Mr. Fricke's book celebrates Judy and her career in a positive and healthy manner.
Lisa Weller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Katie on April 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
John Fricke has really outdone himself! I got this book for a Christmas present and since then have become a HUGE Garland fan. This is a great book for any Judy fan or anyone who is interested in learning more about her. It doesnt go way into her life and talk about one subject for 10 pages. It shows you a more personal side of Judy Garland, coming from those who loved her the most. There are alot of good stories, many told by Margret Whiting,the false teeth story is funny. There are quotes on what people thought of her as a entertainer and as a person. Not only are there great stories and quotes there are magnificent pictures. Pictures you cant find anywhere else. There are some great candids of Judy just throwing her head back in laughter. Very nice concert shots, that just give us a glimpse of her fabulous energy. There are even a few unretouched photos as well. Then there are the pictures of her with her kids, you can just see the love shining in her eyes. The last 10 pages of pictures and quotes are so powerful that I at least have to mention two of the pictures. The one of her rose covered coffin being carried down some street in New York, the reporters, the tons of fans that all lost some one, not just a celebrity but some one they thought of as a friend. Then there is the very last page of the entire book, an audience applauding and Judy getting ready to take a bow. Very powerful last page. This book isnt pne that is going to sit on your bookshelf and collect dust. But it is one that will be sitting on your coffe table. The one you look at almost everyday and never get tired of.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Steven J. Sanders on October 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In the spirit of full disclosure (obviously not shared by a couple of the cowardly, anonymous posters above), I am the author of an earlier book on Garland, "Rainbow's End: The Judy Garland Show." Additionally, I have known John Fricke for more than two decades.
After reading two pans for his book here -- one of them inexplicably stating, "This new book is almost too large and too heavy to enjoy" (?) and the other carping that this book presents little new information or material (!) -- I must respond to correct such false claims. It's one thing to have and offer an opinion; it's another to lie.
Anyone familiar with the past-published books about Judy Garland knows that PORTRAIT IN ART AND ANECDOTE is absolutely unique in its approach to reproducing rare art, never-before-seen in any reputable volume -- whether about Garland, M-G-M, Hollywood, or general entertainment history. Over 370 of the 415 pictures herein fall into this category. (And not one of the 415 appeared in Fricke's earlier books on Oz OR Judy Garland.) To make a claim to the contrary is preposterous. I spotted perhaps 20-30 photos from previously published sources; even if they have been seen elsewhere, this book's elegant design, its oversized pages, and top photo stock paper make familiar shots an entirely new experience.
This book doesn't compare with any other Garland book (not even mine!), and certainly not with Schechter's error-laden, self-promotional tome. John's clear-eyed, accessible text -- and the work of designer Ranse Ransone -- make for a masterful job in the illumination of Garland the woman and performer. Fricke's intelligence, sense of balance, insight, and research are second to none; his writing is first-rate.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Weller on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been a long time fan of Judy Garland and have collected all of the books written about her. I must admit this one takes my breath away with it's stunning photo reproduction. I have never collected memorabilia such as photos or posters from her movies (nor do I have the time or inclination to do so) which is why I appreciate this wonderful book. Mr. Fricke did all the work for me. I know there are people out there who are obsessed with Judy Garland in a very mentally unhealthy way. There was an article in the local (Tucson) newspaper here a few months back about one such person here in Tucson who obsessively collected Garland items like used pill bottles and worn underwear which I consider to be very sick behavior, and he was proud of his freaky collection which overwhelmed one entire room of his home. Those kind of "fanatics" are scary. Thank goodness Mr. Fricke's book celebrates Judy and her career in a positive and healthy manner. BRAVO Mr. Fricke!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JOSEPH L HAMILTON on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Judy Garland deserves more books like this. It is so lavish and glossy, so sleek, and not in an overbearing way in which the style of the book overshadows the content. The layout and design just shows these photos off beautifully.
Speaking of photos, those chosen are pretty rare, most in color, VERY large (I'm tired of photo books crammed with tiny pictures)and so expressive! If you love behind the scenes candid shots, you're in for a treat.

On to the text. I've always loved reading the glowing tributes that Judy inspires from her contemporaries, and it's great to have so many collected in one book. The text which accompanies the photos and begins each chapter is very insightful and sheds new light on a subject that has had the spotlight thrown on nearly every dark corner. It's a pleasure to read "clear eyed" (to borrow from another reviewer) and objective sentences that focus on the subject and not on the writer. The subtext of some of the other books written by Garland afficianados seems to shout "look at how much I love her! I love her so much more than you could!" Fricke's subtext seems to be "look at why this woman is loved and just see if you don't love her, too."

I have only two negatives to mention about this book and they are very minor.
It would be nice to have an index which focused on the quotes so if you wanted to find out what a specific person had said about Judy you could jump to the index and know it's not leading you to a slight mention of said person.

Second, while most of the content in this book was new to me, many of the quotes are pulled from the previous television biography on A & E. Someone who hasn't seen it over and over again probably wouldn't care about that, though.
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