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Miss Shirley Bassey Paperback – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847249752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847249753
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,565,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating."  —Independent



"Effective and insightful . . . lovely details abound."  —Guardian

About the Author

John L. Williams is a mystery author. He currently writes for the Mail on Sunday, having worked for the Independent, NME, Sunday Times, and as contributing editor of GQ magazine.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a stateside Dame Bassey fan, I'll take what I can get. I'd already read Shirley Bassey: Diamond Diva by Peter Hogan, and when I saw that there was another book about "the girl from Tiger Bay," I wanted very much to inhale that one too.

This book covers her early life and career. That's it. It's incomplete, and unfortunately, feels very much so. I'm not even sure that I can, in good conscience, recommend this book. Diamond Diva is the far superior of the two in that it's much more informative, and definitely feels to be the more thoroughly researched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sasha VINE VOICE on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
John L. Williams is a crime writer from Cardiff. This is very important to note, as we are not talking about another star struck fan who is writing bout his favorite subject but about professional writer intrigued about celebrity with roots in his own neighborhood - this also means that he takes time to describe and paint the picture of what it was like to be mixed-race singer in 1950s, going so far to even add in appendix chapters about crimes and night life in Cardiff, minstrel shows (Bassey had her start in one) and touring revues with striptease (these were kind of shows she was singing in the beginning). Williams had certainly did some good research and if he got some negative reviews in UK media for unearthing old skeletons from the closet, well it depends on perspective of the reader - people who focused on scandals,secrets and dirty laundry lost the point author wanted to make - he was describing struggle to the top and what sacrifices young girl had to make along the way.

This also brings up another question: what do we expect from biographies? Celebrating someone's life without a hint of darkness would be described as "fawning" but if the author did research and found old police records & secrets it brings uproar for being indiscreet. Myself, I found the book fascinating in many ways, specially because of the writing style - it is hinted between the lines that Williams could have been far more indiscreet if he was inclined so while telling the story about young unknown girl trying to escape poverty and start in show business. Interestingly, Williams ends his story in 1967.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cduk2001 on April 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is by far the best biography of Shirley Bassey written to date. Covering the years from Bassey's birth to the early 1970's, it is very well written and researched, and paints a very realistic and fascinating picture of life in Tiger Bay in the 1940's and 50's as well as show-business London of the 60's. A lot of Bassey's "private" life is already well known, but this author brings the characters from her past to life and helps us to understand what shaped DSB into the amazing performer she is today. A really good read regardless if you are a big Bassey fan or not.
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By Carol on August 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not much that I did not know. Nothing new and exciting. Would have liked more on the personal side of her life
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