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A Passion for Life: The Biography of Elizabeth Taylor Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Mm); Reprint edition (April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061094013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061094019
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,299,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At once scathing and sympathetic, Spoto's biography presents Elizabeth Taylor as "the ultimate star?both as achiever and as casualty," a quintessential romantic who came to perceive all her relationships through the prism of movies and whose life's work has been to try to grow up. Biographer of Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe, Spoto blames this pattern on Taylor's dominating, ambitious mother, Sara, a retired British actress transplanted to Hollywood in 1939 who saw her pampered daughter as ordained to fulfill her own aborted dreams of stardom. In each of her eight marriages, Taylor assumed a new role, according to Spoto. Her first husband, hotelier Conrad Nicholas Hilton, represented freedom from her parents and the studio, but by this account he was a drinking, gambling wife-beater. Fifth husband Richard Burton, the smooth, cultivated British actor, completed "the transformation of Elizabeth the child into Elizabeth the woman," yet their neurotic codependency, cemented by drug and alcohol addiction, ultimately proved destructive. Spoto provides acute commentary on Taylor's films as well as a filmography in a revelatory portrait of a self-styled femme fatale beset by self-destructive impulses and feelings of emptiness. Photos. $100,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

''At once scathing and sympathetic . . . Spoto provides acute commentary on Taylor's films as well as a filmography in a revelatory portrait of a self-styled femme fatale beset by self-destructive impulses and feelings of emptiness.'' --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book by Donald Spoto. He went extremely in-depth regarding the life of Elizabeth Taylor. He tells about her childhood to her many marriages and movies. If you would like to get a good look into the life of Elizabeth Taylor, this biography is a excellent choice.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "zara_azari" on March 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Being very good at what he does, Donald Spoto, manages to provide readers with an accurate, in depth, and yet entertaining look at the life of Elizabeth Taylor, both on and off screen. Naturally, he starts with the early childhood, because at the age of nine Taylor was already bona fide child-actor. Then, as a heroine, i.e. Talyor, grows up, the discussion focuses mainly on men in her life, her first love (Monty Cliff) and her first marriage...and then, another marriage... and then another marriage, and another... It is hard to keep track at times! However, Spoto also shows Taylor's ability to stay true to her friends, inspite of many-many traumas and ugly gossips that have always surrounded her public persona. The only downside of this book is that narration stops somehere in a "Taylor/Jackson" period. Since Spoto already opened up a candid discussion of Taylor's health and other life problems, I think readers would like to know more about the on-going life battles, that their favorite female star presently has to fight. Also, it would be nice, if he mentioned Taylor's contribution to the fight with AIDS more extensively. In other words, Spoto should be planning on another revised edition of this otherwise lovely book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By eyeshavit on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hardbound,excellent quality book, well shipped. Elizabeth Taylor was a bawdy, loudmouth broad. Her story was what I expected, but sad to know more details. Easy read for the summer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ismene on May 13, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Taylor is a hard subject. She lived a life of exdtensive privilege and yet we must look at her as a woman uhappy, flawed and searching. The author often makes the point she was handicapped by her beauty. The beauty that brought her to the top also limited us seeing her as an actress and a person. I think the book makes
a valiant journey to find her essence in a world not trying to look deeper than todya's headlines.
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