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Shattered Love: A Memoir Hardcover – June 3, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its fevered title, this is a courtly, ruminative life's accounting by the TV miniseries star and 1960s heartthrob. It relates Chamberlain's journey toward self-awareness and growoing capacity for love, through the scrim of an actor's career. Although the author, who's now 69, discusses his main television, movie and stage efforts, he dishes no dirt about his colleagues or directors. Raymond Massey, Chamberlain's Dr. Kildare co-star, was like a second father to him. The Thorn Birds' co-star Barbara Stanwyck was prepared down to her gestures when she hit the set. The Three Musketeers's bombshell Raquel Welch was beloved by all. As Chamberlain revisits his acting credits, he concentrates on what he gained from them as an artist, such as how he fought for the lead in Shogun or broke through the constraints of Rex Harrison's performance to carve his own characterization of Henry Higgins in a stage revival of My Fair Lady. Throughout, he centers his account on how he evolved as a spiritual being. He writes of his spiritual counselors, who showed him how to gain strength through dissociation and open his heart to forgive and love others, particularly his alcoholic father. He speaks intermittently about his homosexuality, but considers it a nonissue, rather than a political passion. His pantheistic theology is heartfelt, but might seem unfounded to orthodox believers. The book is most valuable as a portrait of a man who has made peace with his past. B&w photo insert not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Richard Chamberlain has starred in such classics as Dr. Kildare, The Thorn Birds, and Shogun and has received rave reviews for his theatrical turns in Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac, and My Fair Lady, as well as numerous other plays and films. Chamberlain lives in Hawaii, where he continues to act and pursue his passion for painting.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060087439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060087432
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've never been a fan of Richard Chamberlain the actor. I never questioned his talent, but he plied his trade most successfully in "Shogun" and "The Thornbirds," TV mini-series that didn't interest me, and in lame-brained big-screen blockbusters like "The Towering Inferno" which interested me less. Therefore, I was suprised at how much I enjoyed his well-written memoir, "Shattered Love." The dramatic title does not refer, as I initially thought, to a romantic relationship gone wrong, but to Chamberlain's belief that we are all splinters - pieces, rather than products - of a loving God. I'm not sure I accept that theory but Chamberlain is obviously sincere in his philisophical and spiritual beliefs, and they have no doubt helped heal his damaged soul.
Part of that damage resulted from his long repressed homosexuality, but though Chamberlain's "coming out" was used to promote the book, it is but one piece of the whole, just as he regards his sexual orientation as just a piece, and a mundane one at that, of his entire being. This is not a lurid confessional but a heartfelt account of Chamberlain's search for truth and self-acceptance based on the quality and content of his soul rather than the size of his fame and popularity.
Of course, Chamberlain takes time to reflect on his acting career, but avoids back-biting and gossip, finding only kind words for co-stars like Raquel Welch whom he and the other cast members of 1974's "The Three Musketeers" were predisposed to dislike but found adorable, and Barbara Stanwyck, whose professionalism impressed him when they co-starred in "The Thornbirds." But when he turns his attention to show-biz, Chamberlain mainly focuses on how he learned his craft, and how his inhibitions and insecurity were hurdles he had to jump before he could excel at his art.
"Shattered Love" is an inspiring and worthwhile read, even if, like me, you were never really a fan of the actor who wrote it. By the final chapter, you may be one.
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Chamberlain tells in this book of his poignant struggles of growing up in an alcoholic home, dealing with fame (and when it deals with him), as well as his spiritual search to live an authentic and truthful life.
Many, I imagine will pick up this book with an eye for sensationalism and gossip over the revelation of his sexual preference. Yet they will be sorely disappointed that there is neither sensational and illicit tales, nor gossip to titillate. No, what the reader will find here is a book about a very thoughtful and spiritual man, who happened to act for a living, trying to navigate his way toward love and finding his true and openhearted self.
Though, given the sometimes glossed over and fast-forwarded events in his life that take place in the book, one can't help but wonder if there is another book in the offing or if much was edited out of this one. Yet the spiritual and philosophical ponderings were delightful to read and filled the heart. I am glad that Mr. Chamberlain wrote it and allowed himself to be so vulnerable and open.
On a personal note, I applaud Mr. Chamberlain's courage to write the truths revealed in the book but also wish to add that it makes no difference to me one way or another and it shouldn't to anyone who reads this book. He simply is what he is and approval is not required when reading. Acceptance however, is a bridge to understanding.
You could learn a lot about not only Richard Chamberlain in this book, but yourself as well.
Cheers to the years together, Martin and Richard!
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Format: Hardcover
When Amazon.com recommended to me Richard Chamberlain's book Shattered Love: A Memoir it didn't attract my attention, first and foremost because I thought it was a book about famous people and fame, stuff that doesn't interest me. But to base my decision on something I read the customers' review. Some of the reviewers got me to believe that it is a book about what the life have to offer, if one wants to create and steers his own life, rather than gossip and stories of famous people; a book about the pain that follows and are all around one who cannot be himself in his daily life. In other words, a book about being a thoughtful human being.
Richard Chamberlain's book is well organized and in more than one way remarkable. Hopefully it will help those who walk in his shoes to benefit from his footprints. Because English is not my mother tongue I neither can nor think it's right of me to criticize the text, but can say that I find comfortable to read the book. Fortunately, it isn't a book about fame, so they who want to hear gossip should read another book. It's a book for those who respect the life and want to get acquainted with the nature and voluntarily open their heart for the unknown.
The book reflects itself in following sentence: "It's interesting that some of us are born with, or acquire along the way, a dark sea of inner doubt and insecurity that keeps us adrift, continually swimming to catch up"... The book's strength is the author's decision to accentuate on humanity. Over the years he have thought a lot of spiritual matters; in what way he can developed his mind and thought; including the love, which is naturally quite the same feeling either people are gay or straight. Finally he has found his way to live the life alive and now he shares his life experience with his readers.
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