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Customer Review

216 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I knew him, September 22, 2012
This review is from: Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace (Hardcover)
The book is closer to the truth than one might think. I first met Scott and Liberace through one of my dearest friends, Ray Arnett, who produced and directed the Liberace Show for 30 years. He said he always felt sorry for Scott and that he (Scott) was treated very badly by Liberace, who had foolish and unrealistic expectations of a young, well spoken, handsome boy less than half his age.

The book is specifically NOT about the Liberace Show, nor does it pretend to be great literature. It tells honestly, the story of how a 10 year relationship between a closeted super-star and a teenaged dog-sitter came to be, how it survived and how it finally devolved amidst a backdrop of the glitz & whirl of the '80s and a society decimated by a poorly understood disease called AIDS. It would be a common and uninteresting tale had it not involved two men, a great deal of money, mob connections and, by the standards of Europe and Canada today, constituted a 10 year marriage.

The movie (of the same name) is shooting right now and is due to be released in 2013. It stars Matt Damon as Scott and Michael Douglas as Liberace. If it sticks to the book as intended, it will be both a conscientious statement on gay marriage rights in the US as well as an entertaining event.

I paid $14.00 for the hard cover and it is signed by the author.Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace
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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 27, 2013 11:52:53 AM PDT
Anne Rice says:
The film was shown last night on HBO and was breathtaking in more ways than one.
I wonder if you care to weigh in about its relationship to the book. I've ordered the
book --- I was deeply impressed by the film, by the compassion shown to all involved
in spite of the rawness ---- and will be reading it.
Thanks for a truly helpful review.

Posted on May 27, 2013 6:51:57 PM PDT
I was intrigued by all the ballyhoo leading up to HBO screening of Behind the Candelabra, and after watching it, am looking forward to reading Scott Thorson's account of his life with Liberace. Perhaps at a different time, this story could have had a much happier ending.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2013 11:53:56 AM PDT
I too enjoyed the movie, as I expected to.

Over a year ago, a friend who knows that Ray Arnett and I have been very close friends since 1980, emailed me to say this movie was to be made. I suspected correctly that no one would think Ray was alive. Through a circuitous route, I was able to hook Steven Soderbergh up with Ray for consulting purposes and Steven did, in fact, go twice to Ray's apartment to do this.

The movie followed the book closely. It was charitable to Liberace concerning his behaviour towards Scott. When I write that, bear in mind, for 30 years I was a concert pianist/entertainer and still am an enormous fan of Liberace.

If you are interested I will discuss by private email. details you may, or may not find interesting.

This film and the "inability," of mainstream studios to fund it, knowingly or not, has further implications, not just for the gay marriage movement, but also about the causes of AIDS, and censorship by arbiters, of what is presented as, "An Acceptable Homosexual," to the public at large.



Posted on May 30, 2013 4:23:51 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 30, 2013 4:24:49 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2013 3:06:15 AM PDT
Ardenwolfe says:
I agree with Anne. Also, your review was most helpful, and I intend to read the book now.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2013 6:31:37 PM PDT
wow. great to read this review. i was very moved by the movie and i thought it told a balanced story. glad to hear it was "mostly" true (for what we know outside of the two of them).

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 6:34:03 AM PDT
I just watched the movie and enjoyed it very much. Great acting by everyone. I plan on reading this story now too. The movie was actually very touching at the end.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2013 6:34:38 AM PDT
Georgia Girl says:
Enjoyed your comments regarding the movie. I just ordered the book and look forward to reading it because I thought the HBO movie was great though also heartbreaking. Michael Douglas & Matt Damon are incredible and believable in their roles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2013 11:11:37 AM PDT
You will enjoy the book. It's a simple read. Doesn't whine. The movie, and in fact the book, are kinder to Liberace, about the way he treated Scott, that was actually the truth.

Posted on Jun 12, 2013 11:50:23 PM PDT
Hello Kemble, (BTW, love the name!) You comment "handsome boy less than half his age"; is it really that you mean Lee was twice Scott's age? I did not know them, and as you stated that you indeed know them both, and as such I do not assume to know all the details of either mans' lives. But, sure Lee was at the very least over three times the age of Scott when they met. As you know them, perhaps you can clear up my apparent misunderstanding of the facts. Thanking you in advance
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