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It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
"Happily ever after" did not happen for the 13 couples in this book. Starting with Nero and Poppaea Sabina, winding through the ages to describe the breakups of couples, such as English King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, it is a veritable Who's Who of bad relationships. There are some unbelievable stories here about famous, creative personalities who lived at the edge of society's mores. These rulers, artists, and writers were already larger-than-life, but heartbreak does not distinguish among the rich, poor, and eccentric. Whether their culture tolerated cruelty that was not acceptable in many other time periods (Nero and Poppaea Sabina), condemned homosexuals to a prison sentence or worse (Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas), or even tolerated their bizarre behavior (Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler), each breakup left its mark on the individuals involved. For teens who know their history of popular and literary culture, this book will be a light and breezy read. The author peppers comparisons with contemporary figures, which may motivate readers to head to the nearest Wikipedia article to learn more. There are many interesting rumors, facts, and stories here that certainly can encourage further research into the complete history. VERDICT Definitely hand this title to teens who enjoy talking or reading about history. Also consider suggesting to those who have just broken off an important relationship—it could certainly provide a fascinating perspective.—Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA
"Wright combines a deep knowledge of her subjects with an abiding love for their depravity; she chronicles their breakups with a wit as sharp as a guillotine's blade."―People
"The tone―intimate, whimsical, smart, and silly at once―continues through two millennia of stories of love lost and found... Wright dishes dirt on all of them...with the gleeful irreverence of your wittiest friend recapping a particularly juicy episode of reality television."―The Boston Globe
"Immensely entertaining... If you’ve gone through a breakup, stock up on Haagen-Daz, block your ex’s number, get drunk with your friends and buy this book."―BUST Magazine
"This is balm for the brokenhearted: we are laughing! We are learning!...Above all, It Ended Badly offers hope: for the late-night drunk texters, the doughnut smashers, and everyone else currently exhibiting bad breakup behavior."―Kirkus
"Although the 13 stories feature heartbreaking and horrific tales, Wright leaves the reader with positive and hopeful thoughts on love... The writing fits right in with the work of comedian authors Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler."―Library Journal (starred review)
“Delightful... funny, irreverent... The book teaches even as it entertains, and applies modern psychology to the behavior of its subjects, providing both amusements and consolation to people likely in need of both.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“When it comes to love and desire, conquest is thrilling, revenge is delicious, but does anything really satisfy like schadenfreude? Here, have a heaping plate of it, courtesy of the wittiest writer on the beat.” ―Ben Ryder Howe, author of My Korean Deli
“I took It Ended Badly and a bottle of wine to the couch, and I didn't get up until both were finished.” ―Alexis Coe, author of Alice+Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis
“From Nero's narcissism to Oscar Wilde's heartbreak to Debbie Reynolds drama with Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Wright provides an illuminating chronicle of love, heartbreak and everything in-between. It's a must-read for anyone who loves history or a good story, especially when accompanied with a pint of ice cream and romantic angst. And unlike the tumultuous relationships she covers in these pages, you'll be sad when It Ended Badly is over.” ―Mary Pilon, author of The New York Times bestselling The Monopolists
“Heartbroken? Jennifer Wright has the antidote. A compassionate, dishy, and very funny tour of the unbelievable but true antics of the world's most legendary exes, It Ended Badly is the perfect break up cure. You will cry until you laugh.” ―Iris Smyles, author of Iris Has Free Time
“This fantastic book will make you feel so much better about your break ups!” ―Danny Strong, creator, writer, and director of TV's Empire
Top customer reviews
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Jennifer Wright combines fascinating stories from over a thousand years of history with witty prose and contemporary references. From Nero and Poppaea to the Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Eddie Fisher triangle, I laughed out loud more times than I can remember in my bed, at my desk, and on at least three New York City subway lines.
I cannot recommend this book more. If you have only one takeaway at the end of reading, just know that no matter how bad a break may be, always be grateful that you never dated Norman Mailer. And, on a personal note, I am forever grateful to this book for my extraordinary discovery that Alma Mahler is my spirit animal.
Not only does she delve into the historical end of these legends, but she shows another side of them – their under belly, so to speak – that proves even the greatest of the greats have had their hearts smashed to bits and come out the other side… well, OK, not everyone comes out the other side, but that’s just the risk you take when it comes to love.
Between her sense of humor, her wit, and her originality in how she tells a story, Jennifer Wright nails it. It’s not just a great debut from a unique voice, but pretty much the perfect companion for anyone who knows what it’s like to go through a horrible breakup… and that would be all of us. Or at least 98% of us.
All in all this was a great book! I was hoping she another book out there, but I couldn't find any.
Additionally, I was surprised when she was on Andy Cohen's show. I actually knew about and her book!