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There are 0 reviews and 0 ratings from India. Top reviews from other countries. Verified Purchase. This is an interesting study of the context of Elizabeth Taylor's life, particularly examining her role as a formative influence in the cult of celebrity as we know it today. It was somewhat spoiled for me by poor writing. It is mildly annoying although it can be hilarious to be constantly faced with confused grammar "Neither gossip magazines nor paparazzi could not have thrived as they obviously did had there not been hungriness Well, possibly.
Furthermore, you have to be very good at structural design before non-linear structure is a better choice than linear. Better at it than this author, anyway.
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There is a peculiar repetitiveness to the text as people familiar from the first chapters are re-introduced to us as if for the first time. Published in , the text is uncompromisingly up-to-date - many sources are URLs Uniform Resource Locators, the author explains helpfully , and we are told when they were last accessed. This modernity will be of great benefit to many readers: for example, the reach of Hedda Hopper's column is usefully compared to "a twitter following of million - somewhere between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
Anything before that - eg the guilt of Fatty Arbuckle or the origin of the star system - is presented as a matter of "fact". Ellis Cashmore seems very conscious of the physical presence of "the book". Many events and personages are flagged up with a warning that they will be returned to in this or that chapter, and "the book" one is in the process of reading is referred to again and again with hypnotic regularity. It's all very reflexive. This is the style one might expect from a Film Studies dissertation rather than from a professional biographer.
On the other hand, if the words are not well-chosen, the characters do just about live. I felt very engaged with the culture and history of the movie world in the second half of the twentieth century. Diligent research is evident perhaps a little too evident from the references peppering every paragraph.
Interesting and scurrilous data - they're taken a little too seriously to be called anecdotes - are winkled out about historic figures, who are themselves linked, in keeping with the book's consciousness of itself as medium, to their living descendants. While rather lacking in humour and, if you care about prose style, grating, the writing bounces along with plenty of portentous chapter endings and juicy similes "Taylor's English rose image wilted and in its place appeared a Venus flytrap". Importantly, the author is not blinded by star worship, and without belittling Taylor's colossal celebrity status, conscientiously explores the historical structure of celebrity itself.
Unless you are a starry-eyed fan looking for a mere romantic paean to Taylor, or a sour-minded pedantic addict of Hollywood biographies such as myself, you will probably enjoy it. Report abuse. Loved reading about this wonderful actress, there will never be another one like her. One person found this helpful.
Liz continues to fascinate - always her own person - more than most beautiful but a shrewd star who demands top pay and in maturity spearheads major drive against AIDS before much of world aware of its threat - a cause she continued supporting as major fundraiser until her death. A fun read that describes the entire unique loving woman who was perhaps the 20th century's major movie star.
This book gave one a totally different slant on ET's life - not a glossy book, but one that explains that we project onto celebrities a close knowledge of them where there really is no relationship, just what we read about them or how w see them as if we actually know that person. Everything in the book is extensively annotated - the only mistake that stood out was the author giving the year of Sybil Burton's death as being , when in fact she didn't die until !
A very minor glitch in an otherwise fascinating sociologically expert work.
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