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Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations: An Indiscreet Memoir Hardcover – 2 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (2 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471101134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471101137
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'An extraordinary read' The Lady

'Evans was trying to do a brisk competent professional job and then go back to his novel; Ava was a lonely old woman who needed someone to talk to in the middle of the night. Their agendas were bound to clash but it is precisely this clash that gives The Secret Conversations its vitality' Sunday Times


'Glamorous and captivating... here it is at last, full of wit and gossip' Woman's Weekly

'This new biography reveals the extraordinary life of one of Hollywood s greatest leading ladies' Woman & Home

'The anecdotes are ghoulishly compelling...Gardner irresistibly evokes a roughhouse version of Sunset Boulevard's Norman Desmond' Metro

'Evans's book preserves all the wicked wit and withering judgements of Gardner at her most unguarded' --Herald

About the Author

Peter Evans was a former columnist and foreign correspondent with the Daily Express, and had written for the Los Angeles Times and Vogue, as well as every major newspaper in Britain. He was the author of several previous books, including Nemesis: The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O and the Love Triangle That Brought Down the Kennedys and Peter Sellers: The Mask Behind the Mask.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Belfast Dave VINE VOICE on 8 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A movie star who, by her own admission hated making movies, Ava Gardner was a unique and original screen beauty who's fondness for booze, men and good times are legendary. This book is her story as told by her to Peter Evans, who she asked to ghost write her autobiography in the late 1980's.
Her volatile temper, extreme language and life long affair with alcohol and tobacco are well documented, as is her generosity, quick wit, deep unhappiness and short fuse when it came to getting her own way.
This book is a gem among other Ava biographies, in that on every page you get to 'hear' the star's own voice. Peter Evans has captured what he spent so long trying to attain, Ava's independent and complex personality.
I laughed out loud several times while reading this book, and by the end felt a profound sadness for a lady who's life (by the end of it) had taken her on a journey from the pinnacles of stardom, to a sad and somewhat lonely end.
A truly fantastic and fascinating book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M Grange on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This superbly written account of the life of one of Hollywood's most glamorous, complex and misunderstood stars is a must read for anyone interested in Ava Gardner, or indeed in the movie culture of the 50s to 70s. Evans brings Ava Gardner's obstinacy and awkwardness in her last years to life effortlessly. Read this and you're guaranteed to be highly entertained, totally engrossed, and learn something.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs S K Cook on 22 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You get a real insight into what Ava Gardner was like in her latter years and I am not sure that, for me, she came across as a very likeable person. I found the end of the book left disappointing as it left the reader up in the air. Overall worth a read but not as informative as I thought it would be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JPSreviews on 26 April 2014
Format: Hardcover
Ava Gardner – The secret conversations
Peter Evans & Ava Gardner ISBN 978 -1 -47110 -113 –7 hardback

An incomplete project cancelled by the actress.
This book lacks scent – the fox went to earth. Ava never delivered on ‘her secrets.’
However if you are a student of publishing and wish to learn how to monetize fragments of a biography then this text is for you. Ready for the plot? Disaster strikes – Frank didn’t like Ava’s choice of ghost-writer – the actress halts the ghost publishing deal and then years later she dies. The ghost-writer’s friend one of the world’s top agents Ed Victor is on hand to help. Can the fragment be made saleable? What if the ghost-writer dies?

Here are my scores:
Research leads 9/10 – plenty to pursue here from the tobacco fields of North Carolina via a New York photo shoot out west to the cocktails and clubs of Los Angeles (I tried Ava’s Zombie). Ten years ‘in the feathers,’ with hubbies - Rooney, Shaw and Sinatra.
Prose 6/10 – lots of pace. Centring on Ava’s input I read the book in one pleasurable afternoon. The previous week I had been driven almost insane reading 23 dreary Alice Munro texts mostly describing ageing women. Had I found the exception to the Munro rule on ‘smell’ with Ava’s biography?
Chase 4/10 - I kept losing the scent. I struggled with repetition so I skipped pages where this Peter Evans footprint occupied too much space. On page 268 (of 293)Ava promises Evans text on her wedding to Sinatra, plus commentary on the film Mogambo and her abortion. She doesn’t deliver. The Evans fragment has been stretched and pitted for cock and bull, occasionally it’s sugared with witticisms - most are flat e.g., the Dali interlude. We learn nothing about her twenty years on the London scene.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and you feel as if you are in the room with Peter Evans and Ava Gardner when they are talking. It is an insight to the life of one of the world's most beautiful women and the events that shaped her life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John S. Shaw on 14 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Such a wonderful actress and a great lady. What an interesting life and a side of her life we had not seen or heard.so many memories of a very beautiful person we have forever on the screen.Most enjoyable read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lorraine on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who love Hollywood Stars from this era, this book is a must, Ava Gardner is one of the most beautiful icons from this time and this book is a 'have to read' I couldn't put it down from the first page and just know I will read it again and again, a wonderful insight of her life from a bygone era
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lyndiloo on 9 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If your looking for a 'complete' Bio do not buy this book! It hardly covers anything in detail and so many questions left un answered. That said the author seemed to really capture the 'voice' and personality of Ava Gardner. Its a quick read and not really worth the price, I was left feeling slightly cheated.
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