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Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino Paperback – 4 Nov 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (4 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571218199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571218196
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Emily Leider scores a bull's eye with this perceptive and compassionate treatment of the star who "helped deflower post-war America".' Sunday Times; 'Brilliantly evocative... brings to life all that was exciting and decadent about the so-called Jazz Age.' Film Review"

About the Author

Emily W. Leider is the author of Rapid Eye Movement and Other Poems, California's Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times, and Becoming Mae West. She also edited Yesterday: The Memoir of a Russian-Jewish Family. She lives in San Francisco.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KARLOFF THE UNCANNEY on 16 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Have just finished this book over three nights unable to put it down. It is a superbly researched and constructed piece of work. One of the finest biographies I've had the pleasure to read. Although one knows the obvious ending it is hat's off and cheers to the skill of Ms. Leider that she creates a sense of great sadness with the telling of Valentino's last hours.
Not just Rudy's story but a history lesson that breezes along at a cracking pace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Galning on 23 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
With 423 closely printed pages and 3 inserts of photographs this book is a bit of a brick and I've been reading it for 2 weeks. So imagine my surprise to find he died in 1926 on Aug 23rd.

I've never seen a Valentino film and was only vaguely aware of what he looks life - but I'd heard of him and decided to give the book a go. Glad I did. The research that has gone into the book is phenomenal.

At times the amount of research slows the pace a little as the author details who was on which picture or at what party. But it was all good background information and the numerous photos were good to keep turning to, to see what a particular actress looked like etc.

Hopeless with money and unlucky with women he was the prototype for Elvis. Spending like there was no tomorrow and leaving behind huge debts.

He said he didn't want to live to 40 and, as it turned out, only made 31. Thereby forever cementing himself in celluloid history as forever young, handsome and fit.

What I liked about the writing style is the author keeps it all very factual and refuses to speculate. She doesn't hold back on his bad reviews or when he's described as powder puff. Apparently childlike and good natured, he comes across as someone you would like to hang out with.

Interesting character. Fascinating book. Tragic end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aloneatmydesk on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Well-informed, very readable biog of the endlessly fascinating Rudolfo, his spoilt boy youth, endless indiscretions and stunning lack of judgement in women. Then he danced the tango on screen and everything changed. Leider tells us that people still believe Valentino talks to them from beyond the grave though she doesn't seem to be in touch. Shame, but it's still a great read and full of background insights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fan-tastic on 12 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely well researched and well written biography. Miss Leider captures the very essence of Valentino's personality, bringing him to life, from his earliest childhood in Italy, to his untimely death at the height of his fame aged just 31.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Bowhill VINE VOICE on 20 May 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ms Emily W.Leider has brought Rudolph Valentino to life in this book. The reason because Leider has researched and spent the time to go into fine detail about the people who knew him to show us all different characters, details about his Mother, father, lovers and close friends, adds only strength and character to himself.
Great detail about his wives, Jean Acker first wife (on paper only) A smart women, who I feel knew what she was doing, who knew how to tap into Valentino's emotions and wallet. Part time friend and always on hand to throw the Valentino name out there when money seem required she continued to use his name for financial gain. Natasha Rambova A more colourful character cultured, Sophisticated also a dancer, creative, a modern day's women of her time and his soul mate....... and for him, her parents had money, and social standing. Love and passion they both deeply shared. Women caused him a whole lot of trouble, Ms Leider writes more detail but gets the point across spot on.
His elegant mother she was long gone, but I feel she would have set things straight for him, she was a fine strong willed women and the only stable women he had in his life, a women that he needed just to sort out all his worries like she had done for him so many times before.
He was no businessman which he never denied, a man so cultured knowing many languages and sophisticated in every way always trying to better himself and had suffered for his art so much, did not teach himself the business side of things. As for dealing with the film studio bosses he was up against businessman with education trained in strategy.
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