Buy Used
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Nureyev: A Biography: NTW Paperback – 1 Jun 1995

2 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£86.56 £0.01

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Coronet; New edition edition (1 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340647132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340647134
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 3.7 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,554,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
This was the first biography of Nureyev that I read and it works as a brilliant introduction to a brilliant dancer. I have been enthralled by seeing him dance (on video only, sadly) and picked this up on impulse and am glad I did. I know it has now been superceded by the Solway book, but this is still an excellent read which captures something of the mercurial impetuosity and sheer charisma of Nureyev. I know it upset some people because of its portrayal of his relationship with Fonteyn... the last chapters detailing Nureyev's struggles with HIV and the impact it had on his body are heartbreaking. Well worth a read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By pmholmes on 19 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This biography is superbly written- it depicts rudolph entirely in the personality of wayward teenager, maybe through his suffering in Russia. The politics throughout his life - interjecting itself into his affairs- was paramount in the behaviour seen. he is an icon of truth,flamboyance and wonder. A truly remarkable man, no doubt with flawas but direct and intriguing insight is written in this book. The stories of the Ballet are enlightenment for me...i have since purchased yet another biography, his life enthralls me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Facts but no essence 7 Jan. 2003
By Shantimar - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I also think the author has made an amazing research job. There are lots of facts there, and first-hand accounts by associates and friends of Nureyev's. However, it seems that the most important people in his life, the closest friends, and the ones that lived with him and around him in his later years didn't accept to speak to Mr Watson. Otherwise, how come there is nothing by Maude Gossling, Douce Francois, Claude Jude, Thierry Fouquet, Nicholas Georgiadis, when there is a detailed and sympathetic account of his story of Robert Tracy, the person who lived in his apartment in America and then proceeded to sue him, when he was ill, to get money from him, a fact that is not even condemned in the book? This makes me think that even many of the facts may not be as factual as the author claims, because evidently the source for much of the info about the start of Nureyev's illness comes from Tracy. It would be nice if Mr Watson took the trouble to be more professional and put a "So and so says that...." before controversial statements, so that we know what is his source.
Generally, I found there is much more emphasis on his sexual life than on his art. I wouldn't want an agiography, or a book that skips this part, as his sexuality was an important part of his character, but still, for us readers, it's secondary, not primary.
Nowhere in the book did I find something that would make me, the reader, understand why this person was a great dancer and choreographer, why he was important in the history of dance, what his contribution was, what he meant to everybody, his colleagues and his public and his friends.
His work is not discussed, and the Paris years, his most important as far as creations of new works are involved, are rendered in a very hurried way. Why bother to render all the details of his stay in hospital, or of the KGB files, when you don't bother to render the enchantment of his Paris productions?
Yes, this word, enchantment, is the key.
As a joung journalist and dance enthusiast, I had the chance to meet him, in Greece, Paris and London, witnessed his Raymonda and his Nutcracker (among other things), and, so many years later, I can still recall the feeling of happiness, of pure bliss. Well, I got no sense of that in reading the book. What good are all the dates and the details if the author fails to convey the most important part, the essence of the Nureyev experience? One would think that he never saw a performance by Nureyev or with Nureyev himself!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The greatest male dancer of the century 23 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Peter Watson, a journalist working for the prestigious English Sunday paper The Observer (founded 1721) has produced a real block buster about one of the absolute super stars of this century. It tells you all - from Nureyev's miserable childhood to his premature death in 1993. It reads like a thriller - yet this is not fiction but the real truth. Watson has ferreted out the most amazing bits of information by inter- viewing literally thousands of people and read widely. There is an impressive bibliography. While reading, one gets a feeling of being there, of being involved as a reader. Though, it is a pity that this splendid work is marred by a few misprints, especially of foreign names, maybe this could be remedied in future editions. The illustrations from Nureyev's childhood and youth are rare and interesting - those from later years are mostly in the "gossip mag." category. A few really beautiful role portraits - of which there is an abundance - would have been better. This is definitely the ultimate biography of the most spectacular dancer of the century (Pavlova included). His impact on male dancing and the improving standard all over the world has left its mark for a long time to come. When Nureyev arrived in London the Royal Ballet was going through a bad patch artistically and a general surge of enthusiasm occured due to Nureyev, but not without human sacrifice. Margot Fonteyn went into a second bloom - only to face misery and illness in her later years - she died in 1991. Buy it - borrow it - steal it - but read it! A truly riveting account of ballet today and some of its fantastic personalities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The best book about the ballet, I have ever read. 1 Oct. 1998
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Having been a balletomane for most of my life, I have read almost every (auto)biography of dancers I could get my hands on. Peter Watson has done an extraordinary job of putting the life of Rudolf Nureyev into 600 pages. Interestingly, while one might tend to (ahem) skim the subject's childhood, this section is perhaps the most compelling in the entire tome. It certainly explains why Rudolf turned out (you should pardon the expression) as he did! The only caveat I have is the wish that Watson would have persued more about his relationships with the greatest ballerinas of our time that Nureyev partnered. Their several quotes are WELL worth the read. Having waited anxiously for this book, and hitting Amazon daily, I finally looked at the Amazon from the United Kingdom ( and ordered the book from them. The U.S. release date is 1999!!! So, even if you have a perfunctory knowledge of the dance, this book will prove a fascinating read and quite an education about one who some would say was the "greatest dancer of this century". Hmmmm.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Second Rate Bio About a First-Rate Artist 1 Jan. 2011
By northkona - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When published in '98 and '99, this book got some good reviews, but there wasn't much available to compare it to. Since we now have Julie Kavanagh's fantastic Nureyev biography, this is plainly a less serious undertaking. It's not very well researched, and is too gossipy and speculative. Furthermore, too many key people are missing from the narrative, so evidently they didn't want to work with the author. Their absence should alert readers that the writer wasn't sufficiently well regarded to get the Nureyev Foundations or his close friends to cooperate. It's possible that the book was being written too soon after Nureyev's death in '93, and people who really knew him just weren't up to talking about him yet, their perspective was too short, and they missed him too much.

I strongly suggest opting for Kavanagh's book, it trumps all others, both in writing about the man, and his impact on the world of dance.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Confusion over Peter Watson's bio of Rudolf Nureyev 9 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Hello Amazon! While searching for anything you may have on Nureyev, I discovered that Peter Watson has a bio that is due for release in December of 1999...(?) I'm confused because this same item was released a couple of years ago was it not? Is this a re-release or something entirely new? Please let me know as I would be interested in learning more about a new or revised edition... (P.S. Just wanted to add a note re books on Nureyev, Otis Stuart's book entitled "Perpetual Motion..." is wonderful (4 stars) and the new book by Diane Solway is the best thing I've read on the dancer (5 stars)). Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you!
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know