- Hardcover: 533 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 1st edition (19 Sept. 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340405376
- ISBN-13: 978-0340405376
- Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 4.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Rich: The Life of Richard Burton Hardcover – 19 Sep 1988
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More About the Author
'Thanks to Melvyn Bragg's wholly admirable book, he will be reborn to many as a lovable, suffering, complex human being' (Anthony Burgess, Independent)
'An impressive achievement which appears destined to become that rare creature, a literary and a popular success' (Mail on Sunday)
'Fascinating...Will be deservedly successful as an honourable record of a man and of a lifetime' (Maeve Binchy, Irish Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A well-researched and thoughtfully written biography of Richard Burton. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Indeed what made him a must see on the screen was in part due to the off screen image but how much of that was really him..Here in this book we find out.....
Melvin Bragg wrote this only a few years after Burton sadly passed away in 1984 so memories were still fresh and rose tinted views really hadn't come into effect to much....
The book offers us the early life ,the first footsteps onto the stage,the film career,Hollywood,Liz,life after liz and sadly the aftermath of his death...
Every aspect of his life is represented well by Bragg,,i must say myself i really enjoyed the 1950's..Here you can get a taste for the theartre life back then and the fire which Burton had in him to be the best.
The main focus of the book though is the acess Bragg had to Burtons's diaries...What a rare insight we have into the world only a few of us will ever hget to live...It is wonderful,sad,funny and touching to read.
I bought this book 4 years ago and i always go back and read it once a year...I can't recommend the book enough and would love it to come out again ..perhaps with a new chapter on how Burton is remembered today... A reaprasing of his work is long overdue...
The true star of this work is Richard Burton himself and his writing within it. Apparently he always wanted to be an author and the journals he wrote were to form the basis of an autobiography. From his own modest work one gets the impression that he was an incrediably well educated man with a gift for languages. Also a fantastic reader polishing off many books in a very short space of time.
I was impressed with the actor i had seen on screen but knew nothing about. It left me wondering if Liz Taylor's life has ever been complete since.....
Burton was pretty good at being all things to all men. He combined the role of anti-establishment figure with that of a millionaire who was also a dining companion and house guest of aristocrats and high society types, the husband of the most glamorous movie star of her time, and the owner of a plane and plush homes.
His stage performances of classic plays were balanced out by money-spinning, pot-boiling action films and there was something vulgar about the way he and Elizabeth Taylor acted out their private lives on the front pages.
Despite this, his notebooks reveal an observant, intelligent and well-read man who seems to have become trapped in a web spun by Taylor. Life with her and her assorted children, dogs and hangers-on must have been hellish.
He writes lots of effusive comments about her which I suspect were put there for her to read and which are difficult to take seriously.
It is a pity that these journals have not been published as a separate volume.
I would thoroughly recommend this for anyone interested in Burton himself, or more widely in the theatre and film world of the post-war era.
Instead, the book stands as a well documented celebration of the scale of the man's talent as one of the finest British thespians of the 20th century, as well as his literary intellect and passion for the English language. Of course, Burton was a legendary hellraiser and the impact of all that high living, self indulgence and alcohol on his health (especially through the Taylor years) is well and truly laid bare, not least in Burton's own post-1969 notebooks to which Bragg was given access and which are generously quoted throughout.
Here was a bright boy from the Welsh valleys who was talent-spotted and groomed for stardom by good friends who cared about him (and he repaid them with generosity for years), blew everyone else away on the West End stage with his magnetism and charisma, made millions of dollars and spent them, married, loved and acted with a supreme Hollywood actress for 10 years, drank like a fish, smoked like a train, made some great films as well as several turkeys, was nominated for an Oscar 7 times without winning, and dined with the Duke of Windsor, Maria Callas and Robert Kennedy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I agree with a previous comment. The quality of the paper and photograph reproduction is awful.
A poor quality production from the publisher.
Fills out The Diaries of Richard Burton. What a shame he didn't live to write his autobiography.Published 6 months ago by A.Hicks
My all time favourite actor. This book that Melvin Bragg wrote, is nothing short of candid, wholly fascinating, and bare-bone stripping. A wonderful book on a wonderful actor.Published 13 months ago by Karen Peach
A fabulously written book that keeps one enthralled to the last page. Mr Bragg writes so well and weaves balanced opinions of Burtons character with detailed first hand creditable... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kevin Taylor