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The Real Nureyev: An Intimate Memoir of Ballet's Greatest Hero Paperback – 2 Feb 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New edition edition (2 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845960440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845960445
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,063,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A born and bred Londoner, happily settled in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk. I love music. Since I was 6 , when I started to learn the piano, this love has stayed with me.
At 3.a.m. when you just have to write, then music is the key. Along with a large ginger cat, a 12 year old Maine Coone, who allows me to use my computer, the desk, the house.You know.
So now I try to look knowledgeable when people talk about horses, the sales (more horses) and the country surrounding us.
But my background is in theatre. I started in opera as a lowly Assistant Stage Manager. What a dream. Serenaded at 10.30 each morning by world class singers 8 years later I diverted to straight theatre, and worked with Peter O'Toole, Alan Bates, Janet Suzman, and a long list of amazing people. In 1981 I was given the chance to Stage Manage the Rudolf Nureyev seasons. It was a roller coaster of 5 years of ballet with Rudi. Dave Allen was a completely unexpected opportunity. This followed two tours with Peter O'Toole. I was star struck. I don't believe that any of us old theatre folk lose the ability to feel very nervous in front of a dressing room door containing one of our heroes.
I am very proud to have an event for the National Trust on my resume. It aaas for their centenary at West Wycombe, and it was, "The Battle of Trafalgar". I wrote and directed this, and felt very proud that I was the first person to be commissioned to create an event for them. This was 1995. More events followed, then in 2004 either I had had enough of events or they of me, and writing called. I have bee lucky enough to attend the Edinburgh International Literature Festival and a book signing in Cannes, France, and many others.
I have written two biographies. My motivation Mr de Mille? I knew them, worked with them, and though not by any means an academic Biographer, I knew I had a lot of insight to offer. Maybe the next one will be backstage tales, and there are a few of them. Hollywood starlets who cannot cope with 150 year old London dressing rooms, to wannabees who can't go on because their nail polish wasn't dry. I wonder how many volumes?
But my work in progress has to come next. It is my biography on Peter O'Toole, 'Hell Raiser'.
I am about to start Donna Tarts' Goldfinch,' and I can't wait.
So love of reading has to come next, or equally. How can you write without reading?

Product Description


...Carolyn Soutar has scored so well with her new book. Soutar paints vividly through her own experience. (20 words) -- The Scotsman August 27th, 2004 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

I was sad to learn that Robert Tracy who helped me so much with this book about his time with Nureyev and filled in many gaps in my memory of working with Rudi, died in June this year, 2007. He had battled with AIDS for many years and he will be much missed in New York and the international dance community.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "kongtsi" on 24 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am not a balletomane - far from it - but it didn't matter when I started to read "The Real Nureyev" I just couldn't put it down and was irritated by interruptions. It is brilliantly written by his one-time stage manager, with love and a desire to understand the strange Russian who leapt onto her London stage. Carolyn Soutar gives us a pretty complete picture (even, like the Emperor, without his clothes!) His too-early death did not deter her from her search for the real Rudi. She sought acros the world for his lovers, friends and fellow dancers and revived their memories. It is a voyage of discovery, a quest. And it is not necessary to know a pas de deux from a pirouette to enjoy the fun and intrigue of travelling to the end.
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By Aislinn on 2 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just re-read this book and was delighted to find it as entertaining and interesting as when I first read it back in 2009. I was immediately transported to the unglamorous, often unappreciated backstage area of the theatre, to imagine those people who work so hard - especially so at the Coliseum which is a huge, but glorious theatre. And of course to the endless rehearsal time in the wings that Rudolf Nureyev was famous for in his bid for perfection in performance. Thank you Carolyn - or should I say "Caro-line" for writing this book about your friendship and professional relationship with Nureyev. I loved it and definitely recommend it as a good read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Bradshaw on 24 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
So much has been written about Rudolf Nureyev that it is difficult to see what another book can possibly contain.
It is a delightful surprise to be proved so wrong. This is a perceptive personal portrait of Nureyev as a person. The Author is not a world famous ballerina, but it is always the Stage Manager who sees the real picture. She worked with Nureyev as Stage Manager at Nureyev Galas during several of the final years of his stage life.
This is a superbly readable book - perhaps a little too long to be read in one sitting, but still compelling. With some very good pictures, this book should be on the shelf of all of us who saw Nureyev and who have looked since for another dancer with that style and skill.
For those looking for an expose of his life, look elsewhere. This book is written with affection and respect.
Get your copy now!!!
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the worst book I have ever read about the great Rudolf Nureyev or anyone else for that matter. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the man and of Ballet in general. The interviews used were with just a handful of people and they were weak and gave no insight into this man who was one of the most charismatic men of the 20th Century. Don't waste your money on this book. It is written with an arrogance and captures none of his magic. It is like a teenagers diary. The timeframe of this memoir takes place during saddest part of his life and career and you need to see the bigger picture to understand him. Notice that she had never seen him during the height of his career or spoke to any of his partners from the sixties and seventies. A dreadful book. Even the descriptions of Covent Garden are inaccurate.
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