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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Great Madonna Biography
Finally, someone has taken the time and energy to write a book about Madonna that is not an embarrassement. This book is based on solid research and on interviews with people I'll bet Madonna has forgotten even existed. It's as much a tribute to her as something she would have written herself ... yet it does criticize her from time to time when she deserves it, which is...
Published on 12 May 2001

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the paperback
A huge disappointment! There's virtually nothing new here for the hardcore Madonna fan. A careful reader will recognize the stories, sometimes almost verbatim, from previously published interviews and press reports. It seems the book was hardly edited, as there are typos and redundancies all over the place, and whole sections begging to be developed. There's more here...
Published on 14 Jun 2001


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Great Madonna Biography, 12 May 2001
By A Customer
Finally, someone has taken the time and energy to write a book about Madonna that is not an embarrassement. This book is based on solid research and on interviews with people I'll bet Madonna has forgotten even existed. It's as much a tribute to her as something she would have written herself ... yet it does criticize her from time to time when she deserves it, which is often. I loved the fact that every album has its own chapter, and the author's analysis of the music is very astute. Each boyfriend and other relationship gets a thorough going-over as well --my favoroite is Tony Ward, an small-time actor who had the best intentions toward Madonna but who, according to this book, came into her life just when she began to expect more from men than what he could offer. Still, their breakup was tender and sentimental. There is also an odd affair with John F. Kennedy, Jr, which I knew nothing about. (Jackie refused to meet Madonna!) The most fun is reading as Madonna spars with Guy Ritchie at the beginning of their romance when they are just getting to know one another. (The author writes that Guy was appalled to find that Madonna eats salad with her hands. LOL). I, personally, loved all of the material and research having to do with Evita since that's the movie with which Madonna really came into her own, and it's my favorite. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about Madonna even the smallest bit ... and also to anyone who wonders about show business people in general. This is really a primer in celebrity behavior. J. Randy Taraborelli somehow manages to make these people seem real, and I left the book actually admiring many of them -- including the Grand Diva herself, Ms. Madonna.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the paperback, 14 Jun 2001
By A Customer
A huge disappointment! There's virtually nothing new here for the hardcore Madonna fan. A careful reader will recognize the stories, sometimes almost verbatim, from previously published interviews and press reports. It seems the book was hardly edited, as there are typos and redundancies all over the place, and whole sections begging to be developed. There's more here than we need to know about her sex life and fetishes (at the expense of other people's privacy), and virtually nothing about her business acumen, about which very little has been said or documented. Taraborrelli gets around this by siting how protective she is about her business dealings; but, while he thought nothing of quoting anonymous sources on her life in the bedroom, clearly he didn't think it would be worthwhile asking a few people about Madonna in the boardroom. Although he presents a balanced view of her mercurial character, he makes no new discoveries about her. Her siblings are quoted only to confirm previously known rumors or facts (again nothing new), leaving us to wonder, for instance, about her relationship with her sisters and extended family? Or their relationship with her? (Haven't we heard enough about her parents??) These relationships say a lot about a person, a person, who despite a well-intentioned, albeit lazy, biographer, remains as enigmatic and illusive as ever (Madonna is in control of this biographer whether he likes it or not). The book isn't a complete waste of time, however, and Madonna's fans will be very pleased to see her songwriting talent, her music, and her genius as a producer celebrated. It's nice to see someone giving her the credit she's due.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Book!, 10 May 2001
By A Customer
I surely loved this book. Everything I have previously read about diva Madonna was, I thought, poorly researched and written. This book...painted a credible picture of Madonna that I now believe to be absolutely true. All of her odd-ball relationships suddenly make sense with this book, and I found myself really rooting for her, wanting her to make it -- not just in her career but in her personal life, as well. By the time the story ends with her glam wedding to Guy Ritchie, I felt that I had been on a personal and intense journey with her. This is a "woman's story," which is why I enjoyed it. It's very intimate -- as the title suggests -- and should mean a lot to any person who has ever suffered through bad, so-called "toxic" relationships until -- finally! -- hitting upon that one that works, the one for which all of the others were only preparatory. I would speculate that this writer has had his share of complex life experiences to be able to write about another person's with such compassion and insight -- and without a hint of judgement, which I appreciated. To me, this was almost as good as a self-help book -- plus it was a great Madonna biography because all of her music and movies and show biz stuff is here, too. Five Stars for this work. I look forward to this author's next biography....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Madonna!!!, 18 April 2001
By A Customer
How exciting that I am the first to review this great new book by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Born and raised in Philadelphia -- living in the UK now -- I always read J. Randy's books. His last on the Kennedy women was not available in the UK (bummer!) and I'm happy this one is because it's loads and loads of fun. Warren Beatty, Sean Penn, John Kennedy Jr, Prince, Andy Bird, Guy Ritchie ... all her loves are here, even the detestable Dennis Rodman. Plus there's lots about the music -- all of her albums get a going-over. And such detail -- everything she ever wore, every costume, every wig! After reading this, I felt that the author really likes Madonna, and also I found that I really liked her, too. Not to say that Taraborrelli isn't tough on her when he needs to be -- ouch! Sometimes he lets her have it. I love her little tantrums, though, and I got the feeling that the author does, too. This is a quick, fun read, and I loved it and was sorry when it was over. Thanks to Amazon for making this book avalable to me so quickly. I recommend "Madonna -- An Intimate Biography" to anyone who is a fan of hers, or a fan of J. Randy's. To me, this was even more exciting than Randy's explosive Call Her Miss Ross... remember that one? Wow! check this one out, now! Five stars!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars yes yes yes...., 22 July 2001
This review is from: Madonna (Hardcover)
we all know madonna and her story. this isn't the greastest story ever told. it was fun reading and i do recommend it, but the author needs to do a bit more research and stop speculating on events that MAY have happened. he leaves a lot to the readers imagination in a way that you believe something that could very well be false. almost every other paragraph is how madonna's this huge bitch. well she is, we know that, but how do you think she made it this far? i don't need to hear about it constantly. i wanted more dirt on her. i felt the author could have expanded a bit more. there were three bio's on madonna in 1990 and he should have read those adn played off them a little bit, but i wanted to know more about the past 10 years of her career. we already know the backstory and how she got to 1990. he should have started after her blond ambition world tour. but like i said it's good for a nice weekend read. i'm looking forward to the andrew morton bio due out Nov 6th!!! i can't wait. have a nice day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - A Must For All Madonna Fans!!, 22 April 2001
Given Madonna's now unrivaled skill to constantly unveil new images nor rest upon past accomplishments, anything conclusively written about her is in danger of becoming immediately outdated. The history of her family (death of Mother aged six, many siblings) has been well documented as has the Material Girl's rise to fame. However, owing to the time of publication, many previous biographies have been limited by only being able to examine her reign of planet pop during the mid 80s. Whilst this book covers a time that many fans remember fondly, its greatest achievement is the detail with which it follows Madonna into the previous decade, right up to the release of her latest album and marriage to Guy Richie in December last year.
This scrupulously researched book explains how a series of bad choices almost saw Madonna's creative orbituary being written. Yet triumphantly, it also recounts the ways in which a critic-silencing performance in the movie 'Evita' helped her to reclaim her position at the cutting edge of cool by creating some of the most captivating music of her career.
Madonna herself has been keen to show us she is many things through her work - icon, diva, provocateur, earth mother - yet here she is presented at perhaps her most unfamilar as a human-being.
Despite not avoiding the mistakes she has made, the book's critical voice is balanced by a celebration of Madonna career - refocused by love and motherhood - as one of the best entertainers of all time. Read it now and cherish her!
Given Madonna's now unrivalised skill to constantly unveil new images nor rest upon past accomplishments, anything conclusively written about her is in danger of becoming immediately outdated.
The history of her family (death of Mother aged six, many siblings) has been well documented as has the Material Girl's rise to fame. However, owing to the time of publication, many previous biographies have been limited by only being able to examine her reign of planet pop during the mid 80s. Whilst this book coverages a time that many fans remember fondly, its greatest achievement is the detail with which it follows Madonna into the previous decade, right up to the release of her latest album and marriage to Guy Richie in December last year.
This scrupliously researched book explains how a series of bad choices almost saw Madonna creative obidgry being written. Yet triumptanly it also recounts the ways in which a critic-silencing performance in the movie 'Evita' helped her to reclaim her position in at the cutting edge of cool by creating some of the most captivating music of her career.
Madonna herself has been keen to show us she is many things through her work - icon, diva, provocateur, earth mother - yet here she is presented at perhaps her most unfamilar as a human-being.
Despite not avoiding the mistakes she has made, the book's critical voice is balanced by a celebration of Madonna career - refocused by love and motherhood - as one of the best entertainers of all time. Read it now and cherrish her!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really really good read, 11 April 2006
I loved this book from start to finish. It made me cry, made me laugh my ass off and just made me love Madonna even more than I loved her before. In fact, it helped me see what a clever and genuine person she really is inside and that she really is a big softie. The detail in this book is really good, and you really feel like you are on the journey along side Madonna herself, even when she is in a dance class when she is about 17 years old, I could picture every minute of it. I recommend this book to any Madonna fan!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 12 May 2001
By A Customer
I consider myself the ultimate Madonna fan and thought I knew all there was to know about her, so imagine my surprise to find that this was not really the case. Taraborelli's book was a revelation to me. Even I didn't know how involved she was, and commited she was, with the men in her life. I just thought most of them were sex toys for her. Not true, at least according to this book. I love the way the author brought his subject to life with a unique writing style that made me feel as if I was actually in the room with Madonna Louise. This was like speaking directly to Madonna, it seemed just that intimate to me. No book about her could ever compare to this one, not really. My one gripe is that it ends at a place where she seems content only because she is finally with a man she truly loves. There seems something vaguely sexist about that notion, and one wonders if Taraborelli is some kind of a chauvenist. But... whatever the case, he's a brilliant writer who knows how to tell a good and compelling story. And what a story it is, from her humble beginnings to her superstar existance, and all the way to that romantic wedding ... with lots of bitchiness tossed in along the way. You gotta love her, though. I know I did, and now I do more than ever. Thanks, J. Randy Taraborelli for bringing my favorite, Madonna, to life for me in this book. I kinda hated to see her go when the book ended ... so I'm reading it again!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable, in-depth look at la diva Madonna..., 5 May 2001
By A Customer
If you have any sort of interest in Madonna, you will enjoy reading this biography for its solid research and interesting, funny anecdotes. I have always been fascinated by her and her ability to manipulate images. One quality that she and the book share is that they are never boring. Taraborrelli also does an excellent job at capturing and summing up her essential raw vitality and charisma, especially in the introduction, when describing her meeting with President Carlos Menem, and at the end, when he recounts a story of her dancing with Gwyneth Paltrow. I got the feeling that while he admires her in many ways, he is also fair in pointing out both her weaknesses and her ruthlessness in using people as a means to an end. The only reason that I would not give this book 5 stars is that occasionally his analyses of why she has behaved certain ways are muddled and contradictory. In one respect, contradiction makes sense considering who she is. But I never felt like he came to a clearly defined conclusion or set of conclusions that I could agree or disagree with (again, a set of conclusions might be more applicable in her case). This probably is tangentially connected to my other point, which is that sloppy editing tends to point to sloppy synthesizing and construction of content. There are many annoying and obvious typos scattered throughout. In general, however, this book is good and gripping. I would definitely recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, 25 May 2001
This biography is quite good and presents facts objectively (surely better than the one by Anderson), but is still a wasted occasion. Especially the last part (the one dealing with Madonna's relationship with Ritchie) has a disturbing "soap-operish" approach to Madonna's life. There are many typing errors throughout (example, actress Dita Parlo becomes Parlow and designer Gianfranco Ferré becomes Ferrer) and the author sometimes uses statements made by Madonna placing them in the incorrect time (example, Taraborelli makes Madonna say that she believes that "when you surround yourself with the correct and competent people it is difficult to go wrong with a movie" at the time she made "Evita". Unfortunately she pronounced these wise words many years earlier, at the time she made "Dick Tracy". She clearly had not yet learned enough, since "Body of Evidence" and "Dangerous Game" were waiting in her future.) I repeat, this book is quite good, but I (maybe naively) hope the new ones by Andrew Morton and Douglas Thompson (whose film rights were apparently bought by Miramax) on the same subject will be better.
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Madonna: An Intimate Biography
Madonna: An Intimate Biography by J. Randy Taraborrelli (Paperback - 1 Feb 2008)
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