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5.0 out of 5 stars I think (And God Created Burton ) a wonderful read, from the comments I wonder if I ...
I think (And God Created Burton ) a wonderful read, from the comments I wonder if I am reading the same book, I feel that Tom Rubython has homed in on Burtons character fantastically well the bad and the good,I have read melvin Braggs book on Burton and am enjoying this as much if not more.I would say to anyone thinking of buying this book don't be put off by some of...
Published 1 month ago by irene

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complicated life and a self-indulgent book all mixed into one...
Well what can one say? too much it appears. 800 pages and when it came out, cost £20, weighs a ton, is awkward to read and goes on forever. The tone is mostly patronising, the slagging off of all other biographies - claiming this one is right and all others are wrong is smarmy and Piers Morgan or Adam Deen like in the extreme. The repetition is also infuriating to say the...
Published 3 months ago by whitedragon


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A complicated life and a self-indulgent book all mixed into one..., 29 May 2014
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This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Well what can one say? too much it appears. 800 pages and when it came out, cost £20, weighs a ton, is awkward to read and goes on forever. The tone is mostly patronising, the slagging off of all other biographies - claiming this one is right and all others are wrong is smarmy and Piers Morgan or Adam Deen like in the extreme. The repetition is also infuriating to say the least, we get summary chapters, followed immediately by the next chapter the same thing, but with more gory or financial details, which is bizarre and tiresome, but mostly just plain self-indulgent.

The grammar squiffs in other reviews on here weren't too pleased either. This is tautologically, very incorrect. Some found all the tacky, sleazy, gossipy and utter immorality of the man too much as well. But if you've read Brando Unzipped by Darwin Porter, you won't be that bothered by that element of it. You probably bought it for that reason. Tom Rubython is obviously jealous of the man, he wants to be him. Rubython is a businessman by trade - not a writer, as is clearly evident here. He also loves to give us his own opinion on the events or what is going on, rather than just sticking to the descriptive event, building a picture for the reader - and letting us make up our own minds.

Gripes over with. Being Welsh, and having a mother who was brought up in the very next village of Britton Ferry, in south Wales, and who sang in the same clubs as Burton frequented in north London, my claim to be interested is probably more than most others. I always knew Burton was from Wales, but didn't know any of the details of his family etc. It's all told here. The first third of the book is far more interesting than the rest. In my view, we can see there, how it all started, we get a sense of the man and what he's all about. His mother died at 2, his father was a drunk and a rapist, and didn't care about anyone apart from himself it seems. He was a lost soul, constantly searching for himself, his true meaning and purpose in life. So the, brilliantly talented, but personally flawed character we see later emerge, is what exactly? What did people expect?

Tom Rubython has been given unprecedented access to all the family members, archives and financial and film studio information and reports it seems, with never before seen photos included in this monster of a book. All the gory details of his private, family and film life are covered, with no stone left unturned.... but it's too much....to try and cover every aspect of someone's life in such detail in one book. It would have been better to focus on one aspect. Self-indulgent is a better description than the full, worts and all, ultimate guide to one persons life. Richard Burton, the greatest actor UK ever produced? A Welsh miner's son from the valleys....the ultimate rags to riches story? or just plain breathtaking arrogance?

We get to hear about some of the thousands of women he went with, lots of other men's wives, who were astounded he could be so duplicitous, esp Stewart Granger. But still, this is nothing compared to Brando, Beatty, and more recently Charlie Sheen. But what is a man supposed to do when all these women who are throwing themselves at you? When you're constantly in the public domain all the time, your profile is going to skyrocket - as is the amount of attention. But the problem was Burton was married (was he forced into it - the claim here is yes) at the time, and he didn't seem to care. He always went back to Sybil. Until Elizabeth Taylor came along. But even she wasn't enough for him. He went on. Seven Oscar nominations without winning, worth over £80 million, why should he give a damn about what anyone else thinks? He was number one... in every aspect of life...

I've watched Where Eagles Dare countless times, the other movies, most of them failures, don't seem to matter. What exists before our time seems strange, bizarre and unfathomable. The amount of censorship and allowability of human behaviour was far more restricted in those days, so what went on seems trivial now... But we don't get much of the sense of time in this book, it seems to lack the ability to take us back, there aren't many comparative references only perhaps to his father's behaviour at the time.

We are very lucky to live in such a time in 2014. Families are now 2-4 children max, individual incomes have gone up, the mines closed down, heavy industry lost, the 'golden age' of Hollywood a far and distant memory. Life is utterly different.

So what do we think?, the book is rubbish, the life impossible, the gory details, the lies, the money, the drink, the sex, the affairs, the shortened life, the untimely death. Bogart was only 57, another one lost to heavy drinking and smoking. He won the Oscar, Burton didn't. Why is that? why would you slag off the very system that gave you a living and huge wages? you can't have it both ways? Burton, seemingly, wanted it all ways. Was he bitter? or just better than us mere mortals? He never had a mother, or a father, but other relatives and a residual parental-ego state love given to him? It's not the same, and nothing can replace the real thing. Richard Burton had a huge great big hole right through the middle of him, that he could never fill, never replace...he was the little boy lost.

Richard Burton then, acting superstar with an incredible voice and look, multi-millionaire, generous to a fault, lothario, alcoholic, smoker...died aged 58, what a life... the most complicated character you could ever read about?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible title, terrible book, 12 Aug 2012
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Awful. Tom Rubython's style grated upon me from Chapter One until I gave up about 200 pages later. He simply cannot give a factual account of proceedings without interjecting his own opinion. I honestly couldn't care less for his opinion, I just want to know about Burton. His research appears to be thorough, but there is no bibliography or any notes, which is frustrating and odd when he is very fond of rehashing quotes from previous biographies. We are told he has previously written books about James Hunt and Ayrton Senna and founded Formula 1 magazine, which tells you everything you need to know about his credentials to write a book about such an amazing actor (ie none).
Meanwhile we wait for the definitive biography. Bragg's is good and hopefully the Burton Diaries, due to be published later this year (2012) will be enlightening (Bragg used these and they are a useful insight. By the way Rubython dismisses the Burton Diaries as not very important as he wasn't given access to them!) If only someone like Peter Guralnick could write a biography of Burton - his two volumes on Elvis are essential. Until then, we have this. Terrible title and terrible book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sub-literate and vulgar, 15 Nov 2013
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Whatever Richard Burton's failings, he was probably the most learned actor of his time, an avid reader with a passionate love and respect for language. One can only guess what he would have made of this book. It is wincingly full of grammatical errors, clumsy sentences, word repetitions, and countless (sometimes comic) indications of the author's ignorance of both theatre and literature. To give but one example: he doesn't even seem to know the expression 'first edition'; instead, he says that Taylor gave Burton 'an original copy of a book by Goethe' for his birthday. Instead of insight, he offers the reader as many salacious details as possible: with its insistent, wearying focus on sex and money and celebrity, this is a biography that reads like a hundred tabloid articles rolled into one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I think (And God Created Burton ) a wonderful read, from the comments I wonder if I ..., 18 Aug 2014
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
I think (And God Created Burton ) a wonderful read, from the comments I wonder if I am reading the same book, I feel that Tom Rubython has homed in on Burtons character fantastically well the bad and the good,I have read melvin Braggs book on Burton and am enjoying this as much if not more.I would say to anyone thinking of buying this book don't be put off by some of the comments,it's great to read about an actor worth his salt not like some of the rubibish actors that fill our screens these days . irene
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2.0 out of 5 stars Shabby biography., 27 Jan 2014
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This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Whether you liked him or not, Richard Burton deserves a better biography than this opinionated, shabby book. I threw it away after about ten minutes reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only a One Dimensional account of Burton the 'Legend', 4 July 2013
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
This account of Burton's life and loves would be a good deal better and shorter if Rubython didn't refer to and quote from other (and in the case of Melvyn Bragg's 'Rich'); superior books on this Welsh legend. In fact he spends much of his time discounting what other writers have written previously.

But what has Rubython himself contributed? A one dimensional account of the actor as a self centered womanising alcaholic who had little regard for other peoples feelings and seemed intent to waste his talent and risk his health at every opportunity.

If you read 'Rich' you get a far more balanced view of the man who in his time was one of the most famous people in the world.

Rubython has researched some fine detail but he tells Burton's story in a convoluted way two'ing and fro'ing between the years, depending on who Burton was in love with or married to at the time.
Sadly, the overall impression we are left with is a poor one, and fans of Richard Burton might be put off with the sad, self centered individual who emergies from within this massive tome of petty squables and drunkeness.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy; biography by numbers, 26 May 2011
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This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
This is the second biography I've read by this author (the other being "Shunt" - a biog of James Hunt) and they follow an identical structure beginning with a dramatic chapter detailing the subjects' deaths and proceed to outline their respective rises to fame. They seem to be drawn from generally available material such as online interviews and heavy quoting from previous biographies. The author may be excused academic sourcing in popular biography, but there is only a flimsy (almost irrelevant to his subject) bibliography in the Hunt biog and none at all in his most recent of Richard Burton. Concerning the latter, there are many careless, glaring mistakes and type errors that should never have made it even to first draft (e.g. p. 116 of the hardback whereby Nevil Coghill is quoted as speaking in 1982, despite the reader being told on the same page that Coghill died in 1980. And who's SIR Thomas Becket, p. 502? And since when did Henry VIII have eight wives, p.617?) and not much new to say outside of an outsized contribution from Robert Hardy who also wrote the prologue! Indeed, it is only the charisma of the subjects of both biographies that keeps one reading. A good door stop.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lazy & Error Ridden, 28 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. W. Nicol "Bill" (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Too many mistakes from the outset and too many to mention individually here. Very scrappy and lazy repetitive use of language. Where was the editor or the proof reader? If they could not be bothered to read it then that should be a clue for us all! Both the reader, and Mr Burton's memory deserve much better. I lose confidence in any author who simply regurgitates information from other sources, who fails to eradicate typos, and who fails to check the accuracy and validity of their material. I was looking forward to the read but quickly became disillusioned. Don't buy this, do yourself a favour though and check out James Curtis's book on Spencer Tracy. Now there's a biography!
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And God Created Burton, 2 Jun 2011
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
I have read many books about the Hollywood greats including Richard Burton. I thought that Melvyn Bragg's book was good but this is great - a staggering achievement by the writer. There are so many things I have learnt from the book. The book is very well paced and the natural style of the writer takes us though the high and low periods of Richard's life seamlessly - you can feel the changes in his life happening thought the changing pace of the narrative which seems to reflect exactly where Richard's career is and where his life is at the moment it is being described. I loved Chapter 20 which describes what happened when Richard went to Hollywood for the first time and his affair with Jean Simmons. The precise recounting of events is even more impressive as it happened nearly 60 years ago.
The book is huge with 61 chapters, yet each page turned offers fresh insight into the rise of this handsome son of a welsh miner. A tale of rags to riches which is both inspirational and heart warming, it is a warts and all account of a loveable rogue.
This is a biography which reads like a blockbuster novel once you pick it up you can't put it down. This is my first review ever published on Amazon but I felt I just had to comment.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dragon returns, 14 July 2011
This review is from: And God Created Burton (Hardcover)
Excellent book based on thorough research and interviews with friends and family. I was particularly pleased with the approach to and ultimate unbiased review of the Jenkins family and their profound influence on Richard Burton which remained with him throughout his life.It also dealt very sensitively with his relationships with his wives who in most cases were the victims in his self destructive approach to life.I was pleased also that reference to Elisabeth Taylor`s determination to
possess him exclusively, was recorded with many examples and situations which made me feel rather sorry for the man.
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And God Created Burton
And God Created Burton by Tom Rubython (Hardcover - 15 May 2011)
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