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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, very detailed, but a bit lacking in the important stuff
There are lots of things that are great about this biography. It is very detailed, with a lot of information. It is well written and very engaging. However most of the information it provides is about Dolly's career and the details about that. What it doesn't provide is much information about the lady herself, what she is like, and her emotional life.

In some...
Published on 26 Nov. 2010 by lightinglife

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dolly Parton unauthorised
I should probably admit straight away that I am not a fan of Dolly Parton's music, I just don't like her voice, and her recent revival at Glastonbury did nothing to change my view on that. However, I have enjoyed her in several movies, and respect her as a songwriter, business woman, and all of her charity work. I am also interested in celebrity life stories, and when I...
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a fantastic woman., 5 Mar. 2007
By 
Mrs. A. M. Maloney "Ciara Maloney" (Manchester uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well i have been a dolly fan all my life so am probably biased. But if you dont like her now read this and you will have fallen in love. Growing up in a dirt poor family dolly had 2 fantastic loving parents and in the book you realise that her roots still mean alot to her. You can also read about all the charity work she does as therfe is a very loving caring heart behind the breasts and a very clever mind under the wig.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dolly Parton unauthorised, 20 April 2015
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
I should probably admit straight away that I am not a fan of Dolly Parton's music, I just don't like her voice, and her recent revival at Glastonbury did nothing to change my view on that. However, I have enjoyed her in several movies, and respect her as a songwriter, business woman, and all of her charity work. I am also interested in celebrity life stories, and when I found this unauthorised biography of Parton in 'The Works', I decided to buy it, after all, this lady has had quite the career and I knew they'd be a lot to read about.

In an easy to read style, author Stephen Miller traces Dolly's poor routes in Tennessee, growing up in a family of twelve children, her early ventures into music, and her path to becoming a superstar. It's a very inspirational story, the ultimate real-life 'rags to riches'.

What I like about 'Smart Blonde', which Dolly Parton must certainly is, is that Miller actually conducted his own fresh interviews (there wold have been more but he states that very few people close to her were willing to peak to him), as well as checking the usual sources of books, magazine articles and fan sites. His interviews resulted in some insightful comments from Dolly's younger sister Stella, and lots of quotes from her longtime producer Steve Buckingham.

We read a lot about Parton's music (and her fans will love that), and although I have no intention buying any of her albums, I really enjoyed reading the author's own opinions of them. Whilst there is plenty about her work, we don't actually discover a great deal about Dolly as a person in the book, apart from she has a lot of talent, a big heart, is very witty and comes over as more than a little acentric. The book promises to explore her relationship with rarely-seen husband Carl Dean and her best friend Judy Ogle, but only a few pages are devoted to them. Indeed, towards the end, it begins the read like a list of recent career achievements, rather than her life story.

Despite it's flaws, I don't regret buying 'Smart Blonde', it offers a balanced portrait of this country music legend, and was a story I found most encouraging. It probably won't offer a great deal of new information to a Dolly Parton enthusiast, but it's an easy-to-read book, filled with some lovely black-and-white pictures, and wasn't she a real beauty in her youth?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography, 21 Oct. 2014
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
Excellent biography

This is the third Dolly biography I've read, following Alanna Nash's book from the late 70s and Dolly's own book from 1994. The time gaps between reading them mean I can't compare them with each other, but I've enjoyed all three. I see that not everybody enjoys this book, but I don't know if the critics are Dolly fans or not. I get the impression that the author is a casual Dolly fan, liking some of it but far from all of it.

Despite her outward exuberance. it seems that Dolly is really quite shy, but has managed to use her public persona to hide who she really is. As such, it is very difficult for the media to get to the truth. I side with Dolly on this, because my own limited exposure to the media showed me how easily they twist things round. At least in my case it was one of those stories that came and went. Dolly has had to deal with the media for most of her life. So the author has relied on a few people who were willing to talk (most weren't) including Dolly's sister Stella. Their elder sister Willadeene is also quoted occasionally, possibly from books she wrote in the eighties.

There is a lot of discussion about Dolly's childhood and early years in the business, as well has her later career, including the author's opinion of many of her albums. Inevitably, she met a lot of other people along the way and many of these are mentioned, but I don't see what sense there would be in omitting them. After all, they are an integral part of her story.

There are some minor errors, notably the story of Rockin' years. The author mentions that it was intended to be a duet with George Jones but was recorded with Ricky Van Shelton instead. In fact, the song was recorded with George Jones and that version has since appeared on Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets by George Jones (2008) Audio CD.

The author has a lot to say about how Dolly has been treated by record labels and radio stations, and how Dolly's music seems to have become more popular in Britain than in America, noting that Hungry again (her 1997 album) did well in Britain but flopped in America. All of this was long before Blue smoke, her 2014 album, which was a huge success in Britain and America, as well as some other countries. So even though this book might leave you thinking that Dolly's best days were long gone, at least in America, there was more to come.

This book will certainly give you a fair idea of what Dolly's life and music is about, insofar as the public is allowed to know.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, very detailed, but a bit lacking in the important stuff, 26 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
There are lots of things that are great about this biography. It is very detailed, with a lot of information. It is well written and very engaging. However most of the information it provides is about Dolly's career and the details about that. What it doesn't provide is much information about the lady herself, what she is like, and her emotional life.

In some ways that is a good thing, as today's celebrities are all too keen to pour it all out in public I suppose. However you finish the book wanting to know more rather than feeling like you've found out more!

I do like the fact that there is little of the hatchet job in this, the writer is fair and when he includes negative stuff (e.g. from National Enquirer) he qualifies this as not likely. You get the impression of a down to earth but tough woman who, like most stars, is a little insecure... but you do realise how hard she had it as a child. I think she is so positive that the hard part of her childhood is rarely seen, but you do see it in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a Legend!, 26 Nov. 2012
I loved this book! Despite some people claiming it is factually incorrect - I cannot see Dolly Parton or her team allowing a book that was factually incorrect to be written and published without her consent.

Regardless of previous reviews people have done of this great book, I have to inform you that this is well worth the read!

If you're a Dolly Parton fan, or just curious to see what Dolly has come from and has become, this book is a great informative network of information.

I recommend this book.

- TheRoyalOctopus
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pressie Win, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
Got this for a friend and they said they couldn't put it down. I have seen Dolly in concert and imagine, if she is half as good writing as she is singing it will be great.
Friend review is that its a great portrait of the lady.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as expected, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
This was not as expected, it was supposed to be an autobiography of Dolly but it was more of a who's who's, I found it incredibly boring. Some good information in the book but I was disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dolly Parton book, 8 July 2010
This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
Smart blonde paperback of Dolly Parton is a great book. Bought it for my daughters birthday and she loves it. It is very informative.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fair and well researched book, 9 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
This book has been well researched by the author and offers an unbiased view of Dolly. Whether you want to know about Dolly's professional or personal life all of it is covered here. Having read it I was still left wanting to know more about Dolly but I think that is the way she would want it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 6 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton (Paperback)
I would recommend this book to any fans of country music, particularly Dolly Parton. I bought this as a present and he loves it.
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Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton
Smart Blonde: The Life of Dolly Parton by Stephen Miller (Paperback - 2 July 2008)
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