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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had me furiously turning pages!
This review is from: Furious Love (Hardcover)
For anyone who was alive in the 1960's and 70's, we know immediately who is being referred to when we here the names "Richard & Liz." The extravagant, extended, on again, off again love affair between these two Iconic Hollywood figures was tabloid fodder for two decades. This book serves it all up on a deliciously full...
Published on 24 Jun 2010 by Kate Willard

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Triage than Marriage
To put it bluntly, this book is a rehash of all the other books on Lizandick that have gone before - I learned nothing new from its reading. That isn't to say that the story of the Burton-Taylor circus isn't one that ticks all the bestseller boxes - fear, loathing, passion, self-hatred, lust, avarice, two egos the size of the universe, physical beauty, timelessness, and...
Published on 18 May 2011 by Miss Chinaski


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Triage than Marriage, 18 May 2011
To put it bluntly, this book is a rehash of all the other books on Lizandick that have gone before - I learned nothing new from its reading. That isn't to say that the story of the Burton-Taylor circus isn't one that ticks all the bestseller boxes - fear, loathing, passion, self-hatred, lust, avarice, two egos the size of the universe, physical beauty, timelessness, and a strange, selfish sort of guilt, spiked by a 'secret' you'll probably guess long before it's revealed to you. And it's in the telling that this book's accuracy is suspect.

It's full of oddball ideas, such as comparing the Welsh to the Jews as 'underdogs of the world', and flat-out goofs (the anthem of Wales is 'Cwm Rhondda'? Maybe in Wales, New Jersey). If the authors can't get the details right, how do we know the rest of it is? Mostly because they obtained their information from sources that did get it right (FURIOUS LOVE's suspect bits have no footnotes).

It is hypnotic and infuriating in equal measures. For me, the very best bit was the authors' supposed raison d'etre for writing it, a young person saying she'd never known Liz Taylor was married to Tim Burton. Ah, the shelf-life of fame. The record had to be set straight (not money made).

I felt slightly sick upon finishing this catalogue of excess, an international travelogue spiced up with ill health, alcoholism, bad language and behaviour, and a sense of the true emptiness at the heart of celebrity. Ultimately this is a sad, junky book with great pictures. It will sell like hotcakes - if style and truth aren't everything, timing is. And recent events mean a sroke of good luck for the authors, if not for Miss Taylor.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had me furiously turning pages!, 24 Jun 2010
By 
Kate Willard "Realtor" (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Furious Love (Hardcover)
For anyone who was alive in the 1960's and 70's, we know immediately who is being referred to when we here the names "Richard & Liz." The extravagant, extended, on again, off again love affair between these two Iconic Hollywood figures was tabloid fodder for two decades. This book serves it all up on a deliciously full plate. The books style is not dry and academic, nor is it overly salacious, but it does have a gossipy enough tone that exposes all the juicy details! Ok this is not great literature, but it a fun read that is hard to put down, and I think the authors do stick to the facts (with Liz and Richard truth is stranger than fiction). In the end, their story is a sad one. It seems that their fame may have prevented them from sharing a full life together, as they obviously were in love. For more great reading and insight into Hollywood icons I recommend "Misfits Country" (Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Cliff).
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, 17 Aug 2010
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This is an entertaining read but somewhat flawed on several levels.

Firstly, the book relies heavily on letters sent by Burton to Taylor as well as the former's diary entries. You get little or nothing of the Taylor perspective as we see the relationship through Burtons eyes. We get to learn little of Taylor other than she drank a lot, rowed with Burton and was late on set.

Secondly, there are errors of fact. We're told on several occassions that the crew of the couples boat numbered eight. The picture caption says it had nine.
Taylor is said to have learned to ride at three, then we're told it was five.
The writers tell us that someone tried to tell Burtons wife, Sybil, of the affair with Taylor in May/June of the year of the Cleopatra shoot but that she refused to believe it. We're then told a couple of pages later that Sybil tried to commit suicide in the previous February over the affair. It doesn't add up.
We're also told that Ringo Starr attended Taylors 40th Birthday party in February 1972 with his wife Barbara Bach. That's pretty good going considering that he didn't marry Bach until 1981. In fact, he wasn't even with Bach in 1972.

Thirdly, the book is frustrating at times in it's repetition of facts almost as if it believes the reader isn't smart enough to recall things. For instance, the authors tell us that after the divorce that Burton promised he would go to Taylors side whenever needed. When he does indeed go to Taylors side we're told it's because he promised he would go to Taylors side whenever needed. Err, we know. You told us that two pages ago.

You also have to question some of the research, especially around Burtons death. The book infers that a fight in a Swiss bar in the days before Burtons death may have been a contributory factor in Burtons demise but that John Hurt, who was with Burton, refused to talk about it. What about the Bar owner, what did he see? Was any effort made to track other people who were there in the bar? That's just lazy.

The book is a good read but I wouldn't take it too seriously. It's quite good in its portrayal of the oppulant lifestyle the couple had and to be fair to Burton he comes across as likeable, the drinking not withstanding. Taylor comes across as fairly enigmatic. You'll probably enjoy the book but I suspect its not one to be returned to and the numerous errors suggets that to a certain extent it should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The real deal on Taylor Burton is yet to be written but I suspect that until Taylor tells her side, if she ever does, we'll never get the balanced picture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining but flawed read, 29 July 2012
By 
This review is from: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor * Richard Burton The Marriage of the Century (Paperback)
Having never read much about Taylor or Burton before I found this biography to be an entertaining and revealing account of their life together. The authors have obviously done quite a bit of research (and seem to have had access to archival material direct from Dame Elizabeth herself) however I found that in places the book could be quite confusing. On several occasions the authors mix up dates and orders in which events occurred, sometimes within a few paragraphs. The book is also quite long which is not a problem in itself, of course, but in this case it means that there is a bit of repetition (how many times do we need to read that Taylor and Burton were prone to vicious fights that ended in lovemaking?).

With a bit of editing (and a bit more proofreading), this book could be called the definitive biography on the pair however, as it stands, it's just an entertaining but forgettable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's Golden Couple, 20 Sep 2010
By 
John west (Wickham Market, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I knew little about the private lives of Hollywood's golden couple. Elizabeth Taylor supplied Kashner and Schoenberger with Burton's private letters and correspondence, the contents of which provide a fascinating insight into their married life.

The pressures of fame finally proved fatal for them both. One feels that their marriage could have survived if they had simply abandoned the fame and just spent time enjoying their love for one another.

However, the book is marred by several silly mistakes - outlined by a previous reviewer - which is surprising. One hopes that a future edition will correct these.

Is this the definitive account of their courtship and married life? No. That is yet to be written. Would Liz Taylor care to oblige?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining - worth every one of it's stars, 27 Aug 2013
By 
Roger Key - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor * Richard Burton The Marriage of the Century (Paperback)
A real door-stop of a book, but very readable in spite of it's size.
I have a tendency to skip chapters as a book reaches the end, but not this one.
I was gripped from first page to the last.
Anyone who has had a volatile relationship along the lines of these two (albeit on a much less
grand scale) will recognize the passions that are described in this excellent book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 29 May 2011
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This review is from: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor * Richard Burton The Marriage of the Century (Paperback)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially as I love reading biographies of talented people in the public eye who have/had a troubled life. It was fascinating to read about their private life and how they lived. Even if you aren't a huge fan of either of them as actors (which I'm not particularly), I just loved reading their story anyway.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Furious passion, 1 May 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
They were the original celebrity supercouple -- long before there was Bennifer or Brangelina, there was "Liz and Dick." Their long tempestuous romance (and two marriages) are the focus of "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century." Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger explore just about every nook, cranny and nuance of this couple's stormy, passionate relationship.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their love affair on the set of "Cleopatra," where she played Cleo and he played Mark Antony. She was a Hollywood child star who became a scandalous sex goddess, while he was a Welsh miner's son who became a respected Shakespearean actor. And yes, both of them were married -- Taylor to fourth husband Eddie Fisher and Burton to his first wife Sybil -- but they fell madly, passionately in love.

Their affair turned them into megacelebrities overnight, resulting on messy divorces, lots of paparazzi, and plenty of jewels. And the public didn't tire of them even when they got married. Over twelve years and two marriages, they remained the subject of constant media attention, as well as the producers of art, children, addictions and lots of fights.

The Battling Burtons were really the perfect tabloid couple -- affairs, suicide attempts, medical drama, adoptions, addictions, jewels, opulent living, and constant stormy fights. Seriously, it makes couples like Brad and Angelina look downright dull.

Fortunately, Kashner and Schoenberger don't wallow in tabloidy stuff -- the big problem is that when you study a twelve-year relationship in detail, some parts are going to drag. But they seem more interested in carefully chronicling Taylor and Burton's lives together, and analyzing their personalities in detail (Burton's attraction to Taylor stems from the "gypsy beauty" sister who raised him).

In addition to that, the authors study the effects of their relationship on the media and journalism -- suddenly the paparazzi swarmed the megafamous, celebrity became about more than mere fame, and journalism bled over into the popular realm. In other words, look here for the origins of our current tabloid culture. It's pretty fascinating, actually.

The authors also (unlike most) give equal attention to both Taylor and Burton. In fact, Burton is a far more fascinating figure than Taylor -- a deeply talented, tormented man with a Welsh bard's soul and a passionate love for Shakespeare, full of contradictions and guilt. While they acknowledge Taylor's talents, she seems rather empty and pale besides Burton.

"Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century" is about the passionate relationship of two legendary actors, but it's also about the effect they had on the world. A delightful read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Insight into an Extraordinary Marriage, 30 Dec 2010
By 
Graeme Wright "book worm" (salford) - See all my reviews
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Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were, to the fifties and sixties what Posh and Becks were to the nineties and noughties - a celebrity couple that the media, and by extension, the public just couldn't get enough of. To film goers their names at the head of the credits guaranteed box office success whereas newspaper headlines, when not envying their yachts, beach villas and diamonds gloated about Burton's latest extra marital affair or his battle with alcoholism. Whatever the Burtons touched turned to gold - certainly for the newspaper owners.
There have, since Richard Burton's death in 1984 been many books about his life and the one he shared with Taylor and there will be many who question the need for any more. However Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger have a ready advantage over any literary rivals in their access to Elizabeth Taylor's personal correspondence. The resulting biography is an in depth, thoughtful and sympathetic attempt to dissect what they modestly dub 'the marriage of the century'. To a great extent they succeed where others have floundered - quotations from Burton's many letters, which he signed 'Husbs' are testament to the liberal nature of his and Taylor's marriage - though at times the authors appear to be caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Dame Elizabeth's generosity regarding access to many very personal papers seems to have had a price attached to it and she definitely emerges from the four hundred plus pages in a far better light than her late husband.
The authors, it must be emphasised have gone to great lengths to create the most complete picture possible, interviewing the likes of David Frost, Franco Zeffirelli, Gore Vidal and Tony Palmer among many others. They were also assisted not only by Dame Elizabeth but also by Burton's widow, Sally Hay Burton who allowed access to Burton's works, both published and unpublished. Among these are two poems written by Burton which reveal yet another layer to this most complex of men. The first of these, untitled and undated deals with his home country. For these uncomplicated yet emotive words in praise of a Wales which he had long since left this book is well worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't live together, couldn't live apart!, 19 Nov 2010
By 
Alison Petrie - See all my reviews
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Long before the days of paparazzi and the obsession with celebrity, we had Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They were never out of the papers in the 1960s and, in living their private lives in the media spotlight, there was no room for emotional manoeuvre. That they loved each other deeply, there is no doubt, but I felt on reading the book that they had bought into the public persona which turned out to be their undoing. Melvyn Bragg once interview Richard Burton and asked him why he had made so many bad films and he responded that he needed to have a reason to get up in the morning - very sad. Having read this book, I am surprised he didn't say that he took all the roles offered to him in order to buy jewellery for his wife.

Factually the book falls down and the research should have been more thorough. Also, a book that includes the line "Reader, she married him", when mentioning Elizabeth Taylor's marriage to Larry Fortensky, is definitely one not to be taken seriously!
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