Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeously done Coffee Table book!, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Vivien Leigh (Hardcover)
"I hope my life will prove a useful & good one, to many people." - Vivien Leigh

This is a gorgeously done Coffee Table book on the life and career of Vivien Leigh, and gives new insight into her life with Laurence Olivier and her mental illness. Any good Coffee Table book, to an extent, needs to be objective and this book manages this. It's a fine line. You can't go too in-depth and there's only so many pages that you can write, considering the need for imagery to take up a good portion of the space. I think Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait succeeds in this balancing act. The only place where I felt a little more writing would have been needed was on her childhood. I would have liked maybe a passage more on that, especially since you get the sense that her childhood experiences had a lot to do with her loneliness, etc. throughout her life. I suppose there were other places where a little more text could have been added, but at the same time, sometimes less is more. I think that's the case here.

I actually thought the book was in-depth for a Coffee Table book, and I think it is clear that the author understands her subject. She also understands Laurence Olivier and I believe that made a lot of difference here, considering that he was the love of Vivien Leigh's life. The author presents their flaws well and sees the beauty in that and the good they brought to people's lives, as well.

"I know everyone has to face periods of despondency and that one must not always trust everyone, or else one can be very hurt. At the same time, I have learned who really are my friends, and that can be very comforting, and gives one confidence for whatever lies ahead." - Vivien Leigh to Godfrey Winn, 1964.

I almost read this book in one sitting, it was that good. I sincerely hope that the author, Kendra Bean, will write more film books in the future. I highly recommend this book.
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4.5 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)
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