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Last Dance with Valentino Paperback – 3 Feb 2011
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Praise for Last Dance with Valentino
‘a gripping, bittersweet love story’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘written in deft, engrossing prose, this story is dizzy with glamour and heartbreak.’ EASY LIVING
‘impeccably researched and beautifully-written’ DAILY MAIL
‘Waugh weaves fact with fiction into a novel with glamour, tragedy and romance’ CHOICE
‘It’s intelligent, inventive and deliciously entertaining’ SAGA
Praise for Daisy Waugh:
‘Sparkling fun.’ HEAT
‘Full of laugh-out-loud funny bits.’ NEW WOMAN
‘Possessed of her late father, Auberons’ dry wit, and grandfather Evelyn’s light comic touch, Daisy Waugh’s refreshing tale of a glamorous urbanite’s struggle to come to terms with life running a crumbling country-house hotel is a joy. Especially the stabs at egocentric celebrity types.’ CHOICE
‘A surprisingly witty, romantic read.’ COMPANY
‘Waugh’s take on media life is spot on, as are her descriptions of the more irritating aspects of country life.’ MARIE CLAIRE
About the Author
Daisy Waugh used to write a weekly newspaper column from Los Angeles about her attempts to become a Hollywood scriptwriter. Today she writes two weekly columns for the Sunday Times. She and her family live in London. This is her sixth novel.
Top customer reviews
Read it for something different - and also a love story thrown in with some twists along the way. Thorougly enjoyable.
My main problem was that I found the characters unlikeable and unsympathetic. Jennifer Doyle, later Lola Nightingale, the heroine and narrator of the book was really not my cup of tea. I found her deeply flawed and didn't really understand her motivations for failing to pursue Rudolph Valentino when she had the chance, even though she had ample opportunity and spent most of the book asserting how obsessed with him she was and how she was sure he was her one true love.
Valentino himself was a fascinating character but hardly appears in the book at all, and consequently, to my mind anyway, makes a very unsatisfactory hero. You never really get a sense of him, despite everyone saying how compelling he is, because he is nearly always absent, and the two or three times he does appear and actually spends time with Jenny, he is fairly stereotypically romantic and there is no sense at all of this deep and abiding passion that is supposed to exist between the two lovers.
It may be different if you know a great deal about Valentino already. I didn't really know anything about him when I chose the book, and part of the reason I picked it was in the hope of learning something about this legendary romantic figure. I don't feel that I learned much, and it was fundamentally quite an unsatisfying book to read.
I found Jenny a very irritating narrator - she has the breathless voice of a teenager, is much given to repetition, and has an annoying tendency to overuse exclamation marks. Bits of her tale as she tries to break into 1920s Hollywood as a scriptwriter are quite interesting in themselves, but sit a little awkwardly in relation to the main story.
My disappointment with this book stems from the absence of Valentino as a character with any substance. Jenny keeps telling us he's the most handsome man she's ever laid eyes on, and goes into raptures over his smell and his hands, but Waugh fails to animate him with any of his legendary charisma and magnetism. All of the really interesting things about him - being an Italian immigrant in 1920s Hollywood, his provocative and ambiguous sexuality, the way he questioned American concepts of masculinity - are all erased from this version of Valentino.
So this is a perfectly amiable chick-lit read, and at heart is a girly fantasy of being the secret 'true love' of a celebrity male idolised by the world. But for a much more interesting take on the real Valentino I would suggest Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino.