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Learning to Fly Hardcover – 13 Sep 2001
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Learning to Fly is a rather apt title for Victoria Beckham's autobiography as she spreads her wings and embarks on a solo career without the safety net of the Spice Girls. The well-trodden story of the girl group takes up less time than you would expect in this book as Victoria uses it more as a platform to redress the balance of the rumours, gossip and allegations in the tabloid press. And boy, are there plenty of them to get her teeth stuck into. Victoria is open and honest throughout the book and comes across as a reasonably level-headed person and not simply a pouting clothes horse with a taste for designer labels. In fact, Victoria tries a little too hard to dismiss her glamorous image, thus destroying a little bit of the mystery that made her one of the two most talked-about Spice Girls (along with Geri). Unfortunately, for someone who condemns the press for the interest they show in every trivial detail of her life, she is more than happy to push those same trivialities here. So we have to wade through a lot of unimportant detail before we get to the meaty stuff, but there's plenty of that. The early days of the Spice Girls makes for interesting reading, particularly her catty comments towards the unseen sixth Spice Girl Michelle ("she had less rhythm than a cement mixer") and her first encounters with David Beckham are made all the more interesting in that we know what happened next. If there's one thing that comes over it's her love of her husband and her son, a love that was strengthened by the death threats and kidnap attempts. But the book really moves up a gear as Victoria slowly comes to realise someone very close to them has betrayed them and used his position within the Beckhams' inner circle to make a quick buck. That betrayal obviously hit home very hard and one can't help, perhaps for the first time, to understand some of the pressures she faces on a daily basis. There are plenty of lighter moments though, such as her brief romantic dalliance with 80s teen movie idol Corey Haim, which ended with her booting him out of her car. A glossy, fun and entertaining read, this book shows that while she may be Learning to Fly Victoria Beckham has her feet on the ground and the world at her feet. --Jonathan Weir
Lips may curl derisively at this one, but canny booksellers will realise that it has almost as much potential as partner David Beckham's highly successful ego trip. And Posh Spice, after all, gives the faintest impression (unlike hubby) that she might once have opened a book. But words are not the issue here: like the David Beckham book, this is a feast of beguiling images of the sylph-like Spice Girl. In text that gives an impression of great frankness (suggesting she might even have had something to do with the writing of the book), Posh conveys what it's like to be half of the most famous couple in Britain, and talks about the vulnerability that has clearly never left her. There's also a welcome humour and self-mockery that surfaces at times, but the core audience for the book will be going for the 75 new photographs along with the occasional revelation. Posh is apparently undertaking a packed two-week promotional tour for the book.See all Product description
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Having bought it, I quickly read it from start to finish. It is just so well written. And it really is disarmingly honest - I learned a lot about Victoria as a real human being, as well as about the anatomy of teenage angst, the workings of the music industry and the rarefied world of celebrity musicians and footballers.
Anyone who doesn't like the 'flash-forward' at the start can skip the first chapter; personally, the only chapter I didn't care for was the final one - too bland and gushy for me, and the only part of the book which seemed to be trying to manipulate the reader. Take out the first and the last chapters and you're left with 480 pages of fascinating reading!
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