Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle  Learn more Countdown to Prime Day Shop now Shop now
Profile for A. C. Benjamin > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by A. C. Benjamin
Top Reviewer Ranking: 85,995
Helpful Votes: 61

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
A. C. Benjamin (Amsterdam, NL)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Nureyev: A Biography
Nureyev: A Biography
by Peter Watson
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificently Researched and Written -- the Foundation to all Nureyev Books!, 1 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nureyev: A Biography (Hardcover)
This is the first of the 'big' Nureyev biographies, magnificently researched and written. The way Watson juxtaposes Rudolf's personal story with the political climate in the then Soviet Union, as well as with the discovery of the terrible illness that turned out to be Aids, is nothing short of brilliant.

Some critics of the book cite the fact that there was no support from the Nureyev foundations in the development of this book, but those critics are very short-sighted. This book was first published in 1994. It is obvious, however, that research on this book took years and was, therefore, started well before Nureyev died. And long before the foundations would be in a position to be supportive, considering that Rudolf Nureyev's sister, Razida (as well as other relatives) tried to stop the foundations from controlling his legacy, selling his possessions, or using the financial resources that Rudolf bequeath them.
The foundation had to sue Razida et al, to prove their legitimacy (according to Rudolf's wishes), in order to be able to auction off Nureyev's possessions and award dance scholarships. The final court decision was in 1998!

Anyone objecting to the discussion about Nureyev's sexuality is missing the point. The man was a highly sexualized human being. It was what attracted so many people to his gift of dance. Rudolf was very proud of his taut, sensual body, and having abundant sex with both men and women was an important part of his life. Nothing, except dance, gave him more pleasure. He said so himself. That it lead to him eventually dying of Aids is truly sad, but you can't have one without the other - unlimited, unbridled, experimental sex - was bound to end badly. In the not too distant past (before penicillin) it would have been gonorrhoea.

Both of the other big biographies, Nureyev, His Life by Solgar, and Nureyev, The Life by Kavanagh, referenced this book in the writing of their own. How could they not! Watson laid the ground work for Nureyev's early life in the USSR.

Yes, there are (spelling) mistakes, but that is an editing issue, and does not take away from the quality of the book.
The only exception I take with the narrative is, in a couple of instances, Watson seems to want to prove that Rudolf "lied" about a couple of aspects of his past. What artist doesn't 'embellish' his life story? And in some cases, just may remember things differently than 'witnesses' do. Who is to say that the 'witnesses' are correct?

I read the Solgar book first, and then this one. Watson's book is so powerful that it obliterated Solgar's book, so I feel obligated to read it again. I've started reading the Kavanagh book, but felt like I was reading Watson's book again. What is interesting about Kavanagh's book is the section on 'acknowledgements'. That is a book within a book.

Having already read a lot about Nureyev, I highly recommend this book, which provides an excellent foundation to everything else you are likely to read about the genius that was Rudolf Nureyev.


The Scandalous Lady W
The Scandalous Lady W
by Hallie Rubenhold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars She could give lessons to "liberated" women of today!, 30 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Scandalous Lady W (Paperback)
A good account of a real woman in history. It sometimes is hard to believe that women had to endure the indignities that they did (dispossession of children, dispossession of clothing, dispossession of inheritance, forced copulation), but Lady W managed to get her own back. Cleverly out manoeuvring her greedy husband, she could give lessons to some of the "liberated" women of today. She survived in exile, and when the beast died, she returned to England to reclaim all that had been taken from her! Her second husband loved her so much, he took her family name so that it would live on. Well worth reading.


Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet
Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet
by Gail Grant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very worth the purchase!, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very useful and very interesting. It really is a dictionary of ballet terms, but also explains a lot about ballet history. Very worth while reading.


The Nureyev Image
The Nureyev Image
by Alexander Bland
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars My copy is too mildewed!, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Nureyev Image (Hardcover)
Lovely all the photos. Useful the list of ballets Nureyev performed, and the six month schedule of his bookings. You see how much he traveled and performed.
It is a pity it is so mildewed. I had to hold it at arms length to flip through the pages. I'm hoping I'll be able to remove the smell ( I'm highly allergic to mould) so I can spend more time with the book. Otherwise, it's only useful for reference. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.


Steps in Ballet: Basic Exercises at the Barre, Basic Centre Exercises, Basic Allegro Steps
Steps in Ballet: Basic Exercises at the Barre, Basic Centre Exercises, Basic Allegro Steps
by Thalia Mara
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value!, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very useful with lots of illustrations and explanations, which is good for beginners as well as refreshing stale knowledge. Including illustrations on what Not to do! The only thing missing are illustrations and positions for male dancers. You do want to know how your dance partner is going to lift you to his shoulder, and what you need to do to make the lift work.


Basic Ballet (Penguin Handbooks)
Basic Ballet (Penguin Handbooks)
by Joyce Mackie
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money!, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Totally useless! Professionally bound, glossy cover of photocopied content. The copy quality is so dark as to be barely visible. I didn't notice the format at the time of ordering - my fault - but is also a very small book. As I said, useless!!!


Dancer Who Flew
Dancer Who Flew
by Linda Maybarduk
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovingly Written from Personal Experience, 10 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dancer Who Flew (Hardcover)
Lovingly written from personal experience. A pleasure to read. For those interested in ballet, and anyone wanting first hand information about this great dancer, without all the lurid gossip and negative comments. Highly recommended.


N or M?: A Tommy & Tuppence Mystery
N or M?: A Tommy & Tuppence Mystery
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.34

5.0 out of 5 stars After 74 Years, Still a Page Turner!, 31 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good, light read. Though written in 1941, still a page turner. And much better than the just broadcast television version!!!


The Ultimate Goodness Gracious Me (The Complete Series 1, 2 and 3 / Back Where They Came From)[DVD]
The Ultimate Goodness Gracious Me (The Complete Series 1, 2 and 3 / Back Where They Came From)[DVD]
Dvd ~ Sanjeev Bhaskar
Offered by Bonkers4Bargains!
Price: £48.35

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 6 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disappointing. Actually not complete the series, a lot of the best bits were missing having seen the original series when it was broadcast in the U.K.


The Discovery of Chocolate
The Discovery of Chocolate
by James Runcie
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 6 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lovely novel, amusing in part, sad in places, but well worth reading. Runcie's first novel is, of course, not as good as his subsequent novels. Try "The Color of Heaven".


Page: 1 | 2 | 3