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on 17 July 2017
good read
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on 26 April 2017
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on 15 May 2007
This is a remarkable book about a woman who remains a legend and a very special icon of the 20th Century. Julie Andrews is loved by millions. She is an astonishing performer although some sceptical critics view her with less sympathy and admiration. In some point, she is controversial. But that too makes her a unique phenomenon.

She illuminated the stages of Broadway and the screen images of Hollywood. And by doing so, she made it with glamour and such an elegance that is very hard to define.

I found this book very much appealing, with an attractive and well organized narrative. It is precise in little details about names and dates. Pointing out every work of Julie and the circumstances that surrounded every film, every stage play and every television show. And making reference to the projects for which Julie might have been invited; or to those she might really have accepted. (An interesting part in Michael Powell's «Peeping Tom» would have been attractive; or a movie directed by her friend Mike Nichols or by French director François Truffaut.)

The book tells us the story of Dame Julie in a regular chronological order. But sometimes it reverses the order of the events to emphasize a specific idea or emotion. That strategy works really well - as when the book starts in 1997, at the dramatic point when Julie lost her voice. Certainly that was one of the most difficult moments in her life; and induced profound changes in all her work and in the directions of her career. That period must have been a key period in which Julie had to face herself and had to lead with her own identity - an identity she had built through the magic clearness of her voice. So it sounds pertinent to me that the narrative starts from June 1997 at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dame Julie made herself a star through that bright and luminous voice. The book emphasizes the key contributions of her singing teacher and her stepfather Ted Andrews from whom she adopted the name. Back in the late nineties, how could she face a life without singing, a life without that expression of artistic beauty? Singing must have been as natural to her as breathing! In fact, she is not only a singer. She is much more than that. (And this book reveals all the levels in which she is so well gifted.) As a consequence of that, she declared in the beginning of the new century she was as busy as ever.

Her life has translated a permanent devotion to her work and to her family. The book explores this double existence of Julie: the universe of her work and the universe of her family. Both were joined quite happily through her marriage with director Blake Edwards.

Richard Stirling knows personally Dame Julie and has interviewed her several times. He is quite direct in the analysis of her work and he discusses the limitations of some projects in which she honestly tried to do her best. After all, Julie Andrews is always competing with herself, with what people expect of her. After «My Fair Lady», «Mary Poppins» and «The Sound of Music», she had reached a high level - the highest level a movie star can achieve.

Stirling talks about the difficulty of Julie in becoming a star but discipline and hard work were never obstacles to her success. The book also reveals the pressures and demands that were imposed to her while her work meant a lot of money to a lot of people - specifically those years in which she was considered the most famous and well paid actress in Hollywood. Those were days, time was not enough to make all the correct choices. There was a lot of anxiety; and too many responsibilities.

The book is methodically organized in chapters that somehow divide the different steps in Julie's life. And at the end of it, the reader expects to read some more. Richard Stirling made a good evaluation of the facts and he succeeded to build a complete and insightful essay about Dame Julie. The edition is completed with a few pages presenting photographs; but the richness of the book lies in the text itself. This is a great document and a testimony for the future generations. There are already some books about Julie Andrews. This may well be the best of them. For Dame Julie's fans and to all of those who like movies, music and stage shows. I highly recommend it.
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on 19 June 2017
An entertaining and well written read. I purchased this as Julie's autobiography stops before her marriage to Blake Edwards and leaves you in limbo. This will fill in the missing years.
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on 16 March 2007
I really love this book. It is bright, charming and informative, and contains a very good overview of Dame Julie's career. My favourite chapters are those that detail her early years on the music hall stage in England, and also the discourse about her fall from grace in the late 1960s, when she found herself out of tempo with the times after the astonishing success of the previous decade.

The book is specific about dates, names and places, which I like, and has lots of details about the films Julie made or turned down, as well as a reflective look at her long-lasting marriage with Blake Edwards. I found it a thumping good read from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
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on 31 January 2012
I read Richard Stirling's book right after I read Ms. Andrews' own memoir, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, and, frankly, I was not very satisfied. The only reason I bought it originally was to learn more about Andrews' later life, after she took on the role of Mary Poppins, since her book stops right there.

Having 'Home' very fresh in memory, I found myself terribly puzzled during the first chapters of Stirling's Book. Had he actually consulted with Julie Andrews or had he just clipped newspaper pieces together and made up some information as he went along? Moving on after 'Mary Poppins', Richard Stirling provides some anecdotes which can be considered interesting, but I had a hard time believing them to be true, as he had already lost credibility in my eyes.

Other than that, his style is purely journalistic, combining article-like paragraphs with a copious amount of quotes, some by others, some by Ms. Andrews herself. I didn't have a problem with the latter, but it is elementary to know how to successfully use quotes in one's writing, and I think Mr. Stirling does not. Also, what irritated me immensely was the fact that he very often seemed to attribute everything Julie Andrews had done not to her childhood, not to her character, but -believe it or not- to her zodiac sign! That's right, Julie Andrews would have taken a completely different path in life had she been born at a different time of the year. At least that's what the book had me believe.

I know 'Home' covers only the beginning of Dame Julie Andrews' career, but it is more intimate and offers great insight, as one would expect from an autobiography. It was far more enjoying to 'hear' Andrews' own voice narrating incidents from her life. So, if you have to choose between the two, I'd say go with 'Home'. If you splurge on both, like I did, brace yourselves for a fairly mediocre read: Stirling's book.
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I’ve always been a huge fan of Julie Andrews and a while back I treated myself to Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography by Richard Stirling.

At the time this book was released there was a lot of problems between the author and Julie Andrews manager, (Mr. S. Sauer).

It had been announced in one of the American papers that Mr. Sauer had wrote to Richard Stirling saying that he was annoyed with him bringing this unauthorized book out as he knew that Julie was going to release her autobiography. Then her manager went on to say that he’d give him so long to take it off the market and if he didn’t he would then seek legal advice.

I haven’t read anything before by Richard Stirling so I didn’t know what to expect, but with all authors I’ve never read I always keep an open mind till I’ve completed their book.

Julie Andrews is one of our national treasure and my favourite artist. :-) When my Mum was expecting me she went to see “The Sound of Music” and she says that’s why I love the film soooo much, as every time it’s been on TV I’ve watched it, I have two versions of the film on DVD, (the original and 40th Anniversary collector’s edition), and I have the original soundtrack of both the film and stage version.

Julie Andrews is the last of the great Hollywood musical stars and her career has lasted for over forty years. She’s also been a favourite of mine since childhood.

In this book you’ll find out about Julies life :- childhood, marriages, children, her careers, (stage, film, writing and singing),becoming a Dame and the traumatic time that she went through with the operation that ruined her beautiful singing voice.

Personally I thought the author did an excellent job with this book.

I found this to be an excellent read and a constant page turner. I really found it hard to put the book down. :-)

Its book I can recommend to other readers. :-)
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As a rule I don't read biographies but as a Julie Andrews' fan I could not resist this remarkable book on her life, her career and what makes her such a great screen legend of our time. This book is very well written and fun to read, it provides intimate insight into her work and her movies that we all love. I enjoyed reading it and I am sure this book will appeal to all not just fans of Julie Andrews
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on 18 January 2017
If like me you are fascinated by this extraordinary artist, her incredible voice but also her personality, this book will help you discover who is hidden behind that astonishing woman.
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on 13 December 2016
Book arrived before the due date in great condition, just as good as new, and well packed. Very interesting biography with some lovely photographs.
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