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on 22 September 2007
In this long-awaited autobiography of Pattie Boyd's life, including her two legendary ten-years-or-so marriages to two of rock's biggest names, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, co-author Penny Junor has managed to coax a great many interesting revelations and stories from a very private, somewhat reluctant and reticent Pattie. And so she is to be commended.

The book starts with a fairly unremarkable middle-class upbringing - even though she spends some of her early youth in Kenya, her father is disfigured in the war and her parents ultimately split up and she has to come to terms with a new 'wicked' stepfather, it all nevertheless seems very British and reserved.

Certainly, Pattie doesn't excel academically. But Pattie's rare beauty leads her into the modelling world which is the springboard to her encounters with the rich and famous, including George Harrison, where her looks and attractive personality immediately win him over. Even at the first meeting she is betrayed by her decent upbringing - she turns down a date with 'THE FAMOUS BEATLE' George Harrison because she already has a boyfriend. Not many young girls at the time would have given it a second thought. We also discover that Pattie had not even heard a Beatles album until then, so she shares something in common with Yoko Ono who also claimed to be totally unfamiliar with their work when she first 'bumped into' John.

We learn a great deal about her early cosy relationship with George and her dealings within the Beatles 'inner circle' and how the couple just drifted apart, Pattie feeling neglected. The surreal existence that was being a Beatles wife is made manifest, and it was enough to test the strongest of relationships. It's ironic that Pattie introduced George and The Beatles to the Maharishi and to meditation and chanting and it was this road, as well as 'experimentation' with drugs, that led to George and she becoming isolated and distant from each other. Pattie says that some relationships just have a natural time-span and this was one of them - they remained good friends.

The relationship with Clapton is much darker and tougher to fathom. He clearly loved her, but It's actually hard to read about some of the drink and drug-induced abuse and Pattie is to be congratulated on exorcising these particular demons. Clapton's unfaithfulness is probably par for the course for rock stars, but he would have retrieved some credibility and dignity if he had been seen to have done the decent thing financially when they eventually split up. There was no doubt that he could afford it and there's no doubting who has the moral high ground now.

It's odd that such an apparently ordinary and straight-laced girl, albeit of incredible beauty, should have appealed to these two very musical men and created such a fervour and passion, and to have inspired some of the greatest popular songs ever written.

Pattie claims that her 'failed' marriages and experience have made her a better person, and perhaps that's true. I like to think that people can take something from adversity and that it can have a positive 'purpose'. She now lives alone, although definitely not a lonely figure, and makes a living from photography (and now from writing.) Having seen and heard her recently at a publicity event, she certainly comes across as a grounded, decent, positive and happy person with no bitterness and a zest for life.

Not bad for a rock chick.
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on 27 August 2007
Wonderful Today is fascinating--but only as far as it goes, and one wishes it went much further. So many aspects of Boyd's life could have made an entire book in of itself--her '60s modelling career, her inside view of Beatlemania, life post-Harrison with Clapton, life post-rock star wifedom. Instead each is discussed rather than detailed, so that often there is no more sense of being there than has been evidenced in past biographies of Harrison and Clapton. When Boyd does let us know how she perceived and felt things, the book is tough to put down, but she doesn't do it often enough. For instance, she tells us that Harrison was her soulmate but provides no evidence of how and why. She also refers to herself as "painfully shy" multiple times yet she somehow manages to strike up a dizzying number of friendships with intriguing people, famous and nonfamous. Boyd is apparently a charismatic soul; unfortunately that charisma isn't always evident from this at-time pedestrian book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 March 2009
Pattie Boyd was a successful model in the 1960s whose main claim to fame is that she was married to George Harrison and then Eric Clapton. Her autobiography is both easy to read and very interesting - particularly the first half when she is with George. The second half of the book gets increasingly disjointed as she and Eric lurch from one drunken episode to another.

Pattie grew up in Kenya and went to boarding school. When she came home at the end of term, her father was gone and her mother introduced her to a stranger with the words "meet your new father". Not surprisingly, she went on to have unhappy relationships with all the men that she was involved with. She met George when she was given a small part in a Beatles movie and they immediately fell in love. She paints an intriguing portrait of life with the Beatles. Brian Epstein took control of all their affairs, so for example they would go on holiday and arrive having no idea where they were staying or what they'd be doing. Another time they all ate out in restaurant and no one had any money for the bill, as they had never had to pay before.

As I read the book I got frustrated because Pattie never gives you much sense of what people were like. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were ever-present in the 60s, but there's no sense of what kind of people they are. She and George met Frank Sinatra: we learn that he drove a limo but not what they talked about. Joni Mitchell is described as "great fun" - why? I've no idea. Even the other Beatles are only described in very cursory ways: John's indifference to Cynthia and Paul's interest in business being dominant themes. And when Eric Clapton appears, it is near-impossible to say what Pattie ever saw in him, other than that he was interested in her when her ego was badly bruised by George's infidelities and religious obsession. I couldn't help feeling that a better co-writer might have drawn more out of her and not let her get away with such a topline account.

The book jumps around all over the place and it's very hard to get a sense of when things actually happened. For example, at one stage she refers to an event being 3 years ago, when the dates that she gives mean that it could only have been 12 months earlier. So you are always trying to work out how different pieces fit together. At another stage Pattie refers to the fact that of course she is painfully shy - not something that has been evident up until that point. The book badly needed more structure.

The epilogue is quite interesting. Pattie talks about the way that her childhood and modeling career ate away at her self-esteem and how she perceives that affected the choices that she made in her relationships. It would have been nice if she had put herself under more self-scrutiny throughout the book. There were all kinds of little things that I wanted to call her out on - the way that she said she would never have an affair with a married man but somehow it was okay to sleep with Eric Clapton when he was dating her sister. Or her belief that Eric's heroin addiction was "because of her" and that she should leave her husband because she owed Eric for the hell that he went through. It's an interesting book, but its flaws mean that it was only a three star read for me.
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on 16 September 2007
I've deliberately not read the other reviews on here because I don't want to be influenced at all. This is my view and of course once I've written it I will go and see how many others felt the same way.

I was very disappointed by this book. As lovely as she looks (and she still looks amazing) I found there to be a constant 'poor little me' thread running through this book. It seems she was a beautiful doormat and these rock stars well and truly wiped their feet on her. Or did they? With one breath she divulges yet another horrible/selfish thing that Clapton and Harrison did; in the next she is saying how wonderful they were and the loves of her life.

I also found some of the anecdotes quite confusing. She goes into flashback reverie and then, on the same page, brings us back to the present time and it becomes a little messy.

I've never read any bios of Harrison or Clapton so do not know if this is 100% accurate or the tale of someone who has re-written their past. Maybe if Clapton had been a bit more generous with the divorce settlement she would not have had to write this book.
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on 16 September 2007
I don't know why someone decided to change the title slightly and totally change the cover for us here in the U.S....but what lies within the covers is still the same wonderful book!!

Not a vicious, bitter 'tell all' book by any means. This is a caring, compassionate story written by a very classy lady. She doesn't go into sordid details but tells you only what you need to know to have the story.

I don't think that they are making women with this kind of class and style any more. This is her story and it is well done!
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on 3 September 2007
I haven't read quite such hostile reviews on Amazon for a long time! These American 'professional' writers seem to be off the wall! (Are they by any chance friends of Eric Clapton's ?? They seem to know a great deal about the publishing business.. and I see HIS book is coming in October.)

I read the extracts in the British press and then read the book which I found powerful and profoundly moving. If an author choses to tell her life story working with a particular writer, surely she does so because there is empathy. I am sure that Pattie Boyd has written the book she wanted to write after all these years. And I enjoyed it hugely and would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a real well told story of survival in a celebrity world. If it is not as florid as some autobiographies I found that refreshing. Five stars.
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on 8 September 2008
This book was a mediocre read, it wasn't written as well as it could have been but I don't regret having purchased it. Pattie clearly had a very interesting life in the sixties and seventies, although not one of the happiest. You find yourself feeling sorry for her not only because of the way she is treated and regarded by her husbands, especially by the second one, but because of her extreme naivety. She is a nice, caring person and you do grow to like her and are happy for her when things turn out for the better, I didn't even know who she was and have to be honest by saying that I was more interested George, the other Beatles and Eric Clapton. There are also a few nice pictures in this book.
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on 31 August 2007
This book -- "Wonderful Today" in Britain, "Wonderful Tonight" in America -- is really poor, and a huge disappointment since it's taken so long for Pattie Boyd to break her media silence regarding her marriages to not one, but two major rock icons.

Rambling, badly written, poorly edited, chronologically a total mess, it has more than its fair share of standout errors: watching "Monty Python" at home in the mid-Sixties (it didn't reach TV screens until the end of 1969); George away on tour in February 1967 (after already stating that The Beatles had permanently quit the road in August 1966); and my favorite -- after the 1969 drug busts of John, Yoko, George and Pattie, John somehow immortalizing Scotland Yard's Sgt. Pilcher as "semolina pilchard" (in "I Am the Walrus", recorded two years earlier). Maybe Pattie can be excused these and other goofs on the basis of the saying: "If you can remember the Sixties, you weren't there." However, the same can't be said for either her "co-author" or "fact checker". And I say this as a celebrity author/co-author who is frequently relied upon to not only ask the right questions and capture the subject's voice, but also have in-depth knowledge about -- and do extensive research into -- whatever I'm writing about. That clearly hasn't been the case with this project.

Indeed, the worst thing about it is that this book contains virtually nothing new. Events are reported (and more are omitted), but we get little idea as to what the subject or anyone else was feeling deep down, how they related to one another or what really motivated them. Accordingly, the two big relationships that are meant to sell this bio -- especially the one with George -- are essentially glossed over, and for me that makes the end result nearly as depressing as the marriages themselves.
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on 24 April 2009
I am of the same age group as Patti Boyd and was interested in her tale of the times we both lived through. I did, however, find the book to be poorly written,concentrating as it did on endless lists of the people- all the people- Patti ever crossed paths with. There was little insight into the personalities of the leading characters and not much in the way of descriptive text to allow the reader to get a feel for places and events. While sympathising with Patti's horrendous treatment from the men she loved, I feel she, and they, come across as cardboard cutouts rather than real people and I fail to see what it was about her that inspired musicians to write great love songs.
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on 9 June 2009
I had been looking forward to reading this for a long time having waited for this paperback version. I came to it as a Beatles fan so was naturally more interested in her story from 1964 onwards. The enduring feeling after finishing the book was one of some sadness for Patti. She was victim of her beguiling looks to the extent that she never established her own personality properly, always being overshadowed by her husbands' near infatuations with her. I really enjoyed the detail of who met who and who attended whose party during the 60s and 70s periods but felt that I would have liked to have known more about day to day life for her during these heady days. I'll be honest: the chapters dealing with Patti's early life were not that riveting to me and she certainly comes across as having led a privileged life from the beginning. But she acknowledges this and it doesn't seem to have affected her humility at all. The book ended all too quickly, I would have liked a couple of more chapters. Overall I came away feeling that I would very much like to meet her and that having done so, I have a feeling I too would be charmed and beguiled like her beaus before.
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