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on 4 February 2002
Few biographers can get anywhere near as close to their subject as the author has done in this truly excellent book. It's a roller coaster ride from start to finish, as Miss Brooks travels from being a gifted dancer to devil-may-care actress, then from virtual prostitute to respected writer, and finally to the status of a 20th century icon. Theda Bara undoubtedly paved the way for Louise Brooks, but few Bara films have survived and her contemporaries had passed away before the biographers could get to them. Not so with Brooks - there's a wealth of material direct from her friends (and in some cases, her lovers) and a great deal of written material direct from the lady herself. She never actually wrote her autobiography, but this is surely pretty close to what it might have been. Even if you know almost nothing about Louise Brooks apart from her hairstyle, you'll find this (thick) book a fascinating read!
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on 28 September 2013
At book group we read 'The Chaperone' - a novel based on the fictional character of a chaperone - from a reference by Louise Brooks herself to her chaperone when she (LB) went to New York at age 15. We'd never heard of Louise Brooks but I was led on to find out more. One of those follow-ups was Barry Paris's book of Louise Brooks (from the bibliography of the fictional book). I see now that he has written other biographies of the 'stars' and I shall now order more of his books.
I found 'Louise Brooks' to be extremely well researched, written and so informative about the development of films and the studios. It is also well balanced and not all entirely 'pro' LB. Having watched Pandora's Box I'm not so sure why LB gained the cult following that she did - but she did and Barry Paris tells her story so well. Whether or not you're interested in Louise Brooks is almost irrelevant to this book - it's so lively, interesting and well written - with lots of photos/illustrations.
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on 28 September 2000
Prehaps even better than her own book 'Lulu in Hollywood', Barry Paris' book faithfully follows Louise Brooks' life from her birth in Cherryvale to her death in Rochester. During this incredible journey over six decades, we are not spared any detail - no matter how sordid or depressing - of a sadly unappreciated actress and author. By the end, the desire to know more makes the reader wish that they too could have been honoured to meet this remarkable lady. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who geniunely loves movies...
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on 15 July 2002
Barry Paris is a great biographer. He not only conjures up the life of a fascinating woman, whose image is so well known although her name would probably escape most people, with the vividity and insight that a great biogrpaher should conjure, but he also paints a picture of a time truely changing and her place within it. Hollywood and the unrest that the talkies conjured up. Pre-WW2 German film industry and behemian society, European cinema and the effect that the war had on this society and also on American cinema. You might not have realised before reading this book how interesting a chapter in film history as well as cultural and polictical, this era was.
Most importantly you never get bored. Barry Paris is a gifted writer and a great biographer. Despite the weightiness of this book you would be happy to read on and read more. Testament to his subject matter and to his skill. If only other biographers could follow suit.
There are few biographies on the bookstore shelves, virtual or otherwise, that could ever rival this book.
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on 6 June 2003
Until reading this biography I had not heard of the silent screen star, Louise Brooks, only of her contemporaries, Clara Bow, Tallula Bankhead etc.
This book was a facinating insight into a neglected area of cinema, the history of early film making, in Hollywood, the East coast and Europe. But although Louise Brooks is the main subject, and the author is evidently enthusiastic about her contribution to film, he fails to provide enough evidence, both to her acting talent and to the wild life she supposedly lead.
I enjoyed reading this book, and it has stimulated my interest in silent cinema, but ultimately I found it a disapointing experience as I felt that the real Louise Brooks had some how escaped the author.
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on 24 July 2013
Informative book about one of the less popularized silent film stars of the 20's of the last centuary.

Louise Brooks led an academic/flapper/promiscuous/ alcohol fuelled life

The hair style she wore eptomised the flapper era and so did she with her her smouldering looks.
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on 20 May 2016
One of the better biographies I have read. I felt like I was accompanying Louise Brooks through her turbulent life. It was full of scandal, gossip sex debauchery and art. All that you would expect from an artist of extreme talent and beauty who influenced so many.
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on 25 October 2015
This book was as good as new, really great price and super fast service.
Thank you so much.
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