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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
14
No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 23 September 2013
One of the problems with trying to get a sense of Edith Piaf's life and influence is that previous (auto)biographies are rather self-serving and one-sided, so you're never sure whether you're getting a dispassionate view of this remarkable chanteuse. So it was very refreshing to read a biography that tries to take a detached view of her life, despite the fact that the author is largely having to rely on papers rather than interviews with Piaf's contemporaries. My major criticism is that there is a bit too much chronology (especially in respect of the bewildering number of lovers in her life), and not enough analysis. To get to a five-star rating, I would have liked more depth about why and how Piaf struck such a chord with audiences then and now; what her legacy is on French and other music; and more about her impact in the US, rather than just a list of her appearances on the Ed Sullivan show for example. So I'd recommend this book, but I just wish it had gone a bit deeper in its treatment of Piaf as an individual, and her music as a lasting legacy.
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on 19 April 2012
Apart from her passionate rendition of "Je ne regrette rien" which I heard often as a child, I knew little about Edith Piaf until I saw this book for sale, and thought I would buy it. The author is clearly a devotee of Piaf, and has done meticulous research into her life to produce a book which, for me, provides a good balance between her lowly beginnings (which would account for her poor health, her work ethic and her indomitable spirit) her adult life (let's just say that her many affairs are described in a respectful and non-salacious way), her work, including detailed accounts of her musical partnerships, stage performances and television appearances, and her mentorship of many of France's premier performers who probably have her to thank for their successful international careers. Altogether a very satisfying read. If only all biographies of famous people could be as good as this one!
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VINE VOICEon 4 June 2011
I have always been haunted by the sound of Edith Piaf's voice, and after listening to a tribute concert with Eve Loiseau singing her songs last week, I needed to know more about her life. The author, Carolyn Burke, is superbly placed to have taken on this role, both as a singer, a French speaker, and clearly as an exceptional writer. Her immersion in what it's like to be "French" is very evident. She has been clearly totally absorbed in writing this book, a work of love, you might say. She has a very intimate and intelligent way of trying to convey the French "psyche", which at times can be that bit tad perplexing for us foreigners. Piaf represents the France of her time, and Carolyn's detailed history of her life is very illuminating. She states on the end-paper, that she spends as much time in Paris as she can. For me, that is an essential validation for a writer who does seem to have made this book a work of love.
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on 31 July 2014
Edith Piaf's life story....very deep and sometimes difficult to read, a lot of French, sadly I don't speak! However, as a huge fan of the woman and her voice, I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it...only for Edith Piaf fans though.
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on 27 August 2013
Author could have made the book a lot shorter but referred to each song written and drew out the story which made it a rather dull read. The facts about her life were interesting.
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on 22 March 2013
This has to rate in the top 3 biographies that I have read.
As well as just the right level of detail, the atmosphere of life with Piaf was vivid.
The only adverse comment would be that some more historical context early on would have helped.
But I would have "No Regrets" about recommending this book to anyone interested.
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on 28 October 2013
This is a very researched and meticulous account of Mme Piaf's life. Unfortunately it's not very interesting. I saw the film ''le vie on rose'' and wanted to find out more about Piaf. I thought the film was top notch and really enjoyed it. However I found this book tiresome. There is absolutely no spice in it.
If I had known what it was like I wouldn't have bothered buying it.
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on 22 November 2015
Not attractively produced
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on 14 March 2013
A very interesting read on Edith's life regarding her personal life and her amature and professional life, sad at times but a worthy read.
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on 10 October 2014
bought for a friend they are very pleased with it.
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