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Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,494 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
Her name is synonymous with elegance, style and grace. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey Hepburn captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intens ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 2nd 2007 by Harmony (first published 2006)
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Lisa Kay


Love, love, love Audrey; however, this book was just middle of the road for me. Somewhat repetitious, too. I would have liked to have read the actual critics’ reviews instead of just this author’s opinion of her movies; I would have preferred him to be more factual instead of opinionated throughout.

For instance, what was Audrey’s reaction to Julie Andrews’ quip in her acceptance speech at the 1964 Oscars, thanking Jack Warner? (He chose not to cast Andrews - who originated the role on stage - b
...more
Vicki
Jun 22, 2010 Vicki rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memior
I started out this book really rather excited about it. Her early years were fascinating, and the author's style was good. I was really enjoying it up to the point when Spoto started discussing the movies she was in. Then he really started to annoy me.

While Spoto's writing is well done for the most part, he seems to blur the line between biographer and film critic. A biographer should deal in the facts. Tell me what films she did, what happened during filming, what the public reaction was to the
...more
Erin
Jun 22, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok
I have always loved Audrey Hepburn. I was not overly impressed with this book about her though. The author made it seem like she was never happy. Whether that was true or not, no one but Audrey would know for sure. For most of this book the author focused on the the hollywood making of the movies aspect, not so much Audrey. i felt like she got lost in the shuffle of a book that was supposed to be about her.
AJ
Jul 31, 2008 AJ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes biographies
I really like reading about her. I don't love this author's writing style. He is a little repetitive and kind of adds his own opinion to some things. He is, however, very thorough, and seems to have a lot of really good sources that actually knew the people he wrote about. He does write in a way that actually makes their lives very interesting and kept me wanting to know more. I would recommend his biographies.
Lindsay
Aug 08, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in her
I have always admired Audrey Hepburn, but sadly did not know much about her besides her filmology. This biography is written really well, so it does not seem like a dull text book but almost like I am reading fiction. Her life was so much more than just an actress and this book gives much detail showing that. Even if you don't think you are interested in her life, you might surprise yourself while reading this.
Chelsia
Sep 01, 2015 Chelsia rated it it was amazing
For Audrey Hepburn to be one of my favorite actresses and someone's classic ladylike style I've always looked up too, I sure didn't know a lot about her before reading this book. I was shocked to discover how similar we were in many ways, for example she suffered from constant insecurity, never knowing what her self-worth was.
She ended up living a pretty sad and tragic life that I think her parents, sadly are partially to blame for. A controlling, unfeeling, private mother (whom never showed af
...more
Alyne
Oct 01, 2014 Alyne rated it really liked it
I recently started watching classic films, which prior to my 25th year held little interest to me. I always WANTED to enjoy them, I just couldn't get past the black and white. Now that I have aged a bit, (that, or run out of Netflix options ;) ) I have begun to really enjoy classic films. I love the simplicity, the straightforward plotlines, the raw emotion of Hollywoods brightest. I enjoy the good simple stories, and the lack of overt sexuality, violence, and vulgarity. It's very lovely.

As for
...more
Susan Kelley
Jan 12, 2008 Susan Kelley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: movie lovers
Recommended to Susan by: Bookcrossing Reading Group
Audrey Hepburn has always been someone that I have admired. It's obvious to anyone who has seen her that she was a beautiful woman. But deep beneath those looks was an even more beautiful heart. Her charitable works brought about so much change and good things in the world - her acting seems to be just a brief footnote.

Unfortunately, this book discusses more of Audrey's career than her life with UNICEF. I learned many things about her, from her childhood in Nazi-controlled Holland to her bad mar
...more
Isabel
Aug 16, 2010 Isabel rated it it was ok
I have always been inspired by Audrey Hepburn's grace and tactics, so when I decided to pick up a biography from the library, I chose one about her. Even though the author gave us a lot of information about the her childhood, movie-making, and her love affairs, it focused more on what made Audrey unhappy rather than what made her happy [such as her sons, cooking, UNICEF:].

The book was very informational on Audrey's career. And maybe I would have given it a higher review had I not had a specific
...more
Elly Sands
Aug 27, 2014 Elly Sands rated it liked it
I just picked this up in the local library thinking I'd take it home and simply peruse it. I ended up reading every word. I mean who doesn't admire Audrey Hepburn? Her movies were fun and some very poignant.I was surprised to learn how unsure of herself she was, never thinking she was good enough. These feelings stemmed from a rather traumatic childhood. Yes I was surprised about her various affairs and her chain smoking as it doesn't fit her "Image" but she was more than her image. She truly fo ...more
Joy H.
Added 4/6/08.

1/17/15 - I had forgotten I had read this book already! So, recently I've been listening to the audio version of this book, Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn by Donald Spoto. I never realized how many problems she had during her life and during her career as an actress. It's almost painful to hear about these things because she has always seemed so enchanting and sweet. It seemed that no harm could come to her. But she had problems like everybody else.
Jill
Dec 02, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
This was a really troubling read. I love Audrey Hepburn and always have, but I found her consecutive adultery really disturbing (her husbands were adulterous as well). I learned so much about her and loved getting details on portions of her life with which I was already familiar. What was most impressive to me about her is how none of her colleagues ever had anything bad to say about her. Other than her reptetivive adultery, she was a really classy lady. And she did incredibly wonderful work for ...more
Brandy Spielman
Jan 15, 2016 Brandy Spielman rated it really liked it
I have been an Audrey fan for as long as I can remember. Something about her elegance, grace, and compassion for others has always appealed to me. This book made me fall in love with her even more. The details of her life (painstakingly researched by the author) emphasize over and over that she was more than just a pretty face in a little black dress. She was shy, anxious, driven, needy, humble, and kind.
The author is a wonderful biographer. He showed the good and the bad while being both hones
...more
Jessica
Jul 25, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
Meh. Audrey Hepburn was/is one of my all time favorite actresses. I've always loved her movies, her classic style, and her anthropic habits with her infamous work with UNICEF. But, in reading this, it kinda disappointed me. For one thing, she was kinda a hoe. She had no qualms about getting involved with married men, or having love affairs while she was married. I can't have a lot of respect for that. Also, I'm just not a big fan of biographies, even one of an actress I like.
Kati Callais
Mar 02, 2016 Kati Callais rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely Inspirational!
Deep Vam Dev
It hurts to give it 2 stars.
Ambigous. Off-the-subject. Unintelligent.
Jennifer
Aug 26, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
It was no Breakfast at Tiffany's...but I loved how she created her own style.
Maddie Russel
If you want to learn more about Audrey Hepburn, read Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn. This book follows Audrey Hepburn’s journey to success. The story starts off with her life in Europe and her struggles with World War II and the Holocaust. Like every celebrity, her career had to start somewhere. As a child and teenager, Audrey Hepburn was involved in dance. When the War got bad and all money was lost, leaving them with no food, Audrey became too weak to pursue a career in dance professi ...more
Carl Rollyson
Aug 18, 2012 Carl Rollyson rated it liked it
"Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn" enters a crowded field. Barry Paris's encyclopedic "Audrey Hepburn" appeared in 1996, Alexander Walker's astute "Audrey" in 1994, and Diana Maychick's chatty "intimate portrait" in 1993 — just to mention Donald Spoto's immediate predecessors. At this point, the impatient reviewer is supposed to complain, "Do we really need another biography of Audrey Hepburn?"

This is almost always the wrong question. Biography by its very nature is incomplete. It is a Ra
...more
Joanna
Dec 03, 2016 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Po przeczytaniu tej książki na usta ciśnie mi sie tylko jedno słowo - czarująca. Jestem pod wielkim wrażeniem pracy, jaką włożył w jej powstanie Donald Spoto, a także kierunku, jaki obrał pisząc ją, bo ku mojej radości nie skupił sie on na stawianiu tez na temat życia prywatnego Audrey i wyciąganiu z nich krzywdzących wniosków, ale pozwolił tej historii toczyć się swoim własnym tempem, przedstawiając fakty, listy, notatki, a przede wszystkim wspomnienia ludzi, którzy znali Audrey. Wypełnił też k ...more
Ruby
Oct 25, 2016 Ruby rated it liked it
Why I rated a book about A.H. only 3 stars: I love Audrey and wanted to learn about her life. But after reading her sons book; "an elegant spirit" (afterwards), I learned that some of the things written in here isnt wholly accurate, when comparing the two. The author also goes into some rumours and gossip about her love life that may or may not be true..not very cool IMO. Apart from that it was lovely, as always, to read about Audrey. ...more
Booksarethebest
Dec 03, 2016 Booksarethebest rated it it was amazing
Me encantó que no sólo se hablara de su vida privada sino de los aspectos técnicos de las películas en la cuales ella participó. Una muy buena biografía.
Yestephanny Bermùdez
Jan 01, 2017 Yestephanny Bermùdez rated it it was amazing
Y cuando crees que es imposible enamorarte mas de ella... perfecta my
soul.
KaRo
Oct 05, 2013 KaRo rated it really liked it
Osoby Audrey Hepburn raczej nikomu nie trzeba przedstawiać. Jest to jedna z największych legend kina, modelka i działaczka humanitarna. Jako aktorka została nawet uhonorowana w 1954 r. Oskarem za kreację pierwszoplanowej bohaterki w „Rzymskich wakacjach”. Mimo że od jej śmierci minęło już 20 lat, nadal jest uważana za ikonę stylu, a przede wszystkim wzór do naśladowania, bo Audrey była nie tylko fenomenalną aktorką, ale co najważniejsze wrażliwą na ludzkie cierpienie osobą. Wydaje się, że była n ...more
Kerry
Jul 05, 2015 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Many writers use the name of a celebrity and a sensationalist tone as a crutch for poor writing, flaccid research, or a dull story. Spoto's biography on Audrey Hepburn is a work integrity. Of course it gives the intended audience what it wants: a portrait of an elegant, human, talented Hepburn who was generous and strong in spirit. In this way, it bolsters the Audrey Hepburn legend. (Spoto also wrote a biography of Grace Kelly, High Society , but that biography--and the term can only be used lo ...more
Kelly
Jul 21, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it
Her name is synonymous with elegance, style and grace. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey Hepburn captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intense privacy. With unprecedented access to studio archives, friends and colleagues who knew and loved Audrey, bestselling author ...more
Skyler Broadhead
Sep 29, 2016 Skyler Broadhead rated it liked it
I have always admired and been a fan of Audrey Hepburn and love reading about her. I was hoping this book would provide me with something new that I did not know. I did find out a couple of things I never knew and I really enjoyed reading about her work with UNICEF as this hasn't been documented as well as her film work.

I've read Donald's book on Grace Kelly and really enjoyed it and his writing style. Although this book is well researched he did tend to focus a lot on her love life and I don't
...more
Nicole
Apr 19, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been in awe of Audrey Hepburn, the woman who charmed the world with her beauty, elegance, and charisma -- on screen and in real life. Reading Spoto’s well-written and refreshing biography on her made me even more enamored of her than I was before.

Beneath the facade of elegance and charm that continue to define her today, lay a woman who struggled with insecurity all throughout her life and felt that she deserved little of the attention that was bestowed on her since the very beginn
...more
Barbara
I'm going to start this off by saying that Audrey Hepburn and her films are not my favorite in terms of old Hollywood. Roman Holiday and Charade are probably my top films of hers, although after reading this book I really need to check out A Nun's Story and re watch The Children's Hour. And yes I am a member of the camp who thought she should not have been cast as Eliza Doolittle (although she did look fabulous in that movie) but that's not really her fault, that honor goes to Jack Warner.

At any
...more
Sarah
Aug 02, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Enchantment by Donald Spoto describes the life of Breakfast at Tiffany's star Audrey Hepburn. She grew up in Belgium with a Dutch mom and half-brothers, and a British father who abandoned her family when she was young. War struck in Europe when Audrey was only a teen who dreamt of becoming a ballerina. After a hard life, she entered small film productions to gain money for her family, and that was when she was discovered. Some of her roles were "...the greatest performances in the history of fi ...more
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A prolific and respected biographer and theologian, Donald Spoto is the author of twenty published books, among them bestselling biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, and Ingrid Bergman. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Donald Spoto earned his Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University. After years as a theology professor, he t ...more
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