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The Carpenters: The Untold Story : An Authorized Biography
by Ray Coleman
The first biography of the Carpenters to reveal the truth behind their public image and the consequences of the stardom that contributed to Karen's tragic death in 1983, told by an acclaimed biographer and friend of Karen and Richard.
Paperback, 359 pages
Published April 28th 1995 by Perennial
(first published 1994)
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I grabbed this not knowing much about the Carpenters besides what I saw in a documentary made with Barbies. I don't really like their music at all, but Karen's story is so sad. This book is a bit weird though because it is written by a British guy, and if you read the intro, you find out that Richard had a lot of input in it. So the accuracy of portrayal is kind of iffy in my opinion, even in the first couple of pages it makes him look like a hero when he had his own demons which are vaguely tou ...more
It's been more than 30 years since Karen Carpenter died of anorexia, so you pretty much know what to expect when you read an authorized bio of The Carpenters. Still, it seems like such a waste of life. The author pretty much sums up my take on the book in his afterword: "The pendulum of this story swung between glory and darkness, rich creativity and human despair." Their music may have been incredible but there's no escaping the sadness in this story.
The book opened with information on anorexia and then moved on to Karen's death. I was afraid it would only get more depressing from then on, but it was actually very good! Saddening, yes. But only in parts and not overwhelmingly so. It was informative, but not so much that I will never be able to listen to the Carpenters again. ;)
A well written biography that offers insight into the lives of Richard and Karen Carpenter. A decent read for any fan that tells the good and some of the bad ( Although I definitely think that Richard had much control over what made it in and what didn't) Any fan of their music will find this insightful and interesting, nonetheless.
Aug 16, 2007 Shawne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Carpenters fans
Miserably depressing. But then again, so was Karen's life. But a good, no-holds-barred insight into the wreckage of two lives post-fame - the damaging downward spirals of anoxeria and drug addiction, leading to the loss of one of the loveliest voices the world has ever known and probably doesn't deserve.
Aug 13, 2016 Julie_ian_curtis rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Back in the day, before 'little girl blue' came out this was pretty much the only book on the carpenters. It's very PC but a valuable resource, being the first cab off the rank.