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Barry Paris
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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  328 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Drawing on interviews with Ingmar Bergman and Max von Sydow amongst others, Barry Paris examines the "brooding northern soul" that defined Garbo's work and personality and which was rooted in an unhappy childhood. Her later relationships with G.W. Pabst, Louis B. Mayer, John Gilbert, George Cukov and Ernst Lubitsch are explored as are some of her lesser-known friendships w ...more
Hardcover, 654 pages
Published by Pan MacMillan (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,159)
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Jan 19, 2010 Strangerealms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cinema
I read this book without watching her movies. I had heard about her introversion and eccentricities. I thought we had a few things in common, (I'm introvert and eccentric too), but I mean similar eccentricities. If I had the money I'd gladly pay 30 times the same pair of shoes when I find one that I like very much, enough for a lifetime. I've heard Garbo did it her, she had the money. I never read biographies so I'm not knowledgeable in that genre. I picked the biography by Paris, I heard he was ...more
May 07, 2016 Vanessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What started off as a really entertaining and informative biography of one of my absolute favourite screen stars ended up becoming really dry and dull about halfway through. Truth be told, I didn't even finish reading the last couple of chapters in this book because I honestly didn't feel as if it had anything else to offer me (that was worthwhile, at least).

Aside from its downward spiral at the halfway point, another thing about the biography that bothered me was how often the author (Barry Par
Jun 28, 2007 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a lot of them, but this was the best early Hollywood biography that I've read. It was entertaining without being gossipy, and the author had actually done extensive research and interviews before writing it. What a shocker - doing your homework actually works. The book focuses upon Garbo's life from her childhood in Sweden to her time in Hollywood to her jetsetting around the globe and to her walks around NYC. Rather than trying to create a persona, it presents the picture of a co ...more
Dec 11, 2011 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
A good read, but Garbo is a difficult subject. Barry Paris does his best to fill in the blanks but perhaps there really isn't much to tell. Greta Garbo was intensely reserved, which makes you wonder why she ever became an actress. Perhaps to escape poverty, and live out her fantasies. Garbo's early life is fascinating but, for all the Hollywood mythmaking, her years after fame were spent in retreat. Even now her name is a byword for stardom, yet few will have seen her films. Which is a pity beca ...more
Jonathan Robbins
Jun 03, 2016 Jonathan Robbins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Paris's biography of Garbo can best be described as uneven. The first half, which is devoted to Greta's time in Hollywood, is dreadfully uninspired. Paris ridicules her films, costars, and directors. At times he even harshly appraises her talent. I seriously considered setting this book aside, unfinished. Yet, I am nothing if not a completionist, so I persevered.

I am delighted to say that my efforts were well-repaid. The second half of Paris's 'Garbo' was quite lovely, the leading lady at la
Apr 03, 2011 Loni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wealth of information certainly deserves a good rating. Garbo probably would have found such probing horrifying. Sources are reliable and interesting... the only thing that lacks is some spice. At times it reads rather tediously but that is not so surprising considering the details that have been researched.
Sep 06, 2008 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this sometime around the first year published.... I'd like revisit and read it again. Greta Garbo was my first Old Hollywood obsession, followed by Ingrid Bergman and then Marilyn Monroe.
Dec 16, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-biographies
Excellent, as are all of Barry Paris' works.
Samantha Mazzola
Clinically yet lovingly researched with zero presumptions about Garbo's psychology thrown into the mix. Very rare for a biography about a consummate enigma. This book is very much the apex of Barry Paris' work.
Dec 10, 2015 Francesca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film, biography
An understanding though effusive paean to Greta Garbo. This book made me want to watch Garbo's films, most of which I've overlooked because I've always just thought of her as a mediocre actress with a beautiful face. (Many who worked with her thought she was actually brilliant, which was a surprise.)

Garbo's introversion, unconventionality, and humble beginnings turned some people off--particularly the media--which led them to paint her as a cold, narcissistic recluse. But she was so much more co
Feb 12, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best work on Garbo and as well written and intelligent as the authors' biography of Louise Brooks.
What an interesting woman. Barry Paris made Garbo come alive for me: I laughed out loud at some of her antics, wondered why someone of her friends didn't throttle her for some of her rudeness, and shed a tear at her death. I own 10 of her movies and am fascinated by how she can speak volumes without uttering a word; all she has to do is move an eyebrow or the corner of her mouth. The only negative about the book is it's length - it could have been a little shorter.
Hala Pickford
Apr 03, 2013 Hala Pickford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: starlets
There might be newer books on Garbo, but I really do like this one and it seems well researched. My only complaint is an update is sorely needed. The copy I had made note of ‘Acosta’s letters will be unsealed in 2000′…a decade ago. Unfortanitly Paris ran with the gay thing because he assumed these letters had something in them that proved it. Garbo was probably occasionally bi, but more asexual than anything.
Dec 20, 2011 Lauren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Not a book I could get trough in print. Interesting character sketch but the woman basically sounds insufferable and her life long attempt to schemes to public eye got tedious fast.
Sep 19, 2010 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of classic movies, those interested in cultural history, garbo lovers
Shelves: biographical
a telling portryal of the enigmatic and anomalous character of garbo and how that is similar and different than what the media portrayal of this star usually is.
canned ice
Dec 04, 2008 canned ice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in early hollywood
one of the best bios i've read. shes had a very interesting life and is definately one of my favorite Hollywood stars of the past.
Mar 07, 2008 Penelope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing boigraphy on the talented, shy, beautiful, silent-strong movie actress. Greta Garbo is mesmerising.
Dec 17, 2012 Vicky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It as a little long. It was interesting tho. I kept putting it down and then up again.
Feb 17, 2012 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely wonderful, what an amazing, fascinating yet complex person.
Rebekah Lazaridis
Mar 01, 2008 Rebekah Lazaridis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I keep falling asleep. Is that wrong or just how Garbo would do it?
Anne Marshall
Sep 15, 2012 Anne Marshall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-bio
Didn't finish. It was a bit dense reading.
Jul 27, 2011 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
a very close look at the stars life, very good
Mary Narkiewicz
Feb 16, 2014 Mary Narkiewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best biographies of Greta Garbo.
Jane Henkel
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Jim Etler marked it as to-read
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