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Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,315 Ratings  ·  246 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
Paperback, 318 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lorie Hess
Apr 30, 2016 Lorie Hess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story. Who didn't love Audrey Hepburn. This book made me love her even more. Her childhood was fascinating to me. From so one who watches her movies over and over, it was nice to see how Audrey became Audrey!!!
Elly Sands
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
Alyne
Oct 01, 2014 Alyne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lindsay
Aug 08, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Kelley
Jan 12, 2008 Susan Kelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brandy Spielman
Jan 15, 2016 Brandy Spielman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Isabel
Aug 16, 2010 Isabel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer
It was no Breakfast at Tiffany's...but I loved how she created her own style.
Kerry
Jul 05, 2015 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tarma
Nov 02, 2014 Tarma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am sure Audrey was a sweet girl, and she certainly did do a very amazing job for UNICEF but, thanks to Spoto, I was heartily sick of her long before the book ended and I ended up just skimming the last few chapters so I could put it down and be done with it.

I am not a huge fan of Hepburn - I was bored by Roman Holiday, enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's but cannot bear to rewatch it thanks to those hideous Mickey Rooney scenes, and I am a great admirer of My Fair Lady, even with the dubbed singing
...more
A. S.
Sep 06, 2014 A. S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently picked up a few biographies to add variety to my list of books, and I was mostly pleased with this one. I've read a few of Donald Spoto's other biographies a long time ago (the one that stands out in my mind is the one about Alfred Hitchcock), and while this book packs in a lot of information without describing the subject's feelings without proof (which was what annoyed me about the last biography I read, Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus), it still lag ...more
Reem Sahlol
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole
Apr 19, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
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
Deep Vam Dev
It hurts to give it 2 stars.
Ambigous. Off-the-subject. Unintelligent.
KJ
I'm not terribly interested in the lives of people who are famous for acting and singing but I grabbed this on a whim as I knew A. Hepburn survived WWII. I also don't read a lot of biographies so I'm not sure if this was written in the usual style of a biography but it seemed completely over the top fanboy to me. He gushed and gushed about how amazing she was but anything that was negative about her was minimalized (not sure if there even was a lot negative about her but there has got to be some ...more
Kati Callais
Mar 02, 2016 Kati Callais rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely Inspirational!
Abby Kidder
Mar 08, 2014 Abby Kidder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Enchantment: The Life of Audrey" tells the story of the legendary actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn. It explains her harsh childhood during the Holocaust, her rise to fame, and her humanitarian efforts in the later years of her life. This biography was written by Donald Spoto, best known for his biographies on Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock. He explained her life in chronological order which made it very easy to follow. Every chapter was extremely informative and well ...more
Angela
Jul 23, 2014 Angela rated it really liked it
It is ironic that the part of her life Audrey herself considered most important, the humanitarian work she did for UNICEF, is also the smallest chapters in this biography. Especially considering how strongly Spoto appears to idolize Audrey.

And boy, does he ever idolize her! I agree with other reviewers that much of this book seems to be the rose-coloured opinions on Audrey and her film performances. He frequently refers to her in an almost reverent fashion, elevating her to a mystical level of
...more
Tara
Apr 08, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always liked Audrey Hepburn, but then again most girls tend to have a weird obsession with her at some point. Reading about her life was interesting. It's hard to judge someone's character from a third-party perspective, but from what I gathered she was a pretty extraordinary person. The concept of being famous and staying a good person is interesting to me. But it seems that Audrey Hepburn did her darndest to stay true to herself. She kind of had a rough life, the most interesting part of ...more
Angela
Feb 27, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very interesting. Reading it made me want to watch some of her movies, which I did while reading the book. I hadn't really known her from anything but Breakfast at Tiffany's, but then I realized I had seen her in My Fair Lady when I was a child. I think My Fair Lady was her best performance, even if they did dub her singing voice.

Her beauty and glamour make it hard for me to understand why she was so insecure that she went straight from one bad man to another, often before her divorces
...more
Sera
Feb 11, 2015 Sera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've heard about how amazing Audrey Hepburn was, and wanted to understand what all the hype was about. I watched some of the films she was well-known for, like Breakfast at Tiffany's, and really enjoyed them! I wanted to delve a bit deeper, so I started with this biography. This book brought light to what was behind the Audrey seen on screen. I especially liked reading about her life before she got into acting. I like that Donald Spoto wrote about people and things surrounding Audrey. My favouri ...more
Abbers77
Jan 09, 2014 Abbers77 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enchantment
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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