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My Judy Garland Life: A Memoir

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  134 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
An irresistible mixture of memoir, biography, cultural analysis, hero worship, and sequinstudded self-help that will speak to anyone who's ever nursed an obsession.

Judy Garland has been an important figure in Susie Boyt's life since she was three years old: comforting, inspiring, and at times disturbing her. In this unique book, Boyt travels deep into the underworld of he
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2008)
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Carole Morin
Nov 29, 2016 Carole Morin rated it liked it
Carole Morin author of Spying on Strange Men reviews My Judy Garland Life:

'Elizabeth Taylor has stolen Eddie Fisher from Debbie these things affect us.' Sylvia Plath wrote in her diary, before Assia Wevill had 'stolen' Ted Hughes from her.

After a century of celebrity, we subconsciously measure our lives against those of the tragic and famous. Susie Boyt's My Judy Garland Life is an intelligent, at times hilarious, analysis of obsession.

You don't even have to be a Judy fan to enjo
May 22, 2009 Benita rated it liked it
This was an interesting memoir. At first I wasn't sure whether to laugh at the protagonist, or feel compassion for her. It was a bit strange how she intertwined her life with that of a woman who died when she was 1 year old. But, somehow Judy Garland became a role-model and an inspiration in Susie Boyt's life. She gets to know herself through Judy Garland, as her story and that of Ms. Garland's parallel themselves. It is well-written, interesting, and yet a bit strange.
Carol Masciola
Dec 01, 2016 Carol Masciola rated it really liked it
High marks for originality! This is a strange blend of autobiography of the author mixed with biography of Judy Garland. It stunned me that somebody could go on for that many pages about their feelings for Judy. I mean, I also love Judy, but whoa! a lot of feelings, analysis of feelings, philosophy of feelings, feelings. A glimpse inside the world of Garland super-fans, and what she meant to them. Some interesting reflections on bereavement, friendship. Author is a descendant of Sigmund Freud.
Jan 05, 2017 Nrr rated it liked it
Boyt is a complete nightmare. When she 'stopped off at my London flat' owned while an Oxford student, I gave up.
Jun 19, 2009 Brittany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Knowledgeable Judy Garland fans
How I Came To Read This Book: I suspect I read about it in British Glamour and tracked it down on Amazon.

The Plot: Susie Boyt has always loved Judy Garland - despite only being alive for a few months when Judy tragically died. This book takes a look at the ways Judy has been a part of Susie's life, and the quest Susie is on to engage hero-worship of her favourite star in a world that never allowed her to reach out to Judy while she was alive. From Judy's young days at MGM (and Susie's dreams of
Oct 30, 2014 angie rated it really liked it
When I first saw this memoir by Susie Boyt I could not stop staring at the ruby slippers: the cover is simple but somehow mesmerizing. I adored Judy Garland as a child and still do to some degree, so I grabbed the book off the shelf right away, wondering what new insights the author might have on one of the most talented and stormy singers of all time.

I soon discovered, though, that Boyt’s book isn’t really about the wonderful Garland, even if it appears so on the surface, full of lovely photos
Nov 18, 2014 Snem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was left thinking "why did I even pick this one up to begin with?" I mean Judy Garland is great, but I feel no deep connection to her. I think the cover just got me. I do appreciate people who have obsessions and find it quite interesting. I like how the author was able to step outside her obsession to view it all objectively. I also liked the way different Judy fans were categorized. I do wish this book was organized better. I would highly recommend this book if you're a Judy Garland fan and ...more
I wanted to like this. I really did. I thought the premise was interesting as I've been more than a little starstruck before. But no matter how much I wanted to like it, I just couldn't. It was a struggle to get through it. Maybe in the end it was just that I didn't really care about Judy Garland as much as Boyt obviously does. I did, however, learned all that I could ever want to know about Garland. I also thought that the visit to Garland's final resting place at the end was bittersweet -- it ...more
Tamara Epps
Jul 25, 2011 Tamara Epps rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a fan of Judy Garland but that wasn't an issue reading this book - it is partly a biography but is also the writer's own memoir. Well written, I found myself drawn to it until I had finished it and by the end felt I really knew something of the author. Would recommend this to anyone who understands what it's like to be obsessed by someone famous, or who wishes to understand these obsessions.
May 26, 2009 Marjory rated it it was amazing
I discovered the charm of Susie Boyt's writing style in a magazine article and decided I had to read her memoir even though I wouldn't call myself a Judy Garland fan. I saw myself in the author's obsession (I have plenty of obsessions) and marveled at the way her love for Judy conformed with and/or shaped many of her quite dissimilar (to Judy's) life experiences. If you've ever had an obsession with a creative artist of any genre, you may want to check out this book.
Dec 20, 2009 Florence rated it really liked it
The author is obsessed with Judy Garland, has interviewed her children, husbands, costars, fans, and anyone else remoted connected to Judy. July has provided solace through times of despair. Her voice evokes a magical world for the author. I can truly understand this type of hero worship as I had the same tendencies during difficult periods of my life.
Wilde Sky
The author discusses her life in relation to her worship of Judy Garland.

A slightly odd book, entertaining in places, but the lack of background on Judy Garland (for all those who don’t know much about her) made the narrative slightly confusing. The lack of titles for many of the photographs (in the text) was annoying.

Probably a good read if you are a fan of Judy Garland.
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Tamsin Greig reads Susie Boyt's tribute to the Hollywood star, detailing how The Wizard of Oz led to a life-long passion.
Broadcast on:
BBC Radio 7
May 09, 2009 Nina rated it it was amazing
I remember when I was little and I would see Judy Garland on T.V.-the way Susie Boyt describes her is so like I remember her. This is a very well written book-A page turner. Susie has peeked my interest so much that I ordered two DVDs on Judy. I look forward to reading Susie's next book.
Aug 17, 2009 Martha rated it it was amazing
One imagines a memoir written through a Judy Garland lens would almost inevitably be teeth-grindingly awful, but Boyt avoids all the looming pitfalls and manages to produce an affecting, heartfelt, wryly funny, utterly surprising work.

Absolutely glorious.
Cindy May
Not sure I am going to finish this book. I hope to decide after I finish the first 100 pages.

Kind of a depressing book about the much darker, human side of Judy Garland. If you're a fan and just can't get enough of Judy, this book may interest you, but it's definitely not a cheerful read.
Mar 12, 2013 Ruth rated it did not like it
Self-indulgent in the extreme. I never leave a book unfinished once I start it, but I was sorely tempted to with this one. There are a couple of excellent biographies of the highly talented Ms Garland, and I strongly recommend that fans read one of those instead.
Lynn Kearney
Sep 29, 2009 Lynn Kearney rated it liked it
What an odd book! This woman, (trivia alert: daughter of painter Lucian Freud, great grand-daughter of Sigmund, undoubtedly the most interesting facts about her) is obsessed by Judy Garland and writes about said obsession in tedious detail.
Mar 18, 2012 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographical
I liked this a lot; I thought her writing was dazzling, and I identified with a lot of her childhood experiences and feelings. However ,if you're not a die-hard Judy Garland fan I don't know if this is for the end I felt a little overwhelmed, but then I did gobble it down in one sitting..!
Apr 15, 2011 Liz rated it really liked it
So far just like Judy, funny, charming and sad.... It had a bit about Christmas which is exactly how I feel....
Sep 14, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
A curious blend of memoir and biography. My interest in the weird, sad life of Judy Garland has been piqued.
Heidi Rose
Aug 06, 2016 Heidi Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply adored this book. I am however, a huge Judy Garland fan and could very much relate to the author and her experiences.

A simply beautiful read if you are a Judy fan.
Rosalina  Cuevas
Rosalina Cuevas rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Jean Korelitz
Jean Korelitz rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2009
Aug 18, 2009 Katie rated it did not like it
worst book I have ever opened.
Sarah rated it it was ok
Jul 20, 2014
Kristy rated it liked it
Oct 22, 2014
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2015
Catherine Slayden
Catherine Slayden rated it really liked it
May 01, 2015
Rachel rated it did not like it
Aug 13, 2009
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