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My Judy Garland Life: A Memoir

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  26 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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Community Reviews

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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
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.
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.
Jun 19, 2009 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Carole Morin
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
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
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
A book I wish I had written.
Tamara Epps
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.
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.
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.
June Seghni
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..!
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.
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.
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.
Lynn Kearney
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.
So far just like Judy, funny, charming and sad.... It had a bit about Christmas which is exactly how I feel....
A curious blend of memoir and biography. My interest in the weird, sad life of Judy Garland has been piqued.
Thanks to jennifer's recommendation, I read on the commuter train. Engrossing and touching
Jean Walker
I kept reading, but this woman struck me as more than a little insane.
Gorgeous, insightful, imaginative, odd.
worst book I have ever opened.
Dec 29, 2009 Laura rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Not so good as expected...
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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
Apr 08, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read
Boyt, Susie
Kali marked it as to-read
May 12, 2015
Erin Phelps
Erin Phelps marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2015
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