Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Judy Garland Life: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
My Judy Garland Life: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Judy Garland Life: A Memoir

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  29 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Judy Garland Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Judy Garland Life

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldRebecca by Daphne du MaurierCary Grant by Marc EliotCagney by Cagney by James CagneyTrue Hollywood Noir by Dina Di Mambro
Classic Film Books
267th out of 294 books — 68 voters
Twilight by Stephenie MeyerBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerNew Moon by Stephenie MeyerEclipse by Stephenie MeyerThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Books I wish I had never read
486th out of 963 books — 1,075 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 371)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Carole Morin
Jan 17, 2014 Carole Morin rated it really 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
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
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
Aug 15, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
A book I wish I had written.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June Seghni
Mar 18, 2012 June Seghni 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..!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mar 26, 2011 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Thanks to jennifer's recommendation, I read on the commuter train. Engrossing and touching
Jean Walker
May 25, 2009 Jean Walker rated it it was ok
I kept reading, but this woman struck me as more than a little insane.
Jul 13, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, insightful, imaginative, odd.
Aug 18, 2009 Katie rated it did not like it
worst book I have ever opened.
Dec 29, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Not so good as expected...
[image error]

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
Rosalina  Cuevas
Rosalina Cuevas rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Angela Arroyo
Angela Arroyo rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stanwyck
  • No Bed Of Roses
  • Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart
  • Self-Portrait
  • Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives
  • Thank You for the Days: A Boy's Own Adventures in Radio and Beyond
  • Cary Grant: Dark Angel
  • Rock Hudson: His Story
  • Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography
  • Under the Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush
  • Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew
  • Life is a Banquet
  • Vivien Leigh: A Biography
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Tracy and Hepburn
  • Lady Gaga
  • Cary Grant: A Class Apart
  • Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop

Share This Book