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Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir

3.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  99 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Writing with grace, wit, and remarkable candor, actress Claire Bloom looks back at her crowded life: her accomplishments on stage and screen; her romantic liaisons with some of the great leading men of our era; and at "the most important relationship" of her life--her marriage to author Philip Roth. of photos.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 1996)
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Roderick Hart
Oct 18, 2008 Roderick Hart rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
I don’t read autobiographies as a rule so I don't have much grounds for comparison.

Bloom sometimes sums up characters very well, as she does with Olivier (a boring man when not speaking other people’s lines) and Anthony Quinn, a revolting individual in every way. Her daughter, Anna Steiger, is a singer. Her mother makes much of the prizes she won. I had never heard of her before but that’s not surprising since she seems to sing opera most of the time.

She did not behave so well in her life. After
...more
Frieda Vizel
Sep 30, 2015 Frieda Vizel rated it liked it
Ah, but it's delicious! Juicy literary gossip, why not?

I chanced upon this book and read it mostly for the insight into Philip Roth. The first half of the book is about many other relationships, but it's worth getting through it for the second half, the seventeen year relationship with Roth. It was absolutely fascinating. Bloom gives us everything an ex wife would, and then much more: the deep, the fine, the humor, the ugly, the disturbed, the person of such a great mind as is Roth.

Considering
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Reena Ribalow Ben-Ephraim
If you're interested in either life in the theater and films or the writing life, this will be of some interest. More specifically, if you want the dirt on Olivier, Burton, Anthony Quinn and others in bed and out of it or the fly on the rotting wall view of Philip Roth, this is for you. Bloom tries to be honest and revealing, but there is an undercurrent of self-acceptance in her apologies for sleeping with men she either didn't like much (Olivier) or actively disliked (Quinn) and
selling out bot
...more
Inken Purvis
Jan 31, 2016 Inken Purvis rated it liked it
I have to confess I didn’t think I’d like this book. Claire Bloom has never been one of my favourite actresses; she is undoubtedly talented but she always seemed to me rather cold and brittle. Her first autobiography (Limelight and After) dealt almost exclusively with her professional career and told next to nothing about her personal life. This one fills in the gaps.

Bloom grew up in 1930s and ‘40s Britain. Her parents had a highly dysfunctional marriage, separating on several occasions and leav
...more
Jan Jury
Jan 28, 2016 Jan Jury rated it really liked it
Claire Bloom is a beautiful, talented actress, and her memoir is much better written than her counterpart, Carol Matthau, had penned about her marriage to William Saroyan and then Walter Matthau. Bloom's third marriage, to Philip Roth, followed love affairs with some of her co-stars, including Richard Burton and Yul Brynner, and two marriages. She had a daughter, Anna, with her first husband, actor Rod Steiger.

Bloom was unflinching in her description of mistakes she made and choices she regrett
...more
Diane
Nov 09, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
I picked this up used for a dollar at Shakespeare and Company in Berkeley. i thought it would be a light but engrossing travel read, and it was. The writing is "okay"--many of the tales that were summarized could have benefited from being stretched into scenes with a little dialogue--but what really makes the book interesting is the insight it gives into the psychology of a woman in the mid-twentieth century who was saved by her career, and the disturbing mindset of male-dependency. The long, bl ...more
Cathy
Apr 13, 2012 Cathy rated it did not like it
If I made as many bad relationship and parenting choices as she did, I wouldn't write a book about it!
Vivian Valvano
Nov 27, 2012 Vivian Valvano rated it did not like it
I've always thought that Claire Blooms is lovely and elegant and an excellent actress. She can't write, but that's not the problem, for me, with her memoir. I commend her for what appear to be attempts at honesty, but I was stunned to learn about her unadmirable qualities. Her blindly sophomoric adulation of a series of men, a virtual parade, is sad but also often stupid. Sleeping with the married Richard Burton when she was a very young woman, sleeping with Anthony Quinn, whom she seemed to des ...more
Sarah
I agree with much of what is said below. Claire Bloom is not a good writer. Nor do I think she is particularly intelligent. It makes me wonder how she maintained a relationship with Roth for as long as she did. That being said, I did think this book contained quite a lot of good dirt. I read it in a day, it was just that addicting. Bloom is quite the little vamp :) I loved reading about her various love affairs (pre Philip Roth). And if 'I Married a Communist' is at all based on his relationship ...more
Susan Breslow
Apr 21, 2014 Susan Breslow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read and a good counterpoint to the Philip Roth hagiography. She married him in 1990 and their relationship spanned 18 years.
Susan Ozment
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo-dee
Jul 29, 2013 Jo-dee rated it it was amazing
I actually loved this book. I saw her in Richard III some time last year and I thought I should check out some of her films (I guess you can say she is kind of new to me). When I found out she wrote a book, I had to get it. To be honest, it's not boring. Even her mother and father's life (which she explains in the book) was interesting. I must say that I was a little shocked about the affairs that she had or how many she had, but she's an actor. It's what they do, I guess. A must read.
Rozanne
Sep 15, 2007 Rozanne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone considering embarking on a relationship with Philip Roth
I read this book mainly because I wanted the dirt on Philip Roth. I've always suspected that the guy is a major league shitheel.

Bloom had a relationship with him for 18 years and, wow, if she's to be believed (and I don't doubt that she is), the guy was shamefully cruel to her. A 24-karat prick!

Thank goodness she finally extricated herself from him. I have to say that she did seem to be quite a glutton for punishment.

Donna
May 07, 2014 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Although I have always enjoyed Claire Bloom as an actress and have not cared for Philip Roth's books, I also did not care for Claire Bloom as an author. Her life has been quite eventful and I felt the need to complete the book but I would not recommend it to my friends as a "must-read" book.
Jeannine
Claire Bloom's memoir is a good read for fans of her work and gives an inside look into one of America's most celebrated author's Philip Roth. I found it healing, part of why it took me a year to finish reading.
Ruth
Jul 06, 2008 Ruth added it
Was it such a good idea to disclose personal details about Philip Roth's life? And risk having a book written about you in return? Such as -- I don't know -- I Married a Communist?
Sally
Limelight and After was the much more interesting autobiography.
Marsmannix
Nov 13, 2012 Marsmannix rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
memoir of the actress who was married to the author Philip Roth, who evidently is a narcissistic crazy controlling S.O.B.
Mollyo
Jul 02, 2013 Mollyo rated it did not like it
Oh my God is this woman an idiot when it comes to men. Painful!
Yuliana
Nov 04, 2013 Yuliana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating portrait for Philliip Roth.
Tom
It is a really nice book
Kim
Dec 20, 2014 Kim added it
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