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Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir
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Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  16 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
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
10/2 - I got this to skip to the Roth parts, but then she kept referring to this Rod (Steiger!) and before that Richard (Burton!!), so I jumped back for those parts too and then skipped over everything that had to do with a play or her daughter.

So her and Roth's divorce didnt go down how I'd understood it: it was years after she felt betrayed by Deception and there were surgeries and breakdowns after Operation Shylock

I was most interested in glimpses at his day-to-day life, and she gives great i
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
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
If I made as many bad relationship and parenting choices as she did, I wouldn't write a book about it!
Vivian Valvano
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
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
A quick read and a good counterpoint to the Philip Roth hagiography. She married him in 1990 and their relationship spanned 18 years.
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.
Sep 15, 2007 Rozanne rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.

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?
Limelight and After was the much more interesting autobiography.
memoir of the actress who was married to the author Philip Roth, who evidently is a narcissistic crazy controlling S.O.B.
Oh my God is this woman an idiot when it comes to men. Painful!
Fascinating portrait for Philliip Roth.
It is a really nice book
Dec 20, 2014 Kim added it
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