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Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace
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Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,306 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 15th 1990 by Knightsbridge Pub. Co. (first published June 22nd 1988)
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When I first learned that this book existed I was pissed that I didn't know about it years ago. Then I worried it was no longer in print, after a quick check on Amazon I had a "praise Jaysus!" moment when I found it and that I could get it for my Kindle.

I was filled with a joyous glee that warmed my heart. I imagined Thorson's story to be a magical waterfall of sleaze that would flow down a sparkling mountain of garbage and at the summit of this mountain of trash would be a beautiful rainbow. An
Dec 04, 2013 Mediaman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The HBO movie made me want to read this ahead of time and it's hard to know what in the book could possibly be used in a film--there is almost nothing to the story. The "author" Scott Thorson (supposedly Liberace's male lover but the forced writing style is that of the co-author) mindlessly goes through the excesses of his life with Liberace but nothing really happens. Lee pouts. Lee gives expensive cars and jewelry. Lee buys another mansion. Lee gets jealous of Scott hanging out with people ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott Thorson did a decent job of explaining what type of life style Liberace lived. Some time he rambled on about other people.

I have read other books about famous people and have come to the conclusion that many of them are very troubled people. They have money to live the great life but are very lonely people and have some very sick life styles.

Liberace had a very permissive life style and paid the price for it. And it was a very high price--his life. The book is filled with examples of how
Adam Dunn
May 21, 2013 Adam Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
This is a well-written book. Thorson and his ghost-writer did a great job.

The behind-the-scenes story of Liberace is captivating with lots of action and excess. I knew little about Liberace going in and this book serves as a great introduction to the man and his life.

Thorson starts the book off well, playing the narrator instead of choosing sides. Near the end, around 80%, that shifts heavily. Perhaps realizing the audience for the book would be Liberace’s fans, and not wanting to go up against
Erin Cataldi
Mar 26, 2013 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This will be filed as one of the most bizarre and impulsive reads I've embarked on this year. I was inspired to read this memoir after reading an article in last week's "Entertainment Weekly" about the upcoming HBO movie on Liberace's life and lover starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglass. I was so intrigued that I went out and got the book, even hough I know little to nothing about the legacy of "Mr. Showmanship." This book told me everything I ever wanted (and didn't want) to know about the ...more
May 24, 2013 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the mood for someting trashy, I listened to the book on CD. Bad writing about the life of a lost soul manipulated by the decadent, narcissistic entertainer. Curiosity kept me listening, all the while wondering why I was wasting my time.
Oct 06, 2013 Gabby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was growing up, there were two men on television I found totally repugnant. One was Milton Berle, and the other was Liberace. I usually don't read biographies or autobiographies because there's no one else's life I'm THAT interested in reading about. I have enough with keeping after my own. However, I was intrigued by the idea of Michael Douglas and Matt Damon starring in a movie about Liberace and his lover, so I watched it. Interestingly enough, that made me want to read the book, so I ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I already saw the HBO movie (MATT DAMON) so I'm not sure why I felt compelled to read the book? What can I say, I'm a glutton for candelabras. You actually feel for both Scott and Lee, and I really wish this story had ended better. I'm a firm believer in the "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful" Liberace credo but maybe it's not always the case. (See: plastic surgery, drugs)

I found out that Liberace performed on the Muppet Show so I will be watching that on YouTube tonight. So there's that
May 14, 2013 Holli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars
surprisingly easy to read (not a biography) and quite gripping. Not as titalating as I am sure it could have been. Still...very engaging story and quite horrific at times. Scott lost all sense of himself. Replaces glamour with reality. Necessary book in these times when stars are glorified.
Nona Raines
Jun 15, 2013 Nona Raines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I had to read this book after seeing the HBO movie. Maybe I'm gullible/naive, but I believe this book is a decent representation of Thorson's life with Liberace. One of Dr. Phil's folksy remarks is "No matter how flat you make a pancake, there are always two sides" and this is only one side. But in my opinion Thorson is for the most part quite complimentary toward Liberace. Yes, the man had his quirks and some deeper problems, foremost being so deeply in the closet and having to deny, up ...more
May 03, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
I saw a new version of this book at Barnes & Noble, and there is an afterward by Scott Thorson in this newest edition. I really enjoyed this book, and had a hard time putting it down. I read it because of the upcoming HBO movie staring Michael Douglas as Liberace, and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson. Scott meets Liberace when he is only 18 years old, and Liberace is 57, and Liberace takes him under his wing as a father, mentor, lover, employee. It is a fascinating look into the life of Liberace. ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't the best written book, the writing style reminded me of reading a biographical essay assignment from an eleventh grader who discovered a thesaurus. That being said, it sure was interesting. Most of the basics were covered in the movie version, but there are some interesting tidbits left in the book. Just reading about Scott's friendship with Michael Jackson and the completely crazy afterward made this worth reading. This is an interesting look into the world of celebrities who are ...more
Rhina Guidos
trashy but fun read while waiting for the bus. if you lived in Nevada, no doubt you have bumped into this type of character. there's an obvious mix between truth and the truth as Thorson sees it. I would definitely mark this as a long airplane ride read. entertaining. makes me want to visit Liberace museum if it ever reopens.
Kurt Reighley
Oct 09, 2010 Kurt Reighley rated it really liked it
Read this while I was under the weather last week. As trashy tell-all celebrity bios go, this was surprisingly good, i.e. full of titillating tidbits but also tempered with as much wisdom as one might expect given the participants. Much better than the other celeb bio I read that week, Belinda Carlisle's "Lips Unsealed."
Oct 27, 2013 Sue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was poorly written. It was a pick for my book club, and I found the book, which took me forever to read, to be uninteresting. The author had a tendency to repeat himself from one chapter to another. I would not recommend it.
Feb 28, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book....the movie did follow the book. The movie was a bit more graphic...which I didn't think was necessary. I always did like Liberace. I do feel Scott got the worst of the deal. Drug addiction, and it seems no way out.
Sep 16, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Craziest thing was the "Afterword". But now I'm ready for some gold leaf and velvet flocked opulence, HBO. Bring it!
Lady of the Lake
This is Scott Thorsons life with Liberace his view of how things went not really a bio that is unbiased. But it was interesting if seen that way.
May 26, 2013 Farrah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was definitely a dishy, fun behind the scenes bio but the writer - Liberace's former boyfriend - came off as a little too biased and not totally honest/open which lowered my rating.
May 21, 2013 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The portrait of Liberace drawn from this somewhat self-serving story depicts a selfish, manipulative sociopath who used and disposed of his "proteges" and treated people like objects.
Jun 06, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The high fructose corn syrup of books. Enjoyable and entertaining despite the sad ending and the author's shortcomings as a person and a writer.
May 21, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not very well written, but I was somehow compelled to keep reading. Liberace was a fascinating, fascinating character.
Apr 25, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, lgbt
All I can say is, the HBO movie based on this is going to be amazing!
May 28, 2013 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dishy and fascinating, if not particularly well-written.
Summer Sterling
VERY repetitious, but still a good read.
Cats Moulder's
Mar 19, 2012 Cats Moulder's rated it really liked it
Truth exposed.
Linda Aull
Jun 04, 2013 Linda Aull rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I soooo wish I hadn't read this.
Robin Nenninger
A sleazy book about a sleazy guy who got taken by a sleazy taker.
Aug 08, 2013 JOSEPH OLIVER rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite an eye-opener of a book really. I knew nothing about Liberace and have only see clips of the film (dialogue lifted directly from this book too!). It's a hard world to understand - the world of the fabulously wealthy where you can indulge yourself constantly. The problem with Liberace was that he had no culture, education or background to focus his desires and seemed to have shopping as the only means of relaxation. He was talented by all accounts and cute enough to know that he would never ...more
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