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Madonna: An Intimate Biography

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  464 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Megastar. Lover. Mother. Opportunist. Chameleon. Role model.
She's all of these things...and more.
Yet, who is she, really?
In Madonna: An Intimate Biography, author J. Randy Taraborrelli's scrupulously researched and completely balanced unauthorized biography of one of the world's most celebrated entertainers, the reader is allowed to draw his or her own conc
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 27th 2001 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 13, 2007 Lilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: trash mag readers, Madonna fans
Man, this book is excellent. It's like 500 pages of US Weekly. And I mean that in a good way.

Fun fact: La Isla Bonita was originally written for Michael Jackson to perform. Yikes.

Somehow, despite breaking the most basic rules of writing, Taraborelli managed to suck me in. In order to make the book flow, he inserted his own conjectures "Madonna must have felt that..." It's only a careful reader who will notice that half the time he's piecing together the drama and emotions, but hey, it works.

Jennifer Jacobs
Apart from my all time fav book #GirlBoss (Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal vintage) THIS biography about Madonna is one of my most favorite books ever!
I read this book in my crucial med school years when demands of coursework were high as hell and we had to work extra hard,basically all of us were drained and this book helped me overcome that crisis!!Madonna is such a badass gurl and her life is so inspiring and uplifting!(Catholic fundamentalists might disagree with that but they always do,so screw
Nov 28, 2012 Carolinenotes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only made it through a quarter of this book when I noticed that it read way too much like fiction. I've read descriptions of the author's other celeb bios and they seem to have a fictional soap opera quality to them too. I don't think I'll revisit this one, or the author's other books. I would only recommend this if you like trashy tabloid entertainment. Otherwise, seek other Madonna biographies.
J. Randy Taraborelli writes the best trashy celeb bios and this one was the perfect balm for the madness of this past Xmas holiday weekend (with its requisite family stress, commercialism overload, etc). Not as good as the pointedly-titled Call Her Miss Ross or the hilariously cheesily-titled Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, but still fun. Madonna has the overwhelming, monstrous narcissism of both Diana Ross and Jackson (RIP), and that seems to be the core quality you need from the su ...more
Feb 14, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gotta love Madge
Sep 22, 2007 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blech, written by a foaming fan
Leanne  Curtis
Aug 19, 2008 Leanne Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: madonna
Really good Madonna bio
Feb 06, 2013 Kingfan30 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-stories
Now I've been a fan of Madonnas for a while now and have been lucky enough to go to two of her concerts, so this was a nice opportunity to find out a bit more about her, other than what the papers say!

I have to admit the author has done his homework, and comes across as a bit of a fan himself. At times he puts in the views of several people about a situation and of course everyone has different views so it could be a bit contradictory, and your still not sure what the real story was. I guess at
Priscilla Heard
Madonna started out as a crude, brash young lady who considered it almost cool to constantly shock the world with her antics. She ended up taming that side of herself for the most part after giving birth to her first child.

I have to admit that I was very embarrassed for her as I read the book because she revealed too much of herself to the world when she should have kept it private. She comes off as promiscuous and brags about the amount of abortions she has had due to that lifestyle. Her choic
Jun 21, 2011 Andre rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
We all know Madonna is a great performer and a great artist who for sure deserves to be where she is now. This book shows her accomplishments as well as her bad side, and overall it's at least entertaining. I wish the writer would focus more on her career than on her personal life, for I'm personally more interested in what she's done to music than what she's done in bed. Also, I wonder how many of these stories are true and how much of the details are mere fiction from the author's mind. But if ...more
Allison Floyd
In the words of Zachary Busse, "Oh, that's right, 'intimate' means unauthorized." A fun, frothy, and fascinating affirmation of the inexorable human drive toward narrative and illustration of the fact that, just about invariably, narratives about other people (i.e. features, profiles, intimate biographies) are more about the person writing them than they are about the subject. The ending is especially ironic considering Madonna's now-defunct marriage to Guy Ritchie.

Thanks, Li!
Not great writing but it still managed to entertain. It is also the story of a generation though, never a fan but I have been dancing to her music, and heard the occasional titbits of slander. I wonder why it is that people become such megastars and I wonder even more how they remain sane through it All. The biography also made me think that America is a puzzling country and a skizo culture in many ways, and that Madonna is that as well.
Sep 06, 2014 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was on the hate bandwagon before this book because everyone else was. Follows her career up to her marriage with Guy around the time she released her Music album. An interesting and simple read. It wasn't afraid to show Madonna's career under a flawed light. Doesn't disregard her work ethics or brilliance, either. I bought every album of hers after finishing this.
Tracy Tibbels
Jul 14, 2011 Tracy Tibbels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very honest depiction of Madonna, which is cool, because it not only talked about the good stuff, but it didn't hide her bad qualities. Despite the fact that I haven't been that into her more recent music, I will always love and admire her!
Apr 03, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written, jumbled catalogue of her records and boyfriends. Obviously unauthorized and had an off-putting condescending attitude towards the subject. Perhaps he had tried to sleep with her and she laughed at him, so to get her back he wrote this book.
What a story of her life much of which I never knew!
Jun 14, 2010 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading this biography was fascinating: sometimes I felt horrorized (Madonna can be a real b*tch sometimes), sometimes I felt surprised, sometimes I felt delighted. A great biography. I recommend it!
Oct 28, 2010 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
oh my gosh I am so embarrassed I read this book. It was definitely below average. Christopher Ciccone's book was way better
Aug 16, 2012 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios, non-fiction, 2012, singer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2014 Samo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madonino življenje do zadnje poroke z Richijem leta 2000. V 13 letih se je že zihr nabralo materiala za novo knjigo. Zanimivo branje.
Rachael Seow
May 13, 2011 Rachael Seow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
The best madonna's bio i've ever read. So many funny stories, especially with Sean Penn.
Aug 27, 2008 Steig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never really like to get too far removed from the myth that is Madonna, yet as a fan can't help to want to try know her better.
Brent D.
Oct 28, 2008 Brent D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was able to show me the real side of Madonna. I referenced this book because of the detail and indepth analysis.
Aug 01, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not surprised she has daddy issues.....explains her behavior.
Aug 01, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This autobiography is more for Madonna fans, though I did enjoy reading it, even though I'm not really a fan of Madonna. There were times when it's absolutely appalling how Madonna sometimes treated the people around her. In her earlier days, it seemed like she didn't know how to be in a relationship, though that was probably because of her mother dying at such a young age when Madonna needed a (woman) role model to look up to. I also found that the public viewed her as a bit of a one trick pony ...more
Dec 15, 2011 Shamsh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-written biography. The author researched Madonna down to her most intimate secrets for ten years before publishing this book. He paints a realistic picture of the star without being too condescending or too cruel.
I had a great time reading this book!
Oct 26, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madonna sure has some talent but as she ages I think her voice is fading out and her out fits are too risque for her age.
Jul 31, 2015 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not overly interesting. But I guess that serves me right for being a creepy voyeur.
A fun trashy read.
Unfortunately the book ends with Madonna's marriage to Guy Richie and her Music album so it is significantly out of date.
Jill Hyson-Whitty
Good start....slow middle.....good end.
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J. Randy Taraborrelli is an author known for biographies of contemporary entertainers and political figures. He is a featured writer in several entertainment magazines in Canada, England, and Australia. He also appears on television as an entertainment news reporter on shows such as Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning. Taraborrelli resides in Los Angeles, Califo ...more
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