Katy's Reviews > Elizabeth

Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli
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's review
Aug 12, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: school, 2008, own, biographies, nonfiction
Recommended for: Elizabeth Taylor fans
Read in August, 2008

Wow! I really enjoyed learning about Elizabeth Taylor. I'm fascinated by her lifestyle...and some parts of her I adore, like her steady determination, wry sense of humor, and willingness to fight for a cause (like AIDS).

However, as in every person, Elizabeth clearly has her flaws. I absolutely loathed reading continually about her strict anti-feminist attitude. Being someone that is fiercely feminist and tends to get angry at wives who kowtow to husbands, I was shocked. She continued to accept horrible traits of her husbands, like continued physical and emotional abuse, obsessive controlling, and even husbands using her fame to their advantage (I believe this to be true with Warner, who used her presence to gain political popularity during the first part of their marriage, and then virtually ignored her for the remainder of their marriage. I also resented the way that Elizabeth completely changed herself just to please Richard Burton! True love or not, changing your entire being to impress someone is not admirable, to say the least.

Despite my shock and irritation at such factors in Elizabeth's life, I felt that this book was supposed to be well-written. The author seems to have respect for Elizabeth, as do I, so they write accurately. However, I feel that a much more powerful book, with fewer words, could have been written. Instead of focusing on the raw, dynamic emotion of Elizabeth's life, he reports facts in a manner that I perceived to be somewhat dull. In other words, his style bored me.

I actually read this book for summer reading for school, and I'll admit that at first, I sorely regretted picking out a 400-something page book to read. However, it turned out to be worth wading through useless information for the detailed inside look at her life.
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