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Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,171 ratings  ·  326 reviews
Her name is synonymous with elegance, style and grace. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey Hepburn captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intens ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 2nd 2007 by Harmony (first published 2006)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,171 ratings  ·  326 reviews


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Lisa Kay


Love, love, love Audrey; however, this book was just middle of the road for me. Somewhat repetitious, too. I would have liked to have read the actual critics’ reviews instead of just this author’s opinion of her movies; I would have preferred him to be more factual instead of opinionated throughout.

For instance, what was Audrey’s reaction to Julie Andrews’ quip in her acceptance speech at the 1964 Oscars, thanking Jack Warner? (He chose not to cast Andrews - who originated the role on stage - b
...more
Vicki
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memior
I started out this book really rather excited about it. Her early years were fascinating, and the author's style was good. I was really enjoying it up to the point when Spoto started discussing the movies she was in. Then he really started to annoy me.

While Spoto's writing is well done for the most part, he seems to blur the line between biographer and film critic. A biographer should deal in the facts. Tell me what films she did, what happened during filming, what the public reaction was to the
...more
Erin
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I have always loved Audrey Hepburn. I was not overly impressed with this book about her though. The author made it seem like she was never happy. Whether that was true or not, no one but Audrey would know for sure. For most of this book the author focused on the the hollywood making of the movies aspect, not so much Audrey. i felt like she got lost in the shuffle of a book that was supposed to be about her.
Chelsia
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For Audrey Hepburn to be one of my favorite actresses and someone's classic ladylike style I've always looked up too, I sure didn't know a lot about her before reading this book. I was shocked to discover how similar we were in many ways, for example she suffered from constant insecurity, never knowing what her self-worth was.
She ended up living a pretty sad and tragic life that I think her parents, sadly are partially to blame for. A controlling, unfeeling, private mother (whom never showed af
...more
Alyne
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I recently started watching classic films, which prior to my 25th year held little interest to me. I always WANTED to enjoy them, I just couldn't get past the black and white. Now that I have aged a bit, (that, or run out of Netflix options ;) ) I have begun to really enjoy classic films. I love the simplicity, the straightforward plotlines, the raw emotion of Hollywoods brightest. I enjoy the good simple stories, and the lack of overt sexuality, violence, and vulgarity. It's very lovely.

As for
...more
Mary Lou
I can do without the movie-making minutiae, and there's plenty of that in "Enchantment". For me, the most interesting parts of this Audrey Hepburn biography were the beginning and the end. Hepburn's childhood - growing up in Europe during WWII - was fascinating; I wish we had more details about that. But just imagining a young Audrey helping the Dutch resistance and nursing soldiers is amazing. Its impact on her life is undeniable, and would have been more interesting to delve into than which co ...more
Lindsay
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in her
I have always admired Audrey Hepburn, but sadly did not know much about her besides her filmology. This biography is written really well, so it does not seem like a dull text book but almost like I am reading fiction. Her life was so much more than just an actress and this book gives much detail showing that. Even if you don't think you are interested in her life, you might surprise yourself while reading this.
Abigail
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Audreys life was extremely sad and depressing.
Jessica
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Meh. Audrey Hepburn was/is one of my all time favorite actresses. I've always loved her movies, her classic style, and her anthropic habits with her infamous work with UNICEF. But, in reading this, it kinda disappointed me. For one thing, she was kinda a hoe. She had no qualms about getting involved with married men, or having love affairs while she was married. I can't have a lot of respect for that. Also, I'm just not a big fan of biographies, even one of an actress I like.
AJ
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes biographies
I really like reading about her. I don't love this author's writing style. He is a little repetitive and kind of adds his own opinion to some things. He is, however, very thorough, and seems to have a lot of really good sources that actually knew the people he wrote about. He does write in a way that actually makes their lives very interesting and kept me wanting to know more. I would recommend his biographies.
Kim Baccellia
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading all I can about this icon for research with my YA series NO MORE GODDESSES. Let's just say I'm totally falling in love with Audrey. Her story is nothing short than amazing.
Kati Callais
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely Inspirational!
Victoria Miller
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Breakfast At Tiffany's is one of my favorite films, and I've enjoyed most of the films in which Audrey Hepburn starred. I adored her when she was the representative for UNICEF, and when I watched her touring rose gardens. She was a heroine, a perfect lady. Well spoken, a face that radiated light when she smiled, a gamine yet a model of style and grace. However, after reading this beautifully written book, I learned that I really didn't know much about her at all. I was amazed at her childhood ba ...more
Jackballoon
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I loved reading about Audrey, but the book was repetitive and therefore too long
Jo Ruth Patterson
Enchanting Read

I loved this biography from the moment I read the 1st words. It was well researched and compact, not meandering through her life but clearly bringing out the qualities of a highly professional and talented actress. I was truly enchanted with the story of Audrey’s life and her truly unique personality. Highly recommend!
Susan Kelley
Dec 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: movie lovers
Recommended to Susan by: Bookcrossing Reading Group
Audrey Hepburn has always been someone that I have admired. It's obvious to anyone who has seen her that she was a beautiful woman. But deep beneath those looks was an even more beautiful heart. Her charitable works brought about so much change and good things in the world - her acting seems to be just a brief footnote.

Unfortunately, this book discusses more of Audrey's career than her life with UNICEF. I learned many things about her, from her childhood in Nazi-controlled Holland to her bad mar
...more
Princess  Pottymouth
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The dark side of Audrey Hepburn's life. I understand that it would be difficult to compile a biography with only outside sources, rather than the personal experience and influence of the person themselves. But this book seemed to hop from surviving war, to movie project, to suffering relationship, to movie, to miscarriage, to depression, to failed marriage...the timeline was presented matter of factly and seemed to focus on the bad. Audrey was spun as a promiscuous and sad individual. I feel tha ...more
Isabel
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
I have always been inspired by Audrey Hepburn's grace and tactics, so when I decided to pick up a biography from the library, I chose one about her. Even though the author gave us a lot of information about the her childhood, movie-making, and her love affairs, it focused more on what made Audrey unhappy rather than what made her happy [such as her sons, cooking, UNICEF:].

The book was very informational on Audrey's career. And maybe I would have given it a higher review had I not had a specific
...more
Elly Sands
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I just picked this up in the local library thinking I'd take it home and simply peruse it. I ended up reading every word. I mean who doesn't admire Audrey Hepburn? Her movies were fun and some very poignant.I was surprised to learn how unsure of herself she was, never thinking she was good enough. These feelings stemmed from a rather traumatic childhood. Yes I was surprised about her various affairs and her chain smoking as it doesn't fit her "Image" but she was more than her image. She truly fo ...more
Joy H.
Added 4/6/08.

1/17/15 - I had forgotten I had read this book already! So, recently I've been listening to the audio version of this book, Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn by Donald Spoto. I never realized how many problems she had during her life and during her career as an actress. It's almost painful to hear about these things because she has always seemed so enchanting and sweet. It seemed that no harm could come to her. But she had problems like everybody else.
Jay
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
This biography is heavily weighted toward Hepburn's life in the movies and her interesting childhood and early adulthood before movies. It spends very little time on her private life after her big movies - her life as a mother. There is also a section on her charity work, but it feels incomplete compared to the entertainment sections. I noticed stories that seemed to conflict that took away from the obvious research in the book. The author used sources including her son, but the details of her m ...more
Brandy Spielman
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have been an Audrey fan for as long as I can remember. Something about her elegance, grace, and compassion for others has always appealed to me. This book made me fall in love with her even more. The details of her life (painstakingly researched by the author) emphasize over and over that she was more than just a pretty face in a little black dress. She was shy, anxious, driven, needy, humble, and kind.
The author is a wonderful biographer. He showed the good and the bad while being both hones
...more
Jill
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a really troubling read. I love Audrey Hepburn and always have, but I found her consecutive adultery really disturbing (her husbands were adulterous as well). I learned so much about her and loved getting details on portions of her life with which I was already familiar. What was most impressive to me about her is how none of her colleagues ever had anything bad to say about her. Other than her reptetivive adultery, she was a really classy lady. And she did incredibly wonderful work for ...more
JT
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting biography of Audrey Hepburn (a favorite actresses from my youth). Learned a lot about her early life; however, the writing was a bit dry at times and never truly developed. I eventually put it down thinking I would finish it one of these days (haven't picked it up yet).
Deep Vam Dev
It hurts to give it 2 stars.
Ambigous. Off-the-subject. Unintelligent.
Simra  Khadam
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was so interesting to learn more about her life. She was such a beautiful woman, with such a kind nature and soul. An absolute inspiration.
Jennifer
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
It was no Breakfast at Tiffany's...but I loved how she created her own style.
Carl Rollyson
Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
"Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn" enters a crowded field. Barry Paris's encyclopedic "Audrey Hepburn" appeared in 1996, Alexander Walker's astute "Audrey" in 1994, and Diana Maychick's chatty "intimate portrait" in 1993 — just to mention Donald Spoto's immediate predecessors. At this point, the impatient reviewer is supposed to complain, "Do we really need another biography of Audrey Hepburn?"

This is almost always the wrong question. Biography by its very nature is incomplete. It is a Ra
...more
Jamie
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
So I've decided to binge read my least favorite genre so as to clear them all off this year's reading list, both because I was stupid enough to add them in the first place and stupid enough to think having nothing but autobiographies available to read wouldn't take for-fucking-ever to get through. I was lucky to start off the week with Enchantment .

Growing up during World War II Audrey and her family are caught in the Netherlands when Germany invades and they're forced from home to home as the
...more
Nashwa
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before reading this book, I had only seen one Hepburn movie i.e. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Even that was a surprise for me because I didn’t expect it to be what it was.

With reference to this book, I really liked it. I had no idea about Audrey’s background and the kind of upbringing she had. I even enjoyed the author giving information about her movies which raised my curiosity enough that I started watching some of them while reading the book. I watched Sabrina and Roman Holiday but I’m very intr
...more
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A prolific and respected biographer and theologian, Donald Spoto is the author of twenty published books, among them bestselling biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, and Ingrid Bergman. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Donald Spoto earned his Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University. After years as a theology professor, he t ...more