Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Natalie Wood: A Life” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Natalie Wood: A Life
Gavin Lambert
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Natalie Wood: A Life

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  218 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
From her starring role as a skeptical child in the perennial classic "Miracle on 34th Street, to her troubled adolescence in "Rebel Without A Cause, to her tragic maturity in "Splendor in the Grass and "West Side Story, actress Natalie Wood transfixed the world with her hypnotic brown eyes. Yet behind the beautiful faade lurked a fragile, sparkling, generous, funny woman t ...more
Audio, 9 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by BBC Audiobooks
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Natalie Wood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Natalie Wood

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Natalie had such an interesting life and this book failed to show that. I'm a huge Natalie fan and this nearly put me to sleep. This book was written for one reason, and one reason only - to shine RJ Wagner's shoes. Finstad's bio "Natasha" told the truth and Wagner couldn't handle that so he had Lambert write this to clean up the dirt. It is written as though Wagner was literally standing over his shoulder the entire time. It's really sad that RJ is so obsessed with his ego that he had to sacrif ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of THE most boring Hollywood or celebrity biographies I've ever read. It was basically like a filmography of each of her movies, with a small dash of personal information thrown in. It didn't feel very in-depth, and it certainly wasn't well-written.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Natalie Wood fan so I eagerly dived into this - and I should have gone against that feeling. This book is so pointed and biased I could not even make my way through the whole thing. Skip it and find a different biography that is unbiased and just lists the facts.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This so-called "biography" of Natalie Wood is an insult to her memory and makes one wonder what she ever saw in Robert Wagner - or the late Gavin Lambert for that matter. I am in agreement the book is also boring and the pictures are the best thing about it. Lambert clearly was heavily influenced by Wagner (despite his denials), and if he really was a friend to her (which I doubt) he would have treated her memory with more respect. The book is written in a very patronizing, almost paternalistic ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Most critics agree with The Washington Post that Natalie Wood "is splendid in every way." Capturing the real essence of another person is virtually impossible, especially when immersed in celebrity drama and pretense. In this moving and thorough examination of Wood's groundbreaking career and too-short life, Lambert, an accomplished novelist whose Inside Daisy Clover provided the basis for one of Wood's films, has come close to the impossible. With great empathy, he explores Wood the movie star

Desiree Dominguez
I am a big Natalie wood fan, so I was excited to read this book. I had read a couple of reviews and most of them were good. I was extremely disappointed with this book. I didn't read it all because I just couldn't and it already had bore me. Most biography's talk about their subject in general, but this was different. All Gavin Lambert wrote most about was Natalie's mother Nina, and how she was natalie's stage mother. I didn't really even talk about Natalie until four long chapters after. So if ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't heard a lot of the information in this book, written from the perspective of a friend and also a motion picture person. It was way too detailed about the films and the methods employed etc. The information about Natalie's background, her ancestors, in the beginning was very confusing and boring. As the book unfolded it was very revealing and occasionally confusing with the author going back and forth in time. Overall it was a fairly good read and gave the reader a lot to remember about ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She once said of Marilyn Monroe: "When you look [at her] on the screen, you don't want anything bad to happen to her. You really care that she should be all right, and happy." Did Ms. Wood realize that the sentiment eventually would apply to her?
Dec 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phoenominal. Beautiful. This biography made me appreciate an actress I already love. This is honest, real, and not a fluffy, sugar-coated account of Natalie Wood's life and mysterious death. I highly reccomend this read.
Feb 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her life was troubled. Her mom wanted her to make money and that is about it.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything a biography should be. Loved Natalie, and the mystery of her death makes her life ever more intriguing.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I'm such a huge fan of Natalie Wood, I've read (I believe) all of the biographies written about her. Just add this one to the list! I enjoy them all...
Sarah Mann
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2008
rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2007
rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2013
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2011
Ellie Syverud
not well written, but fascinating account of her too short life
Nick Patterson
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2012
rated it liked it
Mar 14, 2016
Kandes Stonelake
rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2007
rated it it was ok
Jul 10, 2008
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2014
Alex Heckler
rated it it was ok
Jul 18, 2011
rated it did not like it
Apr 23, 2010
rated it it was ok
Dec 31, 2016
Angeliina Forti
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister
  • Sunday Nights at Seven
  • Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming
  • The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century
  • Michael Jackson
  • Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick
  • The Last Days of Dead Celebrities
  • Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous
  • Howard Hughes: The Untold Story
  • The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty
  • Self-Portrait
  • The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs
  • No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
  • All my best friends
  • Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando
  • Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood
  • Ernie: The Autobiography
  • The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst
Lambert was educated at Cheltenham and Oxford, where he became friends with filmmakers Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson. At Oxford he also founded, together with Reisz and Anderson, the short-lived but influential journal, Sequence, which he co-edited with Anderson. From 1949 to 1955 he edited the periodical Sight and Sound, with Anderson as a regular contributor. At about the same time Lambert wa ...more
More about Gavin Lambert...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »