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Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors Behind the Legend
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Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors Behind the Legend

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  19 reviews
For decades, the Gabor dynasty was the epitome of glamour and fairy tale success. But as biographer, film historian, and Gabor family friend Sam Staggs reveals, behind the headlines is a true story more dramatic, fabulous, and surprising than their self-styled legend would have you believe . . .

In 1945, after barely escaping Hitler's invasion of Hungary followed by "liber
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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3.28  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

For decades, the Gabor dynasty was the epitome of glamour and fairy tale success. But a
Margaret Sankey
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I almost deleted this when it showed up in my galley copies on the Kindle--my fuzzy memory of Gabors is from reruns of Green Acres and 1980s tabloid headlines. Although the later chapters become soapy and too close to Francesca Hilton, the material is oddly fascinating and deserves someone with greater contextual background to address things like:
*the family were hyper-assimilated Hungarian Jews, although on the less respectable edges of Budapest society, although Americans assumed they had fled
Debra Pawlak
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reading copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review. I knew that going in to this book, it would be an interesting read. I mean, we are talking about the Gabors after all! And let's face it, if reality TV had been around back in their day, we would have been inundated with those beautiful blondes--and I don't mean that in a bad way. Getting back to the book, however, I learned that there is much more to their story than glamour. It all started with mother J ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In his rollicking and gossip-filled biography of the Gabors (sisters Zsa Zsa, Eva, Magda and mother Jolie), entertainment biographer Staggs ("All About ALL ABOUT EVE") immediately dispels the cliché that they were famous only for being famous. "They worked at their careers, every hour and every day for close to a century," he writes. "Under the frills they were strong, courageous women ahead of their time." They also approached romance and matrimony with a fervor. Zsa Zsa married nine times (her ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, who would have thought these fluffy, fabulous women were so fierce? But I guess that was the point of the book. I love these ladies, but knew little beyond talk show appearances and "Green Acres," so was quite excited to read this. Bravo to the author for showing they more more than just pretty faces. So for that, it gets some stars.

While much of it was interesting, I did find myself glossing over pages and sections here and there where the info was just to much, too dry. For several secti
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, negalley
I wanted to learn a little bit more about the Gabors, so when I got a chance to read the book, I took it. All I previously knew was that Eva Gabor was Lisa on Green Acres, a childhood favorite TV show, and Zsa Zsa slapped a police officer. Sadly, this will not be a book that I even finish. In the 25% that I did read, I learned that Zsa Zsa was a consummate liar, a mention that Magda and their parents were briefly held by the Nazis, and Jolie, their mother, did not live in reality. One would thin ...more
Michael Ritchie
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed Sam Staggs' previous books on All About Eve and Sunset Blvd., but this one didn't work for me. His breezy, semi-campy style was fine for the making-of books, but here, his over-the-top purple prose gets very tiresome. To quote one short paragraph in the chapter on Zsa Zsa's trial for slapping a policeman, "Looking back, we see that Zsa Zsa starred in a Fellini movie minus Fellini. Even so, her raucous trial is surely the only one in the annals of American jurisprudence that wanted a ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have an indelible image of Zsa Zsa Gabor in my head and I was very curious to read about her life, and that of her siblings. This book has left me a bit perplexed: How could Sam Staggs turn such "dishy," vibrant lives in to such a tedious book ? I am shaking my head in disbelief, I just can't quite comprehend how he managed this feat.

Perhaps it is his writing style. It is not clean and journalistic, nor is it light and lively. It is ponderous. The book really became a chore for me but I wanted
Rachel F
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Zsa Zsa by Sam Staggs is a great read that delves into the lives of the Gabor family (including but not limited to Zsa Zsa’s mother, father, sisters Eva and Magda).
The author clearly spent a large amount of time researching and interviewing for this piece, and it shows (compliment inserted here), as this was not easy subject matter to unearth. Discrepancies between truth, exaggerations, and just plain missing information scattered over several countries pre war and post war make this a
Victoria Sadler
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
It certainly wouldn’t be Summer to me unless there was a gossipy book read on the beach so thank god for Finding Zsa Zsa. It follows Zsa Zsa’s dramatic life from her years in Hungary where her family, being Jewish, suffered terribly at the hands of the Nazis, through to her life of glamour and society balls, with plenty of time spent mulling over her nine (nine!) marriages and the scandals that became part and parcel of her larger-than-life persona.

At times funny, and at times unbelievably bitch
Anyone who watched a lot of television during the 1960s-1970s should know the names Eva and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Zsa Zsa would probably be remembered more as a celebrity, while Eva would be remembered as Lisa Douglas on the TV show “Green Acres”. There was an older sister, too, named Magda, as well as a mother named Jolie. Plus, Zsa Zsa had a daughter with Conrad Hilton named Francesca, the only Gabor sister to have a child. Francesca had no children.

Author Sam Staggs knew the family, and obviously d
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Finding Zsa Zsa by Sam Staggs is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.

This book, I would say, is worded like parallel parking: it's not so easy as just to slide into and read through a sentence the first time, but to go in, reverse, readjust, go in again, look behind you, and mosey in carefully. In this way, reading is a little more laborious for this ornate a topic. Although the topic of this book was, by and large, about Zsa Zsa, the last living Gabor and her many marriages and conn
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This was an enjoyable look at one of entertainment's enduring celebrity families. The author did his research, tracked down a lot of the miscellaneous and contradictory information floating around - much of it put about by the Gabors themselves! - and gave a great look inside the making of the legend of the Gabors. I particularly liked the fact that his tone was respectful throughout. The book is not a "tell-
Karen Miles
Jul 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley, read-2019, dnf
Thank you to Sam Staggs, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of "Finding Zsa Zsa".

I was excited to read this book to find out more about the Gabors. However, for me, I felt like was reading the Enquirer, instead of biography. I felt that the biography went all over the place and did not have a focus on how to depict the history of the Gabors. Ultimately, I skipped to the end and did not completely finish the book. I may come back to it later as I am still interested in the
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This volume on the lives of Jolie (the mother), sisters - Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda Gabor is an interesting insight not just into the family but the history and politics of Hungary during their lifetime. Many of the "myths" about their lives were debunked - like how old was Zsa Zsa really? Were her husbands all titled men? Was she really Miss Hungary? There are some very nice archival photos included i
Sharon Naylor Toris
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun reading! It was so fascinating to see how the Gabor sisters' (and mother's) fame lined up so well with the model of the Kardashians! While of course we're dialing back current-era standards to what we expect to be a more innocent time, the Gabors had a lot of spice going on. For those who love to time machine it back closer to golden age of Hollywood, this is a fantastic beach read! Even if you have very little knowledge of who Zsa Zsa and Eva were, it delivers even without needing to know t ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
The stories are fun to read if you were a fan of the Gabors. I was a little girl when they were in their heyday of the 1960's. The book jumps around a lot with dates and stories, and I didn't think it flowed very well. All in all it was fun to read.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Finding Zsa Zsa is an interesting read. It was fascinating to learn about her and her family. I give it four stars.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colourful tribute to the Gabor’s dynasty. From the golden era to the last memorable moments they left to us. This book is a hidden treasure from the archives.

#FindingZsaZsa #NetGalley
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Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
What I thought would be a book of pure tittle tattle was instead an interesting and informative read. The first half of the book detailed the family Gabor escape from the Nazis and later from the Russians as Hungary suffered WWII. The Hollywood era, the plethora of husbands (really bad taste in men) and the sad demise of all five Gabor ladies covers the second half of the book. A devoted, highly dysfunctional family.
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