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I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story

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"Gloriously witty, keen and spirited" J.J. Abrams, Director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

"The odds of me ever writing a book were approximately... Oh, never mind. My golden companion worries about such things - I don't. I have indeed now written a book - telling my story, in my voice, not his - recognising that our voices and our stories are inextricably intertwined."

When Star Wars burst on to the big screen in 1977, an unfailingly polite golden droid called C-3PO captured imaginations around the globe. But C-3PO wasn't an amazing display of animatronics with a unique and unforgettable voiceover. Inside the metal costume was an actor named Anthony Daniels.

In this deeply personal memoir, Anthony Daniels recounts his experiences of the epic cinematic adventure that has influenced pop culture for more than 40 years. For the very first time, he candidly describes his most intimate memories as the only actor to appear in every Star Wars film - from his first meeting with George Lucas to the final, emotional days on the set of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

With a foreword by J.J. Abrams and never-before-seen photography, this book is a nostalgic look back at the Skywalker saga as it comes to a close. I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story reveals Anthony Daniels' vulnerability, how he established his role and what he accomplished, and takes readers on a journey that just happens to start in a galaxy far, far away.

271 pages, Hardcover

First published October 31, 2019

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About the author

Anthony Daniels

28 books35 followers
Anthony Daniels is a British actor. He is best known for portraying the android C-3PO in the Star Wars film series.

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5 stars
877 (28%)
4 stars
1,224 (39%)
3 stars
842 (26%)
2 stars
147 (4%)
1 star
33 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 576 reviews
Profile Image for Jean.
1,699 reviews737 followers
May 10, 2020
I enjoyed this memoir. I have seen the Star Wars movies in bits and pieces. One of these days I will sit down and watch them in order and all the way through. I was surprised to learn there was a man inside the costume of C-3PO. I guess I thought it was an animated robot with a man doing the voice.

The book is well written. Daniels provides information and in-sight into his role as C-3PO; but, not a lot of information about the movie or other actors, which worked out fine for me. If you are a C-3PO fan, you will enjoy this memoir.

I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is nine hours and twenty-seven minutes. Anthony Daniels does a good job narrating his own book.
892 reviews40 followers
November 19, 2019
This fairly dull "memoir" is dry and too narrowly focused on minimal experiences Daniels had while filming Star Wars productions. There is little in it beyond Star Wars minutia. Superfans will like it, but there is little to make it worth reading for those that wanted to get to know about the actor Anthony Daniels and his life outside the robotic suit.

Most of his co-stars get praised, though he says very little about them. He not-so-subtly jabs at George Lucas and hides details of the feud he had with Kenny Baker (R2D2). The only thing that Daniels does reveal in the book is his bitterness for not being included in the press for the original Star Wars movie, as Lucas wanted people to believe C-3PO was a robot. But he fails to even go into much detail about those feelings. He seems to have an entitlement in how his character was portrayed (mad that he is barely in a couple of the recent films) that is unjustified considering he is just playing a role.

Nothing in the book about his private life. Or the other roles of his career. He skips over many years, and even glosses quickly over some of the Star Wars films.

Most of the short chapters get repetitive. There are only so many times you can hear a famous guy complain about how he can't see while walking or that pieces of his costume are cutting into him. There are a few nice stories about how movie magic is made, but nothing too special. The "inside story" that the subtitle alludes to is more about Daniels suffering inside the suit than anything regarding what was going on in his own life.
Profile Image for RG.
3,092 reviews
January 1, 2020
A little too simplistic for an autobiography. Its more a small diary snippets are working on the films. Jumps all over the place. Will appease most Star wars fans but not essential reading.
Profile Image for Lata.
3,431 reviews179 followers
January 27, 2020
3.5 stars. Anthony Daniels comes off as shy, diffident and quietly funny. I always liked C-3PO and his fussbudget ways from the first time I saw him in the first Star Wars movie (later called A New Hope), and had 3PO and R2 figures when I was a kid. I’ve always loved robots!
I didn’t learn much more about Anthony Daniels the man, but did find out some new things about the filming of the original trilogy. I had known the suit was uncomfortable, but hadn’t realized Anthony Daniels had cuts, scrapes and bruises from his time on the three movies. I liked his positive and complimentary attitude toward many of the people he worked with over the years.
Daniels has always been very fond and protective of C-3P0, though he felt slighted by the Lucasfilm marketing and filmmakers. He closes out the book by explaining that it's taken a long time, but his attitude changed gradually to the point where he could appreciate being part of the Star Wars phenomenon.
I’m glad I listened to this, with Daniels’ light voice giving me not only a sense of a love for C-3P0 and his acting craft, but for the many people he met over his career.
Profile Image for Amanda.
100 reviews7 followers
January 22, 2020
This book was SO GOOD. I was lucky enough to listen to the audiobook, which was read by Anthony Daniels himself, and if you listen at 1.5 speed, it sounds like C3PO is reading it to you! Lots of great behind the scenes stories and insider info of set life.
This is a must read/listen for any Star Wars fan!!
878 reviews39 followers
November 11, 2019
I took my two daughters to see the first Star Wars in a movie theatre which had just been renovated to include a sound system that would give that movie a force of sound that would remain in our memory to this day. I never became a fanatic where the movies were concerned, but there was always that fond memory of the dramatic introduction. C-3PO was definitely one of my favorite characters in the cast. When I saw this book title it just seemed a natural thing for me to read the book.

First let me say I read this on a Kindle Paperwhite and I don't think that was the best option. There are quite a few photographs and some documents included which don't show up well on a Kindle type device. So, if you think you will be keeping this book into the future you might want to look at a print copy before you buy a digital version.

I did not know that Anthony Daniels had been almost completely overlooked as the person inside the C-3PO costume. That was definitely unfair and definitely shows a lack of oversight on the part of the marketing and publicity divisions of the film studio. However, Daniels decision to suffer in silence was his own decision and went on much longer than it need have. I realize from this memoir that he thinks of himself as a shy person who doesn't necessarily like to call attention to himself, but he is an actor and as such should be used to being his own activist. This entire book is filled with a faint negative vibe stemming from the lack of acclaim Daniels got for his role. For me, C-3PO was a wonderful character and yet as I watched the movie I never even thought it was a costume with a person inside. Moviegoers needed to be educated and, yes, Lucas Films should have done that.

If you want to know how specific scenes were filmed, this is your book. If you like details and technicalities of the slight-of-hand that makes up films, this book is definitely going to be of interest to you. The first movie is gone into almost scene by scene; after that the main scenes of C-3PO in other movies is discussed as well as concerts, public appearances and television presentations. There is a great deal of good information about the character of C-3PO (or See-Threepio as it is written throughout the book), but definitely not much about Anthony Daniels himself. That's where the book falls down, in my opinion. I think it would also have been very beneficial to have included a time line for readers to follow listing the movies and events referred to in this book.
Profile Image for Nicole.
120 reviews
November 25, 2019
DNF @ pg 115. The snippets of the story did not make sense and did not provide enough context for me. The writing was disjointed and the sentence structure seemed uneven. This is another book that doesn't feel finished, but reads like a rough draft before editing.
Profile Image for Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews.
487 reviews49 followers
December 2, 2019
​I’m really not a non-fiction kind of guy. I like my stories to take me away from the here and now, but when I saw this book set a long time ago in my favorite galaxy far, far away, I knew that this was one to go for.

I went with the Audible version of I Am C-3PO, and what could be better than listening to C-3PO narrate his own story. Anthony Daniels’ clear, crisp voice lends itself naturally to the narration of an audio book. It really would have been a letdown if they had gotten someone else to narrate this book.

Daniels made me laugh, he destroyed the movie magic (or at least dissected it). I found it interesting to learn how Lucas created all those magical scenes that were such a real part of my youth. He even left some teasers for the upcoming film, perking my interest for its not so far off release.

As I got further into the book, I began to have some mixed feelings about it. I’ve grown a bit cynical in my old age, my innocent youth left far behind. Why this book now? Did Daniels feel like he had a story to tell and had finally gotten around to getting it out there? Did he think that this was one final cash grab he could make in conjunction with this upcoming film? Or, this is where I get a bit more sinister, did The Magical World of Disney approach Daniels suggesting this book now; using the most powerful force in the universe – nostalgia - to harness all of the fans of the original trilogy into getting off their butts and into the theater? But Disney wouldn’t be that savvy at marketing, would they?

In the end, whatever the motivation, I Am C-3PO was a fun story to listen to. Daniels was an exceptionally entertaining narrator and I enjoyed my time with him. Isn’t that what anyone really wants from a book?
366 reviews1 follower
November 9, 2019
Anthony Daniels' memoir is moving, theatrically astute, and charmingly original. As impatient as I am to see the conclusion of the Skywalker saga in Episode 9, I am even more so after reading this book to observe the denouement of Daniel's meticulously curated character at the end of over 40 years. Like his robotic alter ego, Daniels was often overlooked in the grand scheme of the Star Wars universe, undeservedly so. He seems, to me, to be enthusiastic, kind, and amiable--qualities that seem rarer and rarer in a time not so long ago and very very close. Though he is not a writer by an means, he is a character who deserves to be recognized and even lauded for his contributions to both humans and droids everywhere.
Profile Image for Anthony.
779 reviews55 followers
February 17, 2020
Another audio book. This one was better to listen to than the last because it played like a podcast.

As for the book itself, it’s essentially a recounting of Anthony Daniels time making Star Wars. As a big Star Wars fan, I did enjoy hearing his side of things and there were bits in here I didn’t know about.

He also seemed to take great pride in the role of C-3P0, even though to start off with he was a supporting character and would only later become one of the few to appear in the whole Saga



Profile Image for Andrew.
51 reviews3 followers
July 31, 2020
I really wanted to love this book, to get Anthony Daniels perspective and thoughts on C-3PO. You get a little bit of that, most of this book is him complaining about not getting enough recognition. He also has constant jabs at George Lucas and the prequels, even suggesting that only children could enjoy the prequels. That definitely erked me a bit.

His "insights" aren't every insightful, Most of the time he just talks about how uncomfortable he was in the suit. It begins to get very repetitive, also he will just gloss over most of the movies with episode 4 and 9 getting the most attention.

If you wanted to learn more about Anthony Daniels the person, this isnt the book for you. This is just his experience of playing C-3PO and is brief thoughts on the making of the movies. If your a big enough star wars fan to read this book, you'll probably already know most of the behind the scenes details that he writes about.

Hearing about the stuff outside of the movies was easily the most interesting, hearing about his work on star tours and several lego projects was really interesting. His involvement in the original star wars celebration was great to read.

I have allot of respect and admiration for Anthony Daniels and what he brought to Star Wars, it truly wouldn't be the same without him. This was an entertaining read, just not an overly interesting one.
Profile Image for FunkyPlaid.
54 reviews4 followers
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January 20, 2023
DNF p. 115. I just couldn't spend any more of my time on this, which is marketed as an autobiographical memoir but instead reads like a rather desperate, therapist-ordered life journal about being underappreciated and unfairly treated throughout Daniels' Star Wars career. It contains far too much bottled up ire and resentment and a disproportionate amount of irritating, overly-clever turns of phrase to be enlightening for the general Star Wars fan, and overall it just made me feel saddened – and not in a constructive manner. Immodest mentions of minor dialogue contributions are liberally sprinkled through the vapid prose, and screenplay-like location notes serve as interruptions and space-wasters more than call-backs to remind readers of specific scenes. And all this is in just the first third of the book.

Unfortunately, I fear this is what happens when an actor tries a hand at memoir writing without professional guidance or partnership. Daniels was a master of his character, but his attempt to memorialize his journey in print feels contrived and devoid of any real gravity or contribution.
Profile Image for Dennis Keithly.
145 reviews
January 7, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed Anthony Daniels's memoir from his time as an actor portraying C-3PO and his career with Star Wars. I had heard some of the stories that he included, but this was a fresh take. As Star Wars was his first movie, it was fun to be taken along for the movie magic that he was experiencing for the first time. This book is Star Wars-centric. In that regard, the title is perfect "I am C-3PO - The Inside Story" (obviously, he was inside the droid costume), but the story Daniels told at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago about how he wanted to call the book "Telling the Odds" makes me wish they would have used that title.

I've read the book and listened to the audio version. Both were enjoyable, but the audio version is a fun and riveting performance by Mr. Daniels. If you were to pick only one, I'd suggest that. I highly recommend this to Star Wars fans.
61 reviews
January 20, 2020
This is the autobiography of C-3po actor Anthony Daniels. He describes his involvement in the Star Wars saga from the moment he first interviewed for the position. His book is an amazing behind the scenes look at how the many Star Wars movies were made. Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, the book is an interesting chronicle of how movie making techniques have changed over time. It was also intriguing reading about his interactions with other famous Stars Wars people, such as George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamil, and others. It was also interesting hearing about the people involved in the making of the movie who we don't know as well, like the many prop technicians, puppeteers, stunt doubles, etc. who worked behind the scenes. Especially interesting was reading about the creators of the C-3PO suits, including sculptor Liz Moore who helped design C-3PO, but tragically died before seeing the finished movie. This is a very interesting look at Star Wars through the eyes of the one actor who was in every movie. Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, simply reading about how the making of the movies has evolved should hold your attention through to the end.
Profile Image for Jacob Vahle.
257 reviews11 followers
July 22, 2020
I was secretly hoping that he would tell the story of waking up two twin boys at Star Wars Celebration 2001 in Indianapolis who had fallen asleep during the Star Wars Concert he conducted (true story - cute little 7 year old me barely remembers the moment, but we have pictures to remember it!) - but instead I got a delightful book where Anthony Daniels chronicles how he created C3PO and how he wrestled with spending the entire saga with his face masked. A really fun read for the hardcore Star Wars fan - reads like little vignettes - each chapter is just 2-4 pages
Profile Image for Kyle.
84 reviews59 followers
September 26, 2020
All about Anthony Daniels as C-3PO

The reason I wrote that headline is because that is what this book is - it is less an autobiography and more of a compilation of memoirs about Daniels' involvement in eleven Star Wars theatrical releases, animated series, television appeances, etc.

The pluses:
* Daniels has a very comfortable and conversational writing style. His sense of humor eminates from the pages. The narrative is very consistent and efficient; it is a quick read.

* The reader learns much about the process of the design, refinement, and redesign of the C-3PO outfit, and Daniels' input with directors about the character. Some directors were more open to his suggestions than others.

* Daniels involvement in all of the numbered Star Wars films provides the reader with his unique perspective of Skywalker movies arc, for example, insights about Episodes VII - IX reflecting some film making aspects of the original trilogy more than the prequels did, especially the contrast of filming on location versus Lucas' reliance on green screen and CGI for Eps. I-III.

* Daniels has a very good handle on the pop culture phenomenon of Star Wars. He provides a number of vignettes Star Wars behind the scenes such as his appearances at conventions, involvements in television episodes and specials, even the much maligned Star Wars Holiday Special. His anecdotes about his involvement with the "C-3POs" cereal was very entertaining.

The minuses:
* Daniels doesn't mention David Prowse (Darth Vader) at all, but ironically, Daniels regularly refers to not being included on the Ep. IV credits (neither was Prowse). I believe the character Vader is referred to only once or twice, surprisingly. Of course, outside of the carbon freezing chamber in Ep. V, C-3PO and Vader didn't share screen time in the original trilogy.

* Daniels doesn't provide many details about working with the late Kenny Baker (R2-D2), but on the plus side, he doesn't grouse about Baker's many publicized criticisms about him.

* Overall, Daniels breezes through the making of the films, especially Ep. 5. But it could also be argued that Daniels focused on his involvement instead of venturing guesses about others' experiences, points of view, etc.

Other: Daniels' shared so many anecdotes about falling on location or on stage sets (as C-3PO), that I I lost count. ☺️

Bottom line: If you are curious about the "Inside Story" of Daniels work as C-3PO, read this book. However, if you want lengthy details about the making of the Star Wars movies, you will need to look to other books such as "Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back".
Profile Image for Ernest Solar.
Author 6 books44 followers
April 16, 2020
The original Star Wars films have been an influential part of my life for so long and I enjoy all things Star Wars. I especially enjoy behind the scenes stories and trivia related to the original movies. So when I got this book for Christmas, I was excited to dive in and I really wanted to like this book!

Unfortunately, I had a hard time reading and finishing Anthony Daniel’s story. Many of the behind-the-scene snippets were interesting, but every story seemed to be tainted with some negative moment or memory. At the end of the book Daniels talks about how Sir Alec Guinness despised his role as Obi-Wan in the original movie and quotes about himself“…. reaching that stage of acquiescence and understanding that I was finally approaching.” However, I don’t think Daniels really has reached the true understanding of the impact he had on the world in his role as C-3PO.

I do understand that he may not have gotten the recognition for his role in the original movies like the other actors and it probably did hurt. To write a book with all the memories of how unfair it was that he tripped while filming, or his back to the camera, or his name not known, and only focus on the negative aspects of everything positive that happened to him, is sad.

After 40 years, doesn’t Daniels realize that he has been an integral part of the greatest story our generation has experienced AND a part of it more so than any other actor or producer since its inception? A true understanding of his role as the protocol droid would have generated an inspirational book that would have matched the supportive greatness of C-3PO to his human counterparts.
Profile Image for Kris.
60 reviews2 followers
November 6, 2022
Anthony Daniels is an amazing storyteller. If you've ever seen a speech he's given, you'll know what I mean - he's great to listen to. And his writing is just the same.
This doesn't go deep into his personal life, but it doesn't seem necessary. He tells the story of how he created the character of 3PO - how it was just an empty idea when he got the script. How he filled that idea with life and created this lovely character. He tells the story of being the only actor who was in all star wars movies, shows and all - without actually being recognized for it for a very long time.
When he talks about C-3PO it is like someone talking about their dearest friend. Every page is filled with love for this character he played for so many years and was always happy to be able to play again.
His writing is incredibly fun to read. Nearly every chapter had a moment that was so funny I just laughed out loud, without the humor ever being forced. Even when he talks negatively about people or events, his words are still full of respect. No word in this book felt forced, rude or uncomfortable.
I took some time to read this because I didn't want it to end. Everytime I would come back to it, emerge myself in the kindness and wit of the stories, my heart swell. It felt like a safe place to return to when I felt overwhelmed by my struggles.
Anthony Daniels is an amazingly kind, funny man with huge love for his friend C-3PO. This book is truly wonderful. It made me deeply happy and filled my heart with even more love for 3PO.
Profile Image for Rachel.
387 reviews
January 8, 2020
I usually skip celebrity memoirs as I’ve found them to be underwhelming, but my four year old picked this out for me for Christmas because “Mommy likes books and Mommy likes Star Wars”. So of course I’m going to read it. And I’m glad I did.

I learned a lot about the behind the scenes from my favorite movies. I had no idea that being inside the C3PO costume was so grueling and isolating. In the beginning of the book, Daniels goes through A New Hope for almost every one of his scenes and dissects them which was fascinating. But only a scene or two for the rest of the movies.

There’s nothing about his life outside of Star Wars at all which I guess was the point. And at times he comes across as bitter, entitled, and resentful that he wasn’t respected enough for what he did. Some of his feelings on that like safety and the comfort of the costume I agreed with, but some of them... The writing also jumps around a lot and went between verbose and terse.

Still, Daniels’ dedication and deep love for his iconic character was touching and I’m glad I learned more of what it took to create him. Probably not interesting for the casual Star Wars fan but interesting for us die-hard fans.
Profile Image for Karen.
55 reviews4 followers
December 20, 2019
Hard one to rate. Obviously I loved all the behind the scenes information on Star Wars -- that's what this book promises and delivers. And it's great to hear from one of the unsung heroes of the movies. But I must say, at times it was a little grouchy.
Profile Image for Bill Gauthier.
Author 4 books19 followers
February 11, 2020
Charming and Touching

Anthony Daniels’s charming story behind the mask of the ever-beloved C-3PO is an interesting, entertaining, charming, and touching book. The love and respect for this character is evident throughout the book, and to understand just how much work Daniels put into bringing Threepio to life shows just how good he is as an actor. It has humor, sadness, anger, and love throughout. A must-read for Star Wars fans, people into pop culture, actors, storytellers, and filmmakers.
Profile Image for Brit.
101 reviews
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May 23, 2020
This memoir was a delight to listen to because it is read by Anthony Daniels himself. However, it was also difficult to finish because he constantly feels sorry for himself and complains. I understand how he may have felt at the beginning but the constant negativity was hard.
Profile Image for RobynRiana.
72 reviews20 followers
January 2, 2020
I AM C-3PO: The Inside Story by Anthony Daniels

This is a memoir of two people, a man and a droid, their relationship, and their place in the Star Wars.
See-Threepio became real because of actor Anthony Daniels’ efforts and vision for the lurching, golden protocol droid. Our panicky, pedantic pal vocalized our own reactions to the violent events of ‘A New Hope’.
Inside that first incarnation of Threepio’s suit, visibility was near nonexistent, with little improvement over the years. Nevertheless, Daniels, new to the film industry, watched enraptured as the Star Wars “magic” unfolded around him.
In his emotionally charged tribute to Star Wars, Daniels draws us into his unique experience. He invites all of us on set to witness moments in the lives of a great many individuals involved in the sci-fi phenomenon.
Not, however, a tale of just one actor, this memoir travels through the timespan of Star Wars itself. We journey through production of each film, suffer through each uncertain interval between films, stop by each gala or gallery tribute to the franchise. And C-3PO, along with Daniels, was present for every part of it, loyal, determined, and dedicated to the fans, and the entire fictional universe.
Funny, bittersweet, and delectably detailed, I recommend this read to any and all fans of film, sci-fi, and of course, Star Wars!
Profile Image for Lara Girgis.
79 reviews
September 29, 2020
Anthony Daniels tells his star wars experiences with what seems to be a real humility and gentleness. Yes, the story is about him and his often overlooked contributions but it seems to me like the main focus was on the contributions of others.
The famous actors and directors take a secondary position while the hardworking crew, the less recognised extras, the thoughtful sound technicians and many other individuals are brought forward.
The book is really a celebration of kind-hearted people who have brought the saga together, and I think the Star Wars community needs some of that.
This is probably the most enjoyable memoir I've read to date. :)
34 reviews10 followers
March 20, 2020
This was a fun read! From the only actor to be in all 11 Star Wars films (inc Rogue One and Solo (as a diff role)). What a journey through his lifetime with such an incoming franchise.
Profile Image for Cali Bakker.
70 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2021
I recommend the audio version. It's narrated by Anthony Daniels and it almost sounds like C-3PO telling you his life story. Daniels relates his experience originating the role of C-3PO and decades of portraying the well loved and slightly exasperating gold droid.

The information deals in a lot of minutiae. As a life-long Star Wars fan and appreciator of C-3PO, I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Mike.
139 reviews1 follower
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March 16, 2021
Those of us who are at least 45 might remember the year 1977...the year a saga began. A movie franchise which has stood the test of time and began with the infamous words "A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Away".....this particular volume is the autobiography of one of those actors who had at least a bit part in all of the nine movies (and then some). His name is Anthony Daniels...you might not recognize his face but you might smile when you would hear him talk or see him in character...the gold suit of one C-3PO.

Here the reader is taken behind the scenes of the iconic Star Wars saga from its beginnings with Episode IV (A New Hope) to the run of the series (Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker) and many interesting side trips through various specials (remember the Star Wars Holiday Show? Yea me too...but hey you can read about how that came to be here). through the eyes of Anthony Daniels.

You also have his description of how C-3PO's costume was created and how it evolved as well as how his little robot friend R2D2 came to be.

This and much more away you with this great book by Anthony Daniels.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 576 reviews

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