Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Madonna” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.21  ·  Rating details ·  567 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
At the age of forty-three, with a career that spans two decades and ranges from the scandalous to the transcendent, Madonna is a bigger phenomenon than ever. But who is the private woman behind the public image?

Andrew Morton, whose #1 New York Times bestsellers about Princess Diana and Monica Lewinsky have proved his ability to gain access to insiders who won't talk to any
431 pages
Published November 24th 2001 by Krüger Verlag (first published January 1st 2001)
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 Madonna, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Madonna

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
I quite enjoyed Andrew Morton's take on the life and career of Madonna. From her modest Italian-American upbringing, to her days as a dance major in Ann Arbor (who knew?), to her early days in New York (which sound like something out of "Rent"), the book's first half reads like a Horatio Alger success story. Once a recording contract and MTV come calling, her career trajectory is pure nostalgia for any kid of the '80s. You'll remember where you were when you first saw the video for "Lucky Star," ...more
Oct 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read the first 50 pages - it never caught my interest or attention.
Ma. Lalaine
It is an unauthorized biography of the icon. I picked it up because of her strong persona. And since 2014 is my brave year, it is perfect read for January.

Madonna is idolized by Myrene or Maps Academia who is a bass guitarist I adore. I imagined she read this so I hope to do the same. Gaya-gaya lang.

The book trace back the history of her ancestor particularly her father. Her mother died early on when she was five years old. Her passion to dancing taught her discipline and make her ambitious. I l
The beginning few chapters are slow cause it talks about her italian family ancestors and how her parents met. When Madonna was born the chapters were most interesting. This is written by hear-say and by people she knew so not sure how much is really true. From all the documentaries I've read about Madonna they all seem to be the same about her character as a hard, street smart, star driven no matter how many people she used and hurt in the business to get noticed. I've always been a big fan of ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Madonna fans and music aficionados
Recommended to Mandy by: chose from best friend's book collection
An in-depth look at the carefully constructed making of an icon, what drove her outrageous behavior and her insatiable hunger for fame. No surprise at her rumored illuminati affiliations because her need for adulation and love seemed to have broken her moral/ethical compass, but I do give her tremendous credit for her exemplary work ethic, her shrewd business sense, her strength as a woman, her musical genius, being a visionary, for pushing creative boundaries and for being am amazing icon espec ...more
Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely dreadful. He gets good stories from people who once knew Madonna, but blows any shred of credibility by getting simple facts wrong. One such glaring error is Morton repeatedly referring to the movie Shanghai Surprise as Shanghai Express. Shanghai Express is a Marlene Dietrich movie from 1932, 26 years before Madonna was even born. These aren't obscure facts, they can very easily be found on any fan-run Madonna website. As interesting as some of the stories are, any book that has quite ...more
Since falling in love with Madonna's music a few months ago, I felt the need to read up on her life. Andrew Morton writes very clearly and with just enough detail, and his British perspective made the book all the more interesting. He makes you fall in love with, pity, and sometimes despise Madonna. Since she is so out-there and versatile in her work, the range of emotions and viewpoints this book presents is appropriate. The con to the book is that it was published in the early 2000s so I think ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a well written biography. The chronology was difficult to follow with the author reaching ahead in time to draw a connection - I prefer reaching back and reminding me of pertinent connections. I disagree with some who felt the author was too infatuated with Madonna to tell it like it is. In fact, he's quite critical of her hypocrisy and other fallibilities (most notably her acting). I enjoyed learning about Madonna's psychological make-up and some of the stories behind her songs, as well as ...more
Tom Schulte
This 2001 title may be too older for people interested in the Madonna of the last decade, but it is fine for me. I was mostly interested it it was actually true she was from Rochester, Michigan (she is) and what her earliest music days were like: she gave up a promising universigty start dancing on the stage in order to live the gutter life playing drums in a punk band at CBGB's. I dig that. However, her trodding over friendships to climb the ladder and shallow approach to her sex life belittled ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trashyness
I read this book when it came out, and I really thought the writer was kissing Madges ass throughout. I was only 18 when I read this and I was a little naive but I was really curious to understand the childhood of Madonna then. After finishing the book I just felt like the writer really wanted to please his subject and not say anything negative. Almost 10 years later I read her brothers biography on his relationship with Madonna and I realized that even though Christophers Ciccones bio is less p ...more
Savita Ch-isb
I recommend this book because I like Madonna every much. She is pretty and sexy. She is good at dancing, singing, photographing, and painting. She live her life tough before she has become a superstar. Even her mom was dead when she was young however, she has so much spirit which lead her to one of the most famous singer in the world. however, I don't her religion life style because she did the abortion for 4 times in her life. You should read it if you want to know more about her secret life!
Lena Tumasyan
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very introsective, deep look at Madonna's background, particularly her family, her upbringing, and what caused her to be the woman and superstar that she is. It's very interesting. The author had great quotes from interview and the book was organized very well. It ends at the time that she married Guy Ritchie and released her "Music" album. This is a very interesting biography. I really enjoyed listening to it on Audiobook :-)
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The style of writing was very verbose. Find some sentences repetitive. I finished the book and didn't really feel that I knew anything new about Madonna. I didn't like in some instances where the author wrote more about the history of the times than of Madonna herself. Could have saved himself some paragraphs of writing.
Andrew Morton is no J. Randy Taraborrelli, but he's capable of digging up a tidbit or two. There's not much about Madonna's publicity-approved image we don't know about and what we don't know isn't truly accessible to unauthorized biographers. Also, Madonna won't be interesting enough for a real biography until her fame starts to collapse in on itself. I look forward to that day.
Morton's a scuzzball, which isn't to say the book didn't hold my interest. However, he comes across as a real loser who's really just looking to trash people, both subtlety and overtly. It's good trash reading. I will say, though, the true story of Madonna will only be known if she ever decides to tell all.
Dec 03, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Madonna's story just isn't that interesting. She is apparently a very hard worker, and I respect that. Sean Penn evidently is quite a loon, not that that surprises anyone.

Andrew Morton is an ATROCIOUS writer. He constantly uses the passive tense and words that don't exist ("insanitary" instead of "unsanitary," among many others) and fails to make subjects and verbs agree. *shudder*
Mar 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not very good at all. So contrived and forced. You'd think that Madonna's life would lend the reader some inspiration. But this book is just pure speculation and projection. Maybe some facts thrown in here and there. The only good part of the book are the pictures. She truly is a beautiful, cool and talented woman.
How Madonna became Madonna has long been intriguing to me ever since I was able to recognize her type. The book has some great bits where her personality is manifested, but it has too much fluff to receive any more hearts than I gave.
Danielle LaPresta
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of course it was's about Madonna!
It's been a while since I read it though...maybe I should re-read it.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was fluff. I thought the parts about her and Sean Penn were interesting. It ends in 2001 with her living happily every ever with Guy yeah.
Jayden Curtis
Well the book started out a little slow and boring. So it took me awhile to finish it. Later on in the story it started to get interesting.
May 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not the fun, trashy read I thought it would be. I felt like I was slogging through a really long, terribly edited Wikipedia article.
Mar 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doneanddone
i kept losing track of how many people madonna slept with. but it really made me want to travel to detroit.
Mme. Bookling ~
Haa. A guilty pleasure for sure. Madonna is a surprising chameleon, even admirably so. Very entertaining and the worthwhile while playing trivial pursuit. :)
Kirsten (
I simply cannot pass up an entertainment bio, sorry.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Morton seems to be in awe of Madonna to the point he doesn't tell me anything I didn't know before. The book is pretty slim and really only gives the greatest hits of Madonna's life, there's far more interesting biographies that go more in-depth. Instead of focusing on the singer he spends sections detailing historical things or other people that he tries to give the most tenuous connections to Madonna. His quotes all seem to come from unnamed sources and/or ex-boyfriends that he blames for the ...more
Alexander Kargin-Utkin
Book is good, but character is really bad.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, usa, biograpy
How the hell does Andrew Morton make his books about fascinating celebrities so dull? I'm glad I'm done with this. It's a shame because I'm a Madonna fan and I was really looking forward to it. There are some good bits in here which keep the pages turning but then you'll hit a brick wall where you have to keep forcing yourself to keep going. Yes I did find out some things that I didn't know about her but it wasn't really worth the 237 pages. Sad towards the end as it ends on a hopeful note but w ...more
Jul 10, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-reads
I did not get all the way through this, but another person's comment about losing track of how many people Madonna slept with is spot on. For a shorter Madonna bio, check out the one written by Mary Cross, from Greenwood Press. It's more condensed and less gossipy, but if you're looking for a quick overview of Madge's life, up to and including her recent marriage, that's the way to go.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: amyk
I thought this was better than the newest Madonna book. Tells so much more about her growing up, family life, coming to be... but it's unauthorized, so who knows how much is really true. Andrew Morton is well-renowned as a biographer though. Pretty good book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Madonna: An Intimate Biography
  • Brave Fish: Identity, Love, Faith
  • Game on: Find Your Purpose--Pursue Your Dream
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Madonna: Like an Icon
  • A Paper Life
  • Life with My Sister Madonna
  • Papa John: An Autobiography by John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas)
  • Sex
  • Bert Stern/ Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting
  • The Real Girl Next Door
  • Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir
  • What Falls Away: A Memoir
  • Pure Love, Pure Life: Exploring God's Heart on Purity
  • My Story
  • California Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas The Music, the Madness, the Magic that was
  • Through The Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World
  • Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains
Andrew David Morton (born 1953) is one of the world's best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity. His groundbreaking biography Diana: Her True Story was a #1 New York Times bestseller, as was Monica's Story, an authorized biography of Monica Lewinsky, and Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. The winner of numerous awards, including Author of the Year, his other New York T ...more
More about Andrew Morton...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »