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Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,203 ratings  ·  447 reviews
The definitive story of Hollywood's most famous couple.

He was a tough-guy Welshman softened by the affections of a breathtakingly beautiful woman; she was a modern-day Cleopatra madly in love with her own Mark Antony. For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romanceoften called "the marriage of the centu
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published 2010 by HarperCollins (first published June 15th 2009)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,203 ratings  ·  447 reviews

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Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This couple was epic
liz taylor richard photo: Liz and Richard ed16.jpg

I was born in the early 80's so other then catching some of their movies "Liz and Dick" were just some famous people who got married and then divorced. I had no idea the drama "Le Scandale" how could my mother not tell me of this gold mine of epic gossip and decadence? That's what mothers are for to fill you in on what you missed when you were not alive, I do ask that she keep to the important stuff but she missed this bit and when I called her on it she shr
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I normally don’t read Hollywood biographies. However, I wanted to read this one, simply because I was curious about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. It’s not every day you see two very famous people so passionately in love. But then again, this is the story the authors were trying to promote. The book starts off saying that one of the last things Richard Burton did was write a love letter to Elizabeth, which Elizabeth didn’t share with them. Yet Richard Burton’s widow, Sally, insists there w ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
This was a good biography, but not great. I had read the excerpt in Vanity Fair and like a well edited movie preview I fear that I had gotten all the best bits. I think that this could have used a stronger edit. The chronological order was off at times. At one point Talyor went to only a few rehearsals of Hamlet and then later she was there a lot and the cast loved her. It also had the problem that many biographies have of being very rich and full bodied in the being and then thinning out in an ...more
Valerity (Val)
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved reading about Liz & Dick and the Marriage of the Century. All the glamorous details of a bygone time, when there were still big movie studios and HUGE movie stars, and a gossip columnist had so much clout. Just wanted the story to go on forever. Full of so much great info.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This turned out to be much better than I thought. Instead of the usual gossipy trash one normally sees in celebrity biographies, the authors stay even-keeled and provide the reader with a chronological overview of the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor romance and marriage. They don't really dive in too deeply, but they were given access to the letters that Burton sent to Taylor throughout their life together.

I was surprised by learning just how deeply in love the two of them were with each other,
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away! I have never read such a passionate love story. I can also say that I have never read such a story of mutual self-destruction. I don't consider myself to be overly romantic, but I do believe that everyone has a soulmate. Some people are lucky enough to find theirs. My parents were soulmates. I am forever grateful that they died together because I can't imagine one going on without the other. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are such soulmates, but they also were the em ...more
Taylor Reid
Jun 29, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2015
When it comes to great Hollywood loves, it is hard to beat these two. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sure knew how to drive each other crazy and fascinate the public. This book tells their often-outrageous love story with a surprising amount of intimacy and humanity.
Ericka Clouther
I'm not that interested in celebrities as a general rule and I would never have picked this book on my own, but it was one of my mom's few recent books I found in her apartment. She moved a lot and didn't tend to keep her books from move to move.

I had two main issues. The first was that it should have been edited down and shortened. The second was that I didn't enjoy the first chapter and almost stopped reading right away because of it. The first chapter is a sloppy attempt to get us to Elizabe
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This book merely scratches the surface of a complex relationship. The authors tell this story of fame and excess. One of the themes is that in leaving his wife and two daughters to marry Elizabeth (and participate in her extravagant lifestyle), Richard made a Faustian deal. Another theme is that their joint projects reflected the status of their relationship.

For those who like to glimpse the rich and famous there are tales of jewelry, yachts, royalty and fabulous entertaining. For Liz'n'Dick afi
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I've never been a particular fan of either Taylor or Burton's careers, nor especially interested in their romance -- but I was unexpectedly caught up in this excellent account of their passionate, enduring, ferocious love for each other. The author, who was given access to Taylor's letters from Burton, walked a nice line between revelation and discretion. We see both Burton and Taylor up close, warts and all, but always with a sense of affection and respect.

Kashner makes a plausible case for th
Lee Anne
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Everyone and no one should have a love like this. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton loved each other so much it ruined the both of them. Elizabeth, so used to being spoiled and petted, and so skilled at being famous, controlled their crazy, decadent life. They lived on a yacht (mainly to avoid taxes), sent their children to Swiss boarding schools, and spent money like water, on pets, furs, and gigantic pieces of jewelry. Richard, a poor Welshman who always found acting an unmanly and degrading ...more
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I didn't know much about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's relationship but after reading an excerpt of Furious Love in Vanity Fair over the summer, my interest was piqued. After finishing Furious Love, my interest was still piqued because it was clear that the story of "Liz and Dick" is a really juicy one, but I'm sorry to say the book didn't do it justice.

Weak writing and editing distract me while reading a book, regardless of how interesting the subject matter is, and Furious Love sadly s
Lucie Jane Miller
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Furious Love
Loved this definitive biography on this "marriage of the century" of Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Richard Burton.
A riveting and well-written biography on the greatest Hollywood love story ever told. The biographers interviewed Elizabeth Taylor numerous times and were the only journalists given access to her extensive collection of personal letters and journals. They also interviewed the Burton family at length, including Burton’s actress daughter Kate. This is an informed biography
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe, usa, non-fiction
My interest in all things regarding Elizabeth Taylor put me first in line to read this book. I have a strange attachement to her life story - it is incredible and compelling to imagine myself in half the situations she experienced.

I cannot imagine the burden of her life. She is quoted in the book calling herself a freak and I guess that term comes closest to describing her. She is a one-off, a fantastic phenotype. Her genetic blessings gave her so much, and yet she and Richard both are portraye
Okay, I'm ditching this. It's just getting to be too much like an AAA trip-ticket combined with shopping list. There's just not enough analysis. I could have told you that Richard Burton was the product of a Welsh mining village and Elizabeth Taylor the MGM backlot. That's not analysis, that's a fortune cookie. For furious love, this is really boring.
I read this book for a guilty pleasure, and found it interesting, if not compelling, and averagely written, with a few moments that made me cringe (for the writing, separate from the lives being described). But hey - it was a guilty pleasure.
I have no idea why past me bought this book. Maybe it was cheap? I don't watch old movies, I didn't know anything about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (their names sounded familiar, but that was the extent of my knowledge) and I don't read a lot of non-fiction. All in all there is nothing to suggest this would appeal to me.

But it turns out Taylor and Burton are actually fascinating people, with an interesting and at times heart-breaking history. The pressure of being "Liz and Dick" ruined
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get into this book. Although the author breezes quickly through their lives and marriages prior to their meeting, I still felt like I was getting the same old biography, and that I knew most of it already. However, before the cameras even roll on “Cleopatra”, I became intensely captivated. For starters, the author writes extensively about Taylor’s contracts, which typically include all kinds of insane perks, like $3000 a day for ‘small expenses’. The author recognizes this ...more
Blog on Books
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
When Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, authors of “Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and The Marriage Of The Century” mentioned to a college-age acquaintance that they were considering writing a book on the Taylor-Burton romance, the response was “I never knew Elizabeth Taylor was married to Tim Burton!” The writers were shocked, as was Elizabeth Taylor, who responded by giving the biographers access to nearly forty never-before-published letters and notes written to her by the l ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mine
Wow! What a book!!

I actually read this biography of the great marriages of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as research. I'm writing my second fiction novel and as I've always been captivated by the Taylor/Burton romance as seen in Cleopatra, I am basing the two main characters' love affair off events and circumstances from the "Liz-n-Dick Show." Theirs (Taylor and Burton's) is a duo romance, a real love between Elizabeth and Richard and the public persona and dog-and-pony show of Liz and Dic
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! I have been drooling over this for awhile --hoping for it to come into my boyfriend's bookstore but I finally got it at the library. I do intend to own it someday as I consider it to be the final word on this amazing couple.
Incredibly enriched by help from Dame Elizabeth herself in the form of sharing memories and letters from Richard Burton never shared publicly before and even some of his lovely and dark poetry shared by other wives, this book is a true revelation. Much
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I discovered Furious Love through a People's book review. As soon as I saw the review, I knew I had to read this. It was a few weeks later when I was at the bookstore and convinced my mom to buy me it. I practically devoured the thing.

Furious Love tells the in-depth love story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, a relationship that is famous for being the first ever "It" relationship, not to mention the scandal that followed it. The couple married, split, and remarried, splitting again sho
Amanda R
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was both excellent and terrible. The terrible part was the writing. The authors apparently haven't the slightest idea how to construct a paragraph, the chronology is all over the place, and a review of what foreshadowing actually is would be a good idea. (Hint: More subtlety is required.)

But, as I said it was also excellent, mostly because it contains ALL THE DRAMA. I can't think of any relationship more interesting and exciting and painful and dysfunctional than this one. I'm amazed
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I have been having a Liz Taylor-Richard Burton movie marathon since I finsihed "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century." I've been in awe of the Burtons since discovering Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. My friend David and I used to watch it over and over in college. I was shocked to learn that Liz was younger than I was when she made that movie - she just looked older thanks to makeup and wigs. I felt sorry for them having to live their lives constantly i ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, biography
This book gets 5* for how much I enjoyed it, learned from it, and for pulling a tear from me at the end. What a passionate love story, one that never died as both were living. They were so in love with each other, yet, unable to totally make it work. The very definition of co-dependent, they loved each other, but were terrible for each other. Their liquor consumption was astounding. Both came at it from different angles but met beautifully in the middle. I love them both and just want to watch t ...more
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this but it wasn't as good as I would have liked. I found a glaring factual error, (Ringo Starr was not married to Barbara Bach in '71/'72) and each chapter felt like it was written independently of the others. This let to a lot of repetition of information. I did love reading Burton's own writing and I appreciated that it was authorized so it had a lot of quotes from Elizabeth, Burton and their families. It's amazing how even though his drinking killed their marriage (and him in the e ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Although fascinated by and sympathetic to this couple, the author produced an honest and fair appraisal of their effects upon not only each other, but to all affected by their tumultuous relationship. From discarded spouses, to a neglected special needs child, to those grateful for their favors and support, all of it is detailed here. I simply could not put it down.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were, and are, Hollywood legends. Their relationship was an enormous part of that, although it's not to say that they would have been less famous, or less talented, had they never fallen in love. But once they had, their love story and turbulent relationship trumped anything else in their lives - it overshadowed Elizabeth Taylor's beauty, it overwhelmed Richard Burton's stage presence, it swallowed up their family and everyone who surrounded them. In this biog ...more
Loren Routhier Hughes
I loved reading about their love story and the lavish jewels Burton showered Elizabeth with. The biography also frequently referenced other Hollywood stars of that time which was fascinating. However, I wish the book stuck to a stricter chronological order of events. The story flip flopped a bit between past and future events which lost some impact for me.
Jennifer Ozawa
Burton and Taylor were just too much. Liz is so extra, but her support of the LBGTQ community and love of animals makes me adore her.

This book is about 85 pages too long. Reading about the excess and their crazy lifestyle became like getting a caffeine headache. We can imagine all the decadence just fine on our own.
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