483 books — 502 voters
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Edith Piaf: The Wheel of Fortune: The Official Autobiography” as Want to Read:
Edith Piaf: The Wheel of Fortune: The Official Autobiography
Edith Piaf's life is almost as famous as her work. From her birth (which she liked to tell people was in the Parisian streets, her mother shielded by two gendarmes) to her death (when her husband allegedly drove her corpse from the Cannes hospital where she died to her flat, lest her fans think that she had abandoned Paris) her life story was a rags-to-riches tale like no ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Peter Owen Publishers
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
I was brought up on artists like Piaf, and have long thought she had an amazing voice. It seems that it is one that people tend to either love or hate. I dressed as Piaf for a French evening event at college. Knowing my interest, someone bought me a copy of the dvd 'La Vie en Rose' based on her life, but it sat in my drawer for ages waiting for me to get round to it. I did a few weeks ago. I hadn't realised it was in French - my French is VERY rusty - but subtitles made it watchable. I was left ...more
Listening to the voice of Edith Piaf while reading this book (in her songs and in every line, every word of her memoirs) I felt, that every story becomes alive, "visible". I imagined the cabarets and the Paris streets, stages in prison camps and US music halls, where she sang... and it does no matter, that the book seems to be a puzzle of short stories from one person's life, but it does matter, that you can feel through every word, what could make Edith happy, what a great personality she was.
This book was a walk of nostaligia fitting to Piaf's friends, family and fans who grew with her career and music. Not knowing much about her, and craving drama and controversy similar to that of the film based on her life (Le Vie En Rose) I found the book to be bland. She discusses only the happier events of her life, which is understandable and perhaps the translation is poor. I am awaiting another biography about Piaf to become available at my local library (I have it on reserve).
Overall, it ...more
Overall, it ...more
It's rare to find an utterly honest autobiography and sadly this is also the case here. I actually tend not to read autobiographies as people never paint themselves in an honest light. In the Wheel of Fortune, Piaf goes to great lengths to describe everything that is wonderful about her and her life leaving out a lot of the negative...in essence a lot of her life. If you love this woman's unique voice, let her music do the talking and steer clear of this autobiography.
Piaf presents her story in heroic fashion. She shares her indomitable spirit. You have to guess where reality merges into a little fantasy. Not one iota of self pity, despite the illness and drugs through her life (these are barely mentioned). A true dreamer and romantic, and a unique talent. I suspect this is as close as you get to Piaff, not factually, but in spirit.
Édith Piaf, born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer who became widely regarded as France's national popular singer, as well as being one of France's greatest international stars. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads. Among her songs are "La Vie en rose" (1946), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "La Foule" (1957), "l'A ...moreMore about Édith Piaf...