I actually read this biography of the great marriages of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as research. I'm writing my second fictWow! 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 Dick. It is a beautiful, raw, but tragic heartbreaking romance that would have survived except for fame, paparazzi, and booze! Written because of Taylor's worry "that Richard Burton's name and legacy were in danger of being forgotten..." after a theatre major told the authors she was shocked to know that Elizabeth Taylor had been married to the eccentric director Tim Burton (439)! ...Um, no dear! Go back to school! The story begins with the 1960's classic epic Cleopatra, a film that was doomed from the moment Elizabeth Taylor signed on to the picture. Taylor's never-ending health issues halted production, causing the her two main co-stars playing Cesaer and Mark Antony to be recast due to scheduling conflicts. In came Richard Burton, the Welsh man who drank like his own soul was dying of thirst yet who could recite Shakespeare in his epic voice even though he was completely sloshed. Who could have known that by the newcomer Burton signing onto the motion picture would change celebrity and fame forever?! Their love affair shocked the world, had fans clawing for them in surging mobs, and was even condemned by the Vatican! The sadness of it all is Burton's constant downfall. His battle with alcohol never ended no matter how many doctors told him he'd kill himself with the drinking he was doing every day starting after breakfast. Taylor's constant ailing health was such a strain on their marriages and his heart because, as you read, he truly loved her. Then, he held himself responsible for his favored brother's accident that left the older brother-turned-father-role-model paralyzed and eventually led to his death. Add on top of all that the constant hounding of fans, paparazzi, and shutterbugs who couldn't get enough of the couple. Arguably one of the greatest actors, particularly because of his resounding Welsh voice, drank himself to death because of personal guilt and an overwhelming lifestyle that eventually even he couldn't top. The book is a sincere and truthful account from various sources, including the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor herself, about the affair, the marriage, the divorce, the second marriage, and the second divorce. It is filled with much detail and interesting facts that never leave the reader bored... but how could one be reading about the never not exciting Taylor/Burton romance?? If you enjoy biographies, check out Furious Love. It is an eye-opening account of Hollywood's first mega couple!
Works Cited: Kasner, Sam & Schoenberger, Nancy. Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010. Print ...more
Wonderful!! It reminded me of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" with its realistic dialogue and the never-ending sentences representing one's never-Wonderful!! It reminded me of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" with its realistic dialogue and the never-ending sentences representing one's never-ending, usually-not-so-related thought process. One of my favorite bits was when our heartbroken heroine Min was describing school. "Because the day; it was school. It was the bells too loud or rattly in broken speakers that would never get fixed. It was the bad floors squeaky and footprinted, and the bang of lockers. It was writing my name in the upper right-hand corner of the paper or Mr. Nelson would automatically deduct five points, and in the upper left-hand corner of the paper or Mr. Peters would deduct three. It was the pen just giving up midway and scratching invisible ink scars on the paper or suiciding to leak on my hand, and trying to remember if I'd touched my face recently and am I a ballpoint coal miner on my cheeks and chin (80)." It was genius like this that made the book for me. And, I loved the story. I loved that the characters had plain, regular names. You don't get to chose the name of your lovers. Sometimes, they're just regular old names. Not "Damon" or "Stephan" or "Noah." They're "Min" and "Ed." And, the illustrations were to die for. They reminded me of Abarat by Clive Barker, whose novel I fell in love with because of the eye-popping color and fantastical swirl of his illustrations. While it may seem cruel, I sincerely hope that Min has her heart broken again. I'd love to read all about it!!! ...more