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Summary

At 1.28 a.m. on Wednesday, 23 March 2011, just three weeks after celebrating her 79th birthday, the biggest star Hollywood has ever known died. The tributes and eulogies to Elizabeth Taylor were legion. A weeping Elton John said, "We have just lost a Hollywood giant. More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."

In Elizabeth Taylor: The Lady, The Lover, The Legend, 1932–2011, acclaimed biographer David Bret has written the revealing, incisive and definitive life story of the most controversial cinematic icon since Mae West. While never yielding in his admiration and respect, Bret has stripped away the veneer to portray the star as she really was: sometimes arrogant, attention-seeking, avaricious, reckless, monstrous towards her peers, generous, even foolish at times; but, above all, through the tumultuous relationships and the personal mayhem, a survivor.

Elizabeth Taylor was the very last of the Hollywood greats. As David Bret writes, "Most of her contemporaries – Garbo, Streisand and Dietrich excepted – were compelled to walk in the shadow of her sun. Of today’s stars, not one may be deemed worthy of stepping even within a mile of that shadow.

©2011 David Bret (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

“If you only read one book about the life of Elizabeth Taylor, make it this one (*****)” (News of the World)

What listeners say about Elizabeth Taylor

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Poor and inaccurate.

If you have any admiration for Elizabeth Taylor, this supposed biography will appall you . Starting with her childhood , the writer begins his detrimental opinions of her , and I say opinions , because that is what this is, opinion, not facts . None of it is backed up by informing us where these supposed facts came from .. and these descriptions and statements about Miss Taylor are not restricted to her. The many big stars she worked with ,or enjoyed friendships with are equally maligned . In fact , I imagine that it’s only that they are now deceased that he is able to get away with this supposed biography without being sued!!
I only completed this audiobook to see how ridiculously insulting he could be — and he didn’t disappoint .
Elizabeth Taylor fans, don’t waste a read !!

3 people found this helpful

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surprisingly good

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

very well read and entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

The story is quite compelling.

What about Maggie Mash’s performance did you like?

well read not over the top. very pleasant voice.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didnt want to stop listening to it. It is a trashy life story which I really enjoyed.

Any additional comments?

well worth the money to me.

6 people found this helpful

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There are much better

The opening of the book is terribly negative and this sets the tone. Just terrible

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Judgemental

I suppose the book shows rather well the impressive life of Elizabeth Taylor. However the tone is very judgemental and gossipy. It's amazing how at the end, for the interlude he call himself a "fan". The performance is great but the book is nothing but can can stories.

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totally not about Elizabeth but about Movies but a

too many references to movies and dates no interesting at all, not enjoyable and I love Liz Taylor

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Very Negative Portrayal

I never leave bad reviews on books because of the hard work that goes into writing it and just because it is not to my taste it doesn't mean it's not to someone else's. Having said that I got the impression that the author really had a dislike for Elizabeth Taylor or strong women in general, I cannot say. This is definitely a biased telling of her story as the author's displeasure of his subject is obvious. He paints her as a talentless, shallow, beautiful woman with a shrill voice which is definitely not the case. I do not like biographies that glorify people as saints but I don't think the woman could have been so awful to be written about like this. I could not continue with the book but the narrator did a good job.

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Everybody,s Gay..

Although I enjoyed this biography.,I cannot help feeling that almost every man,and so e women are homosexual ,whilst some are,the bile reserved for Richard Burton makes one wonder about David Bret himself,and spoils what was an enjoyable biography.

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Very one sided

The writer really did not like his subject. This is an unpleasant book, nit picking about everyone in it.
Dreadful narration.... Began to dread the stupid voice of ms mash during the too frequent quotes. Could barely finish this.

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Derogatory

I was interested to learn about Elizabeth Taylor as I know very little about her. I still feel I know very little about her. I appreciate that she had a very long career and there was a lot of ground to cover. But the writer seems to write about Elizabeth as though he hates her and thinks her a talentless, selfish and vulgar individual. I'm sure she has been all of these things at some point, but I don't feel I got any insight into her real persona. I was left feeling that she, and most people she associated with were just plain horrible people. As I am not one to take what one person says as gospel, I have watched many interviews during the course of this book (if only to keep me from abandoning the book all together) with Elizabeth and others mentioned in the book, and they portray something very different to David Bret. I feel there was much more to be said, deeper truths and characters to be delved into.

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THE LAST GREAT MOVIE STAR

Elizabeth Taylor was the last great star from Hollywood's golden age. What a life she had! This is an excellent book and very well narrated by Maggie Mash. My one criticism would be that despite the author's critical approach to his subject, a few items of historical BS seep through. Like for example the idea that Elizabeth Taylor somehow had "violet" eyes. Anyone who's seen any of her Technicolor films can plainly see that Elizabeth Taylor's eyes were not violet or any shade of purple ーthey were an ordinary but beautiful shade of deep blue!