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Furious love : Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the marriage of the century
Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
Adult Nonfiction PN2287.T18 K38 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Life outdoes movie melodrama in this raucous, intimate, dual biography of Hollywood's ultimate "It Couple." As told by journalist Kashner (Sinatraland) and biographer Schoenberger (Dangerous Muse: The Life of Caroline Blackwood), the romance between the glittering Tinseltown diva and the sonorous, self-loathing Shakespearean reprises their co-starring movie roles: it has the passion of Cleopatra (the Vatican condemned their on-set adultery as "erotic vagrancy"), the riotous merriment of The Taming of the Shrew, the poisonous marital fights of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a cast of thousands of paparazzi and shrieking fans. The well-researched narrative-the authors make good use of Burton's engaging love letters and diary entries-offers juicy details of his epic alcoholism and her towering tantrums, and is fascinated with the jewelry pieces, like the Taj Mahal diamond that Taylor famously extracted from Burton as tribute or penance. But from the binges and bling emerges a revealing portrait of the magnetic qualities-her vulgar warmth, his soulful virility-that glued the couple together. Here is that rare love story that holds one's interest beyond the wedding-and a reminder, after the thin gruel of Brangelina, of what a feast celebrity can be. Photos. (June 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred together in Cleopatra in the early Sixties, they began a romance that shocked the world, and the public could not get enough of "le scandale" (as Burton coined it). Because they were married to other people and flaunted their relationship, they were denounced by the Vatican and some in the U.S. House of Representatives. They eventually wed, and for a quarter of a century their tempestuous on-again, off-again love affair continued to make headlines. Despite their occasionally over-the-top prose (e.g., "And now, suddenly, Elizabeth would be playing love scenes with this devastating Welshman, made vulnerable by drink, a god brought down to earth, whose need for alcohol translated into a ravishing thirst for life"), biographers Kashner and Schoenberger (coauthors, A Talent for Genius: The Life and Time of Oscar Levant) have written a fascinating book that includes new research and interviews (Taylor shared Burton's love letters) and captures the glamour of a bygone era. Verdict This well-researched dual biography is juicy enough for any celebrity bio maven. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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