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By J. Randy Taraborrelli
Read by Lynne Maclean

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By J. Randy Taraborrelli
Read by Lynne Maclean
Hachette Audio, (2006)
Abridged Recording on 5 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-214-5
Genre: Biography

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - August 31, 2006

Elizabeth Taylor has long been a cinematic icon; from her multiple marriages to her long career in film, she has touched the hearts and minds of countless film goers around the world. A snapshot of her life and career is ably captured in J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography Elizabeth. In the vibrant telling of Elizabeth Taylor's life, Taraborrelli provides an overview of her early life, the events that drew her to Hollywood, the people that she met there, and the friends and lovers that she has acquired along the way. In addition, this book serves as a concise survey of her film career and how audiences have responded to her work.

If you are not familiar with Elizabeth Taylor other than through her films, you are in for a surprise. Taylor is in many ways both your stereotypical Hollywood prima donna, while also being an atypical and highly complex woman. So far, she has been married eight times (to seven different men including Richard Burton, Nicky Hilton, and Mike Todd), suffered through innumerable health problems, tried to commit suicide, was addicted to alcohol and drugs, and she survived a stint as a child actress. She is also one of the first 'stars' to openly admit that she had addiction problems - and to publicly seek help for it. She has championed a number of important causes, including starting her own AIDS foundation. Although many aspects of Taylor's life are less than ideal, Taraborrelli puts a positive spin on all aspects of both Taylor's public and private lives.

This is a book that translates well into an audio format, fitting well with the chatty nature of the text. This audio edition of Elizabeth is read by Lynne Maclean, and through sections of the book, you almost get the impression that Taylor, through Maclean's voice, is candidly talking about herself. This edition also features an informative introduction and conversation with the book's author.

Elizabeth is a biography that will delight Taylor's fans and will be instructive for students of the cinema. This is not a rigorous, academic biography, rather it is a chatty, glossy magazine type biography that focuses more on the intriguing, scandalous, and personal struggles of this movie queen. As such, this book moves along at a fair pace that holds your interest, and it supplies intriguing insights into Taylor's life while also entertaining the listener.

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