Read Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli Lynne Maclean Online


An insightful biography of a true screen legend, this book covers Elizabeth Taylor's journey through the dark and often lonely world of a fame unparalleled in the 1960s and 1970s, a time during which alcohol and drugs played a major part in her life....

Title : Elizabeth
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446532549
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 560 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elizabeth Reviews

  • Katy
    2018-11-02 19:28

    Wow! I really enjoyed learning about Elizabeth Taylor. I'm fascinated by her lifestyle...and some parts of her I adore, like her steady determination, wry sense of humor, and willingness to fight for a cause (like AIDS). However, as in every person, Elizabeth clearly has her flaws. I absolutely loathed reading continually about her strict anti-feminist attitude. Being someone that is fiercely feminist and tends to get angry at wives who kowtow to husbands, I was shocked. She continued to accept horrible traits of her husbands, like continued physical and emotional abuse, obsessive controlling, and even husbands using her fame to their advantage (I believe this to be true with Warner, who used her presence to gain political popularity during the first part of their marriage, and then virtually ignored her for the remainder of their marriage. I also resented the way that Elizabeth completely changed herself just to please Richard Burton! True love or not, changing your entire being to impress someone is not admirable, to say the least.Despite my shock and irritation at such factors in Elizabeth's life, I felt that this book was supposed to be well-written. The author seems to have respect for Elizabeth, as do I, so they write accurately. However, I feel that a much more powerful book, with fewer words, could have been written. Instead of focusing on the raw, dynamic emotion of Elizabeth's life, he reports facts in a manner that I perceived to be somewhat dull. In other words, his style bored me.I actually read this book for summer reading for school, and I'll admit that at first, I sorely regretted picking out a 400-something page book to read. However, it turned out to be worth wading through useless information for the detailed inside look at her life.

  • Sarah Hughes
    2018-11-05 00:37

    This nine weeks I read Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli. I thought the book was pretty decent but it was very long. There were many boring points but at the same time there were many nail biting points when I could not stop reading. The author did a good job of providing details of her life but at the same time I felt the author gave too much information that seemed irrelevant and ended up boring me. It is very helpful if you want to learn more about Elizabeth Taylor but if you really do not want to learn about her then I do not suggest reading it because it would just be a waste of your time.

  • Cami
    2018-10-31 23:48

    I finally finished this mighty bio-tome!Long term, I'm not much for non-fiction so I think it says a lot about the author that he kept me completely interested in Elizabeth Taylor (don't call her Liz, she doesn't like it) throughout all of it. Granted, Ms. Taylor does have quite an interesting life, eight marriages and Michael Jackson aside, so perhaps his work was laid out nicely for him. I thought the author did a great job balancing the writing of her life, marriages, demons, movies and causes, never staying with one portion too long and often restating to remind the reader about something they read 200 pages before.Now I have some old movies to watch...

  • Hope
    2018-11-17 19:31

    DNF. I was surprised by how awkwardly this read, since I *loved* Taraborrelli's "Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe," which focused on Marilyn's efforts to be a caretaker for her ill mother, alongside her half-sister and other family friends. I thought that Taraborrelli was incredibly sensitive and thoughtful about Monroe. Elizabeth, by contrast, feels overwritten and...just odd. There's all this speculation in the first chapters about Taylor's mother and a maybe-maybe not relationship with a male benefactor. It's very coy and off-putting.

  • Crystal
    2018-10-28 21:44

    Not a bad biography. Enjoyed learning more about Elizabeth Taylor. Got a little slow at the end, but still an enjoyable read.

  • Iris
    2018-11-19 23:32

    Elizabeth Taylor has to be the most extravagant and willful person Hollywood has ever endorsed. And I love her for it. This biography chronicles her life in physical and emotional ways. You get the facts and also the stories and opinions that went along with them. You laugh in amazement and wonder and think to yourself "No effing way" when you hear of some of the truly ridiculous and over the top things that she did just for the sake of glamour. You also get to see the very quiet and insecure side of the famed and beloved actress as she wrestled with her demons (Physical and psychological) and tried to find love (even if you think she went about it all wrong.) It astounded me when I found out that she was in several physically abusive relationships even if that was the norm back then. I mean she was Elizabeth Taylor for christ's sake!As with all biographies you should take it with a little salt, but whether you believe it or not (And why wouldn't you believe it? Why would they lie?) you cannot argue that it is a very entertaining read. Laughter and anger will wash over you as you take in the life of one of the most fascinating actresses of all time. 4/5

  • Idania
    2018-10-28 22:25

    Fascinating look (albeit a simple one) from the first page onward. The writer's prose elegantly provides insight into not just the actress, but those close around her. The great love affair of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton is detailed and gripping. I'm not usually a reader of biographies, much less one on an arguably vapid person. But the author spins it in a way that is interesting and touching.

  • Alysia
    2018-11-03 23:50

    I think it would be pretty hard to write a boring book about Elizabeth Taylor. She was just so interesting, not to mention incredibly flawed.The writing (or narrating in this case–I got this in audiobook form) was obviously skewed in Elizabeth’s favor, even when she clearly in the wrong. You could tell the author had a lot of affection for her and her life story. The writing was romantic without being sensational. Elizabeth was an interesting book to listen to. The three main emotions that I felt while listening was; sadness, annoyance, and, injustice.Sadness about the way she was raised, with an overbearing stage mother, and a passive father. Her mother spent so much time trying to give Elizabeth the career that she never got, that she never had a childhood. Elizabeth spent so much time acting, that it took her a long time to understand social and romantic relationships. I felt sad about the fact that her body deteriorated so quickly that by the time she was in her fifties, she had to have both hips replaced. I was sad about the fact that she ended up having seven husbands. Perhaps if Mike Todd hadn’t died, three might have been her lucky number. But, that’s probably unlikely.Every time Elizabeth made a glaringly bad decision when it came to her husbands, I always became annoyed at her parents, Sarah and Francis. Their marriage and the way Francis let Sarah raise Elizabeth set up a foundation that would have never ended up good. I mean, Sarah had Elizabeth’s studio find her a first date! That’s insane! The author made a point to always relate the way Elizabeth interacted with her husband’s to her parent’s marriage and how she was trying to find a man that supported her like her father never did. I still became annoyed having to her sabotage all of her marriages and live her life obsessed with Richard Burton. Even after he died, she couldn’t stop thinking about him.The feeling of injustice was again tied to Elizabeth’s childhood and husbands. After the birth of Elizabeth’s last child, it caused her body so much damage that if she became pregnant again, it would kill her. So her doctor as her current husband if he wanted her sterilized. How ridiculous that Elizabeth was never to be in control of herself and her body. Instead of her mother making all of her decisions, it was her husbands. If not her husband, then it was booze or the pills. It was very rare for Elizabeth to make decisions for herself and just herself. She eventually did so and was one of the reasons that AIDs and HIV were finally spoken in public in the 80s.By the end of the book, the author felt that Elizabeth had finally gotten a happy ending of her own choice. Getting there took pain, two trips to rehab, a brain tumor, and, seven husbands but she got there. I would recommend this book (or audiobook) even if you have zero interest in Elizabeth Taylor. She’s too interesting to ignore.

  • Kevin
    2018-11-10 20:26

    Ordinarily, readers might question the logic of a new tome on a celebrity who already has at least six full-length biographies (and four self-penned books) devoted to her life, but Elizabeth Taylor has never been ordinary.Readers will easily understand why tabloids have chronicled her escapades for six decades: her roller-coaster life could easily read like a high-sheen soap opera (the eight marriages, two Oscars, suicide attempts and innumerable life-threatening illnesses that led to years of alcohol and prescription drug addiction before she became the first celebrity to check into the Betty Ford Clinic).But Taraborrelli, a sympathetic biographer, rescues the subject by looking for psychological and emotional motives behind her actions. Taraborrelli can be overprotective of Taylor (he notes her reviews for Cleopatra were "so vicious that they are not even worth memorializing here") but more often, he's a superb storyteller who is also an enthusiastic fan.The book is a fitting tribute to a woman who has lived and loved with abandon but who found real passion and purpose when she embraced AIDS activism in 1985, helping to destigmatize the disease and creating her own AIDS foundation. Taraborrelli's chatty prose (and bite-size chapters) perfectly complement Taylor's glamorous life of highs and lows to create an irresistible and inspiring tale.THE ABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK READ BY LYNNE MCLEAN:Lynne Maclean's precise and nimble reading makes it nearly impossible for listeners to resist the pull of Taraborrelli's compassionate chronicle of the wild and tempestuous life of Elizabeth Taylor. With her more than a half dozen full-length biographies and five decades as tabloid fodder, most listeners will be well acquainted with surface events in Taylor's life. There are the eight marriages (five of them before she was 32), the affairs, multiple suicide attempts, decades of life-and-death health issues, the jewelry collection and finally her AIDS activism. Taraborrelli's strength as a biographer is his tenacity to dig beneath the surface to find the motivations and insecurities behind Taylor's actions, and his care helps listeners discover the dynamic charisma and good humor that have attracted men and moviegoers to her. Maclean's narration sails effortlessly over a life full of globe-trotting without stumbling over foreign names and locales. Taraborrelli bookends the production by reading a five-minute overview at the beginning and participating in a brief q&a session at the end of the fifth violet-colored disc, where he praises Taylor's indomitable will and ability to survive.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2018-10-20 23:53

    An American icon, Elizabeth Taylor has been a part of our lives for more than six decades. A child star and part of the old Hollywood studio system, she learned her lessons at her mother Sara's knee. Without her guidance—and some might say diligent control—she might not have become the legendary star that she is.In "Elizabeth," by J. Randy Taraborrelli, we get to peek behind the scenes into those magical moments that have comprised her life. But we also see the scandals, the pain, and the repeated attempts to find a lasting love—and without those glimpses, of course, the picture would be incomplete.The story carries us through the decades, and is told in a conversational tone; as a result, we feel as though we've lived alongside her. We revel in her successes and feel despair at her pain. And triumph in her ability, after all these years and despite all of her health issues, that she has risen to her most inspirational incarnation yet—AIDS activist and business tycoon.In some ways, the story feels incomplete; probably because, while it seems to sweep across the decades and fill in any blanks in our knowledge, it does seem to lack the strength of the subject's own voice. Yes, there are the quotations and the references to her feelings and opinions, but they feel "borrowed" from other sources. The author does acknowledge the sources and references, and I did enjoy the updated information on what she, her living exes, and her grown children are currently doing...these were important to add closure to the tale.It does seem to be a step-up from many tabloid pieces, and presents both positive and negative aspects, lending a twist of reality to what would otherwise be just another Hollywood celebrity piece. We do get a glimpse into some of the subject's interior life and the growth she has managed to achieve. And the author delves into some of the psychological and emotional roots of the star's pattern of serial marriages.For those aspects of this story, I am gratified, and will thus award four stars. This is a book that fans will enjoy.

  • Lola
    2018-10-31 02:40

    My favorite old Hollywood actresses are Marliyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. Out of the three, however, I think I would've gotten along best with Elizabeth Taylor. She had that same compelling Marilyn Monroe did, but she was more down to earth. Well, not down to earth, but she certainly didn't live in the clouds like Monroe did. I found Taylor's life fascinating. She was definitely a woman with passion, and she knew what she wanted. She tried not to regret too much, which I can appreciate. Favorite Taylor quote: “I don't entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I'm me. God knows, I'm me.”J. Randy Taraborrelli did an excellent job with this biography. It was well reasrched and well structured, and all his information seemed fairly accurate. Mostly, he kept it interesting. The great thing about writing about Elizabeth Taylor is that there's not much need for embellishments. After all, the woman was married six times. She was gorgeous practically her whole life, but she was also smart. (In addition, we have Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to thank for the first real "it" couple. Take that Bragelina!) I've come to enjoy and trust Taraborrelli's work, and this is no different.Definitely recommended if you're interested in Elizabeth Taylor or even old Hollywood.

  • Dysmonia Kuiper
    2018-10-22 01:25

    I found this book on a fence post on the sidewalk in Center City, Philadelphia. I had just moved, and didn't have a library card yet because I didn't have an address at the time. So I was desperate for reading material. I knew three things about Elizabeth Taylor: her name, her face, and her job. I can't say I was particularly interested to find out more, either. But I'll give any book a chance.Elizabeth is well-researched and well-written. It's also 464 pages long. I enjoyed parts of it, and parts of it bored me. I'm sure living Elizabeth Taylor's life was thrilling, outrageous, and enjoyable. Reading about it? Not so much.One thing I did take away from the book was a few movies I'd like to see: classics of which I'd heard and was reminded to actually try to watch. I'll be looking for a few of them at the library, like "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." (The only film of Taylor's I've seen, that I know of, is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".)In summation, this is probably an excellent read for a fan. For anyone else, I'd say skip it, unless you're desperate for a book and you happen to find a copy on the sidewalk. ;)

    2018-11-17 23:38

    For more than six decades Elizabeth Taylor has been a part of our lives. Now acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli looks past the tabloid version of Elizabeth's life and offers the first-ever fully realized portrait of this American icon. You'll meet her controlling mother who plotted her daughter's success from birth...see the qualities that catapulted Elizabeth to stardom in 1940s Hollywood...understand the psychological and emotional underpinnings behind the eight marriages...and, finally, rejoice in Elizabeth's most bravura performance of all: the new success in family, friendships, and philanthropy she achieved despite substance abuse and chronic illness. It's the story of the woman you thought you knew--and now can finally understand. ****Rate this 4/5. An amazing and thorough account of one of my favorite actresses, Elizabeth Taylor. What a beautiful woman she truly is, both inside and out. Her life, her loves, her career and her kindness towards the unfortunate are legend. I truly admire her and I always will.

  • Bretagne
    2018-10-19 22:50

    I absolutely love this book. From start to finish I love this book. Elizabeth is one of my role models and when I read this book I feel so close to her. Even with a gorgeous face she still has problems just like the rest of us. This book shows that you can do anything. You can find love even if you let go. You can find something that you wouldn't have thought you would whine up doing in your life. The people you meet play a role to you. Reading all her struggles her lifestyle her marriages. She taught go for what I want enjoy life and live it. Plus I love the author I've read plenty of his books me and my mom. He makes me feel so close to diva not like a fan but like I am her I am apart of her world. And I love it. This book shows me to always aim for everything you dream. Plus who TF doesn't love Elizabeth Taylor the most beautiful woman of the world. We will never have a face like that again. I'm blessed to live in her time. RIP Ms Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor

  • Robin
    2018-10-24 02:36

    Was it the subject itself or the writing that made the book tedious? Character development or the character herself that seems shallow? Likely some of each, and certainly in too many pages. When Elizabeth’s stage-mother molds her, against her father's wishes, into a one-trick pony, the most beautiful woman in the world, she creates a monster. This is the story of the path of a child who is both spoiled and made to become what her mother wanted to be and could not. The child grows into an adult, beautiful in appearance but completely self centered and notoriously difficult to work or be friends with. This emphasis on beauty becomes both Elizabeth’s undoing and salvation in the end, for as Hollywood replaces her with younger beauties, she finally comes to terms with her addictions and abusiveness, and starts cultivating some humanitarianism. Now, if this were fiction, wouldn’t the plot seem trite? And don’t get me started on her worship of jewelry.

  • Jeniffer
    2018-11-19 01:32

    Unbelievable that this woman died at age 79, only this year!! Some of you may think, well my grandmother is 99 or 105 but after reading this book (if you accept my recommendation) you will understand why I think she should have been dead long before. Her good friend, Michael Jackson, died at a younger age and before her, unfortunately. Between her drug and alcohol abuse, attempted suicides, numerous illnesses and surgeries, I am shocked that in my generation I was able to know about Elizabeth Taylor, but I truly didn't until I read this book. J. Randy Taraborrelli kept me intrigued, which is not hard when its a celebrity, however, he did tend to jump from time in history back and forth making it a little hard to know which came first but I figured it out. If you want more than just what you read in the tabloids or saw on tv while your parents eagerly watched what she would do next. Then you have to read this book. All EIGHT husbands worth of it!

  • Leigh
    2018-11-09 22:49

    OK obviously I haven't picked up any Joyce or Dostoyevsky for my summer reading. The other one I read was the new Harry Potter, nuff said. I'm not apologizing but owning it! This was totally entertaining-- love Liz! Fave excerpt: The eye-witness account of Liz's 50th birthday party in New York in the early 1980's. This is when she was in her "fat stage" and was a raging alchoholic. Richard Burton shows up (they've been long since divorced)and is decrepit/on the verge of death from alchohol. Liz drunkenly grabs him and drags to the middle of the dance floor and proceeds to do an "erotic harem dance" around him, whilst he looks uncomfortable and confused. Even more entertaining is that she's wearing what is described as a "Halston caftan". I crack up every time I picture this scene. Enjoy!

  • Amee
    2018-10-29 00:47

    I've loved Elizabeth since I watched "National Velvet" as a young, horse-obsessed girl. I knew that she'd had a busy life, but I had no idea! This book was a definite page turner, and I was captivated by Elizabeth's life. I really enjoyed learning more about her and everything she's gone through in her life. although some may say she was nothing but self centered and spoiled, I have even more respect for her after this book. She endured a lot and was almost molded into who she became, and it was tragic at times. I loved reading about everything she did in her later years too, especially her work as an AIDS activist. The writing was fine for me. Not the best, but the book still flowed quickly and easily for me. This is the first Elizabeth Taylor biography I've read, so I can't vouch for whether or not there's a better one out there.

  • Sylvia Porter-hall
    2018-10-25 22:34

    I truly enjoyed reading about the very colorful and eventful life of Elizabeth Taylor. I've always liked her as an actress and appreciated her need to be charitable and give of her time and money to help others. (namely the Aides Foundation). This was a very detailed account of events that happened throughout the course of this wonderful actress's life. Her many loves, the attempts - the fails, the triumphs and the battles that she fought to become one of the most successful and sought after actresses of her time. Reading this book took me back to the time that she lived through all these instances. J. Randy Taraborrelli has a way of penning Elizabeth Taylor's story in such a way, I almost felt like I was there! Great read!

  • Anna
    2018-11-03 20:33

    Taraborrelli did a great job of telling how Elizabeth Taylor became a star, and what made her become who she was as a person. Decently written, although it relies heavily on published quotes from other materials.At times, it felt like Taraborrelli was making excuses for her poor decisions, and the fact that the author is a huge Elizabeth fan certainly came through, which makes me doubt some its credibility. One really annoying thing is that the author references photos of Elizabeth in the text on multiple occasions (photos that illustrate some point he's making or some timeline he's describing), but doesn't include those in the center photo pages in the book... why talk about a photo if you aren't going to show me? Overall it was a good, entertaining read.

  • Joy
    2018-11-16 23:51

    This is the first biography on Elizabeth Taylor that I've read, so I can't compare it to other books about her life. I enjoyed it alot, especially the chapters about her years with Richard Burton. I've always been fascinated with these two and their tempestuous relationship and feel that he was the love of her life, even though they just couldn't make it together for the long haul. One thing I liked about this book is that it's divided into fairly short chapters that cover her life from early childhood. The author seems to be genuinely fond of her and respectful, even when covering sensitive subjects. When Elizabeth passed, the world lost one of the last great movie stars but, through her films, she lives on in our memories.

  • Teressa
    2018-10-27 22:48

    I seem to retain my interest in biographies and picked this book up as something to read while commuting on the train to work. From reading this book I have decided that I do not admire Elizabeth Taylor and will try to avoid being such self centered person.It is interesting to note that after Elizabeth went to the Betty Ford center to come off of drugs and alcohol she became a philanthropist and was an adamant AIDS activist. I wonder if this implies that human nature is inherently good.Overall I think this book only holds value to me in so much as it keeps me from being a complete dunce when it comes to social name dropping; I now know who people are referring to when they mention Elizabeth Taylor.

  • Jessica
    2018-10-27 23:53

    At first I really liked the book, because I was so used to thinking about Elizabeth Taylor as a joke that I never realized she'd once been a HUGE star. It was cool to hear about her beginnings and how huge of a star she was, though I got the sense she was really a mediocre actress with a few good performances, the first celebrity who was famous just from being famous. Toward the end of the book, however, I felt like the author stopped being objective and slipped into fan boy territory. The last 200 pages or so were a lot of fawning over how great an actress she'd been, etc. That was incredibly difficult to get through for me, and ruined my total enjoyment of the book.

  • Sera
    2018-10-28 23:36

    Since reading Blonde, I've been developing an affinity for reading biographies. This book is a biography about Elizabeth Taylor. It's not written that well, but it's well-researched and filled with juicy tidbits of many famous people (Nicky Hilton - oh my!) that I really enjoyed it. However, it's also in some ways a sad story of someone who became famous very early, but as you know, this woman emerges triumphant. A really interesting book about not only Taylor, but also how Hollywood treats its actors, especially women.

  • Victoria Johnston
    2018-10-24 23:40

    I was not a massive Elizabeth Taylor fan before reading this book. I always thought she was a little bit high and mighty and as a Richard Burton fan I was always a bit more inclined to be Team Burton! However my opinion of Elizabeth Taylor has totally altered after reading this book. She wasn;t quite as black and white as all that and did admirable works for charity - espcially with reference to the AIDS charities from the 1980's onwards.I really enjoyed this book and it has inspired me to read more about her as a singular person rather than as a part of "Burton and Taylor".

  • Suzanne
    2018-11-17 21:52

    Interesting read; to put all the info. on Ms. Taylor in one book. She had an unbelievable life w/ very highs and very lows. Her mother's influence on her can not be underestimated - the ultimate "stage-door" mother. She began acting at such a young age and did so many films that I do not believe she had a chance to establish her identity before she was thrown into to the than very patriarchal studio system.

  • Julie O'Neal
    2018-11-05 01:43

    This biography on Elizabeth Taylor is well-researched and entertaining. Taraborrelli reflects on this starlet's troubled life from her over-bearing stage mother, to her battle with substance abuse, to spousal abuse, and her eight marriages. The reader learns how Elizabeth turned her fading career as an aging actress to become a major philanthropist and AIDS activist as well as a hugely successful entrepreneur.

  • Kristy
    2018-11-01 20:35

    This book came at another time in my life when I needed some escape reading. I was in intern hell and had enough. Elizabeth Taylor is to me another example of the person who pushes through life, does what she wants, accepts the consequences/blemishes like a champ, and lives a thoroughly interesting life. Love her.The writing was average. Nothing special, nothing terrible. The story is what kept me hooked. There's likely a better Elizabeth Taylor biography.

  • Kristin
    2018-11-10 23:49

    basically she's in lotsa movies where her acting is acceptable and nothing more, she was difficult to work with but everyone loved her because she's gorgeous. It was cool to hear about all the behind the scense stuff that went on during all the movies. She did have a little depth and worked hard to help people with AIDS which is commendable. All in all I'll give her one thing, you never know what she'll do next.

  • Marina Jenkins
    2018-10-29 02:31

    I didn't know anything about Elizabeth Taylor until it was announced that she had died, I looked her up on the internet and gathered that she was extraordinarily beautiful. Just recently I found this book and decided to get to know her. I love this book, you become very attached to the woman and not only know she's beautiful on the outside but also the inside, even though she had her faults. Her struggles made her relatable, and I've come to love her for the woman she was.