Except for the opening chapter in which there's an embarras de radiances and goddesses, Payne's film-by-film rerun does little to justify ""the great Garbo"" save for the fact of her presence in a great many execrable films. Rising above them were Queen Christina primarily, Anna Karenina in spots, and Camille, but for the most part--after her strict tutelage under Maurice Stiller--she was the victim of poor vehicles, directors, and co-stars. Payne says almost nothing of her personal life (one line for the putative romance with Gilbert) nor her departure after her last film into total anonymity. His all-purpose prose and scanty material fill in very little behind the dark glasses or below the large felt hat. One is reminded of the infinitely more graceful and revealing Bainbridge book of 1955, which you may be lucky enough to still have around.