ELIZABETH TAYLOR by Ruth aterbury


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In doing Elizabeth Taylor up as a sort of ""nasty-nice"" girl next door who offers from a bad case of beauty, the author employs the lowest grade of movie magazine prose (e.g. After Mike Todd's death, ""Through many a sleepless midsummer ight she paced about her house. The perfumes of the flowers in her garden wafted to her, the night birds sang and her stout blood ran hot through her veins."") Perhaps the biographer's blood wasn't stout enough to allow her to go back and read herself, because her pages are rife with inconsistencies -- Taylor needs solitude/ aylor needs crowds; Taylor needs Mummy/Mummy is a villain; Taylor works over big oles/Taylor never worked hard at a part before Cleopatra. And the dialogue. The reader is a fly on the wall for every proposition and proposal. It may be accidentally accurate that Elizabeth has a penchant for murmuring. ""Yes, yes, Darling, oh yes!"" but from Nicky Hilton on to circa Burton, the men sound incredible and prove to be as disposable as Kleenex. After much suffering, the subject discovers the profound truth that it's nice to have a man around the house. Anybody's. Basically a simple girl, she wants to come home at night, ""and relax and make love, preferably both"". The stunning question that ends a dreadful book is, ""Was Sarah Bernhardt more of a woman, more of a beauty than Elizabeth Taylor?"" Probably not ma'am, but the rumor persists that she could act. Too expensive at half this price.

Publisher: ppleton-Century