Saturday, August 26, 2006

Some Of What I'm Reading This Month

The Last Playboy : The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa
by Shawn Levy

Profiro Rubirosa led the most fascinating life, you will find his name littered amongst the biographies of all the 20th century’s greatest women. His famed liaisons included nobility Royalty and Movie Stars and amongst the conquests were such luminaries as Christina Onassis Rita Hayworth, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eartha Kitt, Ava Gardner, Eva Peron, and Empress Soraya of Iran. His friends included Sinatra, The kennedys, Aly Khan and King Farouk and he married a French movie star, a dictators daughter and the worlds two richest women; Barbara Hutton and Doris Duke.

Not bad for a man born into genteel poverty in The Dominican Republic. He was also a man of colour, who not only knew all of, the almost exclusively white, cafĂ© society, he was one of its inventors. In his short 56 year life he would become The Dominican Republic’s most famous export and it’s un-official and sometimes official Ambassador.

As well as a minor diplomatic career he was a polo player, racing driver, jewel thief, treasure hunter and kept man. Famed for being larger than life in every way! (he was reportedly hung like a horse) Shawn Levy brings this fascinatingly, complex and glamorous man to life in an engrossing and very entertaining story of the world’s last playboy.

Highly Recommended

**** Stars

Buy The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa at Amazon

My Lives: An Autobiography
by Edmund White

I am a huge fan of Edmund White’s fiction so was really looking forward to this extensive autobiography. Alas I was sadly disappointed, whilst I still love his work the man turned out to be fairly un-loveable.

I appreciate writers who want to give us the real story of their lives as opposed to some whitewashed and sanitised version but there is a limit. I don’t need to know about every sordid sexual practice and liason in a person’s life to truly understand them and Mr White seemed to take an almost salacious pleasure in shocking his readers with every grimy detail.

In future I will, stick to his fiction.

** Stars

Buy My Lives: An Autobiography at Amazon

Bette Davis Speaks
by Boze Hadleigh

This book is a compilation of more than a dozen interviews conducted with the author and Bette Davis from the mid-1970s until her death in which she candidly expounds on a broad spectrum of people and personal feelings, many which probably displeased the person discussed. Topics range from her philosophy on acting and the public's misconceptions of Hollywood personalities to steamier topics such as casting couches, cheating spouses and rival co-stars.

Knowing they would not be published till after her death Bette goes for the jugular and you can almost hear her voice as she decimates rivals, co stars and fellow actors alike. Some people have claimed the interviews to be fiction as Bette was rarely rude about people in public. I beg to differ toward the end of her life Bette was often vitriolic and downright bitchy!

An excellent and very amusing read.

**** Stars

Buy Bette Davis Speaks at Amazon


ahmed said...

But I thought you were the last playboy Myles!?

Laura said...

Ahhh Bette! This sounds like a great read. I've a great picture of her chainsmoking in her armchair looking old and jaded and the look of bitchin' in her eyes. Fanastic. What would she now eh?