Posted on: August 7, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Elizabeth / 2007 Hachette Book Group / 678M / 5:00 / /

Elizabeth was written by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Taraborrelli may best be known for all of eir other biographies, which include those about Diana Ross, Carol Burnett, Michael Jackson, Cher, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, and the work about the females linked to the Kennedy clan, ‘Jackie, Ethel, and Joan’. This book is about Elizabeth Taylor, and goes in a chronological order rather than trying to link the later years of eir life with earlier events at the onset. This natural progression makes reading this nearly seven hundred page book much easier. The inclusion of a large photo section during the middle of the book provides illustration for some of the individuals and events that occurred in Taylor’s life.

While it is a cost-cutting measure to go and put a section of the special paper in the middle of a book, Elizabeth’s first problem is not having the illustrations be scattered throughout the entirety of the book. If Taylor is three months old and there is a picture of eir, go and put it near the place in the narrative that corresponds to Taylor at that age. However, this is a most minor of problems considering the solid writing skills of J. Randy Taraborrelli. Where a number of biographies go forth and merely attempt to regurgitate the facts that anyone that had a half-way decent grasp of Taylor’s life could recite, Elizabeth goes beyond that in that there is actually a narrative present. It is not fact after fact, detached from each other but rather is a story, in which actions taken earlier influence later actions, and so on.

What may just be the best section of the book is the chapter entitled “Cast of Characters”. Much like the end of “Goodfellas”, this section goes and expounds on the lives and times of a number of characters that were important in Taylor’s life. The information that is present about a number of these people would not normally have worked in the narrative present in ‘Elizabeth’ but gives readers an idea about how these people turned out, should readers be curious. I was not a big fan of Elizabeth Taylor before this book, but the dedication of Taraborrelli to tell an interesting story is amazing, and I have no doubt after this book hits that individuals will flock to see all the work of Taylor in its’ original glory. Here’s to hoping that Taraborrelli’s unauthorized biography on Diana Ross is at this same high level.

Rating: 6.8/10

Leave a Comment