Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner, Nancy Schoenberger

“He was a tough-guy Welshman softened by the affections of a breathtakingly beautiful woman; she was a modern-day Cleopatra madly in love with her own Mark Antony. For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romance (often called “the marriage of the century”) was the most notorious, publicized, and celebrated love affair of its day.”

What was good about Furious Love (AbeBooks) (Amazon)? so many people in the story, including Elizabeth Taylor, were interviewed for this book or at least gave their blessing. Richard’s widow also allowed the author access to his personal diaries and writings. The bad: the book was repetitive at times. I mean, how many times can Elizabeth’s figure be described as “voluptuous” and Richard’s face as “pock marked” from cystic acne? Furious Love could have used some serious editing.

Most of the book was spent on the build up of the relationship. Then, just as things were coasting along with happiness and sunshine and lots of love, the breakup happens with little explanation. It just came out of nowhere, which is probably not how it happened in real life. I would have appreciated more depth in this section.

Furious Love is worth a read if you like Old Hollywood stories, because Burton and Taylor were the last of that dying breed, but remember that this is a Hollywood biography, not great literature.

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