Wizard's First Rule Audio Cassette – Abridged, Jul 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Hollywood biographer Leaming presents a detailed account of the professional and personal life of Hepburn, the only star to ever win four Oscars for best actress.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
One might rightly wonder what there is left to say about actress Hepburn, since she has already been extensively written about and interviewed and has written her autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life (Knopf, 1991). But biographer Leaming (If This Is Happiness, LJ 9/1/89) has managed to add a whole new perspective to what is already known. Leaming starts this biography not with Hepburn's birth and early life but with her mother Kathy (known later as Kate). Kathy's mother, Carrie, was forced to take charge of her three girls after the suicide of her husband, Fred. Carrie's courage, strength, and fervid desire for her daughters to be educated led Kathy to become a leader in the early women's movement. These role models together helped shape the woman we know as Katharine Hepburn. Leaming hypothesizes, however, that Hepburn was also driven by the shadow of suicide, which took her brother Tom as well. This is less a gossipy, glitzy celebrity bio and more an exploration of the New England social mores that shaped this living legend. Highly recommended.?Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. Sys., Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Having fabricated the fictional relationship between Katharine Hepburn and John Ford, the author then uses it to denigrate Hepburn's real long time love, Spencer Tracy. Leaming makes incredibly scurrilous and completely undocumented statements about Tracy such as that his supposed veneral disease caused his son's deafness. Ms. Leaming fails to offer even one iota of evidence for this outrageous statement.
Page after page of this book is full of wildly fanceful speculations passed off as fact. What are we to make of the following passage at page 393:
"If Tracy wondered whether, or how Ford would react to news of the affair with Kate, he did not have to wait long to find out. On September 3, five days after shooting on Woman of the Year began, Ford suddenly left town under mysterious circumstances. . . .Ostensibly, Ford's sudden, rather theatrical departure had nothing to do with Kate. Still, there can be no question that it shadowed her relationship with Tracy from the start. A man of Tracy's tormented and deeply suspicious nature could never accept that Ford's timing had been purely coincidental. . . . "
So, according to Ms. Leaming, John Ford left Los Angeles and joined the military because he was upset that Katharine Hepburn had become involved with Spencer Tracy and further she asserts that Spencer Tracy knew this and was 'tormented' by it. How silly can one author get?Read more ›
The author is delusional and puts forth her own agenda totally ignoring facts. She has this unrequited love between John Ford and Katharine which only she has ever wrote about. Unfortunately since them other writers take it as truth.
Kate herself said in her "All About Me" documentary that despite what many thought she was never romantically involved with him. Yet according to this author this was the love of Kate's life when everyone knows it was without a doubt Spencer Tracy who this author totally deems a horrible human being.
A total BS book lets hope someone out there can write as close to the truth book on this great lady not this trashy drivel????
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
By Barbara Leaming
Avon Books, ISBN 0-380-72717-X, US $7.50
Katharine Hepburn - Grand Dame of the movie industry for the better part of this century, admired by millions, yet also at the root of some controversy over the decades. Her life reads like a novel, spiced with mysteries and secrets. Hardly any other woman in this century has triggered the imagination of admirers and enemies as much as she.
I have to confess to being a big fan of Ms. Hepburn. Ever since I saw The Philadelphia Story on TV as a small child in Germany, I admired her courageousness, her elegance, her beauty and strength, not to mention her outstanding talent, which is why I was looking forward to reading Barbara Leaming's account of Ms. Hepburn's life. I was in for a very pleasant surprise indeed. <Picture: Book cover>
Starting years before "Katie" was born, Ms. Leaming narrates the life of the family which would become Ms. Hepburn's. The reader accompanies her maternal grandparents and her mother through difficult years. Left an orphan at an early age, Katharine Houghton was responsible not only to fulfill her mother's dream of an education for her own daughters, but also to fight the overbearing powers of Uncle Amory, a stern miser with a mind as to what proper girls were to do and not to do. Some time after finishing college at Bryn Mawr, Katharine married a young doctor, trying to unite her fight for equal rights for women and openmindedness about the facts of life with the somewhat surprising conservative demands of husband Tom Hepburn. It was she who gave her daughter the strength to stand up for her own, but also she who was role model for her daughter's later devoted relationships with men.
Hardly a book to be put down lightly, KATHARINE HEPBURN is a rather complete account of my favourite actress' life. There is only one thing that disturbed me a bit, and that was the fact that her later years, from the late 60s onwards, were hardly mentioned. Ms. Hepburn has been very active since Spencer Tracy's death - and still is - and I would have liked to read what she did with her life outside of theatre, movie and TV studios since. I would have liked to read what she herself has to say about modern America, about were women stand now, about her view of life as seen from old age.
But maybe, just maybe, there might be a sequel someday? If there is, I will make sure to get my hands on it the moment it comes off the press.
---Reviewed by Sylvia Lau-McDonald
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