Hot Best Seller

Harlow: An Intimate Biography

Availability: Ready to download

Shows why no star has ever blazed with such a light or left such an afterglow.


Compare

Shows why no star has ever blazed with such a light or left such an afterglow.

30 review for Harlow: An Intimate Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    As time slouches forward more and more of what was once popular - movies, music and novels, and everything - passes over into the land of the frankly incomprehensible. Is Charlie Chaplin still funny? A dwindling band of cinephiles say so, slightly more say Buster Keaton is, slightly more say the Marx Brothers still are... but what non-geek under the age of 40 will voluntarily watch a black and white movie from before the age of colour? Jean Harlow was once, briefly, a screen goddess, but she see As time slouches forward more and more of what was once popular - movies, music and novels, and everything - passes over into the land of the frankly incomprehensible. Is Charlie Chaplin still funny? A dwindling band of cinephiles say so, slightly more say Buster Keaton is, slightly more say the Marx Brothers still are... but what non-geek under the age of 40 will voluntarily watch a black and white movie from before the age of colour? Jean Harlow was once, briefly, a screen goddess, but she seems like a caricature to us now, all beestung lips, white hair and strange lizardlike movements. Sometimes, like in the excellent Libelled Lady, she gives the impression of being great fun, but mostly, as in the insane melodrama China Seas she vamps around in the way only drag queens do now. Novels age better than movies but still, the vast majority of even great fiction over, let's say, 50 years old is only read because it's on a required reading list. Except Jane Austen, that is. She seems to be the exception that proves that rule. It's possible, though - I bet there was a time - say, in the 1970s - when every other young woman didn't HAVE to read Jane Austen. Popular music, being more technologically driven, has specific hurdles to overcome before contemporary ears can hear it - I think 1965 was the first year that records were made which actually sound modern, maybe something to do with the engineers finally getting a good drum sound. I have a naive hope that something like "I'm Down" or "I Fought the Law" or "Like a Rolling Stone" will last for centuries because they just sound so great but when the 50 year olds who currently control rock criticism die off, maybe not. It's a melancholy thought that however great an artist's work is it will in a few decades become impossible to hear, see or read without having to be festooned with explications and a blizzard of footnotes. Citizen Kane used to be the greatest movie ever, but not now. No one except us few bookgeeks reads Dickens for pleasure. The opposite of this argument is the Robert Johnson Effect. This is where someone who was completely obscure in their own times is rediscovered by the geeks and then - very rarely - is parlayed by cunning marketing into being the cool style accessory du jour. Robert Johnson sold a few hundred 78s in the 1930s, but the cd in the 1990s sold over a million. Likewise The Buena Vista Social Club, and in recent years Nick Drake and Vashti Bunyan. All these odd cases are worth consideration and it's much easier to do this with music which takes much less time to buy and consume than books or movies. All of our cherished art will become cartoons, all will grow a carapace of inscrutability and it will take dedicated cultural miners in the future to haul them all back to the crowded surface for the crowd to puzzle over and scratch their heads and wonder what kind of creatures liked them in the first place. Poor Jean - she'll never be sexy again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Harlow: An Intimate Biography isn't a biography at all. Its really Historical Fiction. Harlow: An Intimate Biography has full overly dramatic dialogue, sex scenes, and its told from the perspective of Jean Harlow's agent. At the beginning of this "biography", the author states that he met Jean Harlow's agent and interviewed but that doesn't explain why he takes on the author's pov. Either write a biography or write Historical Fiction. The author Irving Shulman is a very talented writer and if I Harlow: An Intimate Biography isn't a biography at all. Its really Historical Fiction. Harlow: An Intimate Biography has full overly dramatic dialogue, sex scenes, and its told from the perspective of Jean Harlow's agent. At the beginning of this "biography", the author states that he met Jean Harlow's agent and interviewed but that doesn't explain why he takes on the author's pov. Either write a biography or write Historical Fiction. The author Irving Shulman is a very talented writer and if I had known that this "biography" wasn't really a biography and was instead historical fiction I wouldn't have been so annoyed. Because of the way in which the book was written I never knew what aspects of the book were true and which were made up for dramatic effect. No rec.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    To everyone who is actually reading this book and enjoying it: STOP. All the information in this book (every last bit of it) has been 100% disproved and discredited since its publication. No, seriously. ALL of it is false. Even really basic information that the author should have known if he had bothered to do any research about Jean. He simply wrote a piece of fiction very loosely based on Jean's life. It's a disgusting book that tarnished Jean's reputation for decades. She was one of the lovel To everyone who is actually reading this book and enjoying it: STOP. All the information in this book (every last bit of it) has been 100% disproved and discredited since its publication. No, seriously. ALL of it is false. Even really basic information that the author should have known if he had bothered to do any research about Jean. He simply wrote a piece of fiction very loosely based on Jean's life. It's a disgusting book that tarnished Jean's reputation for decades. She was one of the loveliest, sweetest stars of all time, and she didn't deserve to have lies spread about her like this. Everyone who knew Jean and worked with her agrees that this "bio" is RUBBISH. So stop reading it! Jeeeeez.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kailey

    Don't read this book, they say Jean is exactly like the people she played in the movies that she did, and nothing could be further from the truth. I suggest reading "Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow" - this guy actually did research :) Don't read this book, they say Jean is exactly like the people she played in the movies that she did, and nothing could be further from the truth. I suggest reading "Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow" - this guy actually did research :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Salacious junk that has since been thoroughly discredited. There are much better written, more truthful bios of Jean Harlow seek out one of those instead.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    Jean Harlow was one of the classic movie goddesses who lit up the screen for me. I first noticed her in the Laurel and Hardy short, DOUBLE WHOOPEE, and the I recall seeing some revealing photos in Kenneth Anger's, HOLLYWOOD BABYLON. When I found a used paperback copy of this in a bookstore, I was immediately drawn to it. Just what was her story? Well, BOMBSHELL had more of the factual details, but this one seems to have gotten the emotional details right. From all that I've read, the personalit Jean Harlow was one of the classic movie goddesses who lit up the screen for me. I first noticed her in the Laurel and Hardy short, DOUBLE WHOOPEE, and the I recall seeing some revealing photos in Kenneth Anger's, HOLLYWOOD BABYLON. When I found a used paperback copy of this in a bookstore, I was immediately drawn to it. Just what was her story? Well, BOMBSHELL had more of the factual details, but this one seems to have gotten the emotional details right. From all that I've read, the personality shown here was the real Jean Harlow. It is astonishing to think that such a victim of the Hollywood system could have delivered such enjoyable performances, even when they were painful for her. I suppose that's why my favorite Harlow film is LIBELED LADY. It is obvious that she is enjoying herself in that one, and that happiness only makes the audience want to get to know her better. The backstage stories are most interesting. How could a place that specialized in happy endings have so missed this one?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Verna

    I was surprised to learn the true story of Jean Harlow's short and tragic life . I had seen the 1970's movie with Carol Baker portraiting Harlow, but there were no specific details like in this book. While Jean Harlow was regarded in her day as the platinum blonde bombshell sex symbol, she was in reality nothing of the kind. Harlow was unfortunate enough to become the victim of several people in her personal life she was close to. These intimate relationships ultimately led to her untimely demis I was surprised to learn the true story of Jean Harlow's short and tragic life . I had seen the 1970's movie with Carol Baker portraiting Harlow, but there were no specific details like in this book. While Jean Harlow was regarded in her day as the platinum blonde bombshell sex symbol, she was in reality nothing of the kind. Harlow was unfortunate enough to become the victim of several people in her personal life she was close to. These intimate relationships ultimately led to her untimely demise in a most sad and horrible way. The few people who impacted her life in a positive and caring manner could not save her even though they tried. I think most people who read this book will be saddened by this tragedy played out in the brief life of one of Hollywood's most famous film stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This little paperback that I started reading at someone's cottage turned into a real eye opener and an amazing account of Jean Harlow's life with assistance from her agent. This little paperback made me a die hard fan of this amazing woman with such a tragic life. Thanks to this, I can appreciate her TCM movies so much more. A must read for Harlow fan's or of old Hollywood. This little paperback that I started reading at someone's cottage turned into a real eye opener and an amazing account of Jean Harlow's life with assistance from her agent. This little paperback made me a die hard fan of this amazing woman with such a tragic life. Thanks to this, I can appreciate her TCM movies so much more. A must read for Harlow fan's or of old Hollywood.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    So far I am very impressed, Shulman's writing style is very good. I feel as if I am reading a great fiction novel instead of a boring play by play of Harlow's life. She seems to me to have been a "little girl lost". Can't wait to finish this book. The ending did not disappoint, I cried as I read of Harlow's tragic death and understand why so many grieved at her passing. So far I am very impressed, Shulman's writing style is very good. I feel as if I am reading a great fiction novel instead of a boring play by play of Harlow's life. She seems to me to have been a "little girl lost". Can't wait to finish this book. The ending did not disappoint, I cried as I read of Harlow's tragic death and understand why so many grieved at her passing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I had always wanted to read about Harlow...very good, interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda Boyd

    Jean Harlow: An Intimate Biography by Irving Shulman - This was more the intimate fantasy of the author and now I'm interested in reading a more truthful biography of the star next! Jean Harlow: An Intimate Biography by Irving Shulman - This was more the intimate fantasy of the author and now I'm interested in reading a more truthful biography of the star next!

  12. 4 out of 5

    George

    A detailed biography of the 1930's Hollywood actress Jean Harlow. It is dated, 1964, and provides inside information regarding the Hollywood movie industry. A detailed biography of the 1930's Hollywood actress Jean Harlow. It is dated, 1964, and provides inside information regarding the Hollywood movie industry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Graceann

    This version of the Harlow story was a bit more salacious than I would have liked, but I stuck with it anyhow. I'm sure that the David Stenn biography of Miss Harlow will be a much better read. This version of the Harlow story was a bit more salacious than I would have liked, but I stuck with it anyhow. I'm sure that the David Stenn biography of Miss Harlow will be a much better read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Paul Bryant gives us an indictment on past history as a know nothing millennial instead of a book review. They would write a novel about millennials accomplishments but nobody is interested in how to eat Tide Pods and pose for selfies. The great generations of immigrants who won 2 World Wars and built the country including the movie industry deserve better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve Higgins

    An interesting book in a lot of ways but the author seems to jump for a novel style with lots of dialogue to a serious historical style. He says he got the information in the book from Jeans former agent. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. I think I’ll read some more about Jean Harlot before I make my mind up

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Shulman should have stuck to writing about West Side Story. Terrible, gossipy hatchet job. Poor Jean, even in death she got screwed over. Unfortunately it was the only Jean Harlow bio available in the early 80s when I read it. Thank you Eve Golden and David Stenn for writing about her since then.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Fanciful historical fiction at best of the life of Jean Harlow. So much of this is made up, that all we be be sure of is that Jean Harlow existed, as did the other people in this story. 📍I found a copy to read at InternetArchive.org

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book contained much information I didn't know, but there was something discomfiting about the author's writing style and treatment of the subject. (Perhaps it was his obsession with her nipples.) Shulman's writing seemed somehow both detached and voyeuristic. I'm looking forward to reading another book about Jean Harlow to see if I can pinpoint what bothered me about this one. This book contained much information I didn't know, but there was something discomfiting about the author's writing style and treatment of the subject. (Perhaps it was his obsession with her nipples.) Shulman's writing seemed somehow both detached and voyeuristic. I'm looking forward to reading another book about Jean Harlow to see if I can pinpoint what bothered me about this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Freeland

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carole

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Topi Timonen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael Anderson

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Milam

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  29. 5 out of 5

    TMM

  30. 4 out of 5

    Skye

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...