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Reading this book was like witnessing a violent car accident. You can't turn away, you have to see (read) it through even though in many places you just want to stop and you kind of know in advance that there will be no happy ending and indeed there is not.
The writing style is nothing to "write" home about but one must remember that this book was written in the latter 80's, early 90's for readers' sensibilities back then. It's especially annoying when Mr. Thorson editorializes about gay life and culture using simplistic and hackneyed cliches that are entirely laughable now-a-days.
The narration by Peter Berkrot was spectacular. One felt one was listening to Thorson in person, and the narrator's vocal inflections of Mr. Liberace are worth any downside that the rather bland narrative otherwise presents.
As for the actual events and behaviors presented by the book of Mr. Thorson's life with Lee Liberace and what to think of them, it would be unfair to judge either party. There was presented enough nauseating dysfunction for both men to last ten families ten lifetimes.
In the end, I felt very sad for Mr. Thorson. I believe to this day that he still loves Lee Liberace and will die doing so. It's just such a shame that people have to go through this soft of thing as it affects them until their death. Best of luck to Mr. Thorsen. Rest in peace, Mr. Liberace.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I like biographies, but I am dubious about the accuracy of this one! While I’m sure this is Scott’s honest recollections, I have a hard time believing that he was so innocent and that he didn’t know what he was getting into. Ok yes, he was 18 and maybe a little naïve… but I don’t buy the innocent deer-in-the-headlights routine.
You know what they say: there are always 3 sides to every story – his version, her version, and the truth. The book was interesting, yet felt a little tawdry, and therefore lost some credibility for me.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Behind the Candelabra in three words, what would they be?
Sad. Shocking eyeopening
Who was your favorite character and why?
Probably Liberace himself though sometimes because of his stage act you forget how talented he was as a pianist it also shows if you have enough money you can cover up anything that you want to
Would you listen to another book narrated by Peter Berkrot?
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
How to spend your whole life living a lie
Any additional comments?
Scott could have walked away from the situation at any time obviously it suited him not to
Would you consider the audio edition of Behind the Candelabra to be better than the print version?
Yes, I would advise anyone to sit back and listen to the truth. It took me around a week. I am sure some would prefer listening to it in a day.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Behind the Candelabra?
I was surprised the at the beginning of Liberace's life was interesting and surprised at how hard he worked. I loved listening to their life on the road and how they entertained guests. The break up of the relationship was inevitable. However, unforgettable is the last paragraph (the end) and their last conversation.
What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?
Overall he was very good throughout.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
How Scott Thorson got hooked on drugs, and how he was asked to leave the Liberace estate.
Any additional comments?
I am glad the book did not get carried away with sex scenes.