• by C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A lush, dramatic biographical novel of one of the most glamorous and alluring legends of Hollywood's golden age, Marlene Dietrich - from the gender-bending cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the lush film studios of Hollywood, a sweeping story of passion, glamour, ambition, art, and war from the author of Mademoiselle Chanel.
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. When a budding career as a violinist is cut short, the willful teenager vows to become a singer, trading her family's proper middle-class society for the free-spirited, louche world of Weimar Berlin's cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, seductive silk cocktail dresses, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention.
For the beautiful, desirous Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler and the Nazis rise to power, she sets sail for America. Rivaling the success of another European import, Greta Garbo, Marlene quickly becomes one of Hollywood's leading ladies, starring with legends such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. Desperate for her return, Hitler tries to lure her with dazzling promises. Marlene instead chooses to become an American citizen, and after her new nation is forced into World War II, she tours with the USO, performing for thousands of Allied troops in Europe and Africa.
But one day she returns to Germany. Escorted by General George Patton himself, Marlene is heartbroken by the war's devastation and the evil legacy of the Third Reich that has transformed her homeland and the family she loved.
An enthralling and insightful account of this extraordinary legend, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Marlene a famous actress.

Who knew Marlene was a Major? This book was extremely interesting because it traced the beginning of movies and entertainment during 1920 after the first World War through the Second World War. Marlene was a determined person to pursue her entertainment talents to the apex of her profession. The insight into the German mindset that allowed Hitler to take-over Europe and start the world war was fascinating. The fact that she became a movie star and gave more performances than any other star showed the strength that she had to live her life on her terms. Story of a strong woman who learn to succeed in a mans world before women became liberated in the 1960's. Her belief on marriage and family relationships was unique in lifetime.
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- Lana Lee Plum

I didn't want it end! C. W. Gortner, you've done it again!

I remember this actress though I'm not sure a lot of young people will unless they are movie buffs. I always loved her. She was quick, bright, and sharp! She could convey so much with face and eyes!

If you watch AMC, watch out for her!

Bernadette Dunne's reading was right on. I'll be checking to see if I might enjoy any other books she's narrated that I might enjoy.
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- HODGEPODGESPV "I have two rescue dogs. One Scottish born husband. And a love of books that goes back to childhood and bookmobiles!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-24-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio