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Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothingby Lee Server
"Ava Gardner had countless lovers, and it is likely that not even six hundred pages allows Server to list them all. As a book, this is a lot less compelling than his revelatory study of Robert Mitchum; but a male author, I daresay, took heart in discovering the ways in which Mitchum did care and just masked his artistic soul. Yet Ava Gardner had really given up the ghost: she really didn't care, or care to be cared for." David Thomson, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
This biography of one of the screen's most loved actresses, Ava Gardner, whose career has spanned five decades is as dramatic and compelling as many of her famous roles. In this unique bio-bibliography, the actress's marriages to three of the entertainment business's most influential contributors are chronicled as are her dozens of classic roles in a comprehensive filmography. This bio-bibliography is made complete with a careful list of sources and a generous view of her life through pictures.
"At the ripe old age of 32, having collected three ex-husbands — Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra — Ava Gardner waxed introspective: 'I still believe the most important thing in life is to be loved.' Server's (Baby, I Don't Care) deliciously entertaining tome bursts with Hollywood dish and Oscar-worthy dialogue and is written in a crackling style that reads like great pulp. 'Love became her terrible habit,' he writes, 'something hopeless to resist, impossible to get right.' A Tobacco Road urchin turned 'statue of Venus sprung to succulent life,' Gardner ditched her secretarial aspirations and started at MGM in the early '40s as a contract actress earning $50 a week. She became an international star, drawing huge crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. But life wasn't always sweet for the gorgeous star of Show Boat and The Barefoot Contessa; her steamy affair and marriage to Sinatra ranks among the most notorious of Hollywood love stories. Gardner's career, hard drinking and screen-worthy love affairs are all chronicled in Server's page-turner prose, doing justice to one of cinema's most beautiful faces." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"For no matter how objective Server tries to appear in detailing the highs and lows of her 67 years...he cannot really hide his essential fondness for her. It is the kind of affection virtually every one of the more than 100 people he interviewed felt and spoke of with enthusiasm, the kind a reader too will find hard to resist." Peter Bogdanovich, New York Times
"While author Lee Server sometimes lapses into a summary of one movie plot after another, he dishes up a fascinating and moving portrait of a troubled, extraordinary woman who was thrust into Hollywood with no preparation save her looks and smarts." Dallas Morning News
"About as dreadful as star bios can be: a numbing, almost week-by-week accounting of lovers taken, fought with, spurned and then often enough recycled....To read this life...without meaningful critical or psychological insight — is to court ennui and then depression." Richard Schickel, Los Angeles Times
"Server capably assesses the hits and misses, languishing on those electric moments when the camera caught the 'feline sprawl of her exquisite body.' A no-holds-barred view of a larger-than-life star." Booklist
"[Server] is well suited to writing about sultry, iconic movie mavericks like these two. He's not a voyeur or a bore. And as the author of a book about film noir, he understands cinematic idiom. Mr. Server refers to amnesia as 'noir's version of the common cold.'" Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Overlong, yet never dull. Server writes with a contagious enthusiasm for his subject and a solid grasp of Hollywood history that Ava's fans and film buffs will enjoy." Kirkus Reviews
The dramatic life of the incomparably beautiful and swashbuckling Ava Gardner — one of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses and lover of many men, from bullfighters to Frank Sinatra — by the New York Times bestselling author of Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care.
“The most complete and engrossing biography yet of this exotic Southern girl...Excellent.”—Liz Smith
She was the sex symbol who dazzled all the other sex symbols. She was the temptress who drove Frank Sinatra to the brink of suicide and haunted him to the end of his life. Ernest Hemingway saved one of her kidney stones as a sacred memento, and Howard Hughes begged her to marry him—but she knocked out his front teeth instead.
She was one of the great icons in Hollywood history—star of The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Night of the Iguana—and one of the few whose actual life was grander and more colorful than any movie. Her jaw-dropping beauty, charismatic presence, and fabulous, scandalous adventures fueled the legend of Ava Gardner—Hollywoods most glamorous, restless and uninhibited star.
“A seductive book.”—The New York Times
“Deliciously entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly
“Irresistible and finally heartbreaking.”—The Newark Star-Ledger
In this acclaimed first full biography of Gardner, Lee Server recreates—with great style and vivid detail—the actresss life, from her beginnings as a barefoot North Carolina farm girl to her heady days as a Hollywood goddess. He paints the full spectacle of her tumultuous private life—including her string of failed marriages to Mickey Rooney, Sinatra and Artie Shaw—and Gardners lifelong search for adventure and love.
Ava Gardner: “Love is Nothing” is both an exceptional work of biography and a richly entertaining read.
The dramatic life of the incomparably beautiful and swashbuckling Ava Gardner--one of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses and lover of many men, from bullfighters to Frank Sinatra--by The New York Times bestselling author of ROBERT MITCHUM: Baby, I Don't Care
About the Author
Lee Server is the author of Danger Is My Business, Sam Fuller: Film Is A Battleground, and Robert Mitchum: "Baby, I Don't Care".
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