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That was fast: Two Elizabeth Taylor books get updates

April 15, 2011 | 10:59 am


On Monday, those who want to know more about "the obsessions, passions and courage" of Elizabeth Taylor can walk into a bookstore and purchase the newly revised, $7.99, 558-page paperback bio by Ellis Amburn, "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World."

Amburn's publisher worked fast to revise the book, getting the revised edition to shelves less than a month after Taylor's death. But chances are the author had revisions to his book, originally published in 2000, in the works for quite some time. As he writes in the new version, "In 2006, following illnesses and hospitalizations, Dame Elizabeth went on to the 'Larry King Show,' her first public appearance in three years, to squelch rumors she was dying." He continues, with prose nearly as purple as Liz Taylor's eyes, "Facing her biggest press crisis since le scandal in Rome, she decided it was time for some kick-ass damage control."

But even before that book hits shelves, Kitty Kelley's updated version of her 1981 book "Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star" is popping up in your favorite ebook store. On Friday, Simon & Schuster announced the availability of the $9.99 ebook, which includes a new afterword by the author. When the book came out, Kelley talked to a Los Angeles audience about the fascination with Taylor: "She's like a traffic accident. Everyone wants to see. She's a walking soap opera." Our review of the book at the time called it "meticulously researched and properly lurid."

Does everyone still want that sense of luridness, of watching the traffic accident? If the schadenfreude of "Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star" is a little too much, there's the appreciative "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" instead.


16 Elizabeth Taylor books, scandals included

Kitty Kelley and Oprah. (And Sinatra. And Nancy Reagan)

-- Carolyn Kellogg