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I think the unveiling of the other side of the life of Lamar is interesting and well told. I'm unsure what factual nature there is in the minute details but it is a fascinating story of a woman from history.
I can't say enough about how disappointing I found this book. I recommended it for my book group and led the discussion. As I read, I wanted to hurl the book across the room many times. I knew that Hedy Lamarr was a beautiful, complicated and brilliant woman. That she had escaped from a war torn Europe and possessed a genius mind behind her stunning looks. The first four fifths of the book covered her abusive relationship with her first husband, an inaccurate relationship with her parents (yes, she was close to her father and her mother was cold, but they never went along with her decision to marry her munitions mogul suitor), descriptions of her costumes and jewels, the controversy over her nude scenes and simulated orgasm in her first movie, her escape to America and, finally, finally, her invention of broad spectrum technology for which she received no recognition during her lifetime. The book failed to mention that she tinkered with inventions all during her adult life, that the baby she "adopted" because he was an infant refugee from Europe was really her biological son, or that she died a meth addict because she, like many studio stars of that time, was fed uppers and downers so she could work slave hours for the film moguls. While it listed some of her most famous roles, it failed to even mention her most acclaimed and well-known movie, the one that won several oscars, "Samson and Delilah," which co-starred Victor Mature. In short, here was a woman who yearned to be taken seriously all her life and then was given short shrift by this poorly written novel. I kept going back to the professional critic's reviews and just can't understand why they are favorable. Lamarr's story is so compelling and captivating. What a great book it could have been.
I have given this book 3 out of 4 stars. If I could have given it 3.5 stars, I would have, but that wasn't possible. I don't, off hand, know if I have watched a film with Hedy Lamarr in it, I may have done, but none comes to mind. Likewise, her physical appearance doesn't come to mind either...a bit before my time maybe? Although, the book was well researched and interesting in parts, there were other parts that seem to go on and on, if only I could have taken those parts out, or squashed them together, the book wouldn't have suffered from the midway slump that it did.
This is a good story, which whilst I enjoyed reading it in some parts, I was left lacking information at points in the book and certainly at the end. There were so many opportunities to elaborate the story line and build more impact and character information. I do think this will make a great movie, which would benefit from additional information. It was an okay read but I’d have loved to have enjoyed it, especially as it was based on a true story.
I knew of Hedy Lamarr’s inventiveness and particularly her patent of what became spread spectrum technology, so I was extremely keen to read about her extraordinary life. At the start I forgot I was reading about a real person, but when I recalled who she was, I could not but be amazed. I would heartily recommend people to read and learn about this outstanding, in every way, person.
This is a fascinating insight into a famous movie star and gives insight into Austria in the 30s, Hollywood in the 40s and the place of women in society and science. How many other opportunities have also been missed due to the oppression of women and their ideas?