American Rose by Karen Abbott
A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee

71%

9 Critic Reviews

..."American Rose" is a haunting portrait of a woman "giving what she has to, keeping all she can," offering her audiences a sassy, confident self while making sure they would never know the damaged soul who created her.
-LA Times

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

America was flying high in the Roaring Twenties. Then, almost overnight, the Great Depression brought it crashing down. When the dust settled, people were primed for a star who could distract them from reality. Enter Gypsy Rose Lee, a strutting, bawdy, erudite stripper who possessed a gift for delivering exactly what America needed. With her superb narrative skills and eye for detail, Karen Abbott brings to life an era of ambition, glamour, struggle, and survival. Using exclusive interviews and never-before-published material, she vividly delves into Gypsy’s world, including her intense triangle relationship with her sister, actress June Havoc, and their formidable mother, Rose, a petite but ferocious woman who literally killed to get her daughters on the stage. Weaving in the compelling saga of the Minskys—four scrappy brothers from New York City who would pave the way for Gypsy Rose Lee’s brand of burlesque and transform the entertainment landscape—Karen Abbott creates a rich account of a legend whose sensational tale of tragedy and triumph embodies the American Dream.
 

About Karen Abbott

See more books from this Author
Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City with her husband and two African Grey parrots who do a mean Ethel Merman. Visit her online at www.karenabbott.net.
 
Published July 23, 2010 by Random House. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon20
Peak Rank on May 12 2013
icon2
Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for American Rose
All: 9 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good

A fast-paced, funny, flavorful reckoning with a unique American icon.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Dec 19 2010

If “American Rose” does not excel at biographical explanation, it does have a penchant for ornate writing. Some of this befits the gaudiness of the world that Ms. Abbott’s book evokes, but some is just plain overwrought...

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Dec 28 2010

...American Rose is well worth reading, if only in that it proves once again that truth is so often so much stranger, more awful, and lyrical than any fable, musical, or otherwise.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

LA Times

Good
on Jan 02 2011

..."American Rose" is a haunting portrait of a woman "giving what she has to, keeping all she can," offering her audiences a sassy, confident self while making sure they would never know the damaged soul who created her.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid... | See more reviews from LA Times

San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
on Dec 30 2010

...the fact that the book has dual subtitles should be fair warning of the overwriting that often engorges its 422 pages...

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid...

The Seattle Times

Good
on Jan 27 2011

For Gypsy Rose Lee, it was a language that came easily, and Abbott skillfully gives us the behind-the-scenes story to tell us why.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid...

Oregon Live

Good
on Jan 29 2011

...Lee could take 15 minutes to remove a glove and so entrance her audience that they'd have given her a half hour. "American Rose," in contrast, moves at an agreeably faster pace.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid...

USA Today

Good
on Jan 08 2011

You close this book filled with both admiration and sympathy for Lee.

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid...

Cape Ann Beacon

Good
on Jan 18 2011

Interviews with her son and sister – the late actress, June Havoc -- lend an organic credibility...

Read Full Review of American Rose : A Nation Laid...

Reader Rating for American Rose
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 274 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×