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Writing with grace, wit, and remarkable candor, actress Claire Bloom looks back at her crowded life: her accomplishments on stage and screen; her romantic liaisons with some of the great leading men of our era; and at "the most important relationship" of her life--her marriage to author Philip Roth. of photos. Writing with grace, wit, and remarkable candor, actress Claire Bloom looks back at her crowded life: her accomplishments on stage and screen; her romantic liaisons with some of the great leading men of our era; and at "the most important relationship" of her life--her marriage to author Philip Roth. of photos.


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Writing with grace, wit, and remarkable candor, actress Claire Bloom looks back at her crowded life: her accomplishments on stage and screen; her romantic liaisons with some of the great leading men of our era; and at "the most important relationship" of her life--her marriage to author Philip Roth. of photos. Writing with grace, wit, and remarkable candor, actress Claire Bloom looks back at her crowded life: her accomplishments on stage and screen; her romantic liaisons with some of the great leading men of our era; and at "the most important relationship" of her life--her marriage to author Philip Roth. of photos.

30 review for Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Frieda Vizel

    Ah, but it's delicious! Juicy literary gossip, why not? I chanced upon this book and read it mostly for the insight into Philip Roth. The first half of the book is about many other relationships, but it's worth getting through it for the second half, the seventeen year relationship with Roth. It was absolutely fascinating. Bloom gives us everything an ex wife would, and then much more: the deep, the fine, the humor, the ugly, the disturbed, the person of such a great mind as is Roth. Considering Ah, but it's delicious! Juicy literary gossip, why not? I chanced upon this book and read it mostly for the insight into Philip Roth. The first half of the book is about many other relationships, but it's worth getting through it for the second half, the seventeen year relationship with Roth. It was absolutely fascinating. Bloom gives us everything an ex wife would, and then much more: the deep, the fine, the humor, the ugly, the disturbed, the person of such a great mind as is Roth. Considering the book was written by an actress, we really get a good story with some serious character development of both: Roth and Bloom. And Even though Roth was a monster, I found myself oddly sympathizing with him, his erratic behavior, his tortured being, even as what he did to Bloom (asking for a billion dollars for every year of her life?) was insane and cruel and selfish and so ludicrous, I laughed. And I wished more than anything that she would stop being the rug he wiped his feet on, that she'd slam the hell of the phone down and never speak to him again. Whets the appetite for learning more about Roth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roderick Hart

    I don’t read autobiographies as a rule so I don't have much grounds for comparison. Bloom sometimes sums up characters very well, as she does with Olivier (a boring man when not speaking other people’s lines) and Anthony Quinn, a revolting individual in every way. Her daughter, Anna Steiger, is a singer. Her mother makes much of the prizes she won. I had never heard of her before but that’s not surprising since she seems to sing opera most of the time. She did not behave so well in her life. After I don’t read autobiographies as a rule so I don't have much grounds for comparison. Bloom sometimes sums up characters very well, as she does with Olivier (a boring man when not speaking other people’s lines) and Anthony Quinn, a revolting individual in every way. Her daughter, Anna Steiger, is a singer. Her mother makes much of the prizes she won. I had never heard of her before but that’s not surprising since she seems to sing opera most of the time. She did not behave so well in her life. After forming extremely critical views of Quinn she slept with him – a man she couldn’t stand! How sad is that? And she certainly treated her daughter very badly, allowing her husband, Philip Roth, to dictate if and when she could see her. The author is aware of these short-comings but that doesn’t make them alright. On the other hand, there’s no point writing an autobiography if you aren’t prepared to come clean, and you have to admire her for being so honest. This book is most interesting when dealing with her marriage to Philip Roth. She is clearly an intelligent person with a knack for making bad decisions in her personal life. After a string of affairs with married men, usually fellow actors she was playing with – or playing under – she married Rod Steiger, then an unsavoury guy called Elkins. But marrying Roth was an act of extreme stupidity – there was a great deal of evidence from his own hand as to what he was really like. It is a good account of being married to a manipulative psycho and details her own ludicrous passivity in the face of endless provocation. There is a fair bit of psycho-analysis in this section of the book, somewhat more analytical than anything which precedes it. My guess is she got some of this from her own analyst. Some of the generalities I don’t like. Women lacking a father seek out a father-figure in a lover. They do? All of them? It’s a bit deterministic and mechanical for my taste. No doubt there are cases, no doubt there are exceptions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Rubin

    A fascinating memoir of actor Claire Bloom's career and relationships. A fascinating memoir of actor Claire Bloom's career and relationships.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    In her earlier book, LIMELIGHT AND BEYOND, Claire Bloom concentrates on her life as a performer and tells many stories about how she approached her roles. She also mentioned that there had been some unpleasantness in her career, but she refrains from going into details. With this memoir, she goes into the details and I found it fascinating. One of the "draws" for an effective memoir is the "There but for the Grace of God go I" aspect, and this one has that in abundance. Essentially, we learn abo In her earlier book, LIMELIGHT AND BEYOND, Claire Bloom concentrates on her life as a performer and tells many stories about how she approached her roles. She also mentioned that there had been some unpleasantness in her career, but she refrains from going into details. With this memoir, she goes into the details and I found it fascinating. One of the "draws" for an effective memoir is the "There but for the Grace of God go I" aspect, and this one has that in abundance. Essentially, we learn about a sensitive and talented actress who has a crippling fear of being deserted. As a consequence, she stays in a variety of unhealthy relationships. While her performances may invite envy from other performers, her personal life is a harrowing trip of self-doubt on an emotional rollercoaster. "Across my path there had passed good, affectionate men whose overtures I had ignored; they were not exciting enough, I said to myself. ... I chose instead difficult, if talented, men who could never bring me contentment. I seemed to need to meet a challenge, to re-create the lack of certainty of my early childhood." Those talented men included Richard Burton, Rod Steiger, Hillard Elkins and Philip Roth. Her stories about life with them are never explicit or bashing. Indeed, she makes brief mention that her marriage to Elkins opened her up to become more of a sexual adventurer. The reader expecting more details will be disappointed. However, her writing style incorporates a beautiful use of language and is always engaging. This is an actress with writing talent. Much of the last third of the book revolves around her relationship with Philip Roth, a man who was fighting his own demons and who used manipulation as a cruel tool. The writer doesn't excuse her contributions to the failure, but it is difficult not to scream at the book, "Just leave him!" Or as her friend, Gore Vidal, warned her when she asked if she should begin a relationship with Roth, "No. You have already had Portnoy's complaint. Do not involve yourself with Portnoy." Although the focus of this memoir is on her relationships, there were some omissions about her experiences with some famous productions that I wish she had included. For instance, there is no mention of her roles in CHARLY, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, or THE HAUNTING. However, she does talk about her experiences working on DAYLIGHT, the Sylvester Stallone action thriller! As I write this review, Claire Bloom is now 85-years old. I think it unlikely that we will hear more from her. What she has written is very worthwhile, though, and has my recommendation.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reena Ribalow Ben-Ephraim

    If you're interested in either life in the theater and films or the writing life, this will be of some interest. More specifically, if you want the dirt on Olivier, Burton, Anthony Quinn and others in bed and out of it or the fly on the rotting wall view of Philip Roth, this is for you. Bloom tries to be honest and revealing, but there is an undercurrent of self-acceptance in her apologies for sleeping with men she either didn't like much (Olivier) or actively disliked (Quinn) and selling out bot If you're interested in either life in the theater and films or the writing life, this will be of some interest. More specifically, if you want the dirt on Olivier, Burton, Anthony Quinn and others in bed and out of it or the fly on the rotting wall view of Philip Roth, this is for you. Bloom tries to be honest and revealing, but there is an undercurrent of self-acceptance in her apologies for sleeping with men she either didn't like much (Olivier) or actively disliked (Quinn) and selling out both herself and her daughter for any man in her life.She also is clearly as dedicated to her career as Roth and those around her pay the price. Having said that, her portrait of Roth--the main reason for interest in this book--is convincing. Jaundiced-- as any portrait of a hurtful, betraying ex would be-- it nevertheless captures the detachment, need, narcissism, cruelty, humor, brilliance and lack of emotional resonance evident in his books.The truth is, it doesn't matter much that Roth is clearly a troubled and twisted person: what matters are his books. Since there was always something about them that I disliked (the obsession with self and sex as all) I was very interested to read this. Also, his projection onto her of all his own misdeeds, and his quite impressive psychological torture toward her emanating from his own obvious sense of wrongness and guilt were fascinating to me as a woman who had a similar experience. What you are really left with is a portrait of how a woman can annihilate herself emotionally while appearing to be successful and strong, which is both a revelation and a warning.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Penni

    3 stars for the writing but 5 stars for the content. Gossipy, but also insightful. And of course, the Philip Roth relationship- which was the whole point of reading this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vivian Valvano

    I've always thought that Claire Blooms is lovely and elegant and an excellent actress. She can't write, but that's not the problem, for me, with her memoir. I commend her for what appear to be attempts at honesty, but I was stunned to learn about her unadmirable qualities. Her blindly sophomoric adulation of a series of men, a virtual parade, is sad but also often stupid. Sleeping with the married Richard Burton when she was a very young woman, sleeping with Anthony Quinn, whom she seemed to des I've always thought that Claire Blooms is lovely and elegant and an excellent actress. She can't write, but that's not the problem, for me, with her memoir. I commend her for what appear to be attempts at honesty, but I was stunned to learn about her unadmirable qualities. Her blindly sophomoric adulation of a series of men, a virtual parade, is sad but also often stupid. Sleeping with the married Richard Burton when she was a very young woman, sleeping with Anthony Quinn, whom she seemed to despise in the work environment, getting involved with several others that were equally wrong for her. What is wrong with this woman? Her failed marriage to Rod Steiger did yield motherhood, and she keeps emphasizing that her only daughter, Anna, is the most precious person to her. More's the pity, then, that she so often hurt Anna. The coup de grace, of course, is the 17-year relationship, a couple of years of which were marriage, with Philip Roth. I love the artistry of Philip Roth. If 1/10 of what Bloom reports about her time with him is true, he is basically impossible to live with and a person of myriad problems. But this memoir is Bloom's. My biggest problem is trying to understand how Bloom, a supposedly intelligent and certainly a talented woman, could demean herself so slobberingly to the dictates of Roth - ESPECIALLY to the detriment of her own daughter. I think Bloom should be very, very grateful that Anna did not break with her completely given the way mother treated daughter at Roth's behest. How disappointing to see that Bloom could behave like a love-sick fool, be so lacking in self respect, and be so hurtful and awful as a mother. Bloom claims to have grown and learned. I hope so, but the taste in my mouth is sour.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I picked this up used for a dollar at Shakespeare and Company in Berkeley. i thought it would be a light but engrossing travel read, and it was. The writing is "okay"--many of the tales that were summarized could have benefited from being stretched into scenes with a little dialogue--but what really makes the book interesting is the insight it gives into the psychology of a woman in the mid-twentieth century who was saved by her career, and the disturbing mindset of male-dependency. The long, bl I picked this up used for a dollar at Shakespeare and Company in Berkeley. i thought it would be a light but engrossing travel read, and it was. The writing is "okay"--many of the tales that were summarized could have benefited from being stretched into scenes with a little dialogue--but what really makes the book interesting is the insight it gives into the psychology of a woman in the mid-twentieth century who was saved by her career, and the disturbing mindset of male-dependency. The long, blow-by-blow chapters covering her marriage to and divorce from Philip Roth (who, if only a fraction of what she says about him is true, is a mind-fing piece of work) are too long but, having written the book a year or two after the divorce, I suppose she can be forgiven for that.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I agree with much of what is said below. Claire Bloom is not a good writer. Nor do I think she is particularly intelligent. It makes me wonder how she maintained a relationship with Roth for as long as she did. That being said, I did think this book contained quite a lot of good dirt. I read it in a day, it was just that addicting. Bloom is quite the little vamp :) I loved reading about her various love affairs (pre Philip Roth). And if 'I Married a Communist' is at all based on his relationship I agree with much of what is said below. Claire Bloom is not a good writer. Nor do I think she is particularly intelligent. It makes me wonder how she maintained a relationship with Roth for as long as she did. That being said, I did think this book contained quite a lot of good dirt. I read it in a day, it was just that addicting. Bloom is quite the little vamp :) I loved reading about her various love affairs (pre Philip Roth). And if 'I Married a Communist' is at all based on his relationship with her, he must really have hated her daughter. I give this one 3 stars for keeping me entertained throughout. Far more enjoyable than the Tom Cruise book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo-dee

    I actually loved this book. I saw her in Richard III some time last year and I thought I should check out some of her films (I guess you can say she is kind of new to me). When I found out she wrote a book, I had to get it. To be honest, it's not boring. Even her mother and father's life (which she explains in the book) was interesting. I must say that I was a little shocked about the affairs that she had or how many she had, but she's an actor. It's what they do, I guess. A must read. I actually loved this book. I saw her in Richard III some time last year and I thought I should check out some of her films (I guess you can say she is kind of new to me). When I found out she wrote a book, I had to get it. To be honest, it's not boring. Even her mother and father's life (which she explains in the book) was interesting. I must say that I was a little shocked about the affairs that she had or how many she had, but she's an actor. It's what they do, I guess. A must read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    If I made as many bad relationship and parenting choices as she did, I wouldn't write a book about it! If I made as many bad relationship and parenting choices as she did, I wouldn't write a book about it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Wilner

    Ouch! (But Richard Burton comes off relatively well, at least in comparison).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    I read this book a number of years ago, and I enjoyed it, though I remember Claire Bloom coming across as sweet but also rather weak-willed and wishy-washy. Having just finished I MARRIED A COMMUNIST by Philip Roth I thought I'd re-examine my impressions. The one really poignant relationship described in this book is actually not a romantic one, it's Claire Bloom's longtime friendship with American writer Gore Vidal. Vidal was wealthy, aristocratic, and gay, and notoriously supercilious, rude, a I read this book a number of years ago, and I enjoyed it, though I remember Claire Bloom coming across as sweet but also rather weak-willed and wishy-washy. Having just finished I MARRIED A COMMUNIST by Philip Roth I thought I'd re-examine my impressions. The one really poignant relationship described in this book is actually not a romantic one, it's Claire Bloom's longtime friendship with American writer Gore Vidal. Vidal was wealthy, aristocratic, and gay, and notoriously supercilious, rude, and impatient with just about everyone. But Claire Bloom does a wonderful job of describing how the two of them enjoyed a lifelong friendship that was always full of unspoken regret and the poignant "if-only" feeling sensitive women often get from gay men. Philip Roth comes across as a complete ass-clown and a jerk. And no, I don't think Claire Bloom is making anything up. If anything, I think she's covering up a lot of horrible stuff. After reading Roth's "reply" novel, I MARRIED A COMMUNIST, I can see a lot of stuff I didn't see before. Claire Bloom talks about how Philip Roth had an almost paranoid fear of being ridiculed for being Jewish. He provoked fierce arguments with strangers over nothing. His fear was driven by self-hatred, I surmise. But what's interesting is that in his book Roth tries to project a lot of this stuff onto Claire Bloom. It's obvious that he was drawn to her because she's Jewish but evidently didn't "look" Jewish to a street tough from Newark (if that's what Roth thought he was.) Anyway, Claire says once that she's proud of being Jewish but doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about it, and that's that. But Roth, in his book, has to make "Eve Frame" a shrill, hysterical anti-Semite who is perpetually haunted by the horrible, ugly Jewish faces all around her. Now if that's not a classic case of projection, I'll eat my hat! Summing up, Claire Bloom might have had her problems, but compared to Philip Roth she comes across as sanity itself. On finishing the book I felt that I liked her a lot and Philip Roth really missed the boat. Oddly enough, the one thing I found annoying in this book is the way she keeps flaunting her atheism. It's not just that she's not religious, she keeps saying stuff like, "I find the idea of God ridiculous and stupid. God is such a repellent concept to me." After the fourth or fifth time, I got the real point. God is the only man Claire Bloom isn't afraid to challenge. He let her down, just like all the others, but He is the only one she ever stood up to!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paulina

    I enjoy memoirs, and this book’s title intrigued me. I would have chosen to read it regardless of the author’s marriage to Philip Roth. Furthermore, given that this accomplished actor does share candidly about her life – admitting mistakes without making excuses – and draws upon her therapy sessions to understand choices she made, I find it hard to judge its literary merits. Yet, possibly because of her generation (Bloom was born in 1931) and/or nationality (British), her writing lacks the depth I enjoy memoirs, and this book’s title intrigued me. I would have chosen to read it regardless of the author’s marriage to Philip Roth. Furthermore, given that this accomplished actor does share candidly about her life – admitting mistakes without making excuses – and draws upon her therapy sessions to understand choices she made, I find it hard to judge its literary merits. Yet, possibly because of her generation (Bloom was born in 1931) and/or nationality (British), her writing lacks the depth and self-reflectiveness that prompts me to read memoirs. If I had not taken this book with me on a vacation, I would not have finished it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liz Smith

    I read this primarily for the sections in which Claire Bloom discusses her relationships with Richard Burton and Charles Chaplin. The writing is matter of fact and not quite as transparent as would make this more compelling a read for the reader. (Sally Field's memoir from 2018 is a gold standard for transparency in this ilk.) Claire Bloom is blessed with many natural talents and the opportunities to use them in theater and film over a very long life. I especially enjoyed the story of her auditi I read this primarily for the sections in which Claire Bloom discusses her relationships with Richard Burton and Charles Chaplin. The writing is matter of fact and not quite as transparent as would make this more compelling a read for the reader. (Sally Field's memoir from 2018 is a gold standard for transparency in this ilk.) Claire Bloom is blessed with many natural talents and the opportunities to use them in theater and film over a very long life. I especially enjoyed the story of her audition and the filming of "Limelight," Charles Chaplin's masterpiece about life in the theater, in which she plays ingenue/ballerina to Chaplin's doting rescuer/lover/clown.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darla Ebert

    The name Claire Bloom was legend when I was growing up but I had imagined she was a silent film star and long deceased. When I saw the book at the book store I was happily surprised and hoping to find out more about the past of a famous actress from the 40's and 50's. What I had not known was that Ms. Bloom was Jewish and had experienced some unpleasantness while growing up. Her choices when it came to men reflected the sense of abandonment she had suffered all her life due to her father's havin The name Claire Bloom was legend when I was growing up but I had imagined she was a silent film star and long deceased. When I saw the book at the book store I was happily surprised and hoping to find out more about the past of a famous actress from the 40's and 50's. What I had not known was that Ms. Bloom was Jewish and had experienced some unpleasantness while growing up. Her choices when it came to men reflected the sense of abandonment she had suffered all her life due to her father's having abandoned the family several times. I was saddened over Ms. Blooms experiences, and was left wanting to know more. The book was too short (a compliment).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sally Edsall

    There is no depth or reflection here. It is quite a catalogue of woes, and there is a sincerity and honesty in the telling. But.... As a piece of writing, it is not at all distinguished, and there is not much nourishment as in something left to reflect on, observations worth mulling over, whether in agreement or disagreement. It is, sadly, like some of the worst celebrity autobiogs on the shelves. Which is a pity, because I think with better editorial direction this could have been a far better There is no depth or reflection here. It is quite a catalogue of woes, and there is a sincerity and honesty in the telling. But.... As a piece of writing, it is not at all distinguished, and there is not much nourishment as in something left to reflect on, observations worth mulling over, whether in agreement or disagreement. It is, sadly, like some of the worst celebrity autobiogs on the shelves. Which is a pity, because I think with better editorial direction this could have been a far better book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I love Philip Roth, but Bloom’s portrait of him as the most terrible of husbands rings true to me. She’s no stylist, but she has some highly entertaining stories about the various men she’s been involved with (Burton! Olivier! Quinn! Steiger! Roth!). And the details of her marriage—mph! She gets her revenge most excellently and with class.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Inken

    I have to confess I didn’t think I’d like this book. Claire Bloom has never been one of my favourite actresses; she is undoubtedly talented but she always seemed to me rather cold and brittle. Her first autobiography (Limelight and After) dealt almost exclusively with her professional career and told next to nothing about her personal life. This one fills in the gaps. Bloom grew up in 1930s and ‘40s Britain. Her parents had a highly dysfunctional marriage, separating on several occasions and leav I have to confess I didn’t think I’d like this book. Claire Bloom has never been one of my favourite actresses; she is undoubtedly talented but she always seemed to me rather cold and brittle. Her first autobiography (Limelight and After) dealt almost exclusively with her professional career and told next to nothing about her personal life. This one fills in the gaps. Bloom grew up in 1930s and ‘40s Britain. Her parents had a highly dysfunctional marriage, separating on several occasions and leaving Bloom without much of a father figure. That this instability had a profound effect on her is evident in her subsequent adult relationships, each one just as volatile and destructive as the last. Bloom was already a respected actress at 21 when she was picked to star with Charlie Chaplin in his movie Limelight, the tragic tale of an ageing, washed-up music hall star and his (much younger) “protégée”. She then met and fell in love with Richard Burton (probably the true love of her life). Unfortunately Burton had just married his first wife Sibyl and so the affair dragged on for several years, eventually ending in acrimony and bitterness. Bloom’s final meeting with Burton was during the filming of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, when he was married to Elizabeth Taylor. Bloom makes no secret of her resentment towards Taylor and describes her apparent possessive and shrewish behaviour in detail. (According to Melvyn Bragg’s excellent biography of Burton Bloom’s behavior was hardly any better, entertaining the crew with wicked impersonations of Taylor and provoking the movie star’s insecurities with less-than-subtle reminders of her previous relationship with Burton. No wonder the man drank like a pissed fish!) Next up was Rod Steiger. An incongruous pairing from the start (the refined English stage actress and the über-intense method actor) she freely admits they only married because she was pregnant. However, a mutual love of the arts and their daughter was not enough to sustain the relationship and it eventually disintegrated. A brief but highly ill-advised marriage to a theatrical producer followed and then entered Philip Roth, stage left. That Bloom was smitten with him from the start is obvious and her infatuation lasted for the next 20 years, although it is hard to understand why. From the beginning Roth was mercurial, controlling and emotionally abusive. His behavior towards Bloom’s daughter Anna was inexcusable, banning her from their home and throwing raging tantrums on the rare occasion the young woman was permitted to visit! Reams and reams have been written about why abused spouses don’t leave their partners so I won’t go in it here (two words: Daddy issues). She says repeatedly that she loved him desperately but that he forced her to choose between him and her daughter and each time she chose him. Roth, on the other hand, complained endlessly about her excessive attachment to and dependence on Anna. After a serious health scare, the two married and almost immediately the relationship fell apart, with Roth suffering some kind of breakdown that intensified his verbally abusive behavior and almost destroyed Bloom in the process. She tries hard to be fair to Roth, blaming his unrelenting vitriol on his depression and medications, but ultimately has to acknowledge that her husband was a selfish, narcissistic bastard who treated all the women in his life as disposable annoyances. For months he apparently toyed with her emotions; one minute affectionate and kind, the next vicious and cruel. And despite his venom and malice, Roth’s filing for divorce apparently came as a complete shock. Bloom left the marriage at age 62 with little more than what she stood up in – it took Roth years to return all her belongings after he forced her out of their home – and their prenup gave her barely enough to live on. The subsequent years have been pretty good to Bloom. She has continued to enjoy professional success, acting on stage and screen, and her daughter Anna has become a well-known opera singer. The one good thing that came out of the Roth relationship was a much better understanding of herself and the woman she was/is/wants to be. As I said at the start of this epic, I didn’t want to like this book. But Bloom’s telling of her painful and destructive years with Roth struck a real chord with me, as I imagine it did with many women. How many of us have tried unsuccessfully to get the man in their life (whether it be father, husband, boyfriend) to be kinder, more supportive, more loving? How many of us have changed ourselves and compromised our own pride and self-esteem to be the person they demand we should be? How many of us have realized, after far too many wasted months or years, how monumentally wrong all of this is? My annoyance and frustration with Bloom stemmed a great deal from the embarrassment and self-disgust I felt in recognizing her behaviour in me. Bloom’s thoughts and actions are a salutary lesson that no matter how successful, talented, respected and well-off you might be, an abusive relationship can and does happen to anyone. She’s still not my favourite actress, but I respect her ability to recover from this experience and learn from it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I guess if you showed up for the gossip, there's no point complaining about all the gossip. Still, how dreary to be drug through the details of a famous person's divorce from another famous crazy person. (Yes, Virginia, the rich are different, as F. Scott has it). I guess if you showed up for the gossip, there's no point complaining about all the gossip. Still, how dreary to be drug through the details of a famous person's divorce from another famous crazy person. (Yes, Virginia, the rich are different, as F. Scott has it).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    A very honest description of her three marriages and affairs with famous film stars. The last part of the book dealing with Phillip Roth was very revealing about both Ms Bloom and Mr Roth.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    this is mainly about Clare Bloom's relationship with Philip Roth. worth the read if particularly if you read Roth's books this is mainly about Clare Bloom's relationship with Philip Roth. worth the read if particularly if you read Roth's books

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Claire Bloom is a beautiful, talented actress, and her memoir is much better written than her counterpart, Carol Matthau, had penned about her marriage to William Saroyan and then Walter Matthau. Bloom's third marriage, to Philip Roth, followed love affairs with some of her co-stars, including Richard Burton and Yul Brynner, and two marriages. She had a daughter, Anna, with her first husband, actor Rod Steiger. Bloom was unflinching in her description of mistakes she made and choices she regrett Claire Bloom is a beautiful, talented actress, and her memoir is much better written than her counterpart, Carol Matthau, had penned about her marriage to William Saroyan and then Walter Matthau. Bloom's third marriage, to Philip Roth, followed love affairs with some of her co-stars, including Richard Burton and Yul Brynner, and two marriages. She had a daughter, Anna, with her first husband, actor Rod Steiger. Bloom was unflinching in her description of mistakes she made and choices she regretted. The bitterness about her life with Roth was painful, but equally painful for me was the way she treated her only daughter, Anna Steiger. In her need and desire to always have a man in her life, she allowed her last two husbands to bully her into ostracizing Anna. I couldn't like her very much, but I enjoyed her writing and was intrigued enough with her memoir to do some research afterward to determine what this very caustic description of Philip Roth cost her. His book, "I Married a Communist," is said to have been a rebuttal to her accusations, and now I have that on my "to read" list.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rozanne

    I read this book mainly because I wanted the dirt on Philip Roth. I've always suspected that the guy is a major league shitheel. Bloom had a relationship with him for 18 years and, wow, if she's to be believed (and I don't doubt that she is), the guy was shamefully cruel to her. A 24-karat prick! Thank goodness she finally extricated herself from him. I have to say that she did seem to be quite a glutton for punishment. I read this book mainly because I wanted the dirt on Philip Roth. I've always suspected that the guy is a major league shitheel. Bloom had a relationship with him for 18 years and, wow, if she's to be believed (and I don't doubt that she is), the guy was shamefully cruel to her. A 24-karat prick! Thank goodness she finally extricated herself from him. I have to say that she did seem to be quite a glutton for punishment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Although I have always enjoyed Claire Bloom as an actress and have not cared for Philip Roth's books, I also did not care for Claire Bloom as an author. Her life has been quite eventful and I felt the need to complete the book but I would not recommend it to my friends as a "must-read" book. Although I have always enjoyed Claire Bloom as an actress and have not cared for Philip Roth's books, I also did not care for Claire Bloom as an author. Her life has been quite eventful and I felt the need to complete the book but I would not recommend it to my friends as a "must-read" book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    Claire Bloom's memoir is a good read for fans of her work and gives an inside look into one of America's most celebrated author's Philip Roth. I found it healing, part of why it took me a year to finish reading. Claire Bloom's memoir is a good read for fans of her work and gives an inside look into one of America's most celebrated author's Philip Roth. I found it healing, part of why it took me a year to finish reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Was it such a good idea to disclose personal details about Philip Roth's life? And risk having a book written about you in return? Such as -- I don't know -- I Married a Communist? Was it such a good idea to disclose personal details about Philip Roth's life? And risk having a book written about you in return? Such as -- I don't know -- I Married a Communist?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Limelight and After was the much more interesting autobiography. Limelight and After was the much more interesting autobiography.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    It is a really nice book

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marsmannix

    memoir of the actress who was married to the author Philip Roth, who evidently is a narcissistic crazy controlling S.O.B.

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