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Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography

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"I like to collect knives," says Angelina Jolie, "but I also collect first edition books." At first glance, she might seem to be someone without any secrets, talking openly about her love life, sexual preferences, drug use, cutting, and tattoos--and why she kissed her brother on the lips in public. And yet mysteries remain: What was really going on in her brief, im "I like to collect knives," says Angelina Jolie, "but I also collect first edition books." At first glance, she might seem to be someone without any secrets, talking openly about her love life, sexual preferences, drug use, cutting, and tattoos--and why she kissed her brother on the lips in public. And yet mysteries remain: What was really going on in her brief, impulsive marriages to Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, and what is going on in her partnership with Brad Pitt? What’s behind the oft-reported feud with her father, the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight?  What drove her to become a mother of six children in six years? And—perhaps most puzzling of all—what about the other side of Angelina: How did this talented but troubled young actress, barely 35 years old, become a respected Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations as well as the "most powerful celebrity in the world" (unseating Oprah Winfrey) on Forbes’ 2009 Celebrity 100 list?  The answers that Andrew Morton has uncovered are astonishing, taking us deep inside Angelina’s world to show us what shaped her as a child, as an actress, and as a woman struggling to overcome personal demons that have never before been revealed. In this spellbinding biography, Andrew Morton draws upon far-reaching original interviews and research, accompanied by exclusive private photographs, to show us the true story behind both the wild excesses of Angelina’s youth and her remarkable work with children and victims of poverty and disaster today.


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"I like to collect knives," says Angelina Jolie, "but I also collect first edition books." At first glance, she might seem to be someone without any secrets, talking openly about her love life, sexual preferences, drug use, cutting, and tattoos--and why she kissed her brother on the lips in public. And yet mysteries remain: What was really going on in her brief, im "I like to collect knives," says Angelina Jolie, "but I also collect first edition books." At first glance, she might seem to be someone without any secrets, talking openly about her love life, sexual preferences, drug use, cutting, and tattoos--and why she kissed her brother on the lips in public. And yet mysteries remain: What was really going on in her brief, impulsive marriages to Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, and what is going on in her partnership with Brad Pitt? What’s behind the oft-reported feud with her father, the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight?  What drove her to become a mother of six children in six years? And—perhaps most puzzling of all—what about the other side of Angelina: How did this talented but troubled young actress, barely 35 years old, become a respected Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations as well as the "most powerful celebrity in the world" (unseating Oprah Winfrey) on Forbes’ 2009 Celebrity 100 list?  The answers that Andrew Morton has uncovered are astonishing, taking us deep inside Angelina’s world to show us what shaped her as a child, as an actress, and as a woman struggling to overcome personal demons that have never before been revealed. In this spellbinding biography, Andrew Morton draws upon far-reaching original interviews and research, accompanied by exclusive private photographs, to show us the true story behind both the wild excesses of Angelina’s youth and her remarkable work with children and victims of poverty and disaster today.

30 review for Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was my first experience with an Andrew Morton biography. Since his name is so well known and he gets access to so many people, I figured he had to be a decent writer. After reading Angelina, I'd beg to differ. The book is full of half-baked conjecture on Angelina Jolie's mental state due to various events in her life. Morton trots out, "Joe Schmo, Beverly Hills psychologist, who has never treated Angelina or any of her family members" a lot for opinions on her behavior. It's a little ridicu This was my first experience with an Andrew Morton biography. Since his name is so well known and he gets access to so many people, I figured he had to be a decent writer. After reading Angelina, I'd beg to differ. The book is full of half-baked conjecture on Angelina Jolie's mental state due to various events in her life. Morton trots out, "Joe Schmo, Beverly Hills psychologist, who has never treated Angelina or any of her family members" a lot for opinions on her behavior. It's a little ridiculous. I think anyone who reads US Weekly could guess that Angelina Jolie has had some issues, but I'm uncomfortable with this kind of third party diagnosis. The writing is subpar in other ways, as well. The author will tell us one thing (Marcheline threw elaborate parties for James, her favorite child, but only casual affairs for Angelina) and then five pages later contradict it (Marcheline spent days hand-engraving birthday invitations for a big party for Angelina). I felt silly reading this. It was all a little tawdry. The author also spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader that Angelina's lifelong problems with her father are something she's overblown and that her mother was really the bad parent. Look, I don't know Angelina, but I'm sort of outraged on her behalf that some writer she's never met gets to pull apart her heart-wrenching family dramas and rewrite history for his own purposes. It's just not cool. The only reason I finished this book was because the background stuff about what was going on in Hollywood at the time was pretty interesting to me. There are definitely some interesting tidbits about production on various films, interaction between various celebrities on set, etc. But I can't in good conscience recommend the book to others.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bibliovoracious

    5 stars for Angie, 0 for the author. Yes, Angelina is an amazing woman, and this book does draw the picture of why she is amazing, in spite of busily trying to paint another picture.. This author takes the unforgivable low road of mistaking his subject for his patient (and I don't see no Dr. in front of his name), weaving the whole book around his thin thread of how Angelina is irredeemably emotionally handicapped by her inability to really feel love. Spare me. He even employs the tried and true I 5 stars for Angie, 0 for the author. Yes, Angelina is an amazing woman, and this book does draw the picture of why she is amazing, in spite of busily trying to paint another picture.. This author takes the unforgivable low road of mistaking his subject for his patient (and I don't see no Dr. in front of his name), weaving the whole book around his thin thread of how Angelina is irredeemably emotionally handicapped by her inability to really feel love. Spare me. He even employs the tried and true In-Touch magazine move of liberally quoting "Dr. So-and-So, a psychiatrist who has not treated Angelina Jolie or any of her family", who rants on about "infants rejected by their mothers, classic inability to bond", blah blah blah gag me. Tacky! The book has this moral overtone (or maybe it's just the droning, sometimes simpering narrator) of affected sympathy. Oh, poor little Angelina, she'll never be able to truly feel, and so she's forced to live a pallid, hopeless life collecting children of different colors and being a workaholic. Luckily this book is pre-Brad-breakup, I shudder to think what hay he'd make out of that. Good GRIEF, she is one of the world's most accomplished, successful, inspiring, and generous performers and business-people. She is a goddess among women because of her commitment to embracing and exploring her own sexuality, never suppressing it, until she has effectively transcended it. Without compromising or hiding her sexual wildness, she has written her own definition of herself that includes all she is, of which sexual is only a part. This is no mean feat for an actress in a world that does it's best to compartmentalize all public women, and if possible, put them into a lockable box marked "sex symbol". Not least, she has to rise above know-it-all eejits like Andrew Morton opining about her "emotional limitations". Please. It's hard enough to pursue personal growth on the ground floor as an unknown prole, but to do so bravely, publicly, and without shame for being exactly who she is and where she is, even when it's messy, on the spotlit pinnacle of fame her entire life?. She has struggled with challenge and adversity, addiction and prejudice, and she consistently overcomes with devotion, ambition, and passion. So, Angelina is amazing, more amazing than I knew before reading this book, and now I have some reasons why I've always liked her so much, thanks to this book (grudgingly). As for the book, one gets the impression that Angie's story glows through it despite the best effort of the author to reduce her to something small and dismissable. Just like she glows through the screen. I'm sure she will continue to surprise and inspire.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karyn

    This is a very interesting book. In true Morton fashion, your held to facts. It does not paint Ms. Jolie in a very good light. From her disturbing childhood to her currant life. You'd think the "odd" part of the family would be the Voight side, Hollywood and all, when actually it was her mother's family who thought they were above all. They were from Riverdale, Il, and I was raised 5 miles from there, it was or is not now a "upper crust" community. Actually now it is a ghetto. The things that Ms This is a very interesting book. In true Morton fashion, your held to facts. It does not paint Ms. Jolie in a very good light. From her disturbing childhood to her currant life. You'd think the "odd" part of the family would be the Voight side, Hollywood and all, when actually it was her mother's family who thought they were above all. They were from Riverdale, Il, and I was raised 5 miles from there, it was or is not now a "upper crust" community. Actually now it is a ghetto. The things that Ms. Jolie is so proud of, are the things that others would be ashamed of. Heroin addiction, casual sex, using people(men, ie: Billy Bob Thornton) a trip to the mental hospital. She's proud of this behavior. The way she treats her father is despicable. Being a child of divorce, some acting out is expected but once an adult you understand that sometimes things just don't work out. Holding her father responsible for his ex wife is not realistic. The good she has done as a humanitarian is overshadowed by her neglect of her children, admitting she feels more for the adopted ones than her biological ones...true mothers do not say such things. She's a great actress but a woman to be pitied.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography of Angelina Jolie describes an abused child, raised to be promiscuous and exhibitionistic by an amibitious, selfish, and cold woman who pushes Jolie to succeed as an actress in ways that momma Marcheline never could. Morton asserts that for more than a year, the infant Jolie lived in a bare, all white room cared for by an assortment of babysitters, one of whom provided this information. He says Marcheline didn't see her for days at a stretch, never read to h Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography of Angelina Jolie describes an abused child, raised to be promiscuous and exhibitionistic by an amibitious, selfish, and cold woman who pushes Jolie to succeed as an actress in ways that momma Marcheline never could. Morton asserts that for more than a year, the infant Jolie lived in a bare, all white room cared for by an assortment of babysitters, one of whom provided this information. He says Marcheline didn't see her for days at a stretch, never read to her, and provided little to nothing to stimulate or entertain the child. To emphasize the effects of this on Jolie, Morton quotes psychoanalyst Dr. Franziska De George who says, "The child whose mother abandoms them at six months not only has severe trauma, but beyond that the child is lacking a relationship with itself . . . the emotional part is missing." Psychologist and author Iris Martin adds, "We all self-sooth by going to the mother within and she doesn't have that infrastructure. It's one of the reasons why she is a brilliant actor. Ordinary people don't lose themselves that easily in a person or a process"(182). On the way to deposing Oprah Winfrey as the most powerful celebrity of 2009, Jolie comforted herself destructively with anorexia, cutting, public sexual behavior, and drugs. Her current methods are adopting and bearing children, supporting charitable causes and being a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Men in her life have been conquests to be discarded after she's obtained them, and her relationship with Brad Pitt hasn't lasted long enough to rule out that fate for him as well. At slightly more than 300 pages, the book is replete with details about Jon Voight, Marcheline and her family, and the plethora of actors involved with Jolie to date. If only a small part of it is true, she's lived an amazingly unusual life and will probably continue to attract public attention.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    So-so as far as the celeb tell-all genre goes. It was very sloooow moving in the beginning, too much background about her grandparents. Seriously...like anyone who picks up an unauthorized celeb bio wants to know about the origin of her grandparents??!! **SPOILERS** Points of interest (aka: Important things for my friends who want to know...but not badly enough to bother reading it themselves) 1. Serious abandonment issues during childhood. 2. Cutter and heroin addict and anorexic...long time. 3. Tatt So-so as far as the celeb tell-all genre goes. It was very sloooow moving in the beginning, too much background about her grandparents. Seriously...like anyone who picks up an unauthorized celeb bio wants to know about the origin of her grandparents??!! **SPOILERS** Points of interest (aka: Important things for my friends who want to know...but not badly enough to bother reading it themselves) 1. Serious abandonment issues during childhood. 2. Cutter and heroin addict and anorexic...long time. 3. Tattoos give her sexual pleasure. 4. Laura Dern was dumped by Billy Bob for Ang. Laura Dern was Ang's babysitter from childhood. 5. Billy Bob is afraid of antiques and silver cutlery. Yep. He's OCD and quirky. All the blood vial/swapping stuff was true. 6. Billy Bob gave her a white rat for a wedding gift. She pretty much dumped him after her first adoption...it was her, not him. 7. Goodreads does not have enough bandwidth for me to list all of her lovers...Mick Jagger (took him to a bondage club in NYC) and Oliver Stone were my favorites. She had her eye on Brad for YEARS. 8. Many references to Pitt being a stoner. No mention of her ever smoking weed, just smoking H (which she quit around the time she hooked up with BBT). 9. Painted J. Aniston as a clingy, pathetic mess. 10. There was nothing to the making out with her brother stuff - she was always trying to shock/get publicity. 11. She's always taking off and leaving kids with Pitt and nannies.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I'm giving this 2 stars because even though it was uninteresting and there were no big revelations, Andrew Morton is a good writer and the information is presented well. Otherwise I would probably go with one star. First off I'll say I didn't like Angelina Jolie prior to reading this and I probably like her even less after reading this. I still think she is a homewrecker and a bit of an attention whore. I think all of her humanitarian efforts are ridiculous and, quite honestly, very selfish in s I'm giving this 2 stars because even though it was uninteresting and there were no big revelations, Andrew Morton is a good writer and the information is presented well. Otherwise I would probably go with one star. First off I'll say I didn't like Angelina Jolie prior to reading this and I probably like her even less after reading this. I still think she is a homewrecker and a bit of an attention whore. I think all of her humanitarian efforts are ridiculous and, quite honestly, very selfish in so many ways as opposed to the selfless presentation she wants you to believe. While I do respect the amount of money she donates to charity I just have issues with her whole thing. I don't know why but I just don't buy it. I guess if I had anything nice to say about this book other than "it wasn't poorly written" I'd say that I didn't get the feeling the writer was trying to paint her in a good or bad light. It felt, for the most part, fairly objective. Her antics used to bore me and now she just bores me overall because she's kind of boring. In my opinion it was just a little too soon for this bio to be written. I am sure she has a few more relationships to tear up and some more anorexia and/or drug related drama in her future. Perhaps some more orphans to adopt. Snoozer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Well, this is yet another example of how dysfunctional parents screw up someone's life. I really worry about all those kids she is taking in and leaving to raise by others. They will end up being screwed up, too. Wow, that was harsh but honest.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam Tschorn

    For months, Angelina Jolie was looking out at us from billboards alongside a single question: "Who is Salt?" The tagline refers to the new thriller, "Salt," about a CIA agent suspected of being a Russian spy (the movie has an identity crisis of its own, the main character was originally cast as a male). But the genius in the marketing, of course, is that we're asking the same thing about the actress herself. Enter "Angelina," the unauthorized biography by Andrew Morton, who has penned celebrity bi For months, Angelina Jolie was looking out at us from billboards alongside a single question: "Who is Salt?" The tagline refers to the new thriller, "Salt," about a CIA agent suspected of being a Russian spy (the movie has an identity crisis of its own, the main character was originally cast as a male). But the genius in the marketing, of course, is that we're asking the same thing about the actress herself. Enter "Angelina," the unauthorized biography by Andrew Morton, who has penned celebrity biographies of Tom Cruise, Monica Lewinsky and Princess Diana. Morton's "Salt" is a 35-year-old, second-generation Hollywood actor who has spent her entire life in the public eye, careening through a crazy-quilt of rumor, truth and half-truth regarding (in no particular order or veracity) a fascination with death, heroin use, bisexuality, the serial inking of skin, the bedding of other women's men, the winning of an Academy Award, a U.N. goodwill ambassadorship and the top spot of Forbes' 2009 "Celebrity 100" list … not to mention having a family of six children with Brad Pitt. If there is a celebrity today who merits the spadework of an unauthorized Morton biography, it's Jolie, with a potential audience that includes just about anyone who has gone through a supermarket checkout line in the last decade, glanced at tabloid headlines about Angelina, say, open- mouth kissing her brother or swapping vials of blood with Billy Bob Thornton and wondered: "What was she thinking?" Morton's "Angelina" can't answer for sure — none of the principal players in the tale, which begins in 1950 with the birth of her mother Marcia Lynne Bertrand and ends earlier this year with her charity work in Haiti, appear to have cooperated with him. Among his most relied-upon, on-the-record sources seem to be a former babysitter of the Voight children and Angelina's alleged one-time drug dealer — but Morton manages to advance a plausible theory nonetheless. First off, as Morton points out early on (and reminds us frequently), Angelina Jolie Voight, born on June 4, 1975, is a Gemini — complete with all the light/dark, good/bad, impulsive/reflective duality that the astrological sign entails. But, since the world is home to plenty of Geminis who haven't inked Thornton's name below their bikini line on a whim, there's clearly more at work. So, in recounting her story, Morton turns to professional psychologists (who he's careful to point out have never counseled the actress) to offer their opinions. By applying that armchair psychology to the version of events he's patched together, Morton presents a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a woman with abandonment issues, extreme impulsivity and a knack for leveraging the endless media hunger for every last morsel of celebrity tidbits in a way that allows her to continually cast, craft and recraft her image. If there's anyone to blame here, according to this book, it's the parents, since the bitter relationship between actor Jon Voight and Marcia Lynne (later Marcheline) Bertrand runs as a subplot throughout. Her father left Bertrand for another woman when Angelina was 2, and her mother/manager is portrayed as vacillating between being a laissez-faire hippie mother and a pushy sort of stage mom who, according to Morton, tried — among other things — to push her daughter into a relationship with Mick Jagger. The book also reports, in addition to two marriages — first to actor Jonny Lee Miller and later to Thornton (who happened to be engaged to Laura Dern at the time) — Jolie's pursuit by a besotted Timothy Hutton, a near-romantic encounter with Gary Sinise and a relationship with model Jenny Shimizu. And then there's the fireball of fame that is "Brangelina" — which Morton suggests was at least sparked, if not fully kindled, while Pitt was married to "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston. (Morton, who knows his way around a nuance, implies with as much certainty as he can muster that they were fully engulfed early on.) It's at this point that the book seems to move into hyperdrive, with endless rounds of globe-trotting, location shooting, child-acquiring and philanthropic efforts. But the faster it seems to move, the harder it is to put down. Maybe that's because, like salt, we have a craving for explanation, for back story, and Morton's book offers a satisfying dose of both. While the healthier approach might be to limit the intake by vowing to pick it up occasionally and flip to the index for a snippet like: "Haven, James…relationship with" or " United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees," that's not likely to happen. No matter how bad it might be for you, chances are you won't be able to put this book down until your mouth is dry and your blood pressure is racing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Not really sure how to "review" this book. I guess I'll give it three stars because I enjoyed reading it, but it was basically a very long "People" magazine article. There were two big problems with this book: 1. Most of Morton's sources were anonymous and a lot of the conversations/events he writes about have no citations whatsoever. Frequently it looks like he just pulled this stuff out of his ass. 2: Angelina Jolie has always been VERY open about her past; there's really nothing new in this bo Not really sure how to "review" this book. I guess I'll give it three stars because I enjoyed reading it, but it was basically a very long "People" magazine article. There were two big problems with this book: 1. Most of Morton's sources were anonymous and a lot of the conversations/events he writes about have no citations whatsoever. Frequently it looks like he just pulled this stuff out of his ass. 2: Angelina Jolie has always been VERY open about her past; there's really nothing new in this book. Anyone who has ever read an interview with her basically knows all of the "shocking" revelations about her drug use, cutting, bisexuality, etc. As a result, it's hard to tell for whom this book was really written: Angelina's fans already know all this stuff, while those who can't stand her won't like some of the more positive chapters - that is, if they even care to read a book about an actress they don't like. I did find the chapters about Angelina's parents very interesting, particularly her mother's odd relationship with Al Pacino and her attempts to marry off her daughter to Mick Jagger. Marcheline comes across as both a beautiful tragic figure and a horrible human being. However, as I said above, Morton doesn't cite WHERE he got his information, so the reader has to take it all with a grain of salt...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Unauthorized biographies can offer a reader a general look into a star's life, though the facts are not substantiated. Yet, this book is fascinating in that the reader is given a opportunity to look at Angelina Jolie's growth and development as an actress and as a Hollywood vamp. The concern is to an individual wondering how Ms. Jolie-Pitt is able to reform her troubling past and behaviors that hurt her family, other actresses/actors and her own sense of who she became over the years. How does s Unauthorized biographies can offer a reader a general look into a star's life, though the facts are not substantiated. Yet, this book is fascinating in that the reader is given a opportunity to look at Angelina Jolie's growth and development as an actress and as a Hollywood vamp. The concern is to an individual wondering how Ms. Jolie-Pitt is able to reform her troubling past and behaviors that hurt her family, other actresses/actors and her own sense of who she became over the years. How does she deal with such destructive behaviors and attitudes? Did her body become damaged after so much alcohol and drugs use? Will that make a difference in her future life which surely means her children's lives? Will this passed set of addictions destroy her as she ages? I do not care for Angelina Jolie-Pitt as an actress, but find her attempts to assist those people from other cultures find a remedy to their daily existence through human organizations and developing funds for those organizations. She must be quite a handful for anyone getting to work with her. Of course, Ms. Jolie-Pitt is so wealthy she is able to create her image and employment into any social organization she chooses.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Liu

    I generally like biographies but this one was a terrible read. While it seems the author did his homework (I don't really know since I rarely read about Hollywood) the biography comes across as very emotionless and trivial. I felt an unpleasant judgmental vibe from the author about his subject, "Angie". He also focused mostly on gossip and rumors rather than the Angelina's life and accomplishments. It would have been great to hear more about her role as UN Goodwill ambassador but those parts don I generally like biographies but this one was a terrible read. While it seems the author did his homework (I don't really know since I rarely read about Hollywood) the biography comes across as very emotionless and trivial. I felt an unpleasant judgmental vibe from the author about his subject, "Angie". He also focused mostly on gossip and rumors rather than the Angelina's life and accomplishments. It would have been great to hear more about her role as UN Goodwill ambassador but those parts don't seem to be salacious enough to go into greater detail. As a result, unless you like details like, "in July blah blah blah on a sunny afternoon, Angelina Jolie was seen with her son on the beach playing..." you might find this a fairly boring read as well. I was also uncomfortable reading this book because it felt like an invasion of Jolie's privacy. You learn many personal details about her life but she is largely unable to comment about the conclusions reached by Morton. There are very few quotes from Jolie herself and a lot of quotes from the odd assortment of anonymous inside track people.

  12. 5 out of 5

    elita

    I'm surprised by how many people said there was nothing new in this book if you kept up with US Weekly, People, etc. Maybe I have a bad memory but Morton seemed to provide a lot of information that I hadn't heard of, although most of it was insight into how Jolie thinks. The book was heavy on backstory (her parents' upbringing, courtship, marriage and fallout from the divorce) but I thought it was central to Jolie's worldview, which, let's face it, is pretty screwed up. There were many more affa I'm surprised by how many people said there was nothing new in this book if you kept up with US Weekly, People, etc. Maybe I have a bad memory but Morton seemed to provide a lot of information that I hadn't heard of, although most of it was insight into how Jolie thinks. The book was heavy on backstory (her parents' upbringing, courtship, marriage and fallout from the divorce) but I thought it was central to Jolie's worldview, which, let's face it, is pretty screwed up. There were many more affairs with married actors than I had ever heard about, and although I knew she was into drugs, I didn't realize how heavily. If anything, the book paints her in an even more unflattering light, which I didn't think was possible. I wasn't Team Jolie when I picked it up, but I think she is absolutely vile after putting it down.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    First of all, I'm reviewing the book, not the woman herself. I didn't love the book for a couple of reasons. A. It's hard to say what is fact and what is fiction. This book really doesn't say anything good about Angelina Jolie. I find it hard to believe she is ALL bad. Thus, it had a tabloid feel here and there. B. TOO much crap about her parents. The first quarter of the book was about Jon Voight and Marcheline's messy divorce and his leaving her for another woman and.... To read full review, pl First of all, I'm reviewing the book, not the woman herself. I didn't love the book for a couple of reasons. A. It's hard to say what is fact and what is fiction. This book really doesn't say anything good about Angelina Jolie. I find it hard to believe she is ALL bad. Thus, it had a tabloid feel here and there. B. TOO much crap about her parents. The first quarter of the book was about Jon Voight and Marcheline's messy divorce and his leaving her for another woman and.... To read full review, please click the link below: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2010/...

  14. 5 out of 5

    David

    Morton tries very hard to appear "the journalist," but instead offers readers speculative information based on biased family-friends, fringed with a melodramatic, grating tone. This "biography" reads more like a soap opera script... Yet again, Morton tantalizing readers with the idea of the forbidden, "unauthorized" biography...and yet again manages to deliver nothing more than tabloid rumors. Good to read if you're on the shitter with nothing else handy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucie Jane Miller

    Reads like a celebrity tabloid magazine. research for this book must have been solely done by reading Perez Hilton blogs and Celeb Buzz. The events of Jolie's life and "facts" seem to be based on rumours and gossip acquired from "sources" such as people who hardly know the actress or her parents. A trashy, yet entertaining read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Take everything with a grain of salt in this book. It's not a biography - it's creative nonfiction, with an emphasis on "creative." I can't trust much of what he's writing in here. But it's an enjoyable, quick read, good for bus reading. There were plenty of amazing photos you couldn't find elsewhere. The photos alone would be worth the price of this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book was...appallingly bad. I’m grateful to my friend Elizabeth for lending it to me, and grateful to Amazon for finally allowing at least some Kindle lending, so that it simply vanished effortlessly from my life. I was hoping it would be trash-tastic: ultimately it was just trash. I can see why it’s unauthorized; if I were Angelina Jolie I wouldn’t authorize it either. This thing is a powerful argument for waiting to write biographies until their subjects have passed away, for several reaso This book was...appallingly bad. I’m grateful to my friend Elizabeth for lending it to me, and grateful to Amazon for finally allowing at least some Kindle lending, so that it simply vanished effortlessly from my life. I was hoping it would be trash-tastic: ultimately it was just trash. I can see why it’s unauthorized; if I were Angelina Jolie I wouldn’t authorize it either. This thing is a powerful argument for waiting to write biographies until their subjects have passed away, for several reasons. We might gain, for instance, perspective on the person’s place in society, in history, in our culture, whatever sphere of influence is relevant. Is she worth it? What’s the significance of Angelina Jolie’s life? Is she so strikingly talented an actress that her craft has felt the impact? Has her humanitarian work with UNHCR been so unusual or far-reaching that she’s in need of accolades? Or is she simply the half of a dazzlingly attractive, glamorous, rich celebrity supercouple who has a history of bizarrely provocative public statements and behavior? What makes her uniquely interesting--what’s her story? Based on this book, I’d have to say there isn’t one, really. Andrew Morton's account of Ms Jolie contains not much in the way of a coherent throughline, based as it is on tabloid accounts and secondhand interviews with extras (a youthful babysitter, her former security guard), psychologists who neither see her professionally nor know her personally, and astrologers ditto, and anecdotes from the entourages of other celebrities. This leads to a lot of contradictory impressions and opinions whose credence Morton’s not interested in evaluating, and to which he gives such equal weight no real sense of his authorship emerges. The whiplash jumble of inconsistency reads like a list of quotes and blind items culled from every tabloid published in the last twenty years and strung together without art, style or sense. Despite reaching into her antecedents as far back as her grandmother, Morton doesn’t discover any compelling insights about Jolie’s character--how could he, when everything is anecdotal or speculative? (I wanted to say “suppository,” but it just doesn’t seem fair.) Morton’s willingness to free-associate about the motivations and character flaws of Marcheline Bertrand, Jon Voight, and Bill Day starts to thin out as he gets closer to the currently-influential, powerful stars with flesh-eating lawyers. About Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Billy Bob Thornton, for example, he is more circumspect. I would say that he’s more critical of the “historical” figures in Jolie’s life than the current stars, except that he’s not critical at all--he simply relates horrible and wonderful things about people and leaves constructive interpretation, the drawing of any conclusions to the reader. It’s just bad writing. I’ll leave you with a sample: if it speaks to you, read this book. “As a Gemini, the child was destined to have a dual personality, the forces of good and evil, darkness and light, male and female, wrestling in her psyche. She would be at once adaptable, versatile, witty, and intellectual and nervous, tense, cunning, and inconsistent. Those who came to know her in the coming years would repeatedly attest to the fact that she was a true Gemini.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    Let's face it - Angelina Jolie is one freaky, weird chick! I knew that when I picked up the book but reading about her multiplied that freakiness by about 10 for me! I must admit that it was sad to hear about how she spent the first year of her life pretty much alone in her crib because her mother was so messed up but still that can't be used to explain all of her strange habits! I was also shocked that her mother allowed her to have a live-in boyfriend at 14!!! I am only a few years older than Let's face it - Angelina Jolie is one freaky, weird chick! I knew that when I picked up the book but reading about her multiplied that freakiness by about 10 for me! I must admit that it was sad to hear about how she spent the first year of her life pretty much alone in her crib because her mother was so messed up but still that can't be used to explain all of her strange habits! I was also shocked that her mother allowed her to have a live-in boyfriend at 14!!! I am only a few years older than Angelina and I cannot even imagine being allowed to have a boy sleep in my bed at that age let alone my mother condoning it! What was her mother thinking?!? After reading that I went on to read that Angelina and this boyfriend used to cut each other with knives during "the act" and she had to be admitted to the hospital because their cutting during "it" narrowly missed her jugular and only then her mother decided a live-in boyfriend for her teenager wasn't a good idea? Wow! Move ahead a few years and then the talk of her "bloody" marriages begins - she wrote her first husband's name on her the back of a white t-shirt during their wedding in her own blood. Ewwwww.......what was she thinking?!? The man still married her?!? Move on to her next marriage to weird Billy Bob (who we all know wore a vial of Angie's blood while she wore one of his) and her gave her a pet rat for a wedding present. What? I believe there was a mention of a picture they hung above their bed that she created from her own blood and of course they had a second ceremony where they pricked each others' fingers and sucked their blood. Bizarre! Okay, move on to promiscious, bi-sexual, drug addict, anorexic, and suicidal......How did she get to be such a famous actress when most people would go running from her in horror? What does Brad see in her? Seriously? Although one must admit she is a beautiful woman and hopefully she is truly caring for all those children safely. I did find the book jumping around a little bit so it was difficult to read at times. Also, it is unauthorized so it is not 100% accurate but I would guess Morton did some pretty hefty research to get it pretty close to the truth!

  19. 4 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    If there is a celebrity today who merits the spadework of an unauthorized Morton biography, it's Jolie, with a potential audience that includes just about anyone who has gone through a supermarket checkout line in the last decade, glanced at tabloid headlines about Angelina, say, open- mouth kissing her brother or swapping vials of blood with Billy Bob Thornton and wondered: "What was she thinking?"If there's anyone to blame here, according to this book, it's the parents, since the bitter relati If there is a celebrity today who merits the spadework of an unauthorized Morton biography, it's Jolie, with a potential audience that includes just about anyone who has gone through a supermarket checkout line in the last decade, glanced at tabloid headlines about Angelina, say, open- mouth kissing her brother or swapping vials of blood with Billy Bob Thornton and wondered: "What was she thinking?"If there's anyone to blame here, according to this book, it's the parents, since the bitter relationship between actor Jon Voight and Marcia Lynne (later Marcheline) Bertrand runs as a subplot throughout. Her father left Bertrand for another woman when Angelina was 2, and her mother/manager is portrayed as vacillating between being a laissez-faire hippie mother and a pushy sort of stage mom who, according to Morton, tried among other things to push her daughter into a relationship with Mick Jagger.It's at this point [after Jolie and Brad Pitt come together] that the book seems to move into hyperdrive, with endless rounds of globe-trotting, location shooting, child-acquiring and philanthropic efforts. But the faster it seems to move, the harder it is to put down. Maybe that's because, like salt, we have a craving for explanation, for back story, and Morton's book offers a satisfying dose of both. While the healthier approach might be to limit the intake by vowing to pick it up occasionally and flip to the index for a snippet like: "Haven, James relationship with" or "United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees," that's not likely to happen.Chances are you won't be able to put this book down until your mouth is dry and your blood pressure is racing." ***Rate this 3/5. I usually love Andrew Morton's books, but I liked his series on Princess Diana better than this one on Angelina Jolie. It did, however, give me a clearer impression on why she is like she is as an adult. If the facts of her childhood are entirely true, it is a wonder that she grew up normally at all. The book also portrays both her and Brad Pitt as master manipulators of the press, for their own advantages and agenda which I found surprising because I bought into the hype myself.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margot

    Andrew Morton, in his unauthorized biography on actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, cuts right to the core of her neurosis. His primary thesis is that Angelina does the things she does--hoards children, breaks up happy marriages/engagements/relationships, gets married and divorced seemingly dictated by whim, and is a very good actress--because of very early childhood trauma. When Angelina was about one year old, her mother--heartbroken due to her separation from Angie's father Andrew Morton, in his unauthorized biography on actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, cuts right to the core of her neurosis. His primary thesis is that Angelina does the things she does--hoards children, breaks up happy marriages/engagements/relationships, gets married and divorced seemingly dictated by whim, and is a very good actress--because of very early childhood trauma. When Angelina was about one year old, her mother--heartbroken due to her separation from Angie's father John Voight--banished baby Angelina to an empty, all-white apartment two floors above her own, and paid a revolving wheel of friends and out of work actors to feed and care for her. For that year, Angelina was in effect abandoned by her parents, in a white room holding only a white crib, and provided few toys or meaningful social interactions. It's always interesting to get a sneak peak into an ultra famous person's life, finding out what really motivates them and what their life behind the scenes is really like. This biography certainly provides such insight into Angelina's life, though of course not the deep internal thoughts of an autobiography. One thing I didn't realize before reading this biography was how acclaimed and respected she is as an actress. Not being a big fan of hers, I haven't seen most of her movies. So I think of her primarily as an action movie star--not an acting heavyweight. Morton's continued efforts to psychoanalyze Angelina throughout the biography grew quickly tiresome. He quoted numerous psychologists providing their take on the motivations behind Angelina's more self-destructive or mystifying actions. These assertions felt highly presumptuous. Morton even went so far as to say, at one point, that though Angelina herself didn't realize this was why, but here was the reason she was doing a certain thing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well, it was just okay. I am ashamed to say I was fascinated by the lurid details that make up Angelina Jolie's life in the years before she hit the big time. Some is over the top, such as her mother allowing her to have a live-in boyfriend at age 14, living in their shared home! Andrew Morton's main hypothesis that abandonment by her mother as an infant produced much of Angelina's distress, an inability to emotionally connect with people, her restlessness, her fascination with extreme behaviors Well, it was just okay. I am ashamed to say I was fascinated by the lurid details that make up Angelina Jolie's life in the years before she hit the big time. Some is over the top, such as her mother allowing her to have a live-in boyfriend at age 14, living in their shared home! Andrew Morton's main hypothesis that abandonment by her mother as an infant produced much of Angelina's distress, an inability to emotionally connect with people, her restlessness, her fascination with extreme behaviors, and even her compulsive generosity, wears thin after awhile. He trots out various "psychoanalysts" who have "never treated Angelina or her family" who, in effect, diagnose her. For starters, my inner psychologist wants to scream that psychoanalysis is a rather pessimistic, outmoded therapeutic approach. A different approach, for example, asks of its subject what it would look like IF she behaved as the "good woman" she envisions? Then it asks the person to go out and basically fake it, so that eventually there is no distinction between faking the behavior and just doing it. And that is where I part company with Mr. Morton. If Angelina donates some 30% of her extraordinary income to charities and has championed the causes of people with no political voice, then she pretty much IS a "good woman" in my book. The tattoos, cutting, fascination with knives, and attraction to danger, etc. are things that have shaped AJ's life, certainly. However, you can only really judge someone by their actions, as Morton often points out, and AJ has done a lot more with her celebrity and fortune than, say, Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson. All the more power to her. Read this with a grain of salt.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Andrew Morton is a former journalist and author of several celebrity biographies, releasing his first book Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words in 1992. Angelina Jolie is Morton's most recent subject. In Angelina, Morton writes with utmost explicit detail not only about Jolie's childhood and upbringing, but also about the history of her parents Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Using details from interviews and his own research, Morton's biography is extremely thorough and is ultimately the p Andrew Morton is a former journalist and author of several celebrity biographies, releasing his first book Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words in 1992. Angelina Jolie is Morton's most recent subject. In Angelina, Morton writes with utmost explicit detail not only about Jolie's childhood and upbringing, but also about the history of her parents Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Using details from interviews and his own research, Morton's biography is extremely thorough and is ultimately the perfect guide for anyone wanting to know anything and everything about Angelina Jolie; from facts about her paternal and maternal grandparents to her career, her many boyfriends and husbands, addictions, and much, much more. Angelina is full of Hollywood gossip and definitely provides insight into the lives of high-profile entertainers. While die-hard fans of Jolie will appreciate the inside information provided behind movie sets, Jolie's co-stars and the stories behind her own roles; Angelinais just too detailed for the masses and I predict that most readers will lose interest. Despite this drawback, readers will definitely leave with a better understanding of Angelina Jolie and why she continues to get a lot of press -- and not just due to her beauty. Morton's research has uncovered and exposed simple facts about Jolie's upbringing that explains her past and present behavior. Andrew Morton has also written Monica's Story (1999), Madonna (2001) and Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography (2008); of these I have read Madonna which is highly enjoyable! Be sure to keep an eye out for his future biographies. Read more book reviews at http://dreamworldbooks.com.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Harper

    Like several other reviewers, I agree that the book does read like an extended magazine article, with the tone alternating between accusatory to empathetic while grasping unsuccessfully at objectivity. I do not usually read these types of books, so it is a little tricky to review them as my expectation was non existent (perhaps that is a good thing)..however I should state up front that I am not at all a fan of Angelina in terms of her character (albiet obviously as only percieved through media) Like several other reviewers, I agree that the book does read like an extended magazine article, with the tone alternating between accusatory to empathetic while grasping unsuccessfully at objectivity. I do not usually read these types of books, so it is a little tricky to review them as my expectation was non existent (perhaps that is a good thing)..however I should state up front that I am not at all a fan of Angelina in terms of her character (albiet obviously as only percieved through media) although I do admit she is a phenomenal actor. I read this book due to my passion and interest in social justice, and hoping for an unbiased insight into who she really is, and maybe to challenge my judgemental preconceived opinion that she is a manipulative bitch. Also my sister LOVES her so I didnt have to waste any money on buying the book lol. The book I guess did offer some insights into the psychology of who she is, but I am still not convinced that Morton got any deeper than just scratching the surface of the 'heart and soul' of Angelina. I remain perplexed by the alternating character between good and evil and question her actual motives for the charity work she pursues, however admit to huge respect for her financial and personal sacrifices to social justice nonetheless. If you are after a tabloid style biography with some salacious details and narrowed insight of her troubled youth it is an enjoyable read. For the record, I still think she is somewhat of a manipulative bitch

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    I thought this was going to be a big insight into Angelina's life, but after a few chaptes, it is extremely obvious why this is unauthorized. There is no way Angelina would have allowed this book to go to print. It is as though Morton is just looking for reasons to pinpoint Jolie as a nasty individual. To begin with, you think he may be correct, but the further you read, the more you realise that this is just a book full of conspiracy theories, not of facts. It is Morton's way of trying to pull I thought this was going to be a big insight into Angelina's life, but after a few chaptes, it is extremely obvious why this is unauthorized. There is no way Angelina would have allowed this book to go to print. It is as though Morton is just looking for reasons to pinpoint Jolie as a nasty individual. To begin with, you think he may be correct, but the further you read, the more you realise that this is just a book full of conspiracy theories, not of facts. It is Morton's way of trying to pull apart every thing Jolie has ever done or been accused of in her personal life and making reasons for why that happenned or what that represents in her personality. It becomes clear that Morton really doesn't like Angelina and just wanted to write the book because he thought she would be a good subject matter. He doesn't bring in any credible sources, just psychologists who have never met Jolie. In the end, you feel sorry for Jolie as Morton really doesn't give her any credit throughout the book and shws no empathy to her.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is a fun, gossipy read for those times when you need a celebrity fix. There was quite a bit in this book about Angelina's parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, and her early years. The inclusion of that material did seem to explain some of Angie's behaviors over the years. The author covered her movie career and her relationships, her charity work and her travels, her adoptions and the strange ambivalence she sometimes seems to have toward her own biological children. Angelina is com This is a fun, gossipy read for those times when you need a celebrity fix. There was quite a bit in this book about Angelina's parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, and her early years. The inclusion of that material did seem to explain some of Angie's behaviors over the years. The author covered her movie career and her relationships, her charity work and her travels, her adoptions and the strange ambivalence she sometimes seems to have toward her own biological children. Angelina is complex, driven, and versatile enough to find acting jobs for years to come. Her story is nowhere near at an end. Since this book was published in 2010 many of us have already been impressed by the way she has handled her health issues, finding a way to be both public about her struggles and maintain her privacy at the same time, and enchanted with her film portrayal of Maleficent. Not only that but she finally married Brad Pitt! What took her so long anyway? :) Take book with grain of salt and have fun.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Andrew Morton is a good biographer. I was not greatly interested in reading this biography, but I had heard a lot of talk on the radio here in Portland so I thought that I would check it out. The author speculates and uses expert psychiatrists to determine Angelina behavious. There is one thing that can't be denied that she is a beautiful, strong, and unusual woman. I do not approve of all the man stealing, but hey...it takes two. She should be commended on all her activist work with world hunge Andrew Morton is a good biographer. I was not greatly interested in reading this biography, but I had heard a lot of talk on the radio here in Portland so I thought that I would check it out. The author speculates and uses expert psychiatrists to determine Angelina behavious. There is one thing that can't be denied that she is a beautiful, strong, and unusual woman. I do not approve of all the man stealing, but hey...it takes two. She should be commended on all her activist work with world hunger. She has adopted three kids from questionable sources. Two of the three have mothers that are still alive. Some speculation and concern that her first child was a black market baby taken from his parents. There will always be drama and controversy surrounding this woman. I think that she thrives in it often to the detriment of those around her. I suspect that she will be around for a long time in the movie industry.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Marie

    I wondered about this woman, who came off as a druggie in her twenties, then a sex-magnet in her thirties, and then a supermom-slash-humanitarian in her 40s. I thought maybe the book would give me more insight on the woman. It was... a really stupid book. The author's 'credible' sources were astrologists, psychologists, magazine articles and tabloid statements. He paints a picture of this brat of a girl who gets whatever she wants, all of her life... and always at the expense of others. In fact, I wondered about this woman, who came off as a druggie in her twenties, then a sex-magnet in her thirties, and then a supermom-slash-humanitarian in her 40s. I thought maybe the book would give me more insight on the woman. It was... a really stupid book. The author's 'credible' sources were astrologists, psychologists, magazine articles and tabloid statements. He paints a picture of this brat of a girl who gets whatever she wants, all of her life... and always at the expense of others. In fact, by the end of the book, I'm pretty sure he dislikes her wholly. And it ends in 201o, leaving us with so much undocumented portions of her life (where has she been?), I found it lacking. The only thing I came away with was that Angelina is a self-absorbed jackass, and I seriously, sincerely feel for her father, who's entire life was one big giant scar from her callous and horrible treatment of him.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Holly Booms Walsh

    Very little information here that you wouldn't already have known or heard if you read the celebrity magazines or follow Angelina's many interviews. There is some interesting information on Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand that was new, but like most of the stuff on Angie or James, it was highly biased and largely extrapolated from small tidbits and "anonymous sources". This was far from objective - in fact, seems very biased against Angelina, James, and Marcheline but very biased for Jon. It Very little information here that you wouldn't already have known or heard if you read the celebrity magazines or follow Angelina's many interviews. There is some interesting information on Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand that was new, but like most of the stuff on Angie or James, it was highly biased and largely extrapolated from small tidbits and "anonymous sources". This was far from objective - in fact, seems very biased against Angelina, James, and Marcheline but very biased for Jon. It was a trashy, often uncomfortable read that I ended up skimming a lot of. The author claims that Angelina is shrewdly capitalizing on her notoriety for fame's sake - and yet, that is exactly what he did here. He used her notoriety to pin together lots of already published interview material into a re-hash book that he knew would sell because it had her name on it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Listened to the audio version. I found it interesting that her mother, who I always thought was some French actress--was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and changed her name from Marsha Lynn to Marcheline. According to this unauthorized bio, which apparently offers no sources--Marcheline was the epitome of a stage mom who remained bitter about her abandonment by Jon Voight for her entire life, and succeeded in turning both her children against their father. It portrays Jon Voight as a typ Listened to the audio version. I found it interesting that her mother, who I always thought was some French actress--was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and changed her name from Marsha Lynn to Marcheline. According to this unauthorized bio, which apparently offers no sources--Marcheline was the epitome of a stage mom who remained bitter about her abandonment by Jon Voight for her entire life, and succeeded in turning both her children against their father. It portrays Jon Voight as a typical self-absorbed Hollywood type in his younger days, who later regretted the lack of relationship with his children. Angie had a live-in boyfriend at the age of 14, was into drugs and self-mutilation in her teens and into her twenties. Are all those tatoos an acceptable, more adult form of self-mutilation? Kind of an interesting book, but with no sources--could be fiction.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Bailey

    This is the first biography I have read about anyone famous. The only other biographies or autobiographes I have read are more about people who are struggling like boy soldiers in Africa or families that are exiled in Morocco. While this is not written by Angelina, it was interesting. It is hard to tell what is actually true and what is not and what is the writer's take on it or the Doctor he got to review it. I didn't enjoy that aspect of it but it was interesting to learn things about Angelina This is the first biography I have read about anyone famous. The only other biographies or autobiographes I have read are more about people who are struggling like boy soldiers in Africa or families that are exiled in Morocco. While this is not written by Angelina, it was interesting. It is hard to tell what is actually true and what is not and what is the writer's take on it or the Doctor he got to review it. I didn't enjoy that aspect of it but it was interesting to learn things about Angelina that I didn't know. It doesn't totally make me like her more now in fact i almost like her less now. She did struggle growing up but I'm not sure that it was as bad as they make it out to be, i think there is a lot of exageration as well as I think she is somewhat repeating some of her cycle of being raised with her own kids. I feel bad sometimes for those kids.

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