A Genuine 5 Star Joan Crawford Experience Dec 31, 2008
Charlotte Chandler, whose writing is positively magic, has given us in this compelling new personal biography, "Not the Girl Next Door", something far beyond very important new information on this complex Oscar winning star. She has given us an actual "personal experience" of Joan Crawford herself.
Often times there is far more to be learned from how individuals "see themselves", and also "want to be seen", than from only the cold hard facts of their lives. If all you want to know about Joan Crawford is dates, people, and "hearsay" gossip, then looking her up in an encyclopedia of film history and reading all the slander that was written specifically to hurt her and to damage her reputation will suffice. However, if what you want is the extraordinary opportunity of sitting and listening to Joan Crawford tell you about her life, as it personally impacted her, then ""Not the Girl Next Door" is absolutely the book for you!
Perfectly set with carefully observed background description, and skillfully crafted from first-hand personal interviews with Ms Chandler, this book reads with the reality of a face-to-face encounter with Joan Crawford and those who knew her well. And because the author, mercifully, has NOT burdened her audience with endless speculative and psychological analyses of the star, readers themselves are closely drawn into active participation with the narrative and can come to their own conclusions, based upon their own understanding of Joan Crawford as she and her contemporaries speak directly to them.
Joan Crawford, whose devotion to her fans is legendary, was the quintessential "Movie Star". No one has ever worked harder to perfect her talents and her physical self, or to please her studio and moviegoers. At its core, "Not the Girl Next Door" refocuses our attention on Crawford's justly earned film career fame along with her many often unmentioned kindnesses to others, while at the same time balancing these accomplishments with the fears, insecurities, and childhood demons that we begin to perceive she always had to struggle against. Having read other books on and interviews of Miss Crawford I believe that she has revealed herself, in these largely "end of life" sessions with Ms. Chandler, in a way that we have never seen her before.
Also, importantly, in a stroke of sheer creative genius, Ms Chandler has set her own ego aside, and almost never reveals herself as "present" in the rooms where she sat and so carefully listened to those who told her their stories. It is, in fact, as if she has graciously gotten up and given her seat to her readers, and stepped out of the way so that they alone may be spoken to. In addition to what you will learn, it is the mystery of Ms Chandler's skill as a listener, and the magic of her writing as an author, that will leave you unable to put this book down.
My suggestion to you is to sit in a comfortable chair, turn out all the lights save the one you are reading with, pick up your copy of "Not the Girl Next Door" and listen quietly as Joan Crawford personally tells you her story. Thanks to the keenly perceptive talent of Charlotte Chandler, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!!