No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf

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I have read everything I can find on her and sadly, much of it is so terribly slanted it is difficult to suss out the woman beneath the myth. I believe this book does such a good job of that. It does Fantastic. It does not ignore Edith's excesses in men,alcohol and drugs but it does truly bring home her true life force, her exquisite voice. The book is extremely well researched and is very current including references to the Oscar winning film of her life, La Mome or La vie En Rose as it was called in the U.

One of the things I love about reading about Edith is that for a little while, she is alive to us.

No Regrets : The Life of Edith Piaf

Her vivacity is that strong--just reading about her can make her alive for you. That is so beautiful for me--I love her and of course sympathize with her so much it's impossible not to do so. I loved that this book highlighted the extent of her Resistance work--while she was not political, she was patriotic and she took many great risks to help her people during WWII. Her love life and struggles with her health were so huge, they tend to dominate her biographies. While this is valid in terms of her love affair with love, she had many facets.

Another of wonderful qualities that is highlighted here is her loyalty and generosity and kindness to others. Her wonderful quality of sharing everything she had with her friends and lovers, from rations during the war to her homes and money. There is much on her assistance to other performers often her lovers even at the cost of her own dignity and health. One walks away with a true sense of Edith as a complete woman and a fascinating one.

There is more here as well for those of us with romantic hearts, about her great love, Marcel Cerdan. Some people are very cynical about this love affair--feeling it would have gone the way of her others had Cerdan not passed away this is not a spoiler as it's very commonly known--Cerdan was nearly as big a celebrity as Edith herself at the time --but I have to say in reading this book, and dissecting her love affairs that this one was truly different.

I do believe she grieved for him the rest of her life and was never the same.

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I do believe that had he survived her life might have taken a different turn. But that is only my opinion. I do know that along with Cerdan, her greatest love was her singing. That once her health began to compromise that, she lost her will to live and began to fade like a dying flower. Despite the fragile aspects of her personality and body, the impression one walks away with is of an incredibly strong woman, compromised from the day of her birth by circumstance and resilient in the face of her many travails, both of the heart and body.

Edith lived her life as if it was going to be short she is the essence of the Kerouac quote about "the mad ones" and despite sadness, you appreciate how much she enjoyed so much of her life--every moment of happiness clutched to her breast and truly savored. Like Judy Garland, who she is often compared to, despite her reputation as being tragic, she was a woman who loved to laugh and had a true love of life. Mar 24, Caroline rated it liked it. Good comprehensive biography of a fascinating artist and woman. However I found the writing to be less than compelling.

For example, she switches wildly between calling people by their proper and nicknames and in some instances name drops celebrities of the era without telling you what they were actually a celebrit Good comprehensive biography of a fascinating artist and woman. For example, she switches wildly between calling people by their proper and nicknames and in some instances name drops celebrities of the era without telling you what they were actually a celebrity for. Very frustrating, especially when you feel like you need a scorecard of who's who.

Plus she starts out translating French lyrics for understanding, thenDorothy much drops the practice half way through. She barely mentions La Vie En Rose and doesn't translate thetree lines she does reference. I do love Edith Piaf though and this seems a good attempt to chart her journey from street singer to national icon. Dec 29, Lia rated it it was amazing. The best biography on Piaf I've read.

No Regrets - The Life and Music of Edith Piaf | The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

Though I grew up with my mother playing her music it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I took a serious interest in her life. I learned how devoted to love she was and how there were so many layers to her, actress, political activist during WWII, self-appointed manager of numerous talent The best biography on Piaf I've read. I learned how devoted to love she was and how there were so many layers to her, actress, political activist during WWII, self-appointed manager of numerous talents, a mother, sister, daughter, wife and international icon.

The book is very well researched and uses direct quotes and firsthand sources and is cleanly annotated and indexed. I highly recommend this to any fan of hers or fan of biographies. You will find a multi-layered individual with flaws and immense strength that inspires and awes the reader. Jun 20, Jenny Brown rated it it was ok. This tedious biography goes overboard in trying to heroicize its subject, but nevertheless presents her in a very unflattering way.

Like most biographies of celebrities who left few or boring letters, it too often turns into a dull list of gigs followed by snippets of reviews.


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The author's attempt to suggest that Piaf became an intellectual is strained and reeks of whitewashing. In the few scenes where Piaf actually comes to life in this book, we are left with the impression of her as an overwhe This tedious biography goes overboard in trying to heroicize its subject, but nevertheless presents her in a very unflattering way.

In the few scenes where Piaf actually comes to life in this book, we are left with the impression of her as an overwhelmingly self-involved and self-destructive woman who had no ability to form real relationships with other humans and a very limited emotional range in her music, the lyrics of which when translated give a new definition to the word "banal".

Apr 06, Rosie Beck rated it really liked it.

No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf

Loving biography of the truly remarkable Edith Piaf. From her early life-abandoned by her parents and raised in her grandparents brothel-until her father, a circus contortionist, takes her "on the road" to perform with that heavenly voice, one realizes how impassioned she was with music. France's "little sparrow" climbed to the top. Her connections with Lepee, a possible mobster from the very seedy Pigalle, through an astonishing amount of lovers to the death of her one true love Marcel Cerdan a Loving biography of the truly remarkable Edith Piaf.

Her connections with Lepee, a possible mobster from the very seedy Pigalle, through an astonishing amount of lovers to the death of her one true love Marcel Cerdan are covered. What is glossed over somewhat is her descent into alcohol and drugs leading to her early death. What a gal.

Jun 29, ian rated it did not like it. Really difficult to get through. Repeats itself. Doesn't go into much details Maybe we want a story that only Piaf herself knows to any extent. And her past was probably so painful that she never really told anyone her story. Whats left is just the highlights - but nothing deeper. The author tried If edith r Crap. If edith read this, the song would have gone Non, Je ne regrette rien Mais l'achat de ce livre de merde!

I do not regret anything, but buying this shit book. Mar 27, Christina rated it liked it Shelves: memoir-bio , nonfiction. This is the first biography that I have read. I was hoping for more info about the atmosphere that surrounded Piaf through the years. There were a lot of facts about where she preformed and who she collaborated with and dated, in fact so many it was a bit boring at times.

I fell like I know a lot more about Piaf, but I don't know who she really was in many respects.

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Dec 23, Elena Sotelo-McCrary rated it it was amazing. I always loved the way this woman sang. But, I never knew much about what "made her" the international star. Even her name was a revelation--Piaf french slang for Sparrow. She loved life in the fierce sense, as she was unloved by her mother who only sought her out for a handout.

Marion Cotillard ( Edith Piaf ) - Non, je ne regrette rien

How awful for her. But, that is what makes her story so incredibly gripping. You want her to succeed, even when life or critics try and sometimes succeed in tearing her down. Yet, like a phoenix she rises to new he I always loved the way this woman sang. Yet, like a phoenix she rises to new heights. I never knew she wrote music, but was at first shutdown with her lyrics. Yet, she persisted.


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Here we have a street fighter, a lover, a muse, a mentor. So much in such a small package. If you have ever felt as if you struggled, you must take time to read, "No Regrets" for Mome Piaf lived as she sang with ever fiber of her being. It was only recently that I discovered Edith Piaf and her songs.

After listening to both Non, je ne regrette rien and La Vie en rose, I was hooked. I have since then bought a two CD collection of her songs, a picture, the movie based on her life, and this biography. I enjoyed this book. I knew some of her life story, but I had no idea how passionate she was about singing and love. Though she didn't find any long lasting happiness with any man, her fans were always there for her. I would recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of this extraordinary woman and anyone else who wants to know why Edith Piaf is considered one of the best singers of the 2oth century and understand why she is still fondly remembered in both her home country, France, and the rest of the world.

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Piaf What can you say. Been a fan for over sixty years. Lots of information xx.

Jan 04, April rated it liked it.