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Publisher's Summary

In this unusually frank book Scott Thorson, Liberace's longtime lover, tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer who went to outrageous extremes to prevent public knowledge of his homosexuality.

Liberace's unhappy childhood, dominated by a mother determined to force him into a concert career, serves as the prologue for a story that goes on to detail Liberace's early appearances in honky-tonks, his move to New York to seek fame, and, finally, his first booking in Las Vegas, where he was courted by the Mafia.

As Thorson attests, such successes provide a bright counterpoint to a darker tale of a man hungry for power, given to every excess. Liberace's credo - "too much of a good thing is wonderful" - is reflected here in his acquisition of new lovers, luxurious homes, a large collection of pornography, and a total of 26 house dogs.

Behind the Candelabra above all explores the fundamentally tender love affair between Liberace and Thorson - whom Liberace sent to his own plastic surgeon to have his face remodeled in Liberace's own image!

This fast-paced story, sprinkled with anecdotes about famous entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Shirley MacLaine, ends with an intimate look at Liberace's final days as he lay dying of AIDS - and his deathbed reconciliation with Thorson. Thorson's story will also appear in the upcoming biopic of the same name starring award-winning actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

©1988, 2013 Scott Thorson with Alex Thorleifson (P)2013 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    87
  • 4 Stars
    69
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    39
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    7
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Julie
  • Gladstone, OR, United States
  • 05-29-13

Great book

If you could sum up Behind the Candelabra in three words, what would they be?

This was very informative and entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the story of Liberace and Scott and then Scott's removal from Liberace's life

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Candid, candid, and candid.

I found this book VERY MUCH more candid, informative, and well-written than I had anticipated. I thotoughly enjoyed the author's genuineness.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Definitely Enjoyed this Story & Narration

Scott Thorson definitely let us all into the real very private world of Liberace. Very well written and occasionally slips off track to explain some of the back story to what he is relating at the time. For me, it is definitely the kind of book that you can re-read a few times and grab something new you didn't read or "hear" before. The narration is wonderful and not monotone at all.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace

If you could sum up Behind the Candelabra in three words, what would they be?

Delicious, fun, sad

What other book might you compare Behind the Candelabra to and why?

No comparison ;-)

What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

Love it, very believable

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Tears in a few places

Any additional comments?

Fantastic story, maybe on sided but very enjoyable

  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Gudrun
  • Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 12-27-15

Surprisingly interesting

This book was not really revealing about Liberace, but it was about Scott Thorson which was interesting. I bought this as a bit of a joke, thought I would try it out, but was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The reason it was interesting to me was Scott Thorson's take on Las Vegas.

  • Overall
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  • LS
  • 11-23-15

Excellent

One of the best books I have ever read! Honest raw real !! A must read

  • Overall
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  • JM
  • 07-09-15

Bad narrator

It sounded like he was trying to do an impression of Michael Douglas doing Liberace...poorly. That was quite annoying - good thing it was an interesting story!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A new point of view of Liberace

What did you like best about Behind the Candelabra? What did you like least?

It had a different aspect of Liberace life than is commonly known. He was a very entertaining and talented man but quite superficial which shows what a good actor he was.
I didn't care for the narrators voice. Also the sound went higher and lower which means poor quality sound editing which I have never experienced before in any audio book I have purchased from Audible.

Would you be willing to try another book from Alex Thorleifson and Scott Thorson ? Why or why not?

Not really.

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

If he was the narrator I didn't care for his voice quality.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I might

Any additional comments?

Disappointing sound quality going higher and lower made it annoying which is the fault of the sound editing or the narrator moving away and then closer to the microphone.

  • Overall
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  • Story

hedonistic, excessive buying, no family unity

I could not finish this. I found no redeeming or good reason to continue to read about a life dedicated to buying more and bigger. I guess it's a book about a life completely out of balance and self centered.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't waste your time or money

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The story had no flow or rhythm. I couldn't decide if it was bad writing or bad narration or both.

Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Berkrot’s performances?

No.