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Publisher's Summary

The tumultuous and heartbreaking life of a world-famous model whose riveting story of beauty, fame, passion, murder, and madness in the Gilded Age captivated a nation.

As America was stepping into the modern era, one great beauty became the artist's model of choice. Her perfect form became the emblem of the Gilded Age and appears on the greatest monuments of New York and the nation. Supermodel, actress, icon - her beauty paved the way for a life of glamour, passion, and ultimately tragedy. She dated the millionaires of the fashionable Newport colony and became the first American movie star ever to appear naked in a film, but her promising film career collapsed; her doctor fell in love with her and killed his own wife; and on her fortieth birthday her mother committed her to an insane asylum. She remained there until her death in 1996 at the age of 104 and is now buried in an unmarked grave.

Her name is Audrey Munson.

Many listeners will recognize Audrey Munson and have walked by her in the street without even knowing her name. She stands atop New York's Municipal Building. She sits as Miss Manhattan and Miss Brooklyn outside the Brooklyn Museum and is immortalized on the Manhattan Bridge, the Frick Mansion, the New York Public Library, and the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel. In gold, bronze, and stone, she still graces bridges, skyscrapers, fountains, churches, monuments, and public buildings across the nation, from Jacksonville to San Francisco, from Atlanta to the Wisconsin state capitol.

From James Bone, the former New York bureau chief of The Times of London, this brilliantly reported investigative biography reveals for the first time the riveting truth of the forgotten life of an iconic beauty.

©2016 James Bone (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Fascinating story. Possibly a little too much detail in this book for my first encounter with Audrey. Too many names and details of their lives. I only wanted to hear about Audrey. I admit I shed a tear at the end. Sixty five years of incarceration for America's first super model. Admitted at 40 years old until her death at 104 years and 8 months old. I'll give her a nod as I pass by her form in many sculptures throughout in NYC. She should not be forgotten. What a fascinating life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As indulgent and impressive as the Gilded Age

The voice actress was perfection! This story opened up a dark and fascinating world and era. I have seen photographs of this forgotten age between 1900 and 1920, but never knew about the glamerous and sinister world that was bohemia and nascent Hollywood. To anyone interested in a beautiful tragic starlet, cursed by her own beauty, I recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lost Interest

What would have made The Curse of Beauty better?

Leaving out parts that were unrelated to the story. It seems like he had to use fillers to write the book, and did not have enough information about Audrey Munson.

If you’ve listened to books by James Bone before, how does this one compare?

This is the first book, which I lost interest in and stopped listening to it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator sounds like a robot, and made the story even more unbearable, I will not buy any other books narrated by her.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story could have been good if he left out all tidbits we did not need to hear, and if there were a different narrator who did'nt sound like a robot.

Any additional comments?

I wish I could get my money back!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

sadness for days

what a devastatingly sad tale. well written and told but it will haunt me forever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful