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Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel af C. W.…
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Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel (original 2015; udgave 2015)

af C. W. Gortner (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2881768,774 (3.91)27
A creative reimagining of the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel traces the development of her exceptional sewing skills in an orphanage, her transformation into a couturier and the private struggles behind her subsequent fame.
Medlem:iamatlas
Titel:Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel
Forfattere:C. W. Gortner (Forfatter)
Info:William Morrow (2015), 416 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Mademoiselle Chanel af C. W. Gortner (2015)

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Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
In the spirit of full disclosure, my opinion may be (probably is; okay, definitely is) affected by my utter contempt for the actions of this Nazi whore before and during WWII. At the same time, I grudgingly admire her talents as a designer and the way she refused to be held back by the limitations of her circumstances early in life.

That being said, I'll try to keep my review focused on the writing of this book. I am a C.W. Gortner fan. He is an excellent author who usually tries to show the good and the bad in his subjects, using meticulous research to create a 'can't put down' book. This particular book, however, didn't strike me as his best. It seemed to me that he was a little too enamored of Chanel, a little too 'yes she was a Nazi collaborator, but look at the pretty dresses!'.

Mr. Gortner does much better when he stays away from the 20th century. (His book about Marlene Dietrich wasn't particularly good, either.) Maybe he needs a few hundred years between him and his MC for clarity. ( )
  tiasreads | Dec 11, 2019 |
Gabrielle Chanel was the daughter of a laundress and of a man who deserted his young children when his wife died. The remainder of Chanel's childhood was spent in an orphanage where the nuns recognized her usual talent with a needle. It was her first lover that took her to Paris where her skill, ambition, and independence lead her to becoming Coco, an internationally known couture who still influences design almost fifty years after her death.

G. W. Gortner knows the fashion industry, having worked in all levels of it before becoming a fulltime writer. The Chanel story he tells (1895 - 1954) is well researched and reveals a complex and independent woman who was not always likeable. In some ways it is a cautionary tale because while Coco achieved a dizzying level of success, she also suffered from questionable decisions, sadness and loss.

This is the second book I've read by Gortner, he has written six others, and I'm surprised he's not better known. He writes very well in a woman's voice and I look forward to reading more by him. ( )
  clue | Apr 18, 2019 |
This book is the dramatized biography of Coco Chanel. Told in first person by the biographer, Gabrielle Chanel (Coco, a nickname), led a life full of drama, passion and intrigue. She was born in 1883, one of 6 children with her family living in extreme poverty. The family was described as gypsies with her beloved father frequently leaving on long road trips which caused her mother to fend for the herself. After her mother died of disease, her father returned but missed the funeral. After none of the relatives stepped up assist with taking care of any of the children, he sent the girls off to the convent and the boys given to farmers as workers. Gabrielle begged her father not to send them away. After he did, she always believed he would return for them. He did not. Gabrielle at the age of 12, Antoinette, and Julia spent 8 years at convents where the nuns taught the girls sewing, embroidery, and fine needlework. Gabrielle excelled at this skill and was acknowledged by the nuns as the most skilled student that had ever gone through their convent. When it was time for her to leave, Gabrielle and and her sister Antoinette they did whatever they needed to survive but also to retain self respect. Her drive to create and ambition connected her with the very wealthy. She became a model for female independence which was revolutionary in her time. Her life is riddled with passion, resolve, shock, and trauma. She lived through abandonment, the seclusion of the convent, World War I, the affluence of the 20's, the destruction of WW II, only to return to world wide fame in the 50's. It is a story one must read without personal judgment. You may not agree with many of her decisions. ( )
  gaillamontagne | Nov 22, 2018 |
This fictionalized account of the life of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel recounts how Chanel who grew up in an orphanage was able to use her creative skills to become a world famous designer. Life for Coco was not easy. When she was old enough to leave the orphanage and be on her own she struggled to make enough money to live. But circumstances, drive and loans given to her from the men in her life allowed her to eventually create her own fashions and sell them to the rich and famous. She was many times on the forefront of new designs. In addition to having a successful clothing line, she is particularly well-known for the perfume that was created for her design house, Chanel No. 5.

Coco Chanel did not always enjoy a happy life. She suffered the loss of many special people. She was a woman who was not afraid to go to any length to achieve her goals. And she had to make choices during World War II that were difficult as well as dangerous. Her strength of character, her ambition and creativity generated a trademark line that still exists today.

With this book I believe Gortner offers me with a well-researched albeit fictional accounting of the life of Coco Chanel.
( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
Parts of this novel were very good but throughout it seemed like the author was torn between telling a fictional story about Chanel to writing an actual biography. A lot of the writing didn't really flow and felt more like a non-fiction read than fictional. Not that I was looking for a fluff story of her life but I was looking for more of a story about her rise then just being told fact after fact. It left the book feeling very flat and stopped me from having a real connection to Chanel the way I would have liked. ( )
  IntrovertedBooks | Mar 26, 2018 |
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My life didn't please me, so I created my life.
—GABRIELLE "COCO" CHANEL
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For Melisse, the only person I know who loves Chanel more than I do, and for Jennifer, who always believes
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The herd gathers below.
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She didn't see that he left because he had to—her love was like smoke without flame. It left him nothing to breathe.
Even from a distance, seeing her like that made me think that when people said the dead were at peace, they lied.
He took his hand away. Not with harshness. His fingers just unraveled from mine, like poorly spun threads.
By day, everywhere I turned, I saw only black or white and shades in between, the black of the nuns' habits, flowing as if they glided on air, and of our uniforms, plain and sturdy. The starched white of linens, piled in cupboards or stretched taut on our narrow cots, glimmering like halos on the nuns' headdresses; and all the grays, shifting in the light of the flagstone floors and in the monotone voices of those charged to watch over us.
Her words were like wire, choking off my breath.
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A creative reimagining of the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel traces the development of her exceptional sewing skills in an orphanage, her transformation into a couturier and the private struggles behind her subsequent fame.

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