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Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

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A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon's trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she's left on pop culture. Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon's trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she's left on pop culture. Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women--Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham--rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that. The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Meanwhile, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide. Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep's Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the "off-brand" forays into action-adventure (The River Wild) and musicals (Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Murray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and sidebars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject.


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A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon's trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she's left on pop culture. Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon's trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she's left on pop culture. Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women--Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham--rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that. The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Meanwhile, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide. Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep's Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the "off-brand" forays into action-adventure (The River Wild) and musicals (Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Murray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and sidebars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject.

30 review for Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Queen Meryl by Erin Carlson, as you have guessed , is a biography of actor Meryl Streep. The author is known for her entertainment reporting and the book does read like a journal of Streep’s film career, one film at a time. The writing style is refreshing: while informing the reader about each film, the author describes what is happening in the actor’s life at that period in time. Because Streep’s body of work is so extensive, there are plenty of opportunities to glimpse her personal life throug Queen Meryl by Erin Carlson, as you have guessed , is a biography of actor Meryl Streep. The author is known for her entertainment reporting and the book does read like a journal of Streep’s film career, one film at a time. The writing style is refreshing: while informing the reader about each film, the author describes what is happening in the actor’s life at that period in time. Because Streep’s body of work is so extensive, there are plenty of opportunities to glimpse her personal life throughout. Wife, mother, activist, actor, she devotes herself to all. She has been nominated for dozens of awards and has portrayed numerous famous women by meticulously studying her subjects. She has adopted any number of accents convincingly. Her activism has been fearless.: she speaks freely without fear of repercussion even from the likes of a certain president and others. Queen Meryl will appeal to movie buffs and biography enthusiasts alike. Thank you to Hachette Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    On the surface, QUEEN MERYL by Erin Carlson seems to be a book designed to outline her career, film by film, punctuated by a little bit of stage work. It is only through the reading that you begin to get a picture of the complex human that is Meryl Streep. Reading about her life and the transition from student to actor to mega-star, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the fact that she owes some of her initial success to being in the right place at the right time. If you read about her childhood, ev On the surface, QUEEN MERYL by Erin Carlson seems to be a book designed to outline her career, film by film, punctuated by a little bit of stage work. It is only through the reading that you begin to get a picture of the complex human that is Meryl Streep. Reading about her life and the transition from student to actor to mega-star, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the fact that she owes some of her initial success to being in the right place at the right time. If you read about her childhood, even a brief summary, it becomes apparent that she was destined to be a performer. From that point, Carlson begins to outline each film as Streep moves from role to role, explaining her reasoning for taking the role, some of what she did to prepare for the role, and the finished product. All this is set against a backdrop that shows mere peeks of her home life; a happy marriage, four well adjusted children, and an individual who seems to have unflagging energy. In addition, when her behavior with younger, lesser known and experienced talent is discussed, she comes across almost like a zen earth mother who senses what the person needs in order to give the best performance both for themselves and for Streep, and then sets about pulling that out of them. Woven throughout the book is the information that is now becoming more available about how women are treated in Hollywood and in the performing world in general. There is information regarding the money, where women make a fraction of their male counterparts. In addition, you get an insight into what Streep thinks about why the movies that are made are chosen, and why she chooses the movies she does. It all swirls around her belief, which is supported by a good look around the industry, that movies are critiqued by men, therefore made for men. Men dominate the executive offices throughout the industry, and look at production from that point of view. In contrast, Streep has often chosen movies that are about women, for women, and which will have an appeal to a female audience. She has frequently created her character in a way that has astounded those watching, both for depth and insight, and the result has been richer, fuller performances all the way around. Even when she was in movies that were less than stellar, there are precious few negative things said about Streep’s performance. At its essence, this book is both an homage to Meryl Streep and an explanation of how she has worked tirelessly to improve the status of women in the acting world. She comes across as an avowed feminist in terms of demanding equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work. If the films discussed in this book are any indication, she has had a profound and lasting effect on how movie executives see the viewing public. She has flexed considerable muscle, in part because she has had considerable talent to back it up. All this she has done while maintaining a home life that sounds like something many women would envy including a solid relationship, children who have grown into responsible adults, and a reputation that is unique within her chosen field. This is an interesting book, on many levels, particularly for anyone who is interested in how the world is changing in its views of women. Meryl Streep has had a huge impact on that within the entertainment industry, and that is highlighted in the book. It is a fascinating look at a complex human being who, when all is said and done, seems to have succeeded because she chose to do the “right thing” rather than the “politically correct” thing. Put another way, she has lead by showing you can be successful and follow your principles at the same time instead of sacrificing them in order to get ahead. My thanks to Hachette Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital reader copy in exchange for an unbiased review. The opinions here are completely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Constantine

    Rating: 4.0/5.0 "Nobody remembers the armies that anybody held or the bridges built or the railroads built. People are remembered for their artists and we have to support the arts" Alexander Haig Synopsis: This is a comprehensive book about the living legend Meryl Streep. It goes from the days she started acting up to our current time 2019. It talks about her iconic roles, her hits and flops, roles that evaded her and her relationships with her colleagues in the show b Rating: 4.0/5.0 "Nobody remembers the armies that anybody held or the bridges built or the railroads built. People are remembered for their artists and we have to support the arts" Alexander Haig Synopsis: This is a comprehensive book about the living legend Meryl Streep. It goes from the days she started acting up to our current time 2019. It talks about her iconic roles, her hits and flops, roles that evaded her and her relationships with her colleagues in the show business. Book Structure: The book is 320 pages long and consists of 19 chapters and an epilogue. Every chapter is about a chapter in the life of the legend. Every chapter represents a specific period in her life and a specific iconic role with the mention of other events and films. End of the book the author also provided all the sources she used. Pros: - The author Erin Carlson has made extensive research to present us with all this book that has extensive information. Information including, what Meryl said about some of her colleagues or what those colleagues said about her and her important life decisions. She also provides all the sources she used in neatly organized notes at the end of the book. - Despite being a big Streep fan I still did not know all about her relationships with her colleagues like why she disliked Dustin Hoffman (for the right reasons). And the nature of her friendship with Cher, her opinions about other celebrities, and some of her political views. These are all new information to me. - I like the title the author chose for this book "Queen Meryl" and the cover picture is so gorgeous. The book has also some very beautiful illustrations showcasing Meryl in her iconic roles. Every chapter starts with one of them. Cons: - One thing that the book did not shed any light on was the funny rivalry that happened between Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock during the awards season in 2010. The two ladies loved by millions turned the whole thing into a comedy show that every fan of them loved. There was also that famous smooch between them when they were tied for best actress at the Critics' Choice Awards! Sandra has even left Meryl a voice mail saying "You've got to watch your back. I'm gonna cut you. I'm gonna take you down"! And then Meryl on her part sent Sandra some dead orchids telling her to die! I would have loved to read more about all that. Final Thought: If you are a Meryl Streep fan this book is a must read and own. No matter how much you know about her or read things about her, there are still many things that you will get know here. Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep will be published on September 24th, 2019 so don't forget to grab it then. "I highly recommend having Meryl Streep play you. She plays all of us better than we play ourselves, although it's a little depressing knowing that if you went to audition to play yourself, you would lose out to her. Some days when I'm having a hard day, I'll call up Meryl and she'll step in for me. She's so good people don't really notice. If I call her the end of the day to find out how I did and it's inevitably one of the best days I've ever had!" Nora Ephron Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a free digital advanced reading copy of the book in return of this honest and unbiased review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader. I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her wor When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader. I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A captivating and inspiring portrait of legendary actress Meryl Streep and her work, Queen Meryl explores the fearless icon's trailblazing roles in film, her feminist activism, and the indelible mark she's left on pop culture. Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women--Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham--rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that. The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women's movement of the '60s and '70s and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Meanwhile, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide. Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep's Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the "off-brand" forays into action-adventure (The River Wild) and musicals (Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Murray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and sidebars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject. I am dying to see Season 2 of “Big Little Lies” as Meryl is in it and she is a goddess to acting – but I have to wait for it to come on DVD as getting it where I live costs a fortune per month. Meryl is one of those actresses who disappears into her roles and Carlson explains that wonderfully. This is a great biography and I love the lists and sidebars – Miranda Priestly is one of the best characters on film ever and I cannot imagine anyone except Meryl portraying her. This is the perfect book for Meryl fans and film buffs: it is expertly researched and presented. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🎞🎞🎞🎞🎞

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca M

    Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep is a sweeping history, meticulously researched, of one of the world's most legendary actresses, Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep. Author Erin Carlson briefly chronicles Streep's childhood and early life before serving up an extensive history of her time both on the stage and in film, exploring her relationships and reputation behind the scenes and in her personal life. Find out why she loved Redford but hated Hoffman, or w Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep is a sweeping history, meticulously researched, of one of the world's most legendary actresses, Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep. Author Erin Carlson briefly chronicles Streep's childhood and early life before serving up an extensive history of her time both on the stage and in film, exploring her relationships and reputation behind the scenes and in her personal life. Find out why she loved Redford but hated Hoffman, or why she thought of Jane Fonda as a mentor but her friendship with Cher fizzled. But the fare doesn't stop there--Carlson also delves into the public life and activism of America's Queen, from her early work rallying for women's rights to her present day presidential disputes, providing insight into why she is so beloved. Broadly appealing and attractively packaged to boot, this book is bound to catch the eye of movie buffs, pop culture junkies, and anyone who loves the Queen. (And isn't that everyone?)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Guerra

    i received an ARC from NetGalley for this book. I have always loved Meryl and now i love her more. The descriptions of her are actually how I, as a mere mortal, always assumed she was off camera! Glad i was not disappointed

  7. 5 out of 5

    🌈⭐️RoseOfRainbows⭐️🌈💕

    Fascinating and complex insight on one of the biggest icons of our time. Worth the read. Everything readers have wanted and more. Great for anyone who’s curious to come face to face with this magnificent woman on the deepest levels. 5/5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shana Kelly

    I loved reading about Meryl's career and personal life. Such a talented and accomplished actress, and all around great human! Thanks to Hachette Books and Netgalley for this ARC!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Carter

    I read this one like a choose your own adventure and it was awesome! Loved the behind the scenes tidbits, as well as the excerpts that do a deeper dive into certain topics in each chapter. Highly recommend this for fans for Meryl!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Alternate title suggestion... ‘Spoiler Alert: Meryl Streep Edition.’ Similar to IMDb, but with some People magazine quotes mixed in.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Niamh

    I LOVE books like this. It's pop culture, it's female-focused and it's examining one of Hollywood's most prolific stars. This is a whistle-stop tour around Streep's filmography, personal life and political activism and is written with the same humour, wit and grace exuded by the actress herself. The only thing I wish for this book was it took its time with its exploration: there's so much information and so much detail, Carlson moves through it all at lightning speed, almost as though she didn't I LOVE books like this. It's pop culture, it's female-focused and it's examining one of Hollywood's most prolific stars. This is a whistle-stop tour around Streep's filmography, personal life and political activism and is written with the same humour, wit and grace exuded by the actress herself. The only thing I wish for this book was it took its time with its exploration: there's so much information and so much detail, Carlson moves through it all at lightning speed, almost as though she didn't have enough pages to get everything down on. I would happily read a longer book in this style: it's immensely readable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Following her 2017 book on the romantic comedies of Nora Ephron (I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING), Erin Carlson moves on to another female film icon with this breezy, fun and informative look at the amazing career of Meryl Streep with QUEEN MERYL. While most actresses get downgraded to supporting roles when they hit their 40s and 50s, Streep earned seven of her 21 Oscar nominations after she turned 60--and won her third Academy Award at 63. Her first theatrical film was 1977's Julia, oppo Following her 2017 book on the romantic comedies of Nora Ephron (I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING), Erin Carlson moves on to another female film icon with this breezy, fun and informative look at the amazing career of Meryl Streep with QUEEN MERYL. While most actresses get downgraded to supporting roles when they hit their 40s and 50s, Streep earned seven of her 21 Oscar nominations after she turned 60--and won her third Academy Award at 63. Her first theatrical film was 1977's Julia, opposite Jane Fonda, who became her mentor and, according to Streep, "opened more doors than I probably even know about today." Two years later, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Kramer vs. Kramer" and three years after that win, she graduated to a Best Actress Oscar for "Sophie's Choice." When Streep turned 40, she turned down three separate offers to play witch roles. That year, she said, "In a season where most female leads are prostitutes, there's not going to be a lot of work for women over 40. Like hookers, actresses seem to lose their market appeal around that age." Instead, she did three back-to-back comedies ("Postcards from the Edge", "Defending Your Life" and "Death Becomes Her") that broadened her audience appeal. Periodically, the book ventures into Streep's private life (she's been married since 1978 and has four children), but mostly Streep is viewed through her role choices and from the viewpoints of her co-stars, directors and crews. QUEEN MERYL is an enjoyable, enlightening and spirited biography of the outspoken feminist and immensely talented actress. The iconic actress is celebrated in this enjoyable, enlightening and breezy career overview that never loses its enthusiasm.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I enjoyed reading about Meryl, her craft and her life. My issue however is with the author putting in her own political two cents throughout her writing. To be clear, I'm not referring to Meryl's politics--those are her biographical facts. Many authors today--not just this one--have little interest in writing about a subject objectively if there's an opportunity to demonstrate their own political narrative. It's presumptuous, unprofessional, unfair and dishonest. I may or may not "agree" with a I enjoyed reading about Meryl, her craft and her life. My issue however is with the author putting in her own political two cents throughout her writing. To be clear, I'm not referring to Meryl's politics--those are her biographical facts. Many authors today--not just this one--have little interest in writing about a subject objectively if there's an opportunity to demonstrate their own political narrative. It's presumptuous, unprofessional, unfair and dishonest. I may or may not "agree" with a certain perspective (newsflash: humans are nuanced but we forget that these days) but I expect readers to come to their own conclusions and not have an author presume otherwise.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shaelene (aGirlWithBookss)

    Meryl Streep is an actress we all know and love. From Mamma Mia to Kramer vs Kramer, and The Devil Wears Prada to Death Becomes Her— all beloved roles and cult favorites. She is the greatest living actress of our decade, an icon playing icons from Margaret Thatcher, to Juila Child, and Emmeline Pankhurst; she has continually transformed herself into iconic, complex and strong women, blazing a trail for actresses to come. In this book, thanks to the meticulous research done by the auth Meryl Streep is an actress we all know and love. From Mamma Mia to Kramer vs Kramer, and The Devil Wears Prada to Death Becomes Her— all beloved roles and cult favorites. She is the greatest living actress of our decade, an icon playing icons from Margaret Thatcher, to Juila Child, and Emmeline Pankhurst; she has continually transformed herself into iconic, complex and strong women, blazing a trail for actresses to come. In this book, thanks to the meticulous research done by the author and her team, we get a behind the scenes look into Meryl throughout her years of acting, her activism, and her personal life. With accounts from co-workers, and celebrity friends of Meryl we begin to learn who she truly is as a person. I was worried going into this book that I may not like it enough to want to go back and pick it up and read. I’m nowhere near a Meryl super fan, I’ve seen a fair few of her movies and always loved watching her on-screen. With that being said, I still very much enjoyed this book, it’s incredibly entertaining and interesting. I’ve learned many cool things about Meryl and am now even more captivated by her, which makes her even more of an icon in my eyes. The book is so well researched and written, makes it all the more fun to be accompanied by wonderful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. This was a wonderful palette cleanser of a read. Highly recommend if you're a huge Meryl fan. 3.5 stars ** ARC provided by Hachette Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I’ve always been a fan of Meryl Streep and this book only solidified that. As a fan, I had seen most of her movies and new of almost all of them. I knew of her political stances and admired her for showing them. As a GenXer/possible Millennial, depending on who you ask, I was THRILLED to see her in A Devil Wears Prada and loved her in Death Becomes Her. She was amazing in Bridges of Madison County and I adored her in Julie and Julia. I also now have a list of her older movies to watch as well (N I’ve always been a fan of Meryl Streep and this book only solidified that. As a fan, I had seen most of her movies and new of almost all of them. I knew of her political stances and admired her for showing them. As a GenXer/possible Millennial, depending on who you ask, I was THRILLED to see her in A Devil Wears Prada and loved her in Death Becomes Her. She was amazing in Bridges of Madison County and I adored her in Julie and Julia. I also now have a list of her older movies to watch as well (No, I have not seen Kramer vs Kramer. I’m SORRY OK?!) That being said, reading this book opened my eyes to a celebrity I thought I knew a lot about. And now I only admire her more. A lot more. Queen Meryl by Erin Carlson is an ode to a national treasure. Carlson opened doors normally kept closed by this private superstar and shares with us everything from her teenage personality, to her insane ambition in college and theater training. We follow her throughout her career—the ups, the downs, and the incredible successes that have brought us the star we know today. Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep is an amazing read that is impossible to put down. This work by Erin Carlson reads like fiction and you will binge this in one sitting. So get ready. Gird Your Loins. Meryl’s life will transfix you from beginning to now. I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    I read this biography free and early thanks to Net Galley and Hachette Books. I have enjoyed Streep’s movies and her feminist moxie since the first time I saw her, and so I figured this would be a good fit for me. Sadly, there’s nothing new here at all. There’s no depth of analysis, no stories of inner struggle or insight into her development. The overall tone is uniformly adulatory, which is fine as far as it goes; I don’t enjoy seeing a journalist do a hatchet job on a performer, so if she has I read this biography free and early thanks to Net Galley and Hachette Books. I have enjoyed Streep’s movies and her feminist moxie since the first time I saw her, and so I figured this would be a good fit for me. Sadly, there’s nothing new here at all. There’s no depth of analysis, no stories of inner struggle or insight into her development. The overall tone is uniformly adulatory, which is fine as far as it goes; I don’t enjoy seeing a journalist do a hatchet job on a performer, so if she has to lean in one direction or another, I’m glad it’s on the positive side. But once again—I have seen every single thing in this book (the half that I read) somewhere else already. I knew about the friction between Streep and Dustin Hoffman (who is also a great favorite of mine,) and I knew she takes roles that show strong women. I knew she wanted to sing, and she did it in Mama Mia. Readers that have followed this actor’s career over the decades with a magazine article here and there can’t expect to cover new ground. It’s shallow and superficial for the most part, and for me, the only good thing is that I didn’t pay for this book. Streep’s fans that haven’t followed her career in the press may find more joy than I do here; nevertheless, my advice is to read it free or cheap if you decide you want it. It will be available to the public September 24, 2019.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    As a life-long Meryl Streep fan, reading QUEEN MERYL by Erin Carlson was like sitting down to coffee with a dear old friend. I flipped the opening pages with caution, as memoirs can easily disappoint by providing not nearly enough information or an overabundance. Carlson found the perfect balance, providing snapshots of not only Streep’s career, but her early years as well. I will mirror what many other reviewers have pointed out—that QUEEN MERYL was written by a fan. Carlson’s excitement can be As a life-long Meryl Streep fan, reading QUEEN MERYL by Erin Carlson was like sitting down to coffee with a dear old friend. I flipped the opening pages with caution, as memoirs can easily disappoint by providing not nearly enough information or an overabundance. Carlson found the perfect balance, providing snapshots of not only Streep’s career, but her early years as well. I will mirror what many other reviewers have pointed out—that QUEEN MERYL was written by a fan. Carlson’s excitement can be felt throughout every page, making the read all the more exciting. There are, however, some fans which many find this memoir does not quite live up to their high standard. Super fans, who have spent hours meticulously combing over every aspect of Streep’s life, may find QUEEN MERYL lacking. It is not an epic which seeks to document her every moment. Rather, it reads as an ode to an immensely talented woman whom we love. If you are a fan wishing to learn more about your beloved Meryl Streep, QUEEN MERYL will not only inform, but thoroughly entertain. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily DeSart

    I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley, thanks to the publisher, Hachette Books. Chronicling the life of Meryl Streep from childhood through her most recent role in The Post, Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep depicts how truly loved and respected she is by those who have worked with her, along with her loving public. The book gives fans a fantastic view into the personal context of Meryl's choice of roles and her guiding philosophies, even touching I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley, thanks to the publisher, Hachette Books. Chronicling the life of Meryl Streep from childhood through her most recent role in The Post, Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep depicts how truly loved and respected she is by those who have worked with her, along with her loving public. The book gives fans a fantastic view into the personal context of Meryl's choice of roles and her guiding philosophies, even touching on the roles she took that didn't quite hit the mark with her expected box office gold. The author, Erin Carlson, has a great voice in her writing, which gives the book great readability. Her passion for Meryl and her roles are really on show, which added greatly to my enjoyment of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of Meryl, or any one with an interest in film history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I have loved Meryl Streep since I saw The Music of the Heart and the love continued from there. I enjoyed reading Queen Meryl for the backstage glimpse into her life and acting career. There were so many things that I didn’t know about Meryl, and the amount of decision making and effort that goes into choosing appropriate roles. I started a list of all the Meryl movies that I haven’t seen and can’t wait to get started! Also, the illustrations for each chapter added a little fun into the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women--Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham--rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Meryl Streep is the most celebrated actress of our time. She's a chameleon who disappears fully into each character she plays. She never tackles the same role twice. Instead, she leverages her rarified platform to channel a range of dynamic, complicated women--Joanna Kramer, Karen Silkwood, Julia Child, Margaret Thatcher, Katharine Graham--rather than limit herself to marginal roles for which other actresses must settle: Supportive Wife. Supportive Mother. Supportive Yet Utterly Disposable Love Interest. Streep will have none of that. The once-awkward, frizzy-haired suburban teen blossomed into a rising ingénue on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. She came of age during the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, and has worn her activism on her sleeve even when it was unfashionable. When she reached 40, the age when many leading ladies fade away, Streep plunged forward, taking her pick of parts that interested her and winning a pile of awards along the way. Mean-while, she remained an unlikely box-office draw, her clout even managing to grow with age: The Devil Wears Prada, starring Streep as the Anna Wintour avatar Miranda Priestly, scored $326 million worldwide. Journalist and author Erin Carlson documents all of Streep's Oscars, accents, causes, memes, friendships, and feuds; also exploring the "off-brand" forays into action-adventure (The River Wild) and musicals (Mamma Mia!), and how Streep managed to sneak her feminism into each character. In the spirit of nontraditional bestsellers like Notorious RBG and The Tao of Bill Mur-ray, Queen Meryl is illustrated by artist Justin Teodoro and filled with fascinating lists and side-bars, delivering joy in homage to its unique and brilliant subject. My Thoughts: To describe Queen Meryl as an ode to an amazing actor and person would be an understatement. While there were some details of occasional movies or experiences that I might call slightly tedious, the overall experience of reading about Meryl Streep was something to truly enjoy. To add to my delight were the drawings that accompanied each chapter. My enjoyment of her movies, most of which I’ve seen, was enhanced by some personal touches, like how she starred with her toddler daughter Mamie in Heartburn, then her daughter as an adult in Evening, and finally in Ricki and the Flash. I may have missed a few appearances. Personal favorites also included the movie Silkwood and The Devil Wears Prada. Who can deny how Meryl immerses herself fully into her roles? If you are a fan of the actor, or even some of her personal beliefs about the industry or life in general, you will probably enjoy this book which I give 5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neil McGee

    Meryl Streep has always been more my mothers generation than my own, did recently watch Mama Mia one of the nights of a weekend spent at mother's house. Very wholesome weekend with family and was the perfect movie. Nice to learn about the debth Meryl has researched and trained for her roles. With the wonders of streaming video there are multiple of her movies that I look forward to seeing in future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sisney

    After reading two books that featured weak women whining about sexual harassment, I enjoyed learning how the greatest actress ever handled being mistreated by Dustin Hoffman when she was still a young ingénue. Decades later, she played marry, shag, or kill on Andy Cohen's show and chose Dustin as the actor to kill. Well played with shade, Meryl! I love these behind the scenes books, and this one focused primarily on Meryl's most well-known movies. The structure mostly worked, but there was some After reading two books that featured weak women whining about sexual harassment, I enjoyed learning how the greatest actress ever handled being mistreated by Dustin Hoffman when she was still a young ingénue. Decades later, she played marry, shag, or kill on Andy Cohen's show and chose Dustin as the actor to kill. Well played with shade, Meryl! I love these behind the scenes books, and this one focused primarily on Meryl's most well-known movies. The structure mostly worked, but there was some repetition.

  23. 4 out of 5

    L.H. Brown

    I’ve always loved Meryl Streep. Erin Carlson does a spectacular job of not only showing Meryl Streep - the actress-, but also Meryl Streep - the human being -. You get a look at both professional and personal aspects of her life. Understanding the full story of this legendary star. This book only made my love for this woman grow.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I am a Meryl Streep fan. This book does a good job of following her life, including her roles, advocacy for what is just, and pushing the envelope in her craft.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Cuthbert

    Meryl Streep is to female actresses as Tom Hanks is to his male counterparts, that is just about universally loved and appreciated for their innate acting abilities. In this quick read but deeply researched dive into her varied acting roles, "Queen Meryl," is a fascinating look into Meryl Streep's life, loves, and life mottos. In chapters that function as a role-by-role chronology of her acting career, from her largely uknown New York theater roots to her legendary status of today, t Meryl Streep is to female actresses as Tom Hanks is to his male counterparts, that is just about universally loved and appreciated for their innate acting abilities. In this quick read but deeply researched dive into her varied acting roles, "Queen Meryl," is a fascinating look into Meryl Streep's life, loves, and life mottos. In chapters that function as a role-by-role chronology of her acting career, from her largely uknown New York theater roots to her legendary status of today, this book is perfect for film enthusiasts and Meryl fans alike. In addition to her interesting facts and tidbits concerning the making of each of her iconic roles, Erin Carlson also includes a number of asides and sidebars throughout the book noting how Meryl has also incorporated her life passions and beliefs into her career and characters, making each just a little part of the real woman she is. You probably already didn't have much bad to say about Meryl Streep to begin with, but after reading this you will likely come away duly impressed with not only Meryl the actress, but also Meryl the human. A light but fun read! (I received a free ARC copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I appreciate very much the opportunity to give an honest take on what I thought about this title and for the platform that encourages the opportunity to review such a varied amount of authors and genres.)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A fun, joyful, and thoroughly enjoyable journey through the career of an iconic and formidable actress. There are many reasons why Streep may be the greatest actress in the history of American culture, and they all get some attention here. Carlson is clearly a fan, and that makes all the difference in the telling of this story. Highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pat Lampe

    I enjoyed this book very much. The format was built around her most famous movies with lots of inside info, analysis, details. She is an amazing actor, mother, activist. I love this kind of book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    A great deal of fun. I can’t say it told me anything I hadn’t already read over the years, but I appreciated the cheerful and celebratory approach.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tomas

    Such a well written and researched memoir, on one of the biggest Superstars in the world "The Devil Wears Prada" Meryl Streep. It's always fun to get a glimpse inside the life of a famous celebrity, just to see how "normal" they really are. I absolutely loved this book, and the cover is so fun and colorful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Dragged just a bit in the second half, so probably a four star for most people, but it’s the best book I’ve ever read on an actor and the parts they play.

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