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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407039862
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

What Would Barbra Do?

How musicals can change your life...A witty, highly personal look at the wonderful world of the Hollywood shows

Film musicals: you either love them or they make you want to kill yourself slowly with plastic cutlery. Nothing has the power to lift your heart or turn your stomach like Howard Keel in fake sideburns singing Bless Your Beautiful Hide or Julie Andrews singing...well, just about anything.There are few situations where the question What would Barbra do? doesn't have relevance in a world which is much better lived to a soundtrack of show-tunes.

This is a book for people who know that
* People don't tend to die in musicals, but those who do deserve it
* True love waits long enough for an element of mistaken identity to be introduced (especially if one of the couple is a Nazi)
* Women carry the show.
* Talented women wind up alone...
* ...But they have the consolation of the torch song, which in Hollywood musicals is more fulfilling than a husband.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407039862
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the author

Emma Brockes

Emma Brockes is 29 years old and a feature writer at the Guardian. She studied English at Oxford University, where she edited Cherwell, the student newspaper, won the Philip Geddes prize for journalism, and graduated with a first. In 2001 she won Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards, and in 2002 she was voted Feature Writer of the Year, the youngest ever recipient of the award.

Emma lives in London, where she indulges her passion for musicals at every opportunity.

Also by Emma Brockes

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Praise for What Would Barbra Do?

A sharply written and wickedly funny guide ... serious, silly and utterly, compellingly humane.

Daily Telegraph

Entertaining and witty.

Independent on Sunday

A warm, funny memoir

Mail on Sunday

An entertaining, heartfelt, light-as-air romp: much like a good musical in fact.

Sunday Times

Extremely funny.

Daily Express

If you've ever felt like bursting into an impromptu showtune at an intensely emotional time, this is a must-read.

Easy Living

A different sort of fantasy.


A fabulous read.

Hot Stars magazine

An enjoyable romp.

East Anglian Daily Times

Witty, caustic and rambling, but above all, entertaining.

Irish Mail on Sunday

Musical fans will adore this book - and even those who change channel at the hint of a song may find themselves smiling.

The Gloss

A frothy, light-hearted investigation

Metro Scotland

This funny, fervent, fans-eye book is packed with facts and apocrypha about all the best-loved musicals as well as some you've never heard of. Magic.

Sainsbury's Magazine

(Brockes') enthusiasm for the genre is infectious; all is delightfully self-deprecating as well as extremely funny. One of her heroines is Barbra Streisland whose music is likened to 'a multi-vitamin supplement, an all-round boost to the immunity.' You could say the same of this book.

Good Book Guide

Excellent writing and convinving theorising: her essay on Mary Poppins alone makes the book worth seeking out


A warm and witty tribute to musicals of the golden age

Waterstones Books Quarterly

A warm, affectionate and heartfelt exploration of the power of song and dance

Gay Times

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