We Love Liberace Now Even More Than 30 Years Ago

The glamour! The sequins! The movie! The book! Get into the excess that is Liberace.

BY Matthew Breen

May 23 2013 4:00 AM ET

What Started It All

By all means, see the film, watch the DVD, marvel at the costumes, but then read the fascinating book that inspired this month’s smash hit film about Liberace and his lover. Written by Scott Thorson (with some help from Alex Thorleifson), the 1988 memoir Behind the Candelabra has been re-released this month by Tantor Media in paperback, e-book, and audiobook. The book is, as Steven Sodenbergh says of the film, so intimate “at the end of the day [it’s just] two people in a room … there’s just a lot of rhinestone in it,” especially as Thorson recounts Liberace’s final days dying of AIDS. But equally interesting is the brand-new epilogue in which Thorson talks about life after Liberace in the 25 years since the book was published, including his part in the Wonderland murders, in which drug kingpin (and Thorson’s business partner) Eddie Nash had four people — including porn star John Holmes — murdered, his relationships, and what nearly killed him. (Tantor Media, $19.99)

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