Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family

Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family

by Steven M.L Aronson, Natalie Robins
3.7 10

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Overview

Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family by Steven M.L Aronson, Natalie Robins

A spellbinding tale of money and madness, incest and matricide, Savage Grace is the saga of Brooks and Barbara Baekeland -- beautiful, rich, worldly -- and their handsome, gentle son, Tony. Alternately neglected and smothered by his parents, he was finally driven to destroy the whole family in a violent chain of events.

Savage Grace unfolds against a glamorous international background (New York, London, Paris, Italy, Spain); features a nonpareil cast of characters (including Salvador Dalí, James Jones, the Astors, the Vanderbilts, and European nobility); and tells the doomed Baekelands' story through remarkably candid interviews, private letters, and diaries, not to mention confidential hospital, State Department, and prison documents. A true-crime classic, it exposes the envied lives of the rich and beautiful, and brilliantly illuminates the darkest corners of the American Dream.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416571186
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 12/18/2007
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 230,283
File size: 559 KB

About the Author

Steven M. L. Aronson is the author of HYPE. A former book editor and publisher, he lives in New York City.
Natalie Robins's books include Copeland's Cure, The Girl Who Died Twice, and Alien Ink. She lives in New York City.

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Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has been around for some twenty years, and I understand it was made into a movie with Julianne Moore in 2007. Still, I had never heard of it, when I found it on a shelf in a summer cottage rental. The book tells the tale of Antony Baekeland, great grandson of the inventor of Bakelite, the forerunner to plastics. Four generations of Baekelands had been living off the fortunes of the invention and the decadent, vain, and often listless behavior of the very rich was well-ingrained in the family. None appear to work at a regular job, but rather dabble in writing and painting while flitting around the world and having dinner parties. It was into this world that Antony Baekeland was born and raised, and he knew nothing else. I liked the approach to telling Antony's story. The book opens with the report that he murdered his mother and closes with his suffocation death, possibly a suicide, possibly a murder. In between the reader receives accounts of his life as seen through the eyes of the Baekeland's many social acquaintences, and by letters exchanged between various parties. While the suggestions of incest were certainly lurid, it is Antony's letters to acquaintenances from prison where he seems not to have much concern for his behavior--such as when he expresses an interest in traveling to exotic locations once he is out of prison--that are the most chilling. I'd be interested in seeing the movie, if I can get my hands on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Morbid curiosity drew me to this book. It's a tough one to get through. It's set up as interviews with everyone who knew them well or in passing. Mental illness, addiction, arrogance, extravagance and delusions are the main theme here....many pages of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I encourage people to read this book! But with that said I also encourage them to reead deeper into the key people who interacted Tony and his Mother! For instance Sam! Who had stayed in Spain with them for a short in the late 60's But over all I give this a five star rateing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Countess-Elsinora-Cattara More than 1 year ago
I had seen the film with Julianne Moore (of same title) sometime prior to reading the book. The book was much more revealing than the film, which I found to be confusing, and artificial. Some readers fault the fact that the writers presented the story entirely through the commentary of their primary sources. The story of the complex characters and their tragically enmeshed lives is revealed more when heard from all the different people who knew the central family of this tragedy. It requires careful reading to follow the timeline, as the story flashes back and forth between different periods frequently. The book was absolutely engrossing, and even though I knew the story, I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The crash and burn of of a family rooted in brillance, but undone by excess, mental illness and free wheeling liberalism.