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Synopsis

In this unusually frank book Scott Thorson, Liberace's longtime lover, tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer who went to outrageous extremes to prevent public knowledge of his homosexuality.

Liberace's unhappy childhood, dominated by a mother determined to force him into a concert career, serves as the prologue for a story that goes on to detail Liberace's early appearances in honky-tonks, his move to New York to seek fame, and, finally, his first booking in Las Vegas, where he was courted by the Mafia.

As Thorson attests, such successes provide a bright counterpoint to a darker tale of a man hungry for power, given to every excess. Liberace's credo—"too much of a good thing is wonderful"—is reflected here in his acquisition of new lovers, luxurious homes, a large collection of pornography, and a total of twenty-six house dogs. Behind the Candelabra above all explores the fundamentally tender love affair between Liberace and Thorson—whom Liberace sent to his own plastic surgeon to have his face remodeled in Liberace's own image!

This fast-paced story, sprinkled with anecdotes about famous entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Shirley MacLaine, ends with an intimate look at Liberace's final days as he lay dying of AIDS—and his deathbed reconciliation with Thorson. Thorson's story will also appear in the upcoming biopic of the same name starring award-winning actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

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