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All the Pain Money Can Buy: The Life of Christina Onassis

All the Pain Money Can Buy: The Life of Christina Onassis - William Wright I noticed this book at some point when I worked in a library; probably attracted by the title, I briefly looked through it and became aware of Christina Onassis' unhappy life, but was not interested in reading about the life of some heiress. Recently, I decided to read it, because I thought I might possibly find some inspiration for a certain character in a novel I'm writing.

Just because of the subject matter, I can't recommend this book. The story of Christina Onassis's extreme wealth and the sort of life she lived with it is banal, especially once her father (Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis) dies and her fortune is released to her. Huge yachts; private island; multiple husbands; habits ranging from silly and indulgent (she once claimed to drink 12-15 Cokes a day) to sad and destructive (she abused barbiturates); spending money in very wasteful ways; that sort of thing. I skipped a lot.

Although there are some parts I will reread, I was generally bored and disappointed. The jacket description plays up the tragic aspect of Christina Onassis's life, but not much tragedy can be wrung out of a lifestyle with so little depth. However, if you would prefer a biography that attempts to treat an unhappy celebrity and her ridiculous, profligate lifestyle as seriously as possible, read this bio of Christina Onassis instead of Nigel Dempster's book Heiress. My library had it too, and it seemed to be more tabloid trash than All the Pain Money Can Buy.