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It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst…
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It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History (2015)

by Jennifer Wright

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I adored Jennifer Wright’s snarky Get Well Soon and hoped for the same magic with It Ended Badly. Sadly, while it has its moments, lightning did not strike twice. Some of my issue with it is the narrator of the audiobook. Hillary Huber does a decent job capturing the stream-of-conscious-like asides and jabs with which Ms. Wright punctuates her storytelling. However, she is not as good at this as Gabra Zackman is. With Ms. Zackman, I feel like she is telling a story and interacting with her audience. With Ms. Huber, I feel like she is narrating someone else’s story and is uncomfortable with directly addressing the audience. This makes a big difference, especially with Ms. Wright’s writing.

Moreover, the subject matter of It Ended Badly is not quite as hard-hitting as in Get Well Soon. At times, it did feel like I was reading a tabloid magazine, something I try to avoid. I can see the target audience for It Ended Badly being someone who just broke up with his or her significant other and is seeking solace. For that reader, this is an excellent read because it shows just how crazy people get when it comes to break-ups, and there is a good chance he or she is doing much better than the thirteen couples in the book. For everyone else, they are amusing but tragic stories of love gone wrong that serve to provide you with interesting but useless trivia with which to impress others on trivia night.
  jmchshannon | Oct 22, 2018 |
Pop history at its best. Laugh out loud funny and well-sourced. This is possibly the best gift you could give to a heartbroken friend or any slightly twisted history buff you happen to love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jun 9, 2018 |
On the strength of Get Well Soon, I went looking for Jennifer Wright's other books, and have not been disappointed. It Ended Badly is characterized by the same dry, offhand, and often gruesome humor as her other work, and kept me chuckling, even at things which really shouldn't have been funny.

If you think you've had a bad break-up, read this book and be grateful that you got ghosted instead of kicked to death while pregnant (Nero and Poppea), or beheaded (Henry VIII and two of his wives), or had your ex's affair smeared all over the popular press (Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, and Liz Taylor.) And also consider that Liz and Debbie, who had been best friends before Fisher, ended up best friends afterward, and Fisher ended up a broke, virtually forgotten drug addict, which is, in my opinion, probably the best possible scenario under the circumstances. Ovaries before brovaries.

The narrator, Hillary Huber, who I thought couldn't possibly be better than Gabra Zackman who narrated Get Well Soon, was fantastic, more than a match for Wright's sense of the absurd. Jennifer Wright has been fortunate in her readers.

I'm telling you, if you need a lift, and your sense of humor has a dark turn, find a Jennifer Wright book, and savor it. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Jun 3, 2018 |
I loved this book ! It had everything in it that I find appealing, social history/biography and some snarky humor thrown in. You get to learn a lot about some famous couple and their miserable relationships and ultimate break ups, get a great laugh and she contrasts their breakups with the readers. Most of us have at least one horror break up story, in my case about 10x that amount.

A great fun read. A ( )
  REINADECOPIAYPEGA | Jan 10, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If you've ever had a really, really bad break up you will have a lot more empathy for the unfortunate historical folks in It Ended Badly. If your love life has been perfect then maybe not so much, because you simply won't get that even for smart people things can go completely off the rails. Love scrambles the brains of both high and low. This is a series of essays addressing the dysfunctional romances of such luminaries as Henry VIII, to Wilde, to Mailer and many more. You can be smugly satisfied that even though yours might have been bad, somebody else had it worse. ( )
  varielle | Aug 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Journalist Wright debuts with this delightful, high-concept collection of essays. Presented as a self-help manual for the newly single, the book consists of funny, irreverent entries, each devoted to a different famous breakup, from ancient Rome (Nero and Poppea) to the 20th century (Liz Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher). The grim personal details, presented to hilarious effect in pieces with titles like “If You Were Dumped, Read About Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton,” will make the reader want to delve further into the history.
added by EllenOlenska123 | editPublishers Weekly (starred review)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Wrightprimary authorall editionscalculated
Huber, HilaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levavi, Meryl SussmanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pracher, RickCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In the end, only three things matter: how much you
loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you
let go of things not meant for you.


—Buddha

We are never ever ever ever getting back together.
Like, never.


—Taylor Swift
Dedication
To Abe, Andy, Brennan, Chris, Colin, Dana, Davey,
Gustavo, Jared, Jason, Lex, Liam, Morgan, Nate,
Opus, Peter, and Tom

From whom I learned some things

And to Mary James (Grandma)

From whom I learned a lot of things
First words
Introduction

If you are lying in bed right now, a pint of ice cream in one hand, a bottle of Scotch in the other, and this book clenched between your teeth (one tooth is missing from last night's bar fight), with tears streaming down your face over how much you loved, loved, loved your ex, let me commend you on how well you are coping. You could be doing so much worse. So much worse.
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Book description
A history of heartbreak-replete with beheadings, uprisings, creepy sex dolls, and celebrity gossip-and its disastrously bad consequences throughout time.

Spanning eras and cultures from ancient Rome to medieval England to 1950s Hollywood, Jennifer Wright's It Ended Badly guides you through the worst of the worst in historically bad breakups. In the throes of heartbreak, Emperor Nero had just about everyone he ever loved--from his old tutor to most of his friends--put to death. Oscar Wilde's lover, whom he went to jail for, abandoned him when faced with being cut off financially from his wealthy family and wrote several self-serving books denying the entire affair. And poor volatile Caroline Lamb sent Lord Byron one hell of a torch letter and enclosed a bloody lock of her own pubic hair. Your obsessive social media stalking of your ex isn't looking so bad now, is it?

With a wry wit and considerable empathy, Wright digs deep into the archives to bring these thirteen terrible breakups to life. She educates, entertains, and really puts your own bad breakup conduct into perspective. It Ended Badly is for anyone who's ever loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered late-night emails to their ex, reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII.

Contents
Introduction

1. If you have been replaced by a surprising choice
Read about Nero and Poppaea

2. If you are accomplished and independent and fierce
Read about Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II

3. If your family didn’t like your ex and thought you could do better
Read about Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni Sforza

4. If you have ever made the same mistake twice
Read about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard

5. If you have started snickering at happy couples on the street
Read about Anna Ivanovna

6. If you believe in ghosts (and love social media)
Read about Timothy Dexter

7. If you have just sent your ex a very intense emotional e-mail
Read about Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron

8. If there were body image issues
Read about John Ruskin and Effie Gray

9. If it was just a sad affair
Read about Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas

10. If you were dumped
Read about Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton

11. If you are struggling to find anyone as good as your ex
Read about Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler

12. If you deserve an apology
Read about Norman Mailer and Adele Morales Mailer

13. If you want to believe it will all work out for the best in the end
Read about Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor

Epilogue
Sources
Acknowledgments
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"A humorous, well-researched pop history of the disastrous love lives of prominent historical figures, from Lord Byron to Elizabeth TaylorIf you are lying in bed right now, a pint of ice cream in one hand, a bottle of scotch in the other, and this book clenched between your teeth (one tooth is missing from last night's bar fight), with tears streaming down your face over how much you loved, loved, loved your ex, let me commend you on how well you are coping. You could be doing so much worse. So much worse. You could be beheading your ex, or castrating strangers, or starting an exciting new life with a sex doll. YOU ARE A HERO.In It Ended Badly, New York Observer columnist Jennifer Wright guides you through thirteen of the worst breakups of notable figures in history--from Emperor Nero (sadist, murderer several times over), to Viennese artist Oskar Kokoschka (he of the aforementioned sex doll), to Norman Mailer (public stabbing). With her conversational tone and considerable wit, Wright digs deep into the archives to bring these terrible breakups to life. It's fun, pop history that educates, entertains, and really puts your own bad breakup behavior into perspective. It Ended Badly is for anyone who's loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered, late-night emails to their ex--reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII"--"If you are lying in bed right now, a pint of ice cream in one hand, a bottle of scotch in the other, and this book clenched between your teeth (one tooth is missing from last night's bar fight), with tears streaming down your face over how much you loved, loved, loved your ex, let me commend you on how well you are coping. You could be doing so much worse. So much worse. You could be beheading your ex, or castrating strangers, or starting an exciting new life with a sex doll. YOU ARE A HERO. In It Ended Badly, New York Observer columnist Jennifer Wright guides you through thirteen of the worst breakups of notable figures in history--from Emperor Nero (sadist, murderer several times over), to Viennese artist Oskar Kokoschka (he of the aforementioned sex doll), to Norman Mailer (public stabbing). With her conversational tone and considerable wit, Wright digs deep into the archives to bring these terrible breakups to life. It's fun, pop history that educates, entertains, and really puts your own bad breakup behavior into perspective. It Ended Badly is for anyone who's loved and lost and maybe sent one too many ill-considered, late-night emails to their ex--reminding us that no matter how badly we've behaved, no one is as bad as Henry VIII"--… (more)

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