Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones

Books on Tape. Oct. 2023. 4:22 hrs. ISBN 9780593788707. $76. MEMOIR
This excellent audiobook celebrating Parton’s (Dolly Parton, Songteller) iconic and timeless style could be summed up by Shakespeare’s immortal words “To thine own self, be true.” The glittering audio allows listeners a glimpse of Parton’s life by way of her remarkable closet as she describes her early style, makeup, fashion, wigs, and more. The book is presented as a Q&A, with Parton’s niece and archivist Rebecca Seaver as interviewer. Pop culture writer Holly George-Warren (Janis: Her Life and Music) introduces each chapter and the many contributors. Interspersed throughout the interviews with Parton are song clips and conversations with designers and stylists who helped create her unique and unforgettable vision. From the Country Music Awards and The Porter Wagoner Show to album art, Studio 54, and even the cover of Playboy in October 1978, each outfit has a story to tell. Parton’s style has evolved over the years but has always been flashy, busty, distinctive, and glitzy, just like the legend herself.
VERDICT Part memoir, part fashion manifesto, part archive, this engaging audio bursts with humor, confidence, and candor. The production deserves all the rhinestone stars it will earn.
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