It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst Breakups In History – Jennifer Wright (2015)

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It Ended Badly is a humorous non-fiction book of famously contentious, sometimes terrifying, and always curious breakups ranging from Nero, to Oscar Wilde, to Norman Mailer, and Burton and Taylor. Written in a sarcastic wit, the book has the feel of talking to your best girlfriend; witty, smart and scrappy. Wright’s intended reader is clearly the heartbroken ex party, for whom ice cream, wine and a good book are comforts. That said, anyone with a morbid fascination with the inner workings of other people’s relationships will enjoy the tales of murder, lunacy and depravity. The reader will feel that by not making a life size sex doll covered in polar bear fur to recreate their lost love, they are coming out on top, regardless of any regrettable drunk late night text messages. The stories are shocking and Wright delivers them in such a way that it is difficult not to feel incredulous- as when a friend of Norman Mailer compared his working the Times mailroom to be on par with with rough time Mailer had had after he stabbed his wife twice at a party and told others to “just let her die”. Grotesque, sad, gobsmacking and ludicrous these breakups are certainly entertaining. 240 pages

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