Literary Review: W. A. Harbinson - Beauty And The Beast - The Story Of Nastassja And Klaus Kinski
Paperback Cover - Beauty And The Beast

W. A. Harbinson

Beauty And The Beast

Published by Custom Books Publishing / W. A. Harbinson, 2012

ISBN-10: 1466396741
ISBN-13: 978-1466396746

Paperback, 158 pages
Dim: 20.2 x 13.2 x 2 cm

Also av. as a Kindle e-book and as five individual Kindle e-book chapters

Available from:
Amazon UK (Kindle Ed.)

Date Reviewed:


Beauty And The Beast

The story of Nastassja and Klaus Kinski is one that has been long in coming. Rather than a mere combination of biographies, W. A. Harbinson's Beauty And The Beast tells the story of this famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view, daughter and father and their wrought relationship to each other. A fascinating story of two fascinating personalities from the film world of, in the main, the twentieth century, told here in a riveting fashion by master storyteller Harbinson.

Undoubtedly, Nastassja is the better known 'star' of this pair in the English-speaking film world, though today perhaps mainly remembered for her title role in Polanski's Tess. But make no mistake about it, Klaus Kinski was equally undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of the last century, in the English-speaking cinema world perhaps best known for his starring roles in Werner Herzog's epic movies such as Nosferatu; Aguirre, The Wrath of God; Woyzek; and Fitzcarraldo. (The love-hate relationship between the two mad genii Kinski and Herzog incidentally also gets explored in some detail, as does that between Nastassja Kinski and Roman Polanski.) In Germany, Kinski the father's status and reputation was legendary, both for his numerous, frequently highly controversial, stage performances as well as his appearances in more films than perhaps any other actor ever appeared in. However, Kinski's status was not based on quantity, rather, on his phenomenal presence and ability. Kinski the phenomenon simply has to be experienced.

Both father and daughter were as much renowned for their screen lives as they were notorious for their personal lives, and the difficult, strained relationship between them. The story of all of this is told in a totally gripping manner by Harbinson that makes one virtually break a sweat in anticipation of the next chapter. Certainly, there sometimes is a degree of overlap and even a certain amount of repetition between chapters concerning themselves with mainly one and then the other Kinski, but this is perhaps inevitable given the nature of this work.

Beauty And The Beast is a long-awaited story that for the first time explores the careers and personal lives of both Nastassja and Klaus Kinski, and the way their lives connected, or rather, often as not did not. It lays bare the relationship between father and daughter as it has not been done before. Given the characters involved, there is of course a fair amount of adult content and strong language, but both are wholly inevitable and essential to the story of the Kinskis. It is a story that is always compelling, nay, addictive.

For all true cinema aficionados, W. A. Harbinson's Beauty And The Beast has to be compulsive, even compulsory reading, and it should be an essential must have for anybody with any interest in the movies.

© 2012 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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