Taki

A Sad, Useless Life

Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 216pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

As EVERYONE who has heard of Monte Carlo, Maria Callas and Jackie Onassis knows, Christina Onassis, Bolker, Andreadis, Kausov, Roussel was the much married extremely rich girl who searched for happiness in almost as ruthless a manner as her father went after wealth and power, and her step-mother, Jackie KO chased after the root of all envy.

Christina’s odyssey ended in an Argentine country-club in late autumn 1988. She was 37 years old. As in everything involving her, there was confusion as to the cause of her death. Rumour had it that she committed suicide. An Argentine judge insisted she died of acute pulmonary oedema of the lung, a condition that can precipitate a heart attack. Her last husband’s uncle, by the name of Grinda, claimed the trauma of the spermatozoa implant surgery Christina had been undergoing in order to conceive with his nephew, to have done her in. The few romantics left in the jaded world she lived in believed it was from a broken heart. Nigel Dempster does not state the true reasons for her tragic end because the autopsy was so botched by the authorities there is no way to be sure. Otherwise, he has done his homework. Not only has he done it well, but he has also done it quickly. As of this moment there are two American writers preparing their opera about the most boring woman ever to have a book written about her, which must be good news for Nigel Dempster and the wily Austrian Weidenfeld. Good news because what there is to say about Christina, Dempster says; the people who knew her well enough to say anything of value have already told the world’s numero uno gossip columnist and greatest living Englishman.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,