Picks and Pans Review: Barbra

updated 04/17/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/17/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Christopher Andersen


Readers who can't get enough of Streisand will lap up this lightweight, unauthorized overview from ex-PEOPLE editor Andersen, a veteran celeb biographer. At 400-plus jam-packed pages, he doesn't stint on the eye-opening anecdotes, beginning with her 1998 wedding to James Brolin. With helicopters buzzing her Malibu estate, the bride's nit-picking: "Perrier. Not Pellegrino ... Now," she tells a waiter. Andersen brings out the hankies when he examines her Brooklyn beginnings and the loss of her father (who died when Barbra was a toddler). He revisits her career as she heads toward her rendezvous with Oscar before she's 30. The author also dishes about her liaisons with Prince Charles and Don Johnson. The sheer bulk of material—Streisand turns 64 on April 24—is a bit daunting. But could a slimmer volume do justice to a woman whose name is synonymous with the word diva1?

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