the house of gucci

‘The House of Gucci’ book review: A sophisticated family drama

The House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed leaves no diamond unturned in uncovering the story of this phenomenal family.

The House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden was first published in 2000, but a new movie tie-in edition has been released in honor of the November 24, 2021 film adaptation by Ridley Scott, and the 100-year anniversary of the Gucci dynasty. Or what may have been the 100-year Gucci dynasty if the events of this book hadn’t occurred!

The movie tie-in edition of The House of Gucci book contains a new afterword from the author, Sara Gay Forden, detailing some of the highlights of the Gucci company and family from the 20 years since the book was originally published. While no members of the Gucci family remain involved in the company, the power struggles that marred the family’s namesake for decades haven’t gone anywhere.

The House of Gucci book began as a story about a murder, but it quickly became much more than that, rewinding over 70 years and dedicating the next 300 pages to context in the form of a Gucci family biography. The book takes us right back to Guccio Gucci, the founder of a small leather goods shop in Italy, and takes us through all of the wild events he catalyzed.

The context was crucial, but in my opinion, The House of Gucci book was best when it returned to the murder it started with. In these chapters, Forden’s storytelling was at its strongest, mixing biographical elements with a hint of crime thriller. The fully biographical chapters read a bit more like a history textbook, which makes sense given the exhaustive index included at the end of the book!

That being said, Forden does a great job of adding spice to a history already wrought with scandal and intrigue by peppering in real life quotes from the story’s cast of characters. These help add personality and color to a family that seemed to have those two things in spades.

the house of gucci book review

The afterword, like the rest of The House of Gucci book, is exquisitely detailed and meticulously researched. You won’t be surprised when you get to the end of the book to find the many pages listing Forden’s sources. It also adds some interesting new details about the murder aspect of the book that tie the whole thing up with a nice bow.

The amount of information the author has collected and recounted on the family and company in The House of Gucci book is astonishing, and I would find it hard to believe that a more definitive text on the subject existed. If you want to know about Gucci, The House of Gucci book is where you should go. I know when I see a movie based on true events, I’m always looking for more information. If this happens to you after watching House of Gucci, this book will have what you need.

The House of Gucci book provides more than a history of the Gucci family and business, but also of the fashion world as a whole, and of a business transitioning from the 20th to the 21st century. It provides an interesting generational study as it progresses from Guccio Gucci to Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, who are still young today, and everyone in between.

This book would be a fantastic read for anyone interested in knowing everything there is to know about the Gucci family and company, and those interested in learning about businesses that have succeeded over time. Pick up a copy before, or after, you see the movie!

Buy The House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden from, Book Depository, or Amazon. You can also add it to your Goodreads list.