... brisk and sympathetic ... The author has logged significant hours in the drawing rooms of the American aristocracy — and some of his pages do have the gently draped feeling of an auction catalog. But he wants to shake the dust from the name of Getty: to show that the majority are not drug-addled wastrels but productive citizens ... At various points in “Growing Up Getty,” readers might yearn for a grid with color-coded pegs, like the one in the old board game Battleship, to keep track of all the names and relationships. Certainly some Gettys are square pegs. Many prefer to go unquoted ... The rich may be different, in Reginato’s telling, but they are not indifferent.
Reginato’s meticulous research and personal interviews create a sweeping portrait of arguably the United States’ greatest industrial dynasty and extracts the untold stories behind the sensational headlines about billionaire oil baron J. Paul Getty ... A rapturous biography for casual readers. This in-depth analysis of one of the United States’ richest families reveals a behind-the-scenes legacy of love and generosity.
... captivating ... Through his extensive research, which includes family letters, diary entries, and recent interviews with family members and friends, Reginato unflinchingly scrutinizes Getty’s five failed marriages and other negative aspects of the family history ... A fresh and engaging look at a complex and elusive American family.
... entertaining ... Though the litany of facts—marriages, births, deaths, mergers—tends to dampen the narrative at times, Reginato’s storytelling is at its most engaging in its cinematic depictions of the family in their element: the Getty patriarch surrounded by priceless antiques in luxurious Sutton Place, Paul Jr. and Talitha Getty smoking up with a carnival of 1960s cultural icons in the Palais de la Zahia, Billy and Vanessa Getty’s glittering Napa Valley wedding. The result offers the approximate pleasure of thumbing through a century of society pages.