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Conversations with My Agent Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452277132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452277137
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amusing and insightful, this is a deftly sketched portrait of life inside the Hollywood "development deal," that limbo in which writers get paid generously to create something new for a notoriously fickle set of bosses. Long and his writing partner, still in their 20s, had risen to become coproducers of the popular TV series Cheers before it expired; they were rewarded with an office, long lunches and many meetings at which to try to pitch their ideas. (No, their new shows never took off.) Long makes the story entertaining by rendering many scenes-especially those involving his nameless, genderless agent-in sitcom form (dialogue, stage directions, etc.). "People in this business love their souped-up vocabulary," Long writes, and he affectionately skewers Hollywood pretension ("I love a quirky love," says one exec). Long doesn't tell us much about himself or his relationship with his writing partner, but the story skitters along fast enough for that to be forgivable. And when one reviewer calls their pilot "snappy" and another denounces it as "without snap," you can sympathize if well-paid creative types think the world wretched. Unfortunately, the book's charm and verisimilitude are vitiated by Long's contradictory admissions that it is "half true" and "mostly true."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Television writer Long (Cheers) has written a humorous account of what it means to be a TV scriptwriter in Hollywood. It's a TV version of Linda Obst's recent insider's view of feature filmmaking, Hello He Lied (LJ 10/1/96). Interspersing the book with conversations with his agent and writing in the style of a TV script, Long imparts the "inside" story on getting a TV deal, "one of those entertainment industry creations that...sounds suspiciously like goofing off. Essentially the studio agrees to pay a writer a minimum sum,...hopeful that the writer...will decide, 'What the hell, I may as well create a hit television show.' " Though very funny at times, it's a bit too much of an insider's view for the general reader. Though not an essential purchase for public libraries, it would be a good addition to media colletions.?Rosellen Brewer, MOBAC Lib. System, Monterey, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author



His first book, Conversations with My Agent, chronicled his early career in television. It was published in the UK by Faber & Faber, in the US by Dutton, and in France by Actes Sud. His second book, Set Up, Joke, Set Up, Joke, was published in November 2005 by Bloomsbury.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Conversations with my agent succeeds on three levels: as a quick introduction to writing for television, as a morality tale about overnight success in Hollywood, and as a humor book. I've read almost everything there is to read about screenwriting, and this book was by far the most enjoyable in an overcrowded, turgid genre. It wasn't deep, but it sure was fun -- and informative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Sipos VINE VOICE on November 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This quick read is full of funny scenes as the author labors to bring his sitcom onto the air. He has a rare (in Hollywood) modesty; he drops no names although he badmouths no one.
He doesn't even name the sitcom he managed to get on the air and which he discusses throughout the book (it was PIG STY, which ran on UPN for a season).
He's currently producing LOVE AND MONEY for CBS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on April 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, written in an unusual witty style. He admits some of his luck to get in the business and how quickly it can be taken away. I recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the business AND be entertained.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book reads like something that was quickly banged off the type-writer while the author was waiting for his agent to get him a job...which is actually one of its strong points, as well as its weakness. It's a slight book, but that also is why it is so highly readable, as though a smart and funny buddy were telling you some anecdotes over some beers. It gives inside insight into the machinations of the L.A./Show Biz world. It is funny. And you can feel in the subtext that the writer is DESPERATE that he have a success soon, or, God forbid, he's going to have to go work for an advertising agency. This tension ads to the book, too.
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