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Hollywood Animal Paperback – March 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375718958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375718953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Incendiary" Arena "Compelling ... As gripping as it is harrowing" Sunday Times "Monstrously entertaining ... you turn the pages faster and faster, with guilty admiration" Evening Standard "I laughed like a hyena reading Hollywood Animal ... I couldn't put it down" -- Christopher Bray Literary Review "Eszterhas is a wonderful storyteller, and Hollywood Animal is irresistibly entertaining. The gods look down, and we look up, dazzled by the light" Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

He spent his earliest years in post WWII–refugee camps. He came to America and grew up in Cleveland—stealing cars, rolling drunks, battling priests, nearly going to jail. He became the screenwriter of the worldwide hits Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, and Flashdance. He also wrote the legendary disasters Showgirls and Jade. The rebellion never ended, even as his films went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the box office and he became the most famous—or infamous—screenwriter in Hollywood.

Joe Eszterhas is a complex and paradoxical figure: part outlaw and outsider combined with equal parts romantic and moralist. More than one person has called him "the devil." He has been referred to as "the most reviled man in America." But Time asked, "If Shakespeare were alive today, would his name be Joe Eszterhas?" and he was the first screenwriter picked as one of the movie industry's 100 Most Powerful People. Although he is often accused of sexism and misogyny, his wife is his best friend and equal partner. Considered an apostle of sex and violence, he is a churchgoer who believes in the power of prayer. For many years the ultimate symbol of Hollywood excess, he has moved his family to Ohio and immersed himself in the midwestern lifestyle he so values.

Controversial, fearless, extremely talented, and totally unpredictable, the author of the best-selling American Rhapsody and National Book Award nominee Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse has surprised us yet again: he has written a memoir like no other.

On one level, Hollywood Animal is a shocking and often devastating look inside the movie business. It intimately explores the concept of fame and gives us a never-before-seen look at the famous. Eszterhas reveals the fights, the deals, the extortions, the backstabbing, and the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll world that is Hollywood.

But there are many more levels to this extraordinary work. It is the story of a street kid who survives a life filled with obstacles and pain . . . a chronicle of a love affair that is sensual, glorious, and unending . . . an excruciatingly detailed look at a man facing down the greatest enemy he's ever fought: the cancer inside him . . . and perhaps most important, Hollywood Animal is the heartbreaking story of a father and son that defines the concepts of love and betrayal.

This is a book that will shock you and make you laugh, anger you and move you to tears. It is pure Joe Eszterhas—a raw, spine-chilling celebration of the human spirit.

From the Hardcover edition.


More About the Author

Joe Eszterhas has written fifteen films which have made more than a billion dollars at the box office. Among them are Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, Flashdance, Showgirls, Betrayed, Music Box and F.I.S.T. He is the author of the recent New York Times bestsellers AMERICAN RHAPSODY and HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL. In 1975, his second book, CHARLIE SIMPSON'S APOCALYPSE, was nominated for the National Book Award. He was a senior editor at Rolling Stone from 1971 to 1975. He lives with his wife, Naomi, and their four sons in Bainbridge Township, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Lathrop on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Fairly slow going as screenwriters are apparently not necessarily great book authors, but interesting insight into how Hollywood really works - or doesn't, as the case may be. I found that far more interesting than who the author had sex with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mezzanine on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
When Joe Esterhasz gets to about page 600 he reveals he has cancer of the oesophagus because of his smoking, drinking lifestyle. The book, at that moment, takes on a surreal tone and you realise the irony of what has gone before. It is a great work, not a great literary work but as a detailed picture drawn by a talented although slightly eccentric screenwriter who manages to alienate more people (according to the book) than most. Sometimes the detail is self-indulgent and unnecessary, such as the over-done italicised love letters/diaries of his second wife. I must admit I could have done without most of those but for the most part, and for the lifestyle 'don't smoke' warning, and for the Hollywood gossip, this is worth a read, especially if you like stories about movie directors lusting after starlets...who doesn't?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Di Lizio on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this to hear about Hollywood and scriptwriting game, however, I ended up very intrigued by the backstory concerning the author's parents. If you are interested in scriptwriting or film-making, then this book is four or five star. However, a friend of mine without such interests really struggled with this book and ultimately didn't finish it. Joe Eszterhas has lead a life which many would judge him for, but that doesn't stop it from being interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By maelje on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I tried to read this book with an open mind, but in the end, ended up just about despising the author. In his zeal to portray himself as a player on the Hollywood scene, Joe Eszterhas instead reminded this reader that sleazeballs just aren't all that amusing.

In addition, this book IS MORE THAN 700 PAGES LONG. It should have been HALF that. I guess, though, that if you're the screenwriter who wrote "Basic Instinct," plus a lot of other films that altogether have grossed about a billion bucks (that's not an exaggeration), then you get to do pretty much whatever you want to do when you write your memoir. Eszterhas, for this project, desperately needed an editor to tell him when too much was getting to be ... well, too much.

Perhaps I was expecting too much. This is the guy, after all, who wrote "Showgirls," quite possibly one of the five worst films I've ever seen.

Since this volume was published, Eszterhas also has written "Crossbearer," a memoir about his return to faith. That book has gotten far better reviews than this one, so perhaps I should try it, and see if the author's rediscovered religiosity has made him a more sympathetic subject.

As for "Hollywood Animal": Don't bother. I'm no moralist, but this book truly is repulsive.
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Format: Paperback
Joe Eszterhas is the well-known writer of Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, Music Box and other movie scripts. In this book, he intersperses his Hollywood experience with his modest Hungarian background - two different worlds. Eszterhas relates some of his experiences of the good life, being highly paid and famous in Hollywood amongst his new best friend actors, producers and agents. This atmosphere is not for the faint-of-heart but Eszterhas was able to hold is own and command top payment for his scripts. Eventually, and fortunately, he and his family moved out of Hollywood where shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. His efforts to stop smoking and drinking, both entrenched and decades-old, took more strength than anything preceeding it. But he did it.

Hollywood Animal will provide many titillating stories of the big (and sometimes tough) guys and gals in The Business. It also gives us a glimpse of Eszterhas as a survivor who lived to write about it. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book I didn't want to end. Mr. Eszterhas is a fantastic writer and spinner of tales. There is an unexpected moral element to the book and a willingness by Mr. Eszterhas to show the unflattering parts of his psyche. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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