From Publishers Weekly
Author/screenwriter Eszterhas introduces readers to the ultimate in Hollywood animal thinking when he quotes an unnamed Oscar-winning producer as saying, "the only time Ill root for anybody to be a success is if he or she has cancer, and I know for certain that the cancer is terminal." Eszterhass book is unabashedly vulgar, a brutally revealing blend of sex and greed that goes much further than Peter Biskinds Down and Dirty Pictures (Forecasts, Jan. 5) in exposing Hollywoods dark side. Eszterhas refers to himself as "insufferable" for coveting success and money, but as the horrifying anecdotes unfold, he mounts a dynamic defense of screenwriters who have been treated like "discarded hookers... not invited to premieres of their own movies, cheated of residual payments." Salacious details mingle with explosions of temper, and Eszterhas isnt afraid to take potshots at William Goldman, Ron Bass, Robert Towne and other screenwriters he believes have compromised too heavily with the system. A particularly absorbing story centers on Sylvester Stallone, who starred in F.I.S.T. and then tried to take credit for Eszterhass script. Even more shocking is producer Marty Ransohoffs relentless criticism of Glenn Close during the filming of Jagged Edge, which made the actress throw Ransohoff and his daughter (who was not involved in the movie) off the set. Just as readers begin to drown in an ocean of gossip, Eszterhas introduces two dramatic plots: his battle with throat cancer and the discovery that his father was an outspokenly anti-Semitic former Nazi. This electrifying section overshadows the Hollywood material and deserves a book of its own. It makes an argument readers will immediately pick up on: that animalistic behavior is just as savagely prevalent outside Hollywood studio gates.
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Sleaze and more sleaze. But don't we love it? Hollywood insider stuff par excellence, from a well-known and contentious screenwriter. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved