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on January 11, 2002
Ed Wood is famous as "the world's worst director." That title was never true, because his movies were always interesting even on a shoestring budget. In this book, the Great Man offers his [intentionally] hilarious advice for those aspiring to Hollywood. "Stay home," he insists. "You can be a devoted actor or actress there as well as any place."
All of his favorite fetishes are here in this book as he explores the [1960s version of] seedy Hollywood. He manages to mention "angora sweaters" nearly a dozen times throughout the book. Mr. Wood warns starlets that there isn't any film in that screen test camera. He explains how to seem like a bigshot while living a dive apartment-- have all your meetings downstairs at the complex's POOL. He brags that all of his movies got RELEASED [wow]-- unlike some other cheapie
directors. He even explains how to live for FREE in Hollywood [sleep in the park-- but don't forget blankets].
Chapter Ten: How to Make a Cheap Picture and Fail. "This is the easiest chapter of all to write,"-- Ed's implied admission that maybe he isn't the Hollywood BigWig he pretends to be.
Ed wrote his books as a stream of consciousness-- and it shows. But "Hollywood Rat Race" is like having a great three hour conversion with someone who's seen it all... and can still laugh about it!
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on December 20, 2004
"Hollywood Rat Race," a guide to surviving in Hollywood by none other than Edward D. Wood Jr., should be considered a must for any of his fans. Unpublished until the late-nineties, this guide covers Ed's thoughts about acting, screenwriting, producing, and a lot more. In addition, this is probably the closest we're ever going to come to Ed's memoirs. He tells stories about his early Hollywood career, his films, his friends (Kenne Duncan, Lyle Talbot, Tom Keene, some long stories about Bela Lugosi), and, best of all, his own account of the notorios baptism performed to get financing for "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
Some highlights: his scattered references to angora; his referring to the "Plan 9" cast as "The best cast I ever had" (listing off the names of David De Mering and Ben Frommer as if they were legendary); his list of some top character actors (all of them obscure); and his guide to living in Hollywood without any money (sleep in the park!). It's all written in a decidedly humorous style.
In conclusion, if you're a self-respecting Ed Wood fan, you simply can't be without this book.
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on June 9, 2009
I just started reading this book, and I am enjoying it. I've noticed that the book has a couple of negative reviews, and I disagree with what those reviews say. This book is well written, contrary to what is written in those reviews.. (What were they expecting an Ed Wood Jr. book to be like??? Ernest Hemmingway, John Steinbeck or William Shakespeare?) It never ceases to amaze me how people with no talent, very little talent, or "no credits" whatsoever to their name, are so quick to judge someone else. Hollywood Rat Race has a great amount of advice and insight about Hollywood. Some of the information is dated, but Ed Wood Jr. Pulls NO PUNCHES, and it is better written prose than what you're reading about from some of these clowns here. I reccomend this book...

Also, who is to say that Ed Wood never "made it" in Hollywood? He may have never made it to the to the top level that say Sylvestor Stallone made it, etc,etc... But on various levels he did "make it", and he does have the authority to write such a book even though he didn't make it in the traditonal definition of the words "making it"...
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on June 2, 2015
It was well written and Ed Wood in his own way attempted to give young people who aspire to the field of motion picture entertainment to look at the acting profession and field in a realistic way rather than through rose colored glasses,, His specialty was the world of fiction so this book was a departure and the principles that he tried to pu across then still applies today.
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on February 19, 2011
OK. I admit it. I thought I could be an actor in Hollywood and in 86 moved to Hollywood. Basically I failed on every turn. So much of what Ed writes in this book is true. This is the best (BEST) book ever writen about what to do if you really want to go and try. Not only is it totally honest, but it is written in the great Ed Wood style. I am a big Ed Wood fan, so I know. I also have the pleasure of knowing many of the original Ed Wood actors personally. One of the few perks I got out of Hollywood. I never got to meet Speilberg or Lucas, but I did hang out on the fringe with people like Russ Meyers, Titus Moody, Kitten Natividad, Ray Dennis Steckler, Paul Demarco, Jena Jamison and Conrad Brooks. Far more interesting then the so called Hollywood stars. This book is a must for all Ed Wood fans. Buy it.
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on September 2, 2011
Ed Wood Jr. wrote this book which is less of a "how to succeed" than a "how to survive" in Hollywood. As a companion piece to Nightmare Of Ecstasy, which chronicles Wood's life and career, this book is a nice addition.

Like the rest of Wood's output, it works best on its own premises, and shouldn't be compared to others work.

I recommend it, especially if you're an Ed Wood fan.
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VINE VOICEon February 28, 2013
The advice given in Hollywood Rat Race probably had outlived its usefulness by the time it finally saw publication in 1998. (If it had any usefulness to begin with, that is.)

Ed Wood, Jr was a unique individual, most famous for directing films so bad they were good. Hence his reputation as the king of camp.

Hollywood Rat Race continues the Ed Wood tradition. If one wanted to be cruel about it, the following descriptive terms could be applied to book and author: clueless, sophomoric, completely unselfaware, verging on delusional.
But isn't it better to be kind? How about terms like: a bit naive, unselfconscious, nostalgic for the old magic of tinseltown.

This obviously unedited "How To" manuscript reveals Ed Wood to be an enthusiastic lover of all things Hollywood, an eternal optimist and a loyal friend. He extended much kindness to Bela Lugosi and other film artists whose careers had seen better days.
It's a short read, only 138 pages, and the writing is less than professional. Nevertheless, I think you'll find Hollywood Rat Race to be oddly heartwarming.
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on May 12, 2014
An interesting idea if you are a fan of Wood, but the books is really filled with mind-numbing non-sense (surprise!). As interested as I was to read it, I quickly found it to be an impossible task. I suppose it's part of the charm, but I would recommend it only for collectors that MUST have it.
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on November 2, 2010
This book is a great read and a wonderful insight to a man who saw himself as no one else did. Ed Wood's instruction manual to the ins-and-outs of creating a successful career in Hollywood is unintentionally hilarious. In his guidence, he aligns himself with big studios and top producers and it will leave you shaking your head in disbelief that someone can be so delusional.

It's Ed Wood's world and he's calling the shots, no matter how off-target they are.
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on May 16, 2000
It seems too good to be true-Ed Wood actually wrote a book on how to make it in Hollywood!It would be funny if it weren't so sad.Actually,Ed has some good advice on what to do once you get to tinseltown.He wrote the book in the 60's,but much of his advice still holds up.If you are an Ed Wood fan,you MUST read this book.
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