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Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up Paperback – November 30, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The former editor of Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, Colacello has an insider's story to tell. This book is as bitchy and packed with names as its readers could want. The Andy Warhol Factory is described (not surprisingly) as an exploitative place where Andy got richer and richer while his drones worked harder and harder. Colacello's straightforward chronology of working and partying in Warhol's circle is tinged by his bitterness over a heavy workload and little pay at the Factory. His tone captures perfectly the self-obsessed philosophy that drove Warhol, his hangers-on, and the subculture of sex, drugs, parties, discos, and the New York art scene of the 1970s and early 1980s. Recommended for academic, art, and public libraries. Photos not seen. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/90.
- David Bryant, Belleville P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

By far the best of Andy Warhol's portraits, including his own. A must for anyone even vaguely interested in Andy's life and times. (George Plimpton)

Of the reminiscences that have appeared to date, Colacello's Holy Terror is certainly the best-written and most killingly observed. Dissecting Warhol with an amiable but sharp wit, Mr. Colacello also manages to give him more of a human dimension than anyone else has suceeded in doing. (The New York Times)

Gossipy, gutsy, and gripping... a work of startling immediacy and convincing honesty. As clearly as he captures those glitzy, gritty years, Colacello is even sharper in tracing his enigmatic subject's psyche. Crisply written, well-organized, this is a first-rate sweeping memoir of an astonishing cultural phenomenon. (Kirkus Reviews)

Perceptive, intuitive, and amusing... If you think you've read everything about Andy you better at least add Bob Colacello's. It's personal, candid, and compelling. (Liz Smith New York Daily News)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press (November 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410089
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,556,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Nears on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I didn't intend to reread this book, but I opened it while searching for an obscure New York address and didn't put it down again until I'd finished reading every page. When it first came out, I remember critics mostly tsk-tsking Colacello because they seemed to think he'd gotten to the place he was through Warhol and no doubt he did...What I failed to notice when the book was first published, was how Colacella and every single "Warhol" person who's written a book had a nervous breakdown as they were spinning (or trying to spin) out of his orbit. I want to read the book that tells WHY these intelligent creative people threw themselves so totally into Warhol's world...a world that couldn't have existed without them.....All I can say is, if your intent is to try and understand Warhol, then Bob Colacello's book is the absolute best take...besides yourself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wayne in sf on January 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book on the shelf recently unread and found it, after the annoying first chapter on Bob quitting, a rather quick read for the length. While there are stories about famous people, I didn't find the tone mean and the stories about the famous people played to make them sound awful. A lot of time has passed since the book was written and certainly since the events described took place. The names of certain socialites discussed at length will mean nothing to most readers.

In terms of the profile of Warhol, it's fairly rewarding in terms of how he managed people, his projects, how he operated socially and yes what some of his eccentric habits were. But once again, this is more 'tell it like it is' than bitter and negative.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "p_pureheart" on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Beyond being an all-inclusive portrait of Andy, this book breaks down the public, trends and the superficiality of fame and fortune. I loved this book. It was as addictive as the National Inquirer and as informative as the Times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By moonlovelight on April 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an enlightening account of Andy Warhol. It's one thing to see the images an artist creates, but another to see how they create....and live. Bob Colacello gives an insider's account of the years he spent working for Warhol. Though much of the book is written through the author's personal experiences and observations, he seems to give a fair and generous account of the people, places and times involved. Along the way we learn about New York and Europe (and even Iran) in the 70's and 80's, popular culture and high society, politics, and the behind the scenes of the creative, wealthy, and famous...and those who fall in between(for Warhol, the more eccentric the better). Much of what we learn about Warhol is scathing, but ultimately humanizing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Becker on May 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm re-reading this book as slowly as possible. For the greater pleasure of the fireworks in slow motion. Colacello observes and writes with the most exquisite humor and meticulously documented detail on an explosive subject. A master pyrotechnical artist. A magnificent document. A wonderful treat to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Nadja on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is like a big box of candy--gossipy and chummy--compulsively readable and bittersweet.

Colacello was a top Warhol insider--for a while--so he was in a good position to give us a first-hand account of what it was like. However he isnt an art critic or art historian, and he's not an artist. So don't expect a lot of analysis into Warhol's art.

This book is more about what it was like to live and work with Andy Warhol. At least what it was like for Bob Colacello. For the most part Colcello seems to remember that and doesn't do a lot of sideline psychoanalysis...for the most part. He draws his conclusions, like the rest of us, and, like the rest of us, tells us probably more about himself than he does about Warhol.

Other people are impossible to know. Probably the best we can do is report as directly as possible what we *see*--without commentary. What we see, all by itself, is commentary enough.

Perhaps Warhol understood this better than any other major artist. It may very well be the key to his oeuvre--the films and paintings, the books and interviews that all seem to be about either nothing, or whatever one makes of them.

It's a lesson that Colacello seems to have drawn from to write "Holy Terror," which is refreshingly free from a lot of the usual compromising motivations of first-person, I-was-there books of this sort: the judgment and self-aggrandizement of the author, and the demonizing of the (usually) dead and now voiceless and therefore defenseless subject.

These sorts of books are usually written, to one degree or another, for revenge...and profit. Indeed, at the very end of this lengthy volume, Colacello acknowledges that his original purpose in writing *Holy Terror* was to "liberate" himself from Andy Warhol.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lottolaffs on May 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
My father (who also was an artist) always called Warhol a "racketeer". I giggle now and find it ironic that they were both born in the same year. Of course Andy achieved his 15 minutes of fame whereas my father never received any so perhaps there was a little jealousy there,lol.

Regarding this book..I find it absolutely wonderful. Am re-reading it again and am enjoying it the second time around just as much. Years ago I first discovered Andy when he guest starred in The Cars video "Hello Again." I said,"WHO is THAT?? I have to find out more!" So I started reading every book I could. This one and The Andy Warhol Diaries tend to be my all time faves. Full of insight into the Factory world and Andy himself, you will find yourself chuckling at a lot of Andy's dialogue. (At least I did) Luckily I had watched the famous "trilogy" of movies before reading this so it gave me a preview of the cast of "characters" that made up the Factory. I suppose you either "get it" or you don't. A real slice of the 80's for all of us "nostalgic" 40+'s.

I always wonder today how Andy would fit in with this new "technology" age. He would've had a ball!
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