From Publishers Weekly
By using the terms "bitch" and "bitch goddess" several times in his first few pages, Sanello, a former film critic for the Los Angeles Daily News, sets an aggressively sleazy tone to his biography of notorious actress Sharon Stone. Even so, he promises more than he delivers. After a preface that in effect defies Stone to have him roughed up by her "goons" and after an introduction that tells a juicy story about Stone's alleged lesbian tryst in a public restroom, the rest of the book is mostly a cut-and-paste job. Sanello's account of Stone's life and career, from her childhood in Meadville, Pa. (which the author calls "Mudville"), through her early career in cheap horror films, to her superstardom in Basic Instinct, is constructed almost entirely from previously published articles, interviews and reviews. The author's chief original contribution is an unending series of snide wisecracks and asides, which read as if Stone, and Hollywood, had done him a personal injury (on Basic Instinct: "Another dim-bulb studio executive, who probably makes a half mil a year, felt the success of the film..."). Some of Santello's witticisms have a vulgar brio, as when Santello writes that Stone was "Pudenda non grata" in Hollywood after her 1990 Playboy pictorial. But much of the prose labors for effect, leading to such jaw-dropping mixed metaphors as, "Stone's behavior is motivated by the fear that the career heap that she has clawed her way to the top of will suddenly supernova." The subject matter and approach are likely to appeal to tabloid readers and fans of daytime talk shows, but chances are, if they've read the right magazines, they'll know most of this stuff already. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Sanello goes to great lengths in his preface to report on the reverence he paid to Jimmy Stewart in his last book Saint Jim
and to inform readers that he would rather praise than condemn a movie icon. But in this Sharon "Bitch Goddess" Stone biography, most of his quotes are from People
and the National Enquirer
, and the book strives for malicious intent whenever possible. For example, in the chapter on her western, The Quick and the Dead,
Sanello snidely writes that this "was the first film made by Stone's new company, Chaos Productions. Some might carp that the name was prophetic of her later films, but it actually came from Melville: `Before creation was chaos.' Playboy
was right after all when it condescendingly said of the starlet spread out nude all over its pages in 1990, `And she reads a lot, too.'" Another telling feature of this unauthorized biography is that it seems to have been whipped off quickly, with little rewriting or editing. There appears to have been no checking for repetitive word choices or for rehashed anecdotes (the book could probably be halved if stories weren't told again pages or chapters later). Sanello picks up themes (i.e., variations of duality), but his guiding light for this one must have been, "Let those who live by sleaze share the wealth." In other words, this trashy book will probably be in great demand. Jennifer Henderson