- Hardcover: 752 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (January 27, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375413553
- ISBN-13: 978-0375413551
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hollywood Animal: A Memoir Hardcover – January 27, 2004
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sleaze and more sleaze. But don't we love it? Hollywood insider stuff par excellence, from a well-known and contentious screenwriter. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
He alternates chapters about Hollywood (which are yes, fascinating and appalling) with chapters called "flashback" about his dirt-poor and often difficult childhood as Hungarian immigrant in Cleveland, and brief, italicized sections called "close-ups" that are portraits of unnamed Hollywood personalities (a poolcleaner, a vice president, an actress).
It's a long book, but because of the way it's structured, it's a quick read (well, it took me a few weeks to get through it, but each time I'd pick it up I'd read 60-70 pages before I could bear to put it down). Ezsterhas includes verbatim hatchet-letters he's written to agents and producers who've offended him-- including one hilarious letter to Mike Ovitz that sets off a feud that is a running theme throughout the book. And while Ezsterhas is articulate and hilarious, any reader-- including apparently Ezsterhas himself-- can see that he's also defensive, arrogant and difficult as hell.
You can't help liking him anyway.
Even as he recounts episodes of cheating on his first wife. Even as he recounts painful alienations from friends and family that he is at least partially responsible for.Read more ›
I picked up this CD from the public library before a long road trip. I had no idea who this man was or who most of the other "larger than life" stars were. The story, I found out, is fascinating, well-written and Scott Brick's delivery helps to bring out Eszterhas' personality. The author himself ... I can't stand. Or can I?
This is a story of transformation and redemption and the trick is - as another reviewer has commented - indeed, for the writer not to get ahead of himself, but leave things to be discovered, let the complexity of his personality peel away like layers of an onion.
In a series of flashbacks that show Joe as a Hungarian boy and ones that show him as an American man, we witness how a scared, geeky, immigrant boy with quite a temper becomes first a successful millionaire Hollywood screenwriter who learns to play the Hollywood game of power, then gains some perspective via the experience of throat cancer, finding God and learning to value less glamorous things such as being able to breathe while walking. Obvious things apparently take a long time to understand if there is a lot of money, drugs and pussy on the other side.
Honesty and integrity are at the core of his tale in Hollywood (defending his script from changes, incursions into his creative freedom even when the odds are against him) and I rooted for him as a screenwriter right through his fight with Ovitz where he puts his career on the line.
Honesty and integrity are missing from most his private life, where he cheats on his wife every chance he gets and identifies "strains" in his marriage as he is working to hack it apart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a writer with weak knees who doesn't know how to negotiate yourself up the ladder, you'd better read this book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Suzy Soro
Honest and insightful. Couldn't put it down. Did not come away liking Joe Eszterhas, but respect his honesty and writing ability.Published 11 months ago by Joseph Sullivan
This book is an excellent biography of a young immigrant (The Good), a boring Hollywood tell-all (The Bad) and a non-existent biography of the young man after 18, but before... Read morePublished on October 22, 2014 by VG
A couple recommended this book. It's great. Well written. Well thought out. He can tell a story. Is it all true? Doubtful. Is it fun as hell? You bet your ass it isPublished on August 29, 2014 by Sean Tuohy
Gosh ... I don't know about this book. I think the author's brash self agrandizement and repetitive bragging get in the way of what could be an interesting story. Read morePublished on July 30, 2014 by WorldTravelr
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. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Dennis Fisher
'Hollywood Animal' follows the story of Joe Eszterhas, from a child in Hungarian prison camps to being arguably the most famous, successful and powerful screenwriter of all... Read morePublished on September 21, 2013 by C.J.H
I picked this up because I was acquainted with Joe during his stint as editor of the O.U. Post at Ohio U. He was Belushi-like character running a M.A.S.H. Read morePublished on January 26, 2013 by Art C. Phartsy
I tried to read this book with an open mind, but in the end, ended up just about despising the author. Read morePublished on June 20, 2012 by maelje