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Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams Hardcover – October 13, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The actor behind A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger recounts his early years in theater and Hollywood before hitting it big as the razor-fingered killer. Intent on pursuing a stage career, California native Englund went to Cal State and Michigan's Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he studied classical theater. After being inspired by Martin Scorsese's debut film, Boxcar Bertha, Englund headed to Hollywood and soon landed small roles alongside stars like Henry Fonda, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. But it wasn't until Wes Craven offered the role of Freddy Krueger, a sadistic murderer who haunted victims' dreams, that Englund broke into cult stardom. He recalls in vivid detail the hundreds of hours spent in the makeup chair for the film and its six sequels, most recently 2004's hit Freddy vs. Jason, where Krueger is resurrected from hell and battles Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise. Englund also appeared in the acclaimed 1984 miniseries V and 1995's The Mangler, from Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. While readers who didn't grow up with the Elm Street films may be a bit lost, Englund's memoir will appeal to those who still can't shake Freddy from their nightmares.
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"Monstrously entertaining! Robert proves as gifted and versatile on the page as on the screen. Irreverent, uproarious, revealing!" -- Mark Hamill, star of the original Star Wars trilogy

"If you've ever wondered what goes into the creation of a screen icon like Freddy, you should read this book. With wit and candor, Robert Englund gives you the recipe: talent mixed with life lived to the full, served up with boundless energy and a rich imagination seasoned with unswerving respect for his audience, and a passionate dedication to his craft as an actor." -- Doug Bradley, star of Clive Barker's Hellraiser movies

" 'Six degrees of Kevin Bacon?' Ha! Try 'Three Degrees of Robert Englund!' The Boris Karloff of our generation has worked with just about everybody and lived to tell the nightmare! Great read!" -- Dee Snider, host of Fangoria Radio on Sirius/XM, front man for Twisted Sister

"Reading Robert Englund's journey through the ups and downs of a Hollywood career is a fun, funny, and eye-opening blast. His life has been no 'nightmare,' but rather an entertaining romp! Take a read...if you dare!" -- Star Price, award-winning producer of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

"[Robert] saw the role, and the script as a whole, pretty much as I saw it, as some kind of black comedy, and as the telling of a story about iconic figures locked in the eternal human struggle between good and evil -- a modern myth, disguised as a scare-the-pants-off-you horror movie. Robert got it. And he got the role." -- Wes Craven, in his introduction to Hollywood Monster

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439150486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439150481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chad Kenneth Bell on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Coming in at 298 pages the book is a quick read. But this hasn't been a quick life for Robert Englund. The anecdotes on things that have occurred in his life tend to lack some details; however, they do range from the star studded to the hilarious. For a man who is currently considered an amazing character actor in horror films, he is possibly one of the most recognizable stars in the genre since Vincent Price. The book starts off with his young acting career (to get girls) and follows his life through to the top of becoming the horror icon Freddy Krueger.

This is great fun and a quick read. The appendix contains some fun filled favorite lists: music, movies, and kills. The lists depict Englund's tastes and well Freddy's morsals.

Hollywood Monster is a must read biography for actors, horror fans, and folks wanting to experience a large part of cinema history. Who knew the scariest man in cinema is the nicest, humblest, and sincerest man in hollywood for 4 decades.
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Format: Hardcover
Lon Chaney. Vincent Price. Boris Karloff. Bela Lugosi. Lon Chaney, Jr. Peter Cushing. Christopher Lee. Donald Pleasance. Robert Englund. Horror/monster movie stars. It's a small club. No doubt each one of them have led rich, interesting lives. The biggest star of this field of the last 30 years or so is, without a doubt, Robert Englund. Now, Englund shares with us his life, his story, his career, and a certain character by the name of Freddy Krueger. Read on....

After reading this book, you will find that Englund's life and career has been no nightmare. In fact, Englund seems to of been blessed with a wonderful existence. Sometimes a blue collar, hard working character actor like himself is much better to be than a leading man Hollywood star. Things just seem to be so much more interesting. He talks of working with the likes of Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry Fonda, and others, and writes like he is taking you on a backstage journey through trying to make it as an actor and what goes on behind the scenes. For anyone that knows how Englund is, the book, like himself, is written in the same jovial, interesting, ball of energy way that he is himself in interviews and what others always say about him. So much of the book you can actually hear him saying and talking about, and it makes for a fun, enjoyable read. While there is no real dirt or gossip, or horrible childhood memories, the book is filled with wonderful Hollywood talk and taking you inside the life of a working actor. While Englund has done a lot of work over the years, he will always be known as Freddy Krueger. The one and only!
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Format: Hardcover
If you were wondering how one of the nicest guys in Hollywood became famous for playing one of the most memorable and menacing villains in cinematic history, wonder no more. Robert Englund has written an autobiography about his life as an actor and it's a surprisingly likable and down-to-Earth Hollywood memoir. Starting with Englund's days as a struggling character actor and concluding with his thoughts on his current status as an icon of horror, Hollywood Monster is an engaging book that, ultimately, stands as a tribute to Mr. Englund's talent and his ability to survive and thrive in an often cut-throat industry.

While Englund is best known for playing Freddy Krueger, the book covers his entire career both before and after the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I can understand why some Nightmare fans might feel a little bit cheated but it didn't bother me. Some of that's because I'm old enough that I actually associate Robert Englund more with the role of Willie in the original V miniseries than I do with Freddy and Englund offers up a lot of anecdotes and stories about his time on V. For Nightmare fans, his story of his first meeting with Wes Craven is priceless but, for the most part, most of his Nightmare memories seem to focus on how uncomfortable the makeup was.

Hollywood Monster is ultimately a very engaging book because Robert Englund is a very engaging and ultimately very humble actor. (As anyone who has ever seen an interview with Mr. Englund knows, he's also a very witty person and that comes through in this book as well.) Ultimately, this is a likable memoir and it makes for a very enjoyable read.
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I'm not a big fan of "tell-all" books, full of scandals and secrets. I'm much more interested in reading biographies and autobiographies that are just telling us about their lives, how they got into what they do, why they did it, and some fun stories along the way. So I tend to steer away from biographies and autobiographies. However, this was one I bought because not only am I a big Freddy fan, but also because I enjoy Englund as an actor.

Robert Englund provides exactly what I like in an autobiography in Hollywood Monster. It's as if he's sitting next to you telling his stories, which gave this book a cozy and friendly feel. I laughed out loud many times, and it was great to learn little tidbits about how the Nightmare films were made and why. Englund's wit and zest for his job are clear, and he makes the reader want to jump right in with him and experience what he's experienced.

I highly recommend this book to not only folks who are fans of Englund but also anyone who just wants to read a good autobiography. You don't have to "know" his collection of works or be immersed in the horror genre to relate to him and why he does the job he does. It's just all about enjoying your job and living life to the fullest. I walked away from this book smiling, and I hope others do too.
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