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Madonna Paints a Mustache: & Other Celebrity Happenings Paperback – October 4, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Lawrence Grobel (www.lawrencegrobel.com) is a novelist, journalist, biographer, poet and teacher. Four of his 22 books have been singled out as Best Books of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly and many have appeared on Best Seller lists. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. PEN gave his Conversations with Capote a Special Achievement Award. The French Society of Film Critics awarded his Al Pacino their Prix Litteraire as the Best International Book of 2008. James A. Michener called his biography, The Hustons, “a masterpiece.” His The Art of the Interview is used as a text in many journalism schools. Writer’s Digest called him “a legend among journalists.” Joyce Carol Oates dubbed him “The Mozart of Interviewers” and Playboy singled him out as “The Interviewer’s Interviewer” after publishing his interviews with Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Henry Fonda and Marlon Brando. He has written for dozens of magazines and has been a Contributing Editor for Playboy, Movieline, World (New Zealand), and Trendy (Poland). He served in the Peace Corps, teaching at the Ghana Institute of Journalism; created the M.F.A. in Professional Writing for Antioch University; and taught in the English Department at UCLA for ten years. He has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Charlie Rose Show and in two documentaries, Salinger and Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome. His books can be found at Amazon.com. and other retailers. He is married to the artist Hiromi Oda and they have two daughters.
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He goes on to say, "Celebrities allow for fantasies. We fall in love with them, and then quietly root for their downfall." And even though we know they suffer as we do, and perform mundane tasks as we do, "that doesn't mean we have to believe it." This book puts those concepts to rest.
If you're looking for something of the caliber of Shelley or Keats, or the precision of Milton, this isn't it. But if you're looking for loosely constructed, but very thoughtful observations from an insider, this book is remarkable.
It reveals some quirky things, like: "Jack Nicholson keeps torn up money/ In a glass ashtray," Henry Fonda "Remembers his father taking him/ To a lynching," and Sandra Bullock "Likes to wear men's underwear." There are nice things, like: "Farrah Fawcett had/Very soft lips," and "Mae West always made an entrance / Even when exiting," There were sad statements, like: Rodney Dangerfield was "Aware of the irony / Of being a comedian / In an unfunny world," and James Garner's stepmother humiliated him by "Making him wear a dress." But for Harrison Ford, "His hurts are in places / We can't see." There are truths, like: "Cheech and Chong caught the tail end / Of a rainbow / Feeling O so regal / While still illegal."
I liked the thoughtful things, like: When Nick Nolte asked Robert Mitchum if he had ever had sex with Ava Gardner, Mitchum said no, "Too addictive." Nolte felt that was "One of the greatest compliments/ You can give an actress." But perhaps the wisest observation was that made by Dylan Mc Dermott regarding actors: "We're all walking milk cartons / Expiration dates everywhere." And for those who want genuine old fashioned rhyme, how about : "Diane Keaton took a beatin' / Playing poker without cheatin.'"
There's something for everyone here. And it's a book you can open at random and enjoy a few pearls whenever you have the time. As such, it's a great "waiting" book to have on hand, as you: wait for your number to be called, wait to pick up food at the drive -in window, or wait to pick up the kids from school. No matter what your circumstances, you will find a lot of smiles in this book.