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My Lush Life Hardcover – October 1, 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hollywood siren Tallulah Morehead spills the beans and many a tumbler of alcoholic libations in her raunchy "autobiography." Comedy writer and first-time novelist McEwan casts himself as a character in this spoof of the celebrity tell-all-he's the starstruck ghostwriter dutifully taking notes as Tallulah, aged 103, shares her memories of the licentious, alcohol-soaked golden age of Hollywood. Was she really Kaiser Wilhelm's love slave? Is she a lesbian? ("I like men as much as the next guy.") How many husbands did she have? (Even she's not sure.) Was she really the model for Gloria Swanson's role in Sunset Boulevard? And why did Morehead marry so many homosexuals? The boozy, oversexed goddess sets the record straight to the best of her hazy recollection, describing her childhood as a vaudeville sensation ("Baby Tallulah, the World's Youngest Bar-tender") and her madcap ascent to stardom as a silent screen diva. Her colorful descriptions of venerable Hollywood partying are filled with less than subtle double entendre ("Louie B. Thalberg was wasting no time in plucking me from obscurity; indeed, the very afternoon we met... we went up to his room so I could read some scenes, and Louie pretty much plucked my brains out") and in-jokes about both contemporary and old-time celebrities. You can see some of the punch lines coming from miles away, but this audacious and over-the-top sendup is still great fun for Hollywood junkies.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; First Edition edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758202229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758202222
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,817,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What starts out as fresh and witty soon becomes tedious. There is no doubt that McEwan posses a wicked sense of humor. However instead of capitalizing on it the reader is "treated" to the same joke over and over and over.
Is it funny? Yes. Is it worth reading? Probably not. Which is unfortunate cause the book has a tremendous amount of promise.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After finishing the 325 odd pages of Douglas McEwan's groaner of a book, he asserts that this was "the best writing of my life"

Live longer, babe.

There's a lot of mention in reviews of this book (and in the afterword) of it's similarities to Patrick Denis' "Little Me". This ham-handed, ulimately tedious mock-bio of self-centered boozy nympho Tallulah Morehead bears a resemblance to Dennis' hilarious mock-bio of self-centered boozy nympho Belle Poitrine only in the heroines self centeredness, booziness, and...well, do the math. While McEwan relies on cheesy, borscht-belt jokes that are repeated, and repeated, and repeated, Dennis relied upon the conceit that his mock bio was a dead on parody of the autobiographies of practically every star from the golden era. Not to say that I didn't get a few chuckles out of "My Lush Life", but they were few and far between. I mostly rolled my eyes and groaned. Since you can get "Little Me" in a reprint now, if you are in the market for a mock-bio about an immoral, talentless booze-bag who stumbles into stardom, well, "Little Me" is the Filet, and "My Lush Life" is the Happy Meal.
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Format: Hardcover
What an absolutely wonderful journey -- hilarious and touching and clever and all the superlatives but what strikes me most is the fact that, a quarter of the way through, I somehow found myself believing this woman was real! That is either very, very scary or a testament to McEwan’s skill as a writer. I think it is really tricky to be able to make such an outrageous character seem plausible. There is a constant tension in the work -- my God, she's SO theatrical, SO Hollywood, SO lewd and licentious, but wait a second! Why are you taking her so seriously? She's not real....or is she?

What strikes me are the two levels he has going on. Very charming and amusing on the surface and yet, just below, an almost existential, rather dark subtext. Certainly not an original observation on my part, but humor often comes from a very subconscious, sort of frightening place. Very Pirandello, often Sartre-like. What a trip.

And puns, what can one say about puns: McEwan writes like a chicken crossing the road -- poultry in motion. (forgive me father for I couldn't resist.) He has them in all 31 flavors, from the moaning jaw drop "I can't believe he thinks he can get away with this" to the "what did he just say?" my God, this guy's a clever SOB.

The Gone with the Wind screenplay takeoff is hilarious -- I hope he takes reasonable security precautions: there are GWTW fans out there still who could easily become your stalkers after they read your sendup. Miss Mitchell's barbell-disguised-as-a-book! Wonderful satire, perfectly puncturing the bloated, obsequious nonsense that seems to have grown, like mildew, around that piece of crap (movie and book IMO.
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Format: Paperback
I like this book so much. I read it before I read Little Me, which it pays homage to. Its really a lot of fun and it is one of the few books that I have read multiple times and just kind of pick up and read at any section. Lots of big gay fun.
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