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Showing 1-10 of 173 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 214 reviews
on November 25, 2016
It was an ok read, conveniently parsed out in bite-sized chunks that make it easy to read for ten minutes or two hours. Lots of interesting trivia.

But... There needs to be some fact-checking as well as some proofreading of the book. Consistent in mistaking an uppercase I for the number one seemed popular. Also the author tended to inject a lot of personal opinions, as we see in the note for Clara Blandick (Auntie Em from The Wizard of Oz). Clara committed suicide after being wracked with pain and a steadily declining health outlook as well as progressive blindness, prompting the author to write, "What a pathetic end for the sturdy, no-nonsense Auntie Em." I took exception to that statement and it caused me to read the rest of the book with a slightly less enthusiastic demeanor. I don't feel that this is the kind of book that is served by editorializing in this manner.

I was pleased to see that the book contains a very comprehensive necrology of, at the very least, many hundreds - perhaps thousands -- of Hollywood notables. There is also a lengthy list of burials by site of Tinseltown's departed, a surely welcome resource for fans who plan vacations around cemeteries and death ephemera.

To be sure, I would have given this at least one more star but for the distraction of unproofread copy and unnecessary editorializing.
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on December 3, 2016
Well, I'll admit it. I must be one doozy of a morbid person, because I enjoyed the heck out of this book! So much so, that the other 2 book's that I was reading were placed aside, just so I could finish this. I'm 53, and I've heard of, and watched about 90% of the people in this book, but I hadn't much of an idea how or when they had died. Boy, stars sure do get married a lot! One thing bothered me, and that was the section that Jon-Erik Hexum was filed under. Suicide. While he did kill himself with a gun loaded with blanks, he didn't know the repercussions of what a blank bullet can really do. I felt it should have been filed under accidents. Aside from a few snide remarks from the author, especially about Claras death "Auntie Em," I would recommend this book. It was a fascinating read.
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on November 26, 2014
The Hollywood Book of Death
The bizarre, often sordid passings of more than 125 American Movie & TV Stars

By: James Robert Parish

For full disclosure. I am a "celebrity" buff. I take gray pride in knowing about the stars of today and yesteryear. Mr. Parish's "The Hollywood Book of Death"
(The bizarre, often sordid passings of more than 125 American Movie & TV Stars) filled my head with many stars unknown to me as well as the stories of their deaths.

Mr. Parish provides a detailed synopsis on each person life and death. I was fascinated to learn of Florence Lawrence "The BIOGRAPH Girl" as well as the world's first movie star in the chapter on Obscurity.

I was also fascinated with Wallace Reid, Ernie Kovacs and The Wizard of Oz's Auntie Em, Clara Blandick.

In the Introduction, Mr. Parish points out that while the stars are on the top of their game, every tidbit about them is published. As they begin to fall off the radar, obscurity sets in, until their "final" day, when they are suddenly worthy of stories in newspapers, a retrospective of their career on Entertainment Tonight and a few more days of being newsworthy. For many of them, perhaps it's their idea of Heaven.

I liked the way Parish broke up the chapters: Accidental, Drugs & Achohol, obscurity, murder, suicide, natural causes, & puzzling.

This book spoke the facts and left the gossip out. Written with dignity. 5 STARS
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on June 5, 2015
James Parish wrote a substantial reference book on entertainers deaths. Including the well known to the very obscure and grouping in categories such as natural causes, suicides, homicides,and the unexplained, it was entertaining, sad, touching, some humor, but respectful. I revisited some familiar deaths and learned a lot from the many myths circulating. I very much enjoyed hearing of the life's and deaths of many I barely heard of, if at all. There were some discrepancies adding to the myths. But overall I was impressed by the detail. The book culminates with a long necrology featuring all included in this book along with many others. A handy guide when you wonder whatever happened to, or how old were they when they died to satisfy your curiosity or you family and friends. Of course this book as large as it is covers a fraction of celebrity deaths. I certainly hope James Parish continues with further volumes.
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on April 27, 2017
Amazing that such talented and intelligent people hide their grief and loneliness inside themselves and turn into alcoholics or drug abuse , but leave us with such joy,entertainment and laughter as well as tradgedy , even today,many years later. may they be blessed with peace and perhaps the knowledge that we enjoy today with the rebirth of TNT and others formats available that we have been fortunate to discover and possibly learn from their lives.
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on November 14, 2016
This book has some interesting information about the death of some star's, but unless you are a real movie buff or older I would say most of them he talks about you will not have ever heard of. With that, it makes the book a long hard read. Most, not all of the stories have pictures which helps. There are some interesting tidbits of information that I did enjoy learning but mainly I am just proud I finished it.
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on May 10, 2014
James Parish has a handy guide to Hollywood deaths. And, as you start to read, it's almost like popcorn: eat one bite and you can't stop. Why the appeal of these death stories? Are we curious? Are we awed? Are we looking for a taste of our own deaths?

I'm not sure, but we all must go into that black night, and to see the famous dissolve into nothingness is strangely gratifying. We all disappear, no matter how much fame we have. And this quality of life, our own deaths, fascinates. Not one of these mighty people have returned from the dead. Not one. And, to our horror, none of us will return either.

If you haven't accepted your mortality, this might be the book for you.
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on April 13, 2017
At least 35% of the people I've never heard of. Can't be a celebrity if people never heard of them. Many better known people not even mentioned. Also many errors in both information and proofreading. A big part of the book is just a list of dead celebrities with no cause of death and many well known people are not even listed here. Not even worth the discounted price I paid.
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on September 25, 2014
It is probably morbid of me but I do enjoy reading short blips about the life and deaths of celebrities. So many famous people in here! Many of them I was not familiar with because of a generation gap (most of the celebrities featured are from the 20s and 30s) but it was still neat to read about them. Only about 3-4 pages per celebrity it was perfect to read about the life and times and finally death and burial of the star.
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on December 9, 2014
Maybe it's an age thing but even with many not too great reviews I'm well into and enjoying this book. Age thing in that as a latter 'baby boomer' I have memories and knowledge of most of the subjects in the book. I think having some knowledge of the actor does make a difference in reading the different short articles about them all.
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