On one level, Hollywood Animal is a shocking and often devastating look inside the movie business. It intimately explores the concept of fame and gives us a never-before-seen look at the famous. Eszterhas reveals the fights, the deals, the extortions, the backstabbing, and the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll world that is Hollywood. But there are many more levels to this extraordinary work. It is the story of a street kid who survives a life filled with obstacles and pain...a chronicle of a love affair that is sensual, glorious, and unending...an excruciatingly detailed look at a man facing down the greatest enemy he's ever fought: the cancer inside him...and perhaps most important, Hollywood Animal is the heartbreaking story of a father and son that defines the concepts of love and betrayal.
This is a book that will shock you and make you laugh, anger you and move you to tears. It is pure Joe Eszterhas: a raw, spine-chilling celebration of the human spirit.
©2004 Joe Eszterhas; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"The story about Mr. Eszterhas and his father, buried at the heart of Hollywood Animal, is a powerful and affecting one." (The New York Times)
First, let me say that I am only 8 hours into the book (20 hours to go). And, let me add that during the first couple of hours, I found the author self-congratulatory to the extreme, to the point of being a little obnoxious. (As other reviews have mentioned)
On the other hand, it was never boring. And it was, I'm sure, accurate. And, as he got into his life in the refugee camps in Hungry, and then especially, when he began delving into his early days and rise in Hollywood, I have found the book to be: INTERESTING (behind the scenes dealings in Hollywood), TOUCHING (especially his relationship with his father), often QUITE FUNNY (he?s a great story teller), witty, informative, captivating, and EXTREMELY WELL READ (this is the unabridged version). The author definitely grows on you.
I give this 5 stars for these reasons, plus one more: this is the kind of book that you can pick up and anytime, it keeps you company when you?re driving, and you don?t mind doing a few errands while it entertains you. I?m a TV writer in Los Angeles, so perhaps I find the behind the scenes stories especially entertaining, but I have to tell you, I am loving this book so far. Even though I?m not finished, I?m enjoying it so much, I wanted to boost its rating. I don't want it to end
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book Joe Eszterhas buried inside all the hyperbole. But I guess we shouldn't consider it strange that a writer is so in love with his words that he refuses to give way to an editor. Eszterhas has led an exciting and provocative life, both in Cleveland and in his dreaded Southern California, he's met many talented Hollywood denizens, he's written some of the best and worst screenplays ever to make it to the silver screen. It's just too bad one had to slug through all the repetitious crapola to get to the good stuff.
Still, Scott Brick is so wonderful as the narrator, it almost made it all worthwhile.
I could not stop listening to this book. It is a brutally honest look the life of a very controversial Hollywood Screenwriter. It is very well written and narrated. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in film and Hollywood.
J. Jason Gale
I just read your “H’wood Animal” script. Fantastic! Perfect! Best script ever!
The whole office loved it. A script reader peened the IT Guy with a bat. I was laughing so hard I could barely give directions to the ambulance.
Here are the changes needed before shooting: No one cares that whatshisname, the protagonist (Scott Brick?) pronounces “home run” wrong; lose that. And the ‘50’s ran too long (they dragged back then too).
You can pad the Rolling Stone gig. Maybe he covered John or Ringo – you can’t overdo The Beatles.
Market Research says the ending doesn’t work: everyone hates this guy. He can’t play Caligula for 40 years, get a sore throat, find God and then ride off into the sunset. Not a chance.
We’re thinking Obitz’s Wilshire goons track him down at a homeless shelter after his second wife’s divorce lawyer takes him for all he’s worth. The goons blow his brains out and steal seven dollars from his wallet. Whadda ya think?
We want to see 100 pages – 110 tops.
Love ya man!
Let’s do Chili’s next time you’re in Modesto. We’ll go over my latest script.
Say something about yourself!
From the original Hollywood-bad-boy writer to a born-again militant non-smoker. Life is, indeed, strange. A very long book BUT loaded with really great, iconic stories of the famous and infamous flawed, sometimes fatally flawed, Hollywood characters. Joe Eszterhas is a survivor who seems to have found peace but still a wounded creature. A compelling listen, and very well read.
At the core of this memoir - and I went for the unabridged version -- is the honesty behind the making of a bloated - "lets have lunch" world that is Hollywood, but here....it's grounded in from an out-siders view, that's peppered with amazingly honest on why this dude is one of the most hated.
Like everything in life, it comes back how you were raised. I love the story telling conversational aspect of the book, but I ended up having little sympathy for the writer (who ends up another Hollywood Dick, to put it nicely).
Granted, he's been a successful writer. Granted he's a good story teller. But I think having dinner with him would be unbearable. Is that any reason not to listen to this book? Or course not. It's fascinating from start to finish. And you might even learn something about the business. If you find Hollywood, script writing, producers and movie stars fascinating.
While I am sure this is a great book, I just cannot get into it. It jumps around from childhood to recent past and to be honest, i am not that interested in his childhood. I bought this book hoping to really get the 'goods' on hollywood. Maybe i should have bought the 'abridged' model?????
I really enjoyed this one. I rank it right up there with the Robert Evans book. I always thought of the author as a gruff heavy-handed type, but have a newfound respect for him and his choices. The narrator on this book is excellent.
I liked this book glad that it's out in audio though. Joe Eszterhas tells a good story. It kept my interest even if we know the ending. The narrator does a pretty good job in trying to pronounce the difficult Hungarian words.
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