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Publisher's Summary

Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of the town's stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually free-spirited friends. His own lovers included Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII, and he arranged tricks or otherwise crossed paths with Tennessee Williams, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, Gloria Swanson, Noël Coward, Mae West, James Dean, Rock Hudson and J. Edgar Hoover, to name but a few.

Full Service is not only a fascinating chronicle of Hollywood's sexual underground, but also exposes the hypocrisy of the major studios, who used actors to propagate a myth of a conformist, sexually innocent America, knowing full well that their stars' personal lives differed dramatically from this family-friendly mold. As revelation-filled as Hollywood Babylon, Full Service provides a lost chapter in the history of the sexual revolution and is a testament to a man who provided sex, support, and affection to countless people.

©2012 Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A startling memoir." (Gore Vidal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
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    34
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    27
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    36
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    11
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    27
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Story

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

My ears!

Any additional comments?

This book is poorly written, sexually crude, with not a single sympathetic character. That said, I listened to it twice!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Candid, Compelling and Creepy

If only ten percent of Bowers' stories are true it's still a fascinating and frank look at an era in Hollywood when certain activities and attitudes were sequestered and secreted from the public at large. Bowers names names and reveals the alleged sexual activities of many of our most famous celebrities. He seems to have known everyone and been a touchstone (no pun intended) for hooking people up. Just the vast number of vignettes causes one to ponder his verisimilitude. But I'm not casting aspersions because so many of his recollections have a ring of truth and seem plausible. And I'd think Gore Vidal would not endorse this book flippantly. But who knows? As always, Johnny Heller's reading is perfect.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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I question the some validity of this book

I like the narrator he reminds me of Casey Case Him. The book full of sex of all sorts, and it had James Lear feel. If you looking for a fun book to listen this is the one. The big issue I had with this book was the pedophilia. He acted like it was no big deal.

  • Overall
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Very Funny

Full of every gay actor - ever. And list after list of each celebrity's filmology.

Enjoy!

  • Overall
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OMG!

What made the experience of listening to Full Service the most enjoyable?

I cannot say enjoyable, interesting yes it was.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I guess I could talk about the language, the story line, but to be fair this was Scotty Bowers life not mine. He lived one hella life!

What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

Given the subject and the language used, he did an excellent job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No! Way to much information to take in, in one setting.

Any additional comments?

I find it most difficult to believe everything Mr. Bowers writes about, interesting yes, but little unbelievable.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Great story. Amateurish writing.

Would you try another book from Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg and/or Johnny Heller?

Scotty has great stories, but the author was exasperating with his narrative devices. Could have used a good editor.

What did you like best about this story?

Great gossip and insight.

What didn’t you like about Johnny Heller’s performance?

Kinda annoying.

Could you see Full Service being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Would make a salacious movie/series. I'd love every minute.

Any additional comments?

The author (ghost writer, i assume), feels like he was stretching to fill a quota of words/pages. The stories are filled with numerous and endless lists of insignificant facts, figures, details, data, trivia, lists, etc. (see what I did there?) For example, there is a list of the brands of obscure french cigarette brands that Edith Piaf smoked. I'm sure the ghost writer just googled old french brands and used it as filler, but this kind of BS happens through out the book. It gets old real fast. Reminds me of the kid who has to write a whole page about their summer vacation (It was very, very hot, and very, very, very fun).

The stories are fascinating (if true) and very juicy.

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Interesting...

Really and truly GRAPHIC, but an interesting read and very enlightening. I never realized so much went on behind the scenes back in the good ol' days. Wow.

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Incredible memoir!

This book contains some of the most bizarre and genuine seeming stories that I have ever heard. It also is a great history lesson that takes you from a farm in Canada in the 1920s, through the depression in Chicago, to the pacific front during ww2, and through several decades of urban growth in Los Angeles. A must listen.

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  • Story

Well OK then, now I know.

Any additional comments?

I'd heard rumors of a few tales in this book, but most of it was still news to me. Especially delicious were the stories of J. Edgar Hoover and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. What was Hoover ever doing policing our country? Overall, a very fun and easy read from a very forthcoming and forgiving author. If there was a poignant corner to this book, it belonged to Mr Bowers' own storyline, replete with hard times, unforgivable neighbors, and predatory priests. Hello, American heartland! In the end, I think Mr. Bowers has given more to people than he's ever got--never mind the rascal that he is!

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  • angela
  • Mobile, Alabama, United States
  • 10-03-15

wow

The beginning was hard to stomach. But I do understand why it needed to be told. It was not what I expected but it's a fascinating story.

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