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Publisher's Summary

Believe it or not, America's fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Perez Hilton, Charlie Sheen's breakdown, and allegations against Woody Allen. And the stars of yesteryear? They weren't always the saints that we make them out to be. Part biography, part cultural history, the stories contained in this book cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. Based on Anne Helen Petersen's popular column on the Hairpin, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.

©2014 Anne Helen Petersen (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • blake
  • Fort Lee, NJ, United States
  • 12-13-14

No Smut? No Problem?

Where does Scandals of Classic Hollywood rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well, this is an odd question because no two books are alike. However, for this particular genre - Hollywood expose, this is an extraordinally well written book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scandals of Classic Hollywood?

One of the most memorable moments from the book was the Clark Gable/Carole Lombard narrative. It was surprisingly touching and, of course, very tragic.

What about Romy Nordlinger’s performance did you like?

It was a bit frantic at times but not unpleasant overall. The narration style seemed to fit the time period and subject matter covered.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Facts about how prevailing social norms in the country influenced what could make or break a Hollywood star and why. This was fascinating and made me contextualize it in today's celeb obsessed culture.

Any additional comments?

This book greatly and pleasantly surprised me with its intellectual, provocative examination of stardom, fame and infamy when it comes to Hollywood and public consumption. I expected a gauzy, bawdy romp through the scandals of yesteryear and got something much better instead. There are scandals aplenty but they are offered up in a framework of the psychosocial, religious, political and historical context of the country in real time. The struggle of America to come to terms with sex, gender, race and many other defining issues informs the narratives found within the book at every turn. What a fascinating read as a result! My only complaint is the fact that the author clearly cherry picked her scandals and often chose to treat some incidents with kid gloves. Still, I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Great Listen

I enjoy watching movies from the eras covered in this audiobook. The information was VERY interesting & shed light on Hollywood of yesterday.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Riveting journey

A beautifully written book with wonderful narration by Romy Nordlinger who added so much with her sultry but emotional voice. I was very moved listening to it and can't wait to share it with various friends who know nothing about some of these tragic and brilliant heroes and heroines. I didn't want it to end!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Don't waist your money.

This book was done with tabloid research. I have read better. It told me nothing I did not already know. How can I get my money and time back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Nothing new. Save your $ or credits.

Would you try another book from Anne Helen Petersen and/or Romy Nordlinger?

Maybe

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Scandals of Classic Hollywood?

Any additional comments?

The same old stories anyone even slightly interested in these topics would already know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Old Stars Never Fade--Nor Do Their Life Stories

If you're under 40 and just getting into The Golden Age of Hollywood and haven't been reading these exposés since the 1970s (like me,) you will find nuggets of "scandal" that will hold your interest. Mostly, it didn't have a lot of new stuff but it is well written and narrated.

I accept that after a certain point, no new information will be surfacing about James Dean, Judy Garland and even especially about the stars from the 20s... but hope springs eternal that some old diary will be found that will enhance these actors private life portfolios and tell me a tale that I haven't run across before...

Sigh.

But, as I mentioned, if you're not already saturated in Hollywood Lore, you will like this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not just the headlines!

I very much enjoyed this book and the way it was written. Although most of what it spoke about I already knew, The way the author was able to bring everything into a historical and cultural context of the time really made me think of certain events in different ways than I had before. It wasn't just the headlines of the gossip mags, it helps you understand what was going on in the mind of America at the time these events happened.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • B Rose
  • Ivins, UT USA
  • 11-26-14

Very good look at old Hollywood

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Maybe a litte shorter.

If you’ve listened to books by Anne Helen Petersen before, how does this one compare?

No,but she's very good.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many

Did Scandals of Classic Hollywood inspire you to do anything?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

After just listening ng to Dropped Names, I couldn't help compare the two. I preferred Dropped Names to this because it was told by someone who actually lived the experience. Overall though, a very good listen. I would give it three and a half stars if possible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't Stop Listening

Would you listen to Scandals of Classic Hollywood again? Why?

This story was very good..I learned so much about classic Hollywood I didn't know..A must read for those who love Hollywood of yesteryear

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Jean Harlow's story..I have always been fan

What does Romy Nordlinger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her voice was just enough to it didn't overtake the story but was still interesting to listen to

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What happens in Hollywood stays in Hollywood

  • Overall
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Nothing new here

Would you try another book from Anne Helen Petersen and/or Romy Nordlinger?

No

Would you ever listen to anything by Anne Helen Petersen again?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Way too dramatic - I found her interpretation very annoying. It's like she was trying to make up for the lack of substance by adding it in the narration.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Scandals of Classic Hollywood?

Hard to say - I think the whole book was a waste of my time

Any additional comments?

This book is a joke. There seemed to be no real research done by the author. All the information seemed to come from the fan magazines of the day. I did not hear where there was one interview conducted that had any actual insight to the supposed "scandals" in the book. I could have written this book by "googling" these stars on the internet. In fact, I probably could have written it better - for sure I couldn't do worse.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful