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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)

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What listeners say about Full Service

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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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!

33 people found this helpful

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Deserves to be a camp classic!

Have you ever thought “I wish Great Expectations had more explicit sex in it?” Well have I got the book for you! Make no mistake, this book is trash, but it’s incredibly entertaining trash. Mr. Bowers is essentially Forrest Gump with narcissistic personality disorder. He thinks EXTREMELY highly of himself and never encounters anyone here who isn’t immediately enchanted by his charm. I personally didn’t believe a word of his stories, but who cares? This is best approached as pure camp. I reached a point where I knew another IMDb list or serendipitous sexual encounter was coming and cackle with laughter. He’ll spin a wistful, nostalgic yarn and without warning shift over into an incredibly graphic description of a sexual situation. If you appreciate the movie Showgirls, you’ll probably find much to love here.
Points deducted for the parts without celebrities. Scotty’s life isn’t interesting on its own and I found myself bored by his interactions with non-famous people; also points deducted for the section on Charles Laughton which actually made me gag from disgust- it’s needlessly gross. Still though, if you know what you’re getting yourself into, it’s a lot of fun.

11 people found this 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.

7 people found this helpful

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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!

6 people found this helpful

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Johnny Heller's voice

I will only on comment that at the very first, Johnny Heller's voice seemed more mocking than serious narration. However, by the end of the first chapter he found his rhythm and brought the book to life.

I will not comment on details. I will, however, comment that what I heard matches what I know and/or can piece together from historical information.

This work, as a whole, was well written and engaging. I listened straight through in one night. I found myself wishing to step back in time and see some of the history described. Ironically the locations and evolution of Hollywood was equally as interesting as Scotty Bowers' life narrative.
WELL DONE!

5 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Horrible

Ugh. I am a huge fan of memoirs and love classic nostalgic Hollywood tales but I suffered through about 2 hours of this boring and gross memoir before turning it off and wishing for my 20 bucks back. There was no charm to what little I listened to and I saw none on the horizon. If I had to hear about one more no name hair stylist to the star "sucking this guy off" I was going to hurl. I am sure there is an audience for this book but if you are a fan of books like Garry and Penny Marshall's and old Hollywood type memoirs this is NOT the book for you.

5 people found this helpful

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An education in sociopathy

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

For anyone interested in sociopathy. I read several books on it, "The sociopath next next door" "snakes in suits" "The psycopath test" before purchasing this book. It was recommended as an up front education into the mind of a sociopath. It was. The first red flag popped when he wrote of the wonderful experiences of being molested by child molesters, as a child.

Frankly, I was a little surprised that Audible.com and Amazon.com would sponsor publications condoning, endorsing and promoting child molestation as a wonderful thing. But this is how sociopaths operate in the world, through careful manipulation.

One by one of the characteristics of a sociopath unfolded in this book, particularly as the author stated over and over that he felt no shame or remorse.

Some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.

Glibness and Superficial Charm. Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self. Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying. Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt. A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions. When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation. Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy. Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature. Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency. Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Irresponsibility/Unreliability. Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity. Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle. Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility. Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them.

Authoritarian. Secretive. Paranoid. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired.

Conventional appearance.

Goal of enslavement of their victim(s).

Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life.

Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love).

Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim.

Incapable of real human attachment to another.

Unable to feel remorse or guilt.

Extreme narcissism and grandiose.

(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

One of the characteristics of a sociopath, is that they are habitual liars. So, I did not believe the stories. However, I was able to focus on the PURPOSE of the book. Which was to degrade clergy, teachers, police, artists, and other people that contribute in valuable ways to society, and to reduce the reader's affinity for the world. To promote and endorse child molestation as a valuable art. This was the PURPOSE of the author. It is an exploration of evil intent, and a walk through the mind of a sociopath. And how he manipulated Audible.com and Amazon.Com into endorsing child molestation. A rare education.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reader was able to translate the lack of empathy from the author to the listener. That was highly commendable performance.

What else would you have wanted to know about Scotty Bowers and Lionel Friedberg ’s life?

Nothing.

Any additional comments?

I recommend the follow up books available on audible.com: The Sociopath Next Door. Snakes In Suits. The Psychopath Test.

4 people found this helpful

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disturbing

I saw this man on the CBS Sunday Morning show..Normally, the Sunday morning show only carries family friendly, wholesome, feel good stories.. I naively didn't catch that mr. Bowers "serviced" Hollywood types sexually..I thought it'd be a fun listen..kind of like reading a People's magazine.. Silly me..
The book flips back and forth between his childhood and adulthood.. As a child, he has quite a few sexual experiences, all with men.. He describes these experiences as "lovely" with warm memories of those times.. If what he says is true, then he was sexually molested over and over again as a child, but he describes these memories as being wonderful.
As an adult, he describes himself as a great looking guy that was picked up by Hollywood men over and over again for a "good time".. He remarks often that he himself is not gay, but pretty much every story he writes about is with men...
I could care less if he's gay or not, but kept wondering why he was so determined to make sure everyone knows he's not gay when his book is all about relationships with other men.
I have never heard of most of the people in this book, so it's not so much a "tell all" as what seems like a fantasy...
But, having said that, I will admit, I didn't listen to much of the book.. Listening to his stories of sexual liasons just kind of makes you go "eeeewwww".... He seems kind of creepy.
I got it with a free credit, otherwise, I'd be really upset that I'd spent money on it.. It's really not worth listening to.. This man seems to be in denial about his life, or he has a fantastic imagination..

4 people found this helpful

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Wow, unbelievable!

At first I could not believe that a person could have such a life, but as I was listening I Googled the names, places, books, movies, articles AND all of it was true! Yes, a small few were not famous but the ones that were, were found legit. Absolutely an amazing life!

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

The only part of the book I really enjoyed owas the juicy tidbits about which forties movie stars a
were actually gay, all of which could have been told in one chapter. Scotty spends a lot of time trying to convince you that he never accepted money for sex or arranging sex. I don't believe a word of it. I think he was a prostitute and a pimp. I also believe he was a sexual addict, no doubt caused by the molestation he experienced as a child by adults. I was very uncomfortable with him trying to rationalize these experiences and make it sound like it was all normal. I was also annoyed by the narrator. If I had to hear him mispronounce Louie B Mayer one more time I thought I would scream. my advice is don't waste your time.

3 people found this helpful