• Hollywood Eden

  • Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise
  • By: Joel Selvin
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Hollywood Eden  By  cover art

Hollywood Eden

By: Joel Selvin
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's Summary

From the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean to the Byrds and the Mamas & the Papas, acclaimed music journalist Joel Selvin tells the story of a group of young artists and musicians who came together at the dawn of the 1960s to create the lasting myth of the California dream.

From surf music to hot-rod records to the sunny pop of the Beach Boys and the Mamas & the Papas, Hollywood Eden captures the fresh blossom of a young generation who came together in the epic spring of the 1960s to invent the myth of the California Paradise. Central to the story is a group of sun-kissed teens from the University High School class of 1959 - a class that included Jan & Dean, Nancy Sinatra, and future members of the Beach Boys - who came of age in Los Angeles at the dawn of a new golden era when anything seemed possible. These were the people who created the idea of modern California for the rest of the world. From the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” to the Mamas & the Papas’ “California Dreamin’”, they crafted an image of the West Coast as the promised land - a sun-dappled vision of an idyllic life in the sand and surf.

But their own private struggles belied the paradise portrayed in their music. What began as a light-hearted frolic under sunny skies ended up crashing down to earth just a few short but action-packed years later, as, one by one, each met their destinies head-on.

Compelling, evocative, and ultimately tragic, Hollywood Eden travels far beyond the music into the desires of the human heart and the price of living out a dream. A rock ’n’ roll opera loaded with violence, deceit, intrigue, low comedy, and high drama, it tells the story of a group of young artists and musicians who bumped heads, crashed cars, and ultimately flew too close to the sun.

©2021 Joel Selvin (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Contains proven falsehoods

This book was pretty decent, but it contains the claim that Mike Love told Brian Wilson "Don't f**k with the formula". Brian himself said under oath that this was not true, and yet it was still included in this book. It makes me wonder what else in the book is not true. The performance, however, was perfectly fine.

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous startling and fun

Jump into this and go back to those days that are gone. Spotify playlists keep the music alive.

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Great narrative

The author does a great job weaving various stories in and out of the narrative. He concentrates on the personalities and relationships more than detailed analysis of the music, but you get a good feel for the music coming out of the LA in this period. Narrator Peter Berkrot is simply outstanding with this material. One of the better narration performances that this frequent audiobook listener has heard.

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Great narration of an awesome book

Great narration of an awesome book. Never knew the influence of Jan Berry and University High School and all that came from there

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Surf-in sixties

I really enjoy this book being a fan of the sixties music. I hope there will be a follow up

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Great details!! Easy to follow...

Great job and so many research details. Loved this book and the reading. Learned a lot about my favorite period of music.