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The Castle on Sunset

Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

LA Times Best Seller

An Amazon "Best History Books of 2019 So Far" Pick

"Fascinating, dishy, and glimmering with insight.... This is the definitive book about Hollywood's most storied hotel." (Cheryl Strayed)

"A fabulously fizzy account." (Vanity Fair

"I want to live inside this book!" (Taylor Jenkins Reid) 

The definitive history of Hollywood's most iconic, storied, and scandalous hotel

For 90 years, Hollywood's brightest stars have favored the Chateau Marmont as a home away from home. An apartment house turned hotel, it has been the backdrop for generations of gossip and folklore: 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow took lovers during her third honeymoon there; Director Nicholas Ray slept with his 16-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter met poolside and began a secret affair; Jim Morrison swung from the balconies, once falling nearly to his death; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose in a private bungalow; Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months.

Perched above the Sunset Strip like a fairy-tale castle, the Chateau seems to come from another world entirely. Its singular appearance houses an equally singular history. While a city, an industry, and a culture have changed around it, Chateau Marmont has welcomed the most iconic and iconoclastic personalities in film, music, and media. It appeals to the rich and famous not just for its European ambiance, but for its seclusion: Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eye.

Until now. With wit and insight, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, Levy's audiobook is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.

©2019 Shawn Levy (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Reading The Castle on Sunset, I felt like I was sneaking around the hallways of the Chateau after midnight and peering through keyholes in history. Shawn Levy pulls back the velvet curtains to reveal all the decadence, glamour, ghosts and gossip of a fabled and dreamy Hollywood. Lovingly researched and wonderfully dishy.” (Joe Hagan, author of the national best seller Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine)

“Alongside an endless supply of famous guests, Levy has managed to make the hotel itself a living, breathing, and wonderfully endearing character. The Castle on Sunset is thoughtfully researched and gorgeously executed.” (Jacob Tomsky, New York Times best-selling author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

“The great chronicler of films and pop culture has done it again. With The Castle on Sunset Shawn Levy uncovers one of Hollywood's most elusive, and delicious, sagas - the life and times of the Chateau Marmont. For ninety years the grand, intimate hotel perched above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip has been the respite of choice for the world's most famous and notorious celebrities to sleep, work and indulge themselves in something like solitude.... As elegant and naughty as the hotel's guests, The Castle on Sunset tells a secret history of American film, fame, and decadence. It's a spellbinding read.” (Peter Ames Carlin, New York Times best-selling author of Bruce and Homeward Bound

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathi
  • St John, IN
  • 06-12-19

Times gone past

I thought it was pretty good and what I expected just enough old Hollywood and history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Totally comprehensive

The research and detail of the Chateau’s history appears to be incredibly thorough. The Hollywood stories are woven throughout but they aren’t overly gratuitous and always push the story of the hotel. Important and noteworthy guests and events are nicely detailed and many should surprise you. (Who knew Howard Hughes was racist?!)

If you love LA and are interested in a tale of the mysterious, infamous Chateau, you will not be disappointed. Also the narrator is great.

Enjoy!

Dario

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The Castle on Sunset

This is a remarkable book lo with a glimpse of the historical DNA value of the Hollywood’s most prized diamond hotel at The Chateau Marmont stories to keep its walls alive and yet quiet in secret.

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Horrible Writing

Boring lists of the obvious. No narrative. Absolute rubbish. Endless name dropping. A dull book report from a sixth grader.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful