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Hollywood Animal: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Joe Eszterhas
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars HOLLYWOOD EXPOSED Feb. 4 2005
On camera the sets in Hollywood look glamorous and ornate, but behind the camera they are just cardboard and plywood facades with nothing behind them. On camera the costumes glitter and sparkle, but behind the camera they are cheap sequins held together with safety pins. As it is with props and costumes, so is life itself in Hollywood. The celebrities flash their perfectly capped teeth smiles and flaunt their surgically enhanced bodies for the camera, but behind closed doors they are as diseased as the rest of the world. This seedy side of Hollywood is what is exposed in "HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL." Fans of Rikki Lee Travolta's "MY FRACTURED LIFE" will pounce on this book and devour it whole
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a LIFE! Aug. 26 2004
This book should be a must-read for all people heading for Hollywood. Not only is it a success story, rags to riches, it's also a cautionary tale on life in the "fast-lane".
Hats-off to Mr Eszterhas. He knows how to write, that's for sure. He is profound and touching, honest and deep. I fell for this guy, this true person who realized what he was and what he was becoming and had the courage to change it all.
The writing is incredibly good. The paragraphs are mostly short and it helps because we jump from event to event and from time periods in Mr Eszterhas' life to another in the blink of an eye.
Read this book. It should be in the "Novel : Fiction" section, not in the Autobiography one! It's reads like a novel but that's often what life is : better and stranger then fiction!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A story of greed July 11 2004
Joe Eszterhas had it all, and more, and then blew it in a mysterious way. He found happiness with the woman he calls the sexiest on the planet (Naomi) and seems now to have retired from the business of screenwriting, a business which made him the highest paid screenwriter in the world--not once, but twice. He has left a legacy of interesting films, some good, some bad, but his memoir of writing them (and of his cathartic childhood, the son of Hungarian emigres) is just plain stupendous. It's one book that should have been two, or possibly three.
If you wrote, "Jagged Edge," "Flashdance," and or "Basic Instinct," to name only the hits, wouldn't you try to be more discreet about it? And the flops are a true laundry list of disaster. Only in Hollywood could such an auteur not only survive, but thrive. Very few screenwriters can boast of having sex with Sharon Stone, but Joe E. really rubs it in. For all that, his picture of Marty Ransohoff trying to destroy the life and career of Glenn Close is truly a memorable one. I guess Ransohoff won after all, because today one hears as little of Glenn Close as one does of Joe Eszterhas. If you like Hungarian sentiment, add a star. This is almost the Magyar version of Allen Ginsberg's "Kaddish."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Run Buy This July 3 2004
By A Customer
This book is superb. It is hard to put down. I don't always agree with him but he appears to be very honest. He has the courage to tell it like it is and name names.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Addictively Entertaining July 1 2004
One of Hollywood's highest paid, record-breaking screenplay writers, Joe Eszterhas recounts his life. An incredible story of a boy that was born into the poverty of WWII refugee camps in Hungary who becomes a multi-millionnaire in America.
Joe gives the reader rare insights into how Hollywood operates through his vivid storytelling abilities about his experiences in the Motion Picture Industry:
Find out how Jennifer Beals was cast over Demi Moore for Flashdance.
Learn how Joe made millions on his movie scripts, even after poor reviews and lack of production.
Discover what goes on behind the scenes.
Joe was truly a "Hollywood Animal" and this book is all about his journey there and beyond. Although over 700 pages long, a very fast read. You will be glad you got this one... ADDICTIVE.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't stop for commercial break-- addictive read! June 27 2004
This book is so much more than a Hollwyood tell-all. For one thing, it's just terrifically written-- not "terrifically written for a Hollywood hack," but "terrifically written," period. Eszterhas' style is succinct, surprising and vivid. Some think he's boasting that he admires Salinger, Faulkner and Hemingway-- but Eszterhas writes terrific prose. He seems to be speaking directly, but his details are surprising and vivid. I haven't read his journalism, but I bet his articles were great.
He alternates chapters about Hollywood (which are yes, fascinating and appalling) with chapters called "flashback" about his dirt-poor and often difficult childhood as Hungarian immigrant in Cleveland, and brief, italicized sections called "close-ups" that are portraits of unnamed Hollywood personalities (a poolcleaner, a vice president, an actress).
It's a long book, but because of the way it's structured, it's a quick read (well, it took me a few weeks to get through it, but each time I'd pick it up I'd read 60-70 pages before I could bear to put it down). Ezsterhas includes verbatim hatchet-letters he's written to agents and producers who've offended him-- including one hilarious letter to Mike Ovitz that sets off a feud that is a running theme throughout the book. And while Ezsterhas is articulate and hilarious, any reader-- including apparently Ezsterhas himself-- can see that he's also defensive, arrogant and difficult as hell.
You can't help liking him anyway.
Even as he recounts episodes of cheating on his first wife. Even as he recounts painful alienations from friends and family that he is at least partially responsible for.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very True
A great true-to-life, no appologies story about the real way the entertainment world works. Forget about glamour and sparkles. Read more
Published on June 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplar of an Autobiography
This is a great book for anyone who loves frank tales about Hollywood and its creatures. It's 736 pages long but a very fast read, full of anecdotes and interwoven story... Read more
Published on June 18 2004
Writer Joe Eszterhas has written a thorough and extremely interesting biography here with HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL. Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by Jeff Howard
2.0 out of 5 stars Screenwriter Propaganda with Dirty Stories Attached
Joe Eszterhas has an engaging prose style much simlilar to Bukowski in content as well as sentence structure. The book reads quickly so do not be daunted by its 730 plus pages. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Adam M Rose
3.0 out of 5 stars Four stories for the price of one
I'm a sucker for the shenanigans that accompany the genesis then acceptance and then production of a film, hollywood style, and this part of Hollywood Animal is a gripping,... Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Ian Muldoon
4.0 out of 5 stars It�s guys like this that make Hollywood what it is.
This is a big but fast-reading book that should appeal to those who enjoy behind-the-scenes Hollywood. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Keith Nichols
4.0 out of 5 stars So much more than I bargained for....
I will be the first to admit that I bought this book because it was touted as "THE MUST READ Hollywood TELL-ALL." Then I started reading it... Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by A. Marbach
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