POD Hollywood: A Third Memoir Paperback – Aug 16 2011
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About the Author
Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I've enjoyed both McMurtry's fiction and non-fiction over the years, but he has slowed down considerably. It's sad to read him as his writing days dwindle down to a precious few.
He's had a long, prolific, illustrious career, for which I am thankful.
McMurtry's style of non-fiction writing often feels as though he is gathered in the living room telling stories to people sipping coffee. This makes for an almost folksy, yet highly intelligent approach to writing that touches on several levels. Fun stories abound and we learn about the people in his life in Hollywood and are amazed by the myriad of experiences he had in his career. Flirting with glamour, McMurtry also seems to resist the limelight, finding the life in Hollywood to be shallow and silly at times. His admiration for certain stars--Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson to name two is offset by his disappointment in certain producers, writers, and stars (although he does a good job of avoiding direct criticism). It makes for an enriching read for anyone seeking to understand the world of screenwriting and movie making. Many of the events chronicled are stunning--the salary for a screenplay, the complexities of agents, the time spent making a film, and the attitudes toward writers. All refreshing insights for sure.
On a deeper level, we marvel at the skill and talent of a writer whose works have found their place in Hollywood, television, and bookstores throughout the world. A writer of modern fiction, Westerns, history, essays, and screenplays, his achievements are remarkable. In spite of the light reading and brevity of this book, readers should and can be in awe at the marvelous career of Larry McMurtry.
That said, this book is 146 pages of recollections and stories about people and events. While entertaining, it misses the mark on emotional content and we never quite connect to the anguish nor the successes. Almost as though we are taking a tour and hearing about McMurtry's life in Hollywood from a tour guide. We may be curious as to the anxieties, fears, and elations of McMurtry's world of Hollywood, but this book does not satisfy that curiosity. Yet, to be fair, much of his writing style in fiction and non-fiction is presented in a cavalier manner, forcing the reader to find the emotion in the people and in the situations. One of the best lines occurs on page 71, "Best not to professionalize a passion, as lovers the world over have discovered when they marry and notice a cooling."
I enjoyed this book and am glad to have read it (kind of expensive for 146 pages), but of the three, I enjoyed Books the most. In fact, it is intriguing that throughout this book about Hollywood, the love of books continues to shine. In the end, in spite of the tremendous successes McMurtry has had as a writer and a recipient of numerous awards, his true love seems to be books. When you drop a book scout into Hollywood, he is still ultimately a book scout. Recommended for McMurtry fans and anyone interested in the process of screen and script writing.
I'm aware of McMurtry, of course, but haven't read his fiction. I picked this up (at the library)and breezed through it in a pleasant few hours. The brevity and simplicity of the prose are indicative of McMurtry's great skill as a writer and his subtle humor makes the short trip even more enjoyable.
A light, but not tossed-off, book of reflections by a charming memoirist.