Cinema Book Review – Devils Guide to Hollywood

JOE ESZTERHAS – The Devil’s guide to Hollywood.


Joe Eszterhas, Hollywood screenwriter, ’enfant terrible’, and author of: BASIC INSTINCT, FLASHDANCE, SHOWGIRLS AND JAGGED EDGE, lifts the lid, (or at least Joe’s lid) on the Hollywood scene.

His book THE DEVIL’S GUIDE TO HOLLYWOOD recalls those ’Tinsel town’ luminaries Eszterhas either admires or loathes. And it seems that no one in or around Hollywood escapes his prose.

Right from the very off Joe’s style is to come out like a boxer, a raging bull, landing blow after blow on the well cultivated reputation of Robert McKee – the screenwriting course guru- whom Joe appears to detest. ’why does your butt hurt after you’ve taken Robert McKee’s course?’ Joe asks.

But it’s not all bile and vitriol, Joe can also be warm and generous with his praise of others. Eszterhas appears happy to groom a persona as a ’ hell raiser and straight talker’. And although his star shines less brightly these days, there were salad days in his past when he walked away with some of the biggest writing cheques in Hollywood history.

Joe dangles the spoils of L.A. excess in his readers face, almost daring the bedroom screenwriter to step up to the plate and write that blockbuster that would assure his/her passport to ’Californication’.

Like a scene from ’Showgirls’ one of Eszterhas’ own scripts. his 2007 book ’The Devil’s guide to Hollywood’ is one big striptease; peeling back the layers of Tinsel town gossip and intrigue. This is not a ’how to write a script’ sort of book, indeed Eszterhas would rail against such a publication.

At 370 plus pages, this book is a veritable compedium of ’wiseguy, wisecracks’, and cheeky epitaphs for all ’the good, the bad and the ugly’ that once prowled the studios and back lots of the dream factory that is Hollywood. So buckle up ….Joe is your driver today….and if you’re not very careful his gonna take you to Sin city.

Fortunately for the reader it is all delivered in bite sized chunks which makes the book perfect for those who like to dip in and out of their literary forays, without fear of forsaking a narrative. Oh! and I nearly forgot..Joe Eszterhas can be wickedly funny !


The Devil’s guide to Hollywood Published by: Duckworth 2007 Price: £12.99

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 9:59 pm and is filed under 03-Bolash at the movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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