The Golden Age of Hollywood

This posting is for all you out there that still enjoy reading a good murder mystery! No too long ago I was watching TCM and I believe they were featuring "Gays in Hollywood". There were two guests hosts, one of them was William J. Mann. His book "Tinseltown; Murder, Morphine and, Madness At The Dawn Of Hollywood" was mentioned. It is based on the murder of William Desmond Taylor, his life in Hollywood, but really Hollywood during that time of the 1920's. Mabel Normand, Mary Miles Minter, Adolph Zukor, and Fatty Arbuckle just to name a few. It is a real murder mystery and a real page turner. William J. Mann is so wonderfully descriptive I feel as though I am peeking thru a keyhole. I highly recommend this book, you will see the beginnings of Hollywood and the people who launched an entire industry!

The book on Barbara Stanwyck that came out a few years back is also worth the read. Quite a bit larger, the "Life Of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940" by Victoria Wilson. I'm a huge Stanwyck fan and it took me awhile to get thru it but it was well worth the time spent.     

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Comment by Midge on August 23, 2017 at 1:10am

I have read both books and agree with everything you've said. The Barbara Stanwyck book is extremely detailed. As you mentioned, plowing through all the minutiae of her life is tough going even for a fan, but I thought Wilson did an excellent job. I especially appreciate that she refrained from the smarmy speculation on Stanwyck's alleged sexual orientation that marred an earlier bio by Axel Madsen. I am looking forward to the next installment.

The Tinseltown book was a quicker read and very entertaining. Mann vividly brings to life the anything-goes 1920s Hollywood era and the  wild, scandalous and sometimes tragic stories of their lives. Highly recommended.


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