Beautiful ruins is a remarkable love story that spans decades and two continents. Pasquale, a young Italian who is trying to make his family's humble hotel marketable to American tourists, is struck by a beautiful American tourist who comes to stay. Her name is Dee Moray and she has been diagnosed with stomach cancer while filming Cleopatra and has been sent to Porto Vergogna - Pasquale's small fishing village - to rest before going for treatment in Switzerland.
Lawrence Wright’s journalistic writing is the perfect voice for the subject of Scientology. In the hands of most other writers, Scientology would float into the ether, a dark and unfathomable history left unread by sensible readers. That said, though Wright offers Scientology an even-handed approach, his book is full of strange stories, made stranger when compared to the seemingly (sometimes) sane and healthy lives of people who are associated with Scientology.
The sun. The coast. You are luxuriating in the beautiful descriptions of Porto Vergogna, Italy. But then an American actress enters Pasquali Tursi’s family pensione —the Hotel Adequate View. She enters and leaves mysteriously and we spend the book searching for the beautiful Dee Moray.
Hollywood Enigma is a readable biography of one of Hollywood’s better, yet underappreciated male screen stars of the 1940s and 1950s. Dana Andrews was not a famous or flashy screen star in the mold of Gable, Tracy, or James Stewart, but his performances got to the heart of introspective, complex characters that probably would not have worked if he had been more famous or extroverted.
I cannot, in good conscience, recommend Joe Eszterhas’ memoir Hollywood Animal. I tried to read this book with an open mind, but in the end, ended up just about despising the author. In his zeal to portray himself as a player on the Hollywood scene, Eszterhas instead reminded this reader that sleaze just isn’t all that amusing.
Perhaps the title should be Beautiful and Brainy. Beautiful is a readable account of the life of “the most beautiful woman of the first half of the Twentieth Century”, a film star of 1930s and 1940s, and the namesake of Austria’s annual invention award.
Really good noir fiction about a bygone era in Hollywood can be scarcer than hens’ teeth, but Kanon provides a fine tale, with historical overtones. The period is set immediately after WWII, and a returning GI is traveling across country, after learning his brother, a successful screen writer, has had a fatal accident. Or was it? As Ben Collier becomes familiar with his brother’s life, marriage, and somewhat clandestine activities, the Communist witch hunt begins with forays into studio