Review: Hollywood Stories by Stephen Schochet

Released June 28, 2010
312 pages
Where I got it: E-book received from Ever After PRĀ 

Just when you thought you’ve heard everything about Hollywood comes a totally original new book – a special blend of biography, history and lore.

Hollywood Stories is packed with wild, wonderful short tales about famous stars, movies, directors and many others who have been part of the world’s most fascinating, unpredictable industry

Full of funny moments and twist endings, Hollywood Stories features an amazing, icons and will keep you totally entertained. (From Goodreads)

I grew up in Southern California, and my dad often took us to Hollywood to spend the day. He was also a big fan of Hollywood lore, reveling in tales of the big actors from the golden age of cinema. I think my dad is the perfect audience for Schochet’s Hollywood Stories. This is a book for people who are familiar with a wide range of movies and Hollywood figures, dating back to black and white cinema. Schochet has been a tour guide in Hollywood, and you can tell. He knows all sorts of charming anecdotes that would please any sightseer.

What’s nice about this book is that the stories are short, usually only paragraphs long. The book is divided thematically, so you can jump around to your interests, like stories about Disney, or specifically dealing with television. There’s also a lengthy bibliography at the end for further reading. I wish that the stories had references so the reader could see where Schochet found the information, but it seems that these are just stories he picked up here and there, and can’t always source.

Hollywood Stories isn’t the kind of book that you can sit down and read cover to cover. Rather, it’s best read in small bursts. That way, you can mull over the stories and might internalize them to think about later. For the TMZ crowd, this may not be the book for you. There aren’t photographs, and the stories aren’tĀ salacious. They’re good-natured and recalled with real affection for everything that the idea of Hollywood carries with it.

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