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Paperback Hollywood Babylon 2 Book

ISBN: 0452257212

ISBN13: 9780452257214

Hollywood Babylon 2

(Book #2 in the Hollywood Babylon Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Originally published in Paris, this is a collection of Hollywood's darkest and best kept secrets from the pen of Kenneth Anger, a former child movie actor who grew up to become one of America's... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings


I love reading the trash & gossip about the stars and this book provided it all. It was hard to put down and I was sorry when I finished it. Great reading!

Stars Shimmer as they get Dimmer

Like any newspaper article, events are turned into "stories." These "stories", like any silver screen biography, tells the dramatic tale of a life in turmoil. Kenneth Anger's book, "Hollywood Babylon" takes the angle of a tabloid and digs up some old dirt of famous celebrity lives and puts it into a full collection of grime, grease and oil. This collection takes a chronological look at Hollywood's finest at the time beginning in the early twenties with such big names as Fatty Arbuckle whose drinking problem got out of hand at one of his big parties after signing a lucrative deal. Moving through time to the 30's, 40's, right up to the Sharon Tate murder, which Anger recognized it was no longer "Old Hollywood." The book reads like a gossip column mixed with sleazy tabloid journalism, yet with the wit and humor of a prankster. It's an exploitation of exploited lives. To mimic tabloids further, the pages appear with large and sometimes disturbing photos of stars at their most inopportune moments. While much of the material has already had its heyday in newspapers of the times, it has a new life today where many of these actors and actresses are virtually unheard of by the general public and rekindled new interest in their films. Just as watching and old O. J. Simpson football game may have the same appeal as watching Lana Turner in her debut "They Won't Forget." The title to me is entirely fitting, as Hollywood is the "Babylon" of our society, one in which everyone has all their wants at their disposal. A place where hedonism is the religion and tragedy is only the end of a scene, for we know by the end of the movie everything will be all right. My only disappointment in the book is its cursory glance at such stars as Marylyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and many other stars that became almost a tally only to be put under a heading of how they died. "Hollywood Babylon" still fits the bill, however, as an enticing and racy read of the darker seedy side of that strange and secret society.

Macabre, campy fun for your inner-child

This book is wonderful -- I hadn't had this much fun since reading the roughie "Tales From the Crypt" comics of my childhood. Kenneth Anger was truly so far ahead of his time, not only inventing the independent film (MTV rips him off all of the time), and being a really angry child star, but also exploiting the mass-culture of fandom with high-end blood-and-guts effect. Anger takes the proletarian sensibility most people have about Hollywood and uses it not only to construct a cathartic masterpiece of dark humor, letting you in on all the sexual deviancy and glitter-fueled glamour-junkies, but also expressing a very obvious (and very humorous) resentment. If you can't enjoy the fun of reading about Golden Age Hollywood stars behaving badly (and who can't?), you can indulge in Anger's bitterness, and if not that, there are plenty of photos to scan in and print out and tack to the wall as conversation pieces. And if you can't enjoy any of that, I imagine you're probably the sort of person who also says such obviously absurd and mutually-contradictory statements as "I don't need drugs or alcohol to have a good party!"Get the book if you have a creepy death fascination that makes you the life of the party but completely irritated your parents when you were younger. F'ing Brilliant!

KNOCK-OUT! You'll Be Seeing Stars

This book is a phonomenon! I couldn't pry the thing out of my hands and must have torn through it in an hour or two. Keep in mind that this reviewer lives and works in Hollywood, and generally turns her nose up in distate at celebrity-worship. This book, however, is no People magazine. Written by a former child star, Hollywood Babylon upsets nearly every myth about the Golden Age of Hollywood we celebrate. The stories are sensationalist, lurid and totally defamatory- and thats why I loved them. Don't get too caught up on the over-the-top delivery, Mr. Anger is a little heavy handed in the metaphor department, but his stories are worth it. I couldn't get the images out of mind and retold half the chapters to my friends ghost-story style. Most fabulous of all are the photos. Alongside the glossy glamour P.R. shots are candid snapshots of the stars at their worst, or most private. How he got his hands on what must surely have been feverishly guarded secrets is a mystery. The book's only downfall is that Mr. Anger rushed much too quickly through the 1940's and 50's. Those two decades deserve a volume of their own. The best way to read this book is to draw yourself a starlet-worthy bubblebath and expect to come out a prune- you won't be able to put Hollywood Babylon down.

Hollywood Babylon 2 Mentions in Our Blog

Hollywood Babylon 2 in Give Us the Glam! 10 Books About Old Hollywood
Give Us the Glam! 10 Books About Old Hollywood
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 29, 2020

From scandal to splendor, the Golden Age of Hollywood remains a popular cultural reference for many. The larger-than-life stars populating the scene remain figures of fascination and whimsy. Here we offer ten books that feature real and imagined stories about the stars.

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