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Death by Hollywood

3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  410 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
From the acclaimed co-creator of Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue, Death by Hollywood is a suspenseful, shocking, and darkly comic crime novel about a screenwriter, a billionaire's wife, a murder, and, of course, a cop.

"There used to be a writer by the name of Merle Miller, who wrote that people in Hollywood are always touching you--not because they like you, bu
...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 620)
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Heather
Dec 03, 2008 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldntfinish
Cheesy, tabloidy, and an annoying perspective on Hollywood. I put it down. Although, I did learn the word 'shitbird', so there's that.
Tiffany
Dec 21, 2007 Tiffany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
Shelves: gave-up
Wasn't motivated to finshing this book. Disappointing writing from a great TV writer...he's so full of himself that's it's sad.
Louise Armstrong
Feb 12, 2012 Louise Armstrong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the plot of this one - the only problem is that the motive for one characters switch of heart wasn't explained fully - otherwise first rate.
A fast, funny read.

It's written in the present tense: 'It's later that night, and the air temperature in the Hills is still in the high seventies, thanks to a blast furnace of a Santa Ana blowing in from the desert toward the ocean, leaving Hollywood a hot, glistening jewel under a shimmering starlit sky.'

When, a weather report and where covered thoro
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George Kelly
“The story I want to tell you involves, among other things, a screenwriter whose career is fading out more than it’s fading in, a billionaire’s wife, and a murder . . .”

Death by Hollywood is a shallow attempt to expose and lampoon all the shady, unscrupulous, ego-driven sociopaths who run the American film industry.

In Popcorn, Ben Elton approached a similar subject (albeit from a different angle), but whereas he ripped into his subject with cutting insights and still maintained a moral epicentr
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Lynn Pribus
Apr 09, 2011 Lynn Pribus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Abandoned.

Downloaded it on the basis of the Bochco name and it started out not too bad. Some cynical L.A. wit and dialogue.

But then it degenerated into consistent vulgarity and sleaze and no one to really like. I have books waiting that have much more promise like a Sharon McCrumb mystery that opens with the hanging of an elephant for murder. I think. I've only listened to a little bit.
Ellen
Eddie Jelko is an agent in Hollywood representing many different talented people but he feels that his time representing screenwriter Bobby Newman has come to an end. Bobby used to be a sought-after writer but too much booze has turned Bobby into a hack who can't write a grocery list these days. The night that Bobby's wife Vee finally walks out on their marriage Bobby spends a drunken evening looking through his telescope peeping on his neighbors in the affluent Hollywood Hills. What he sees is ...more
Stephanie
I thought that DEATH BY HOLLYWOOD was mediocre and it moved very quickly, so quick in fact that I didn't even realize when I was done.
Written in first person, DEATH BY HOLLYWOOD speaks heavily about the "glamourous" life of Hollywood actors, screenwriters, and their agents. We follow Bobby, a writer who is down on his luck. He catches his wife in action cheating on him, his agent fires him, and he witnesses a murder all in the same day.

He uses this murder to his advantage in hopes that he can ma
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Christy
I probably shouldn't like this book. It wasn't very well written, it was lurid, the characters unlikeable, it read like a guy giving a pitch for a crap movie, and the plot was looser than the characters (I'm talking about sex there). Despite that, I liked it. It was trashy, full of sex, it was easy to read, and the plot was cliched but fun. It also included the phrase "throw her the hump" which I shall try and drop into conversation. It probably wouldn't have been published had it not been writt ...more
Alisha
May 23, 2015 Alisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Steven Bochco wasn't such a great writer I probably would have really disliked this book. Women are reduced to sexual objects who are only relevant in the way they make the male characters of the book feel about themselves and the entertainment industry is reduced to an immoral den of vice (and as an actress I have the naive viewpoint of knowing a lot of amazing ethical people in this business and very few jerks, granted I work in the indie world...) Still Bochco is a fast, funny and energize ...more
Linda
Dec 01, 2007 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Bochco is truly funny. Most of his stuff is a cross between mystery and humor. I adore him!
Dora
Oct 12, 2007 Dora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish; don't even remember the premise; just thought it was dumb.
Perry Whitford
Jan 28, 2016 Perry Whitford rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Screenwriter Bobby Newman's prospects are not looking good.

He has writer's block and a deadline looming, he can't stop drinking himself into a stupor and he has just discovered that his actress wife Vee is playing "grab-ass" with a well dressed guy outside the Peninsula Hotel.

His agent, also the narrator, has lost patience with making excuses for Bobby and promptly fires him. But just as he seems down on his luck, out of work, his marriage over after a confrontation with Vee, Bobby witnesses s
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Ian
Oct 14, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of Death by Hollywood has won ten Emmys for shows like Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, but this is his first and, so far, only novel.

The story revolves around a murder witnessed by a peeping Tom writer and its subsequent investigation by veteran cop Dennis Farentino. When the cop finds a Latino stud dead in his bedroom the chance of answering the questions who and why seem remote with no leads to go on. Farentino, however, is a Columbo fan and decides to let the story come to
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Helen
On first glance an amusing look at undercover Hollywood and all it's sleaze and backstabbing, politics and amorality written by someone who should know. It's a sort of Hollyweird morality tale with a twist - a homage to Columbo, and as such a murder mystery essentially. However, whilst I enjoyed the writing style and the plot, and whilst I'm not usually Mary Whitehouse, I actually found the language and sexual aspects to be a bit too much for me to enjoy it. It was cringeworthy and shocking (wel ...more
Carlos Miguel Zapata
Esta novela fresca y agradable, nos cuenta la historia de un guionista, Bobby Newman, cuya carrera va en decadencia, es testigo de un asesinato, un crimen de caracter sexual que puede salpicar a gente famosa. En lugar de denunciar dicho crimen a la policia, decide cultarlo, planteandose, a raiz de lo que ha visto, escrbir un guión, teniendo como base el asesinato.

En esta historia el autor, Steven Bochco, nos presenta la cara del Hollywood, que regularmente no es visto en las pantallas de cine, n
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Jim
Dec 26, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I re-read this on a Saturday, looking for something that would grip as much as The Insider did. Yes, it was good, but not as good as I remembered.
(First Read Aug 2005)
I won't read a more entertaining book this year, that's for sure. This whipped along at pace, and had me laughing out loud at the cynical observations on people and life in general, although the author couldn't seem to resist fitting in an old joke about every ten pages for laughs. It was almost like he had a formula, where if he h
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Vickie
Nov 15, 2013 Vickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story within a story within real life...or is the other way around?
This book reads like a narrative of events involving Bobby, a drunken screenwriter with writers block, from the point of view of his agent. Bobby witnesses the murder of an acting coach who beds almost any and every aspiring and known actress in Hollywood. Deciding that he could write a real time screenplay he ingratiates himself in the lives of all the people left in the wake of the death, including the actress who committed
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Jackie
Jan 31, 2015 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is lacking any hint of humanity. It is a cold whodunnit which paints a very black picture of Hollywood & the entertainment industry. Most of the characters are guilty of something and, as the plot unfolds at the end, a blind illiterate would see what is coming a mile off. If you can live with this, go for it. It kept me reading to the end sure enough.
Kate
Mar 18, 2014 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. The author's name was familiar to me but I couldn't place any of his books. I discovered then that this is his only novel but he has been the writer on many tv shows - Hill Street Blues, LA Law, etc. This is a cleverly written story which takes place in Hollywood, has twists and turns and snappy dialogue. Too bad Bochco doesn't pen another. He does it well.
Kimberly Ylitalo
If the stars rating system had 1/2-star increments, I might have given this one a 3 1/2. It was such a FUN romp and took me a good ways on my long trip back from Newburgh, Indiana, to Tulsa, OK. Will be looking for others by this famous television screenwriter/creator of shows "NYPD Blue" and "Hillstreet Blues."

Janet
May 30, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it
Have been a Steven Bochco fan for quite some time. His murder mystery has a washed-up writer, his agent, a beautiful trophy wife, the writer's sexy actress wife, a Latin-lover dramatic teacher, a cop...You frame that with Bochco's insider knowledge of Hollywood and this becomes not only a thriller, but a bit of a roman a clef. Bochco does his fair share of name dropping, thinly veiled characters whom he may have had a beef with....I am sure I recognized at least one, and some characterizations o ...more
Marguerite Kaye
Steven Bocho has won loads of awards for his screenplays including one of my faves, NYPD Blue. You can tell he's a screenwriter, the pace is non-stop and you can practically hear them shouting 'cut' between scenes. I agree with what a few people have said about this book. It's about shallow people, it's self-indulgent, it's far-fetched. But... That's what I expected. It's also funny, dark, very well-written, and for what I took it for - something entertaining to read when I'm tired and need to g ...more
Desislava
Mar 31, 2014 Desislava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining , funny, amuzing. Havent read a thriller like that.
Marybeth Cullom
Mar 04, 2014 Marybeth Cullom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring and predictable. Listless book from the beginning.
Liz Horrey
Feb 14, 2014 Liz Horrey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed with this as I love his TV work.
Tracy
no recollection of this book
Pam Henley
Jan 25, 2015 Pam Henley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the ending!
James
Nov 19, 2014 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rushed, untamed, somewhat humorous bric-a-brac. Intriguing, but ultimately unrewarding.
RJ
Jul 08, 2013 RJ rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
3 stars for Dennis Franz's audiobook narration mostly. If you've seen Franz in Die Hard 2 you are aware that 4-letter words roll off his tongue with such natural fluidity. He does not disappoint here.

As for the story, it's mostly a flimsy thing, with many detours off the main drag, especially a transparent shot at David Caruso re his NYPD Blue departure. Good fun if you're driving somewhere and can pick this book up cheap, otherwise beware.
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