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Hollywood Babylon II

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  724 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Hollywood Babylon was originally published in Paris, and quickly became an underground legend. Not a word has been changed. Not a story omitted. Here is the hot, luscious plum of sizzling scandal that continues to shock the world.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1985 by Plume (first published 1975)
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Luke Devenish
This was a book I used to stealthily pick up and thumb through back in the 80s when it could be found in 'cult' bookstores, all shiny and new. Poverty struck as I was then, I never actually BOUGHT it, or indeed, READ it. I just gasped at the pictures - and there were plenty to gasp at. Now that the subject of Old Hollywood is truly obsessing me, I finally purchased a copy. Time hasn't been kind. Kenneth Anger was a trail blazer in the 60s with his bitter brand of celebrity reportage - Perez Hilt ...more
What makes the subject mattter of old Hollywood is not the subject itself, but how Kenneth Anger tells the tales. Are they true? Is this history? Are they made up? Maybe a combination of all above, but who cares? It's Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Babylon" and in a sense it is a life-blood to an art form and culture that he loves and hates.

Without a doubt, Anger is probably the greatest living American filmmaker alive. It's film history filtered through his sensibility via his film work and the Ho
Obsession, sex, all the chemical dependencies ever thought of in the place you expect them to be...Hollywood. It seemed to be somewhat of a voyeuristic look into the dreams and ambitions of vibrant people who fall into these seedy alley nightmares of Hollywood Babylon. Even though it does not glamorize Hollywood in the least, I wanted to see that the people that are idolized in society so much are just as troubled, maybe even more than everyone else. It was good reading for those who like a litt ...more
Mr Anger is back to trawl through Hollywood for gossip, death (including a lengthy section, pre-Wikipedia, on Hollywood suicides), and gangster connections - ending with an impassioned attack on then-president Ronnie Reagan... good stuff.
The troubled lives of film stars during golden era

Kenneth Anger is a well-known author who wrote the best seller “Hollywood Babylon,” and revealed many interesting stories about the stars of the pre-code era. This book is a second volume with the same title and fills in the material not covered in the first book and additional info about less-known stars. The author was an insider who worked in Hollywood as a child-star and got to know many well-known personalities in movie business. His storie
Sean Kottke
The sequel to my 2013 naughty cruise read for my 2014 cruise :) More of the best in Old Hollywood gossip, in Anger's inimitable style. The concluding chapter on Ronald Reagan is a fittingly sobering end to the trajectory of the two volumes' tales. That should be required reading for anyone nostalgic for the political icons of the 1980s. Sadly, the tragic "Chords of Fame" have continued to play on for far too many in and out of Hollywood in subsequent years, despite the cautionary tales of their ...more
Hollywood Babylon II (or HollyBaby II, as the author calls it) was a great way to while away the hours I spent waiting to fly out of O'Hare airport last weekend. Although it's structured as a series of gossip vignettes about various personages sprinkled throughout Hollywood history, certain celebrities pop up repeatedly in different places to tie the whole random, rambling history together. It was perhaps a little less thrilling than the first one--presumably because Anger had already used up al ...more
In fireworks are released, all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. The inflammable desires, dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness, are ignited at night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst forth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief. ”
― Kenneth Anger

In this quote by the author, he summarizes the demoralizing business of "show business."

Better than the first "Hollywood Babylon" because the stories are much more reflective. Anger writes longer and more page-turning articles here, perhaps because he's writing about scandals that are not quite as well-known as those from the first book. However, caveat lector: this is still a compendium of gossip and and there are a couple of horribly gory photos.
Jeanne Beaudet
LOVED this. Very gossipy tome. All sorts of stories about old Hollywood.
Amazing photos and tall tales of titillation.
Tasca Kirchmeier
Great details . Photos are awesome too
Pat Murphy
More Hollywood tabloid stuff.
I liked this one even better than the first - Kenneth Anger was more of character in this one.
Thanks, Mom! I had to skip over the chapter about suicides but really enjoyed the chapter about Reagan. It's hard to tell what's bogus here and what's not, like, there's absolutely no way "Rosebud" refers to Marion Davies' clit, but that bit about Bill Tilden making a cameo in "Lolita" is incredible. The photos & editing in this are perfect.
Nov 15, 2008 Allison rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in old Hollywood and who usually read things like US magazine or In Touch.
Scandal! Intrigue! Death!
I really enjoyed both Hollywood Babylon books but this one for some reason seemed even more cynical than the first, which is just what is needed! Perhaps it is because it was written in the dark ages of the Reagan administration. That, and the fact that Hollywood seems to be a cesspool where humanity goes to die!
Jason Coffman
Meh. After the excellent first book, this one comes off as a less interesting cash-in. Anger even re-tells some stories he mentioned or told in detail in the first book! There's still a lot of great information and awesome photos, but the meat of the book is considerably weaker than the original Holly Baby.
I read this one all in one sitting ~ could not put it down. I only gave this one 4 stars instead of the 5 I gave the first one. To me it had a few pics & stories that were in the first one...why? Did he run out of info and needed filling? I did love it still...
Can’t remember how I acquired this book. Explicit, blunt, gossipy, bitchy, tell all and hard to put down. You won’t get this behind the scenes dirt from the newspapers. Not sure how he was able to print the murder photos. I have to admit, I need to read Book I!
Stacy LeVine
This is some lazy, photo-dependent, partly-rehashed bullshit. For shame! All Anger had to do was use the new tales in the old format, and it would have been fine. What the hell?
A lesson in when an author is so emboldened and delusional as to believe he doesn't need an editor. Dull, long-winded, and irrelevant tangents galore. Would have been more effective at half the length. BUT, there is still some juicyness and wicked photos.
I picked it up as it was in my parents books that I was not allowed to read.
Really just a catty finger pointing exercise of people Kenneth liked and didn't. No real history or depth.
An inferior sequel which relies on death lists and a last-chapter excoriation of then-President Regan. Repeats stuff from the first and bulked out with pictures. A shame.
More of the same, this time with more people you know. Read them both back to back and know Kenneth was a bitch. You might also like to catch his movie 'Scorpio Rising".
Jeez, this is such a MEAN and depressing book. A whole chapter dedicated to Hollywood Suicides.
Janet Edwards
Awesome pictures. Questionable text. A good way to spend time waiting for something else...
Jan 02, 2008 jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gossips
Shelves: finished
it's difficult to reveal hollywood secrets and not seem sleazy, but anger does a great job of it.
This is even sicker than the first volume but I still can eat it up with a spoon.
A classic, must-have item (but no, not quite as good as the first volume).
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Kenneth Anger (born as Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer) is an American underground avant-garde film-maker and author. He gained fame and notoriety from the publication of the French version of Hollywood Babylon in Paris in 1959, a tell-all book of the scandals of Hollywood's rich and famous. A pirated (and incomplete) version was first published in the U.S. in 1965. The official U.S. version was not publ ...more
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