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The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper
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The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  25 reviews
An unusual, revelatory, thoroughly fascinating holiday gift from Dominick Dunne: his Hollywood memoir-cum-scrapbook, filled with the keenly observed true stories that have fueled his bestselling fiction as well as 150 of the candid snapshots he has taken over the years.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 28th 1999 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
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Susan Daly
As you may or may not have noticed I don't even put books up on this site that I don't really, really, like for one reason or another. I don't know if I have even put all of Dominick Dunne's books on my list or not, but I have read each and every one of them; well, I lie, I didn't read his very first book, and the name of it escapes me at the moment. I also admit whenever he published a new book, I bought it immediately and read it as soon as it was in my hands.

But he was always a quick, juicy,
In this autobiography of sorts, Dominick Dunne discusses the roots of his life-long fascination with Hollywood, detailing the halcyon years of the 1950s-1970s, when he was on the Hollywood A list. As Vanity Fair readers know, when Hollywood dropped him and his daughter's murderer got off with a slap on the wrist, his fascination took a cynical turn (see his book Justice). The Way We Lived Then, though, is full of all the little details and characterizations that made it into his novels. Ann Gren ...more
I bought this book [used] just so I could look at the pictures, but ended up reading the whole thing. I mostly knew that Dominick was the brother of John Gregory and the brother-in-law of Joan Didion. I now realize that he was a author after his wild life in 60s Hollywood. Very interesting stuff.
I always found Dominick Dunne so interesting and this book was an absolute who's who of 1950's and 1960's Hollywood. The anecdotes were fascinating albeit a lot of it was stream of consciousness names, marriages, divorces and affairs. I enjoyed it.
As is stated in the title, Dunne was a name dropper and this is a beautiful photo-scrapbook of his life in Hollywood in the 60's and 70's. Lots of candid photos of film stars and aristocrats from that time period with just a little copy.
Anthony Faber
Not much text, but lots of pictures of people in the movie/television business in L.A. in the 60s. Mostly gossip type stuff. Then he chronicles his downfall, due to drugs, booze & being an asshole (his word). It ends with him starting to write around 1980 or so.
Cathy Cullum
Something of an autobiography of a man dazzled by the stars, but got to know them. It is a story of hope. Loved all the photos of the famous.
Sandy Batesel
I'm a long time fan of Dominick Dunne and I loved this book. I think he had such an interesting life.
I've already read this, but I'm reading it again, since Mr. Dunne died today. (sigh) It's more of a pictorial book and an honest history (the man is shameless!), which is why I've rated it so high. Dunne is such an engaging writer--he inspires my own writing (albeit, my attenpts at writing), which is to write in the voice you speak every day. The man knew EVERYbody in Hollywood. He still would get star struck--even after all these years. And I'll forever be star struck with him.
Highly entertaining and overall just fun. This book is 200 pages but the fastest read ever (I finished in a little over an hour) because the type is huge, there is never more than a long paragraph on a page, and there are pictures galore. If you love celebrity culture, particularly that of old guard celebrities (think Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elizabeth Montgomery) you will adore this candid, sweet, and name-dropping piece.
Scott Fuchs
Shamelessly honest semi-autobiography, which in addition to confronting his demnons, ends with great pathos; self-unacknowledged redemption
All in all a very straight forward narration of the nature of Hollywoods social culture in the 50s.
Profusely illustrated; dozens and dozens of home photos of Hollywood at play. Recommended for those who have ever been dazzled by the Hollywood stars of the c. 1950s.
Really interesting, especially the bits of autobiography he does. He was a big druggie/drinker/philanderer, at the same time he was meeting and growing with post-studio-run Hollywood. Lots of photos of movers & shakers from the 50s & 60s. He sounds like he was a huge jerk, the worst of his type of producer. Ugh. This book stops at about 1975, with his writing career just beginning.
Guilty pleasure gossip, but about a more glamorous time.

To his credit, Dominick Dunne reveals unflattering things about himself along the way, along with the uniquuely insider anecdotes, but also contains much about his personal family tragedies.

This is an ideal companion piece to the George Plimpton Truman Capote book, and also to Andy Warhol's diaries.
Black and white photos of Hollywood celebrities taken at social get togethers in the late 1960's and 70's. Dunne relates some gossipy details. The text also deals with his deteriation into drug
addiction and his successful restart as a writer. The moral is be careful you may just get what you want but you have only one soul.
Barrie Spang
I have always enjoyed reading Dominick Dunne and I have really missed his feature in VF. I was so sadden to hear of his death. It was enjoyable to read his reflections of his early life, the ups, downs, and good times. I loved the pictures.
I have always been a Dominick Dunne fan so when he released this book of photographs he had taken during his Hollywood years, I was eager to read it. A trip back to the 1960s and 1970s for sure.
This is not usually my kind of book, but it was sitting on the dresser of the B&B we stayed in on Prince Edward Island and I read it in 2 hours. Lots of interesting pictures.
A picture book of 1960s hollywood. Gossipy, tacky, juicy, silly. If the nature of celebrity is something you are interested in, check out this book.
I really enjoyed this book. I think it is a great concept. It is basically a picture biography. It is fun and a fast read.
A fun slice of Hollywood gossip from the 1950's-1970's, filled with great candid photographs of celebrities of the time.
Liz Michalski
Worth it for the photos alone ... Dunne perfectly captures the glamour and dissolution of a long-gone era.
Sep 08, 2009 Joy marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
So sad - he died on my birthday. This memoir sounds great. He always was.
Pretentious but imho, a very entertaining glimpse into the glamourous past
Enjoyed it...wished he added years to the events and photos.
Colleen Connor
Brilliant recap of a time past, an elegant Hollywood!
Sarah Colborne
Sarah Colborne marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
Rosie Judd
Rosie Judd marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
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Dominick Dunne was an American writer and investigative journalist whose subjects frequently hinged on the ways high society interacts with the judiciary system. He was a producer in Hollywood and is also known from his frequent appearances on television.

After his studies at Williams College and service in World War II, Dunne moved to New York, then to Hollywood, where he directed Playhouse 90 and
More about Dominick Dunne...
A Season in Purgatory The Two Mrs. Grenvilles An Inconvenient Woman People Like Us Another City, Not My Own

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