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American Rhapsody

3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  189 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
If the Watergate scandal was a previous generation's National Nightmare, then maybe the Clinton scandal was our National Wet Dream, and who better to narrate it than the screenwriter Joe Eszterhas? In American Rhapsody, Eszterhas, whose credits include Basic Instinct and Showgirls, and Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse, for which he was nominated for a National Book Award, tak ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 13th 2001 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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Larry Retzack
Mar 22, 2008 Larry Retzack rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any Hunter Thompson fan.
Anyone who's a Hunter Thompson fan of gonzo journalism will love this book. I'd never heard of it but came across it while reshelving books in my high school library and it quickly pushed Lies My Teachers Told Me (a scathing indictment of the teaching of US history in America) to the back burner.

Joe Eszterhas, screen writer of the blockbuster commercial feature-length film Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone and her infamous pantie-less scene, provides a close look not only at the Hollywood f
...more
Drew Spears
Dec 02, 2015 Drew Spears rated it it was amazing
I simultaneously loved and abhorred this book. Essentially, Joe Eszterhas, writer of 'Showgirls' and 'Basic Instinct', details the Clinton/Lewinsky affair but since Joe Eszterhas is insane it is equal parts baby-boomer grandstanding, repetitively hailing Clinton's sexual exploits as 'rock and roll', and film industry bragging (one chapter seemed to mainly be in the book as a way for Eszterhas to imply he fucked Sharon Stone). Some chapters are fictitious monologues from the point of view of Hill ...more
Scott
Jun 19, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
This book is Joe Eszterhas' crazy-quilt of all things Clinton and Lewinsky, plus other political musings mixed with Hollywood stories and 20th century American social study. It's a unique book, alright, nonlinear and jam-packed with well-researched facts and crude absurdity. It's fun and a crazy ride, but I wonder if Eszterhas had to put up with any libel suits as the material on MANY political figures is brutal. I laughed many times, winced quite a few more. Joe is a brave guy, no doubt about i ...more
Wes
Nov 16, 2013 Wes rated it liked it
Shelves: daveg
Damn do I wish I could select 3.5 stars. But I just can't give it 4. That being said, this book was pretty entertaining. Which is something I would expect coming from Joe Eszterhas. Say what you will about the his (in)famous material, the man does know how to write.

Joe, as he mentions in this book, used to write for Rolling Stone, and that flavor comes through loud and clear in this book. Joe also used to work with Hunter Thompson, and that influence comes through loud and clear to me as well,
...more
John
Feb 05, 2014 John rated it it was ok
Believe it or not, this book created quite a buzz when it came out in 2000. Now, fourteen years later, with only 18 reviews, 164 ratings, and a site-wide rating of a paltry 3.19 (which is quite on the low end as things go on this site), it is obvious that this book made no lasting impression on American political culture. I would recommend this book to anyone still interested in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, if such people exist.
Dacky2
Jan 27, 2016 Dacky2 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was an audiobook and filled my commute with plenty of entertainment. But it only increased my disgust with the regime, and Eszterhas wants to shock and entertain more than inform. I've tried to forget it.
Vanessa
Aug 16, 2007 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: conservatives
Ok, not gonna get into a political broohahah here. And I realize most of this story, based on fact, was also ellaborated by the mind of the author, who is also a screenwriter ("Basic Insinct" and "Showgirls")... but the story of Bill and Monica, and Jennifer Flowers, and Hilary it's juicy and alarming. Who knew DC could be so sexy?
Matt
Jul 21, 2007 Matt rated it liked it
The only reason the guy that wrote this is famous is because he wrote that shitty movie Showgirls. The way he talks about it you'd think it was a classic. Maybe an assic. Hey-oh!! Regardless, it's an tabloid-y look into the Hollywood/political scene. Not good, but not horrible.
Claudia
Jan 22, 2012 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Deliciously salacious. Irresistible. Social commentary and keen observations about the players in politics and in the entertainment industry; but emphasizing this book's value as social commentary is like buying Playboy and claiming to be only interested in the articles.
Rick Caster
Aug 12, 2010 Rick Caster rated it liked it
Crazy politics book about the Bill and Hillary Clinton White House years, told by the screen-writer of Hollywood films such as "Showgirls" and "Basic Instinct". Hilarious and somewhat shocking at times....
Kimberly
Aug 04, 2008 Kimberly rated it did not like it
The author is unafraid to expound upon his own importance and to continually make judgments on his subjects. May have been juicy when the Clinton scandal was fresh, now it just feels tired and overblown.
J.C.
Oct 09, 2007 J.C. rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I almost gave it three stars just for the monologue Clinton's talking penis (you can say penis on goodreads cant you???) delivers near the end but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
Jerry
Jan 17, 2015 Jerry rated it did not like it
American Rhapsody is a fascinating exercise in self-deception and Hollywood bias.
Sparker4
Jul 20, 2009 Sparker4 rated it really liked it
Wow, wow, wow. My mind has been assulted with information and I may never be the same..... Got this book from my Dad and it is something else.
Kristie
Jul 03, 2007 Kristie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is an insider perspective on the Industry. also dishes on a few actors and actresses and that makes it better.
Les Webb
May 20, 2015 Les Webb rated it liked it
Who knew that four hundred and sixty four pages about Bill Clinton's dick would be so damn enjoyable?
Wendy
Jun 07, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok
Wow - the self-importance of this dude is astonishing. I did enjoy the penis dialogue at the end...
Roger Singh
Good book, very interesting topics and historical perspectives
Georgette
Oct 08, 2012 Georgette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it more than I should have(as did Pres. Clinton). LOL
Judy
Apr 20, 2009 Judy rated it it was amazing
it is sorta gross and lots of sex in here...and it is so weird...
RK Byers
Jul 23, 2010 RK Byers rated it really liked it
a chapter or two away from being an absolutely great book.
Liz
Nov 25, 2010 Liz added it
Loved EVERY page of it!
Shannon
Shannon marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Kato Sarmiento
Kato Sarmiento rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2016
Dennis
Dennis marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Talia
Talia rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2016
John
John rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2016
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2016
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Joe Eszterhas is a Hungarian-American screenwriter, known for films such as Jagged Edge, Music Box, Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Before becoming a screenwriter he was a journalist and has also written non-fiction books and memoirs.
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