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Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith
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Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Joe Eszterhas knew a lot about darkness. Growing up in refugee camps and then in America’s back alleys, he used this knowledge, first as a journalist, and then as a wildly successful screenwriter of sexually graphic and violent films like Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, and Jade.

Then, on a hellishly hot day in 2001, desperately battling to survive throat cancer and his addict...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 2nd 2008)
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Dawn
This is a wonderful book about a man who grew up in Ohio and made his way to Hollywood. I didn't know anything about this man and upon learning he was from the same part of Ohio as I am made me more interested. He was responsible for some raunchy movies and he lived and played hard. He tells his story of how he gave up the Hollywood life and lifestyle to move back to Ohio to raise his family. Once back in Ohio, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. The story is about his newfound faith in God and...more
Juli
Joe Eszterhas wrote the movies Basic Instinct and Showgirls (along with other pretty graphic movies and books). This book is a little hard to critique since it is his personal journey from a life of sex and drugs to finding God. However, I just didn't really connect with it. I think I would've loved for him to talk more about the darkness in him, why it was there and where it came from. I think I would've better connected with some of those things that are universal struggles than with his simpl...more
Robert
Showgirls writer finds God. But not cocaine (anymore). It improves if you read it with Eszterhas in mind as an unreliable narrator: A swelled head that somehow absorbs the Holy Ghost. By the end I developed a begrudging sympathy with the character, which might or might not have anything to do with Eszterhas in the flesh.
Carol
I was interested in reading this since he is a Cleveland native and raised Catholic. I wanted to see what he had to say about returning to his Catholic faith after finding out he had cancer. He still comes across as self centered and a know-it-all! Just goes to show we are all human...imperfect!
Scott Rhee
Weird to think that the guy who wrote the screenplays for "Basic Instinct" and "Showgirls" is now a born-again Christian, but it's true. Joe Eszterhas's "Crossbearer" is a very funny and, at times, moving memoir of his life since he rekindled his faith. People who are on the fence, spiritually, may find solace in the book as it reveals a man who struggles with the fear (as many new Christians do) of having to completely change aspects of one's life and what that means. For Eszterhas, it's little...more
Mary Alice
I found this book extremely entertaining and read it in three days. Joe still is on his journey and I think still has things to learn about his faith (don't we all)regarding dogma, etc. Also, he struggles with reeling in his ego. If he ever ventures on to Goodreads and reads this, this is not an insult.;) I think the ego comes from years of beating down and being beat up by Hollywood, not to mention the childhood he had. I spent some time in Hollywood and I frequently thank God I left. I couldn'...more
Sharon
I heard Mr. Eszterhas reviewed on NPR, talking about this book. His voice came in loud and clear that he thinks there is a paying audience/market for Christian films, or films that dramatize the faith. I also heard the patronizing/disbelieving voice of the interviewer... I was intrigued. Esp. to realize, as Mr. E. described briefly on air, his conversion experience. I also learned that Joe Eszterhas is the scriptwriter for Jagged Edge and other box office hits that are not films that dramatize f...more
Mike
A very easy read on one of Hollywood's own, Joe Eszterhas...one of Hollywood's darkest producers, and his surprising re-convert (back to the faith of his childhood) to Catholicism. It is a story peppered with tales from his days of booze and nicotine and how he compares them to now, bathing in the light of God and how his actions today affect his relationships with both his family and Hollywood colleagues.

His story also has glimpses of his past, the story of his family's experiences with WWII a...more
Frodo
Fascinating story of spiritual transformation. Enjoyed reading this story after picking the book at random.
booklady
Mar 27, 2009 booklady marked it as recommended  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to booklady by: Mary Alice
Mary Alice says, "I don't know if you would like this book or not. I found it extrememly entertaining and read it in three days. He still has a long way to go with his faith regarding dogma, etc. Also he still needs to learn to reel in his ego. However, he has a big heart. You can't help but grow very fond of him, and what a life he has had. There were times I was busting out laughing and then filling up with tears. "

Sounds great Mary Alice! Don't know if I'm gonna live long enough to read all t...more
Dee Dee
If there was one guy about which you'd say "That guy will NEVER become a Christian" - Joe Eszterhas might very well be that guy. The writer of Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, American Rhapsody is as surprised as anyone else to find himself a follower of Jesus. This book is a testimony of God's power to reach out and change the life of one man...and to change the life of others through his testimony. Eszterhas is brutally honest about himself, his former life and his continued struggles to get this...more
Brian
i am glad Joe Eszterhas found God again. He is a screenwriter with movies like FLASHDANCE, BASIC INSTINCT & SHOWGIRLS under his belt, but discovered God in the midst of a crisis & now spends his time with his family and with his church helping other people to see there's a better way to live, which is great. The book starts off great, but would've been better read as journal entries from this guy rather than chapters. It wasn't cohesive at all, which makes it difficult to follow and his...more
Janastasia Whydra
I enjoyed reading Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith by Joe Eszterhas. I always had an "idea" of what the typical church-goer was like and since I was not one of them, I pictured people who were my exact opposites. I'm not saying I can relate to everything Eszterhas has gone through in his life, but he does make his journey of rekindling his relation with Him a relatable story. After reading this book, I am intrigued to read some of his other books simply because Eszterhas seems like a writer who ca...more
Julie (julie37619)
Loved, loved, loved this book! It's not that I agree with all of his theological beliefs, but Joe Eszterhas preaches Jesus Christ and HIm crucified, which is more than enough for me to love. Reading about people who love Jesus and acknowledge the cross is wonderful. Have I mentioned that I loved this book? Cause it was awesome. What an incredible testimony.
Maria
I borrowed this book from my dad's shelf. Joe Eszterhas grew up in Cleveland's Hungarian community at the same time as my dad. It was particularly interesting to read his story and to learn about how his background affected the direction his life took. Eszterhas has changed his life dramatically, and it was enlightening to read about his journey.
Chris
Really wanted to like this, but the guy just comes across as unbalanced, ego-centric and the theology is not really very deep. There was no cohesive theme building thorugh out, which is odd, being he is a hollywood screen writer. Just a series of vinettes that don't seem to reveal a whole lot of progressive growth or self awareness.
Michelle
The director of Basic Instinct and Showgirls had what he descibes as a Pauline Road-to-Damascus encounter with God. He moved to Ohio and became a committed Catholic- one who bears the cross in the Sunday Mass and does it wearing selections from his Rolling Stones t-shirt collection. Pretty Interesting.
Robin
I have been following Eszterhaus since he became the first screenwriter to get a million bucks for a spec script...Basic Instinct.(Supposedly written in 10 days.) This book is about his surviving cancer and finding the value in religion. I also recommend his autobiography "Hollywood Animal."
Katie
This is a wonderful memoir of faith. From the "hell" of Hollywood to his faith in Christ, Joe's life has been a life lived to the fullest. He documents his fight with throat cancer and shares about all areas of his life with openness, humor and honesty. Definitely an inspiring read!
Molly Smith
I couldn't finish this book, even though I desperately tried to so I could write an accurate review. Eszterhas seems to be motivated by his own ego, rather than some kind of inspirational Christian revelation he claims to have had. I would not recommend it.
Krista
Another pretty good book. Not only shows you the change in a man, but his change in perspective as well as the change in peoples around him! If you've had a life changing moment with God, or in general, or are interested in learning about it, read on!
Will
Wow! The beginning was fast-paced and the end was poignant. The middle was harder to read, since Joe is so irreverent. But making it to the end made his irreverence make sense. I love reading about other experiences of believing on Jesus!
Anne
This is one of the most moving and inspiring books I've read in a long time. If anyone is unsure of their faith, this is a must-read. It is a well-written page-turner. Most of all, it shows that anything is possible with God. :)
Jennifer
Interesting read about the "Basic Instinct", "Jagged Edge", and "Music Box" screenwriter's turn towards faith/God/Catholicism (his birth religion) after surviving throat cancer in 2001.
jennifer
what a great book!! I was inspired ! I don't what more to say -but that this is my kind of book. a great story of hope and ability in humankind to change and progress!!
Philippa
Somewhat crude in places but very funny too. Its basically about his life in a Catholic Church in Ohio after him being saved.
Scott
Wow, great book. Very inspirational. Mr. Eszterhas has quite a story.
Edith
This was a wonderful book. The author's honesty and courage are remarkable.
Joan
True story of a man drastically changed by an encounter with God
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Faith 1 5 Aug 27, 2008 05:24PM  
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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.
More about Joe Eszterhas...
Hollywood Animal: A Memoir The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! American Rhapsody Heaven and Mel F.I.S.T.

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