As a book, it's a bit of a jumbly mess (although reflective of its subject, I guess.) As an accounting of a fascinating marathon run by eccentrics andAs a book, it's a bit of a jumbly mess (although reflective of its subject, I guess.) As an accounting of a fascinating marathon run by eccentrics and geniuses, it's quite entertaining. As others have said, the portrait of John Huston was fascinating, particularly how he managed to turn out classics and workmanlike films to finance his lifestyle, working within a system that Welles would / could not.
Lots of good anecdotes within, including Welles explaining why certain business dealings should be avoided. As he says, never handle shit, even while wearing gloves. The gloves get shittier but the shit never gets any glovvier....more
If you are like me, then you cannot own enough coffee table books filled with long-dead prostitutes and street criminals. But even if you are not likeIf you are like me, then you cannot own enough coffee table books filled with long-dead prostitutes and street criminals. But even if you are not like me, I recommend this book highly. Brassai was friend to Picasso and Miller and had a very creative eye as he wandered the capital of the civilized world after dark. Technically, none of these photographs are dazzling marvels and Brassai hardly invented street photography. But this is a passport to a Paris that is long vanished and never to return, and therefore essential....more
I wanted this book to be a guilty pleasure but sadly it didn't offer much of the latter. The source material (FSF's sad and desperate correspondence wI wanted this book to be a guilty pleasure but sadly it didn't offer much of the latter. The source material (FSF's sad and desperate correspondence with Harold Ober and Max Perkins and ZF) is so much better than this lazy and rewarmed fictionalization of Fitzgerald's last days, when he was holding doors open for starlets that didn't recognize him.
Plus that way you get to avoid lifeless invented dialogue with Bogarts and Hemingways, and gruesome faux-nostalgic writing like, "he thought of that last summer in Antibes, before the Crash, when Zelda was still his and anything was possible."
These reimaginings of the lives and loves of iconic authors (The Paris Wife, etc) by workmanlike, paint-by-numbers modern writers needs to stop. Please. Make it stop....more
So far, Good Reads seems to be loving this book so I guess I am going to be the one who farts in the tub on this one. An exhausting travelogue filledSo far, Good Reads seems to be loving this book so I guess I am going to be the one who farts in the tub on this one. An exhausting travelogue filled with way too many mundane detail for me (do we really care the order in which anyone arranges her toiletries or need a grocery list of which chain motels she stays in which little towns?)
Kenny is a useless man-child and isn't written in a way that illustrates why he would cast a 10 minute shadow, let alone 10 years. The author draws a vague, last minute comparison between her and Kenny and Hemingway and Agnes von Kurowsky. But Talbot is not Hemingway; many of her observations about love and loss and memory seem closer to "love means never having to say you're sorry" cliches.
There are some flashes of strong writing in this one but not enough for me to recommend it to anyone besides the "single mom with deadbeat ex" population. And maybe the adjunct professors out there who have to hustle from position to position and work like a coolie for a minimum wage....more
In the first two pages we learn that the seashore at dawn is the only place where the main character doesn't feel unwelcome, and where she actually feIn the first two pages we learn that the seashore at dawn is the only place where the main character doesn't feel unwelcome, and where she actually feels any bliss and connection. And everything in the book unfolds from that initial awareness.
I like the way the author writes fading masculinity; a subtle symphony of impotence and urine dribbles and scotch and simmering frustration. Sure we all know about the interchangability of trophy wives for younger models and how the previous models conveniently vanish. Lots of authors write those people well enough, and gossipy busybodies and horny unfulfilled wives and status whores and the sadness of boner pills. But what does a man do when a beautiful woman looks at him and thinks OLD (not older) man, before he becomes invisible entirely? The author has a nice touch with the aging and nearly irrelevant male.
lThe truly atrocious characters in this book are fairly two-dimensional, although still entertaining. It is the characters that are deeply flawed but not atrocious (everyone else, including the 2 narrators) that are compelling and make the novel worth reading.. Although like Teddy says, "it's hard to find someone who gave a shit about you."...more