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Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars

2.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,838 Ratings  ·  409 Reviews
Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of the town s stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually free-spirited friends. His own lovers included Edith ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Brie
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I will not try and figure out if the author was exploited as a child. He seems to have made peace with his childhood so I will accept that even if it makes me sad to read about the adults using him like they did.

Now that I have that out of the way, I won't try and say I believe all he has talked about in the book. There is a lot that rings true...usually the stories that are more fleshed out and less "We did this and that and I don't remember when". Still it is an interesting book about a guy wh
...more
George Ilsley
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Hard to imagine people who pick up such a memoir and then complain about the salacious details. The whole point is salacious details, people, and please don't bother pretending otherwise. Bowers presents himself as a sort of unpaid pimp, and it is perplexing why he bothered to do all that work for nothing. Perhaps he had legal advice concerning the need to gloss over certain details.

Having recently read an article about the death of Roman Novarro, and the lives of the hustlers (two brothers) who
...more
Wendell
Sep 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
This may not be the silliest book I’ve ever read, but it is without question the most pointless.

I had of course heard and read enough (so to say) fluff about Full Service to know that I was in for trash before I'd even cracked the covers. But there’s trash and then there’s rubbish. This is rubbish, especially in the British sense of the word.

Whether or not there is "truth" in Bowers' claims about the “secret sex lives of the stars” (and isn’t that a phrase that just makes you know you’re about t
...more
Polly
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, hollywood
I like books about people who take lemons and make lemonade, and this is one of them. Scotty grew up in some hard circumstances during the Depression, and he was subjected to sexual abuse at a young age. That's the outsider's take on it, not Scotty's. Maybe a self-protection mechanism kicked in, but he found his own way to deal with things and didn't let it get him down. At least, that's how he presents it in the book. Who knows what he really thought deep down inside.

I was definitely intrigued
...more
Sketchbook
Feb 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Pimp-hustler Bowers goes the full monty in
mean-spirited fantasy. Same ole names, nothing new.
It's a ripoff of Cole-Noel-C Grant-K Hepburn bios.
Dishonest junk fr publisher Grove/Atlantic.
(Friend sent adv copy). Stick w Kenneth Anger.
One validated story: Carol Channing's last husby
liked boys. But she's been blabbing this for years.
Does anyone care? Not even Chan cares.
Tosh
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Full Service" indeed. Scotty Bowers memoir is the not-so-secret of the sexual lives of the cinema famous and the great. Gossip is an important social function in the world, and "Full Service" is not afraid to go into that territory. And being a visitor, by reading this book, I find it really interesting. I am always fascinated with the image more than the truth. One of the reasons why I like the cinema is the fact that dreams are being projected on a screen - and i never really was (or is) conc ...more
Dy-an
Dec 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks
I'm calling bullsh*t, Mr. Bowers.

1. There is no way that everyone who met you, liked you and wanted to do nasty things with you.

2. I don't buy the line that you were never paid for setting up 'tricks'. No one does it for the love of the game. You's a pimp, sir!

3. J. Edgar Hoover? Really? That doesn't strike you as funny.

4. How convenient that everything was a BIG SECRET and all the corroborators are dead.

5. There must be a whole new brand of syphilis with your name on it - The Bowers strain woul
...more
Adam Tschorn
The street date of Scotty Bowers' "Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars," written with Lionel Friedberg, is Valentine's Day, but the eagerly anticipated memoir has been generating buzz for several weeks, and will most likely encounter a firestorm of criticism from some segments of the Hollywood set.

It offers the former Marine paratrooper, pump jockey and bartender's accounts of three decades of having sex with — or arranging others to have sex with — som
...more
Verity
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[image error]pinokio reading photo tumblr_nh0bfzv88X1togmudo1_500_zpsiihoiisq.gif

I hardly know what to write about this book. On the one hand it's a scandalous summer beach read, packing with filthy juice Hollywood gossip that you may or may not believe. I'm not quite as quick to dispel what Bowers claims, especially seeing that some of his stories have been confirmed by others.

[image error]pinokio dislike photo tumblr_nh0bb3K4Nh1togmudo6_500_zpsog82ejf3.gif

On the other it's a story of a boy (view spoiler)
...more
Matthew Dinda
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
It's hard to rate this book, considering so much of it relys on the veracity of Bowers' memories. Scotty Bowers is clearly a narcissist and a bit concerned with the "legend" of his own virility, so much that it seems the memories themselves are more fictional than fact. Perhaps he did have sexual liaisons or provide them for all of these Old Hollywood celebrities, but in the wise words of Whitney Houston: "show me the receipts!" There is no proof beyond his own musings that any of this is true, ...more
Melanie Baker
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Can't entirely pin down whether it was the tone/style, all the people name-dropped, or the salaciousness of it all, but the book leaves you inclined not to believe a word of it. And there are just too many things that make no sense in the grand scale of culture, society, and class. So that either means that it's complete bullshit, or that the truth is even crazier than he tells it.

Has Hollywood zealously guarded secrets over the years? Of course. Has it been taboo to be openly gay, particularly
...more
Jim Morrissey
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tinamarie Hunter
Apr 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hated this book so much. I was only able to force myself through half of it. I felt like I was reading the trashiest, cattiest tabloid out there, only it was about stars of the 1950's.

Scotty Bowers goes on and on about how awful someone was but then ends it with "but we were very good friends and remained so for years." Uh, Scotty, every Southern girl knows that passive agressive trick for insulting someone.

The worst part however, was that is justified, even promoted child prostition.

This b
...more
Alice
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a very poorly written memoir by a Golden Age Hollywood hustler who dishes ALL about the scandalous (scandalous!) gay and straight sex he had over the years with seemingly every movie star, ever. It is extremely juicy and entertaining, but you have to a) have a very high tolerance for absolutely terrible prose b) take all of it with a grain of salt (as I doubt even half of it is true) and c) be comfortable with lots of dirty sex talk.

Scotty talks about his early years on a midwestern farm
...more
Chris
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was to be the inaugural book in the Tinseltrash Book Club, a sleazy cabal of ne’er do wells dedicated to the pursuit of arcane knowledge, namely who in old Hollywood was schtupping who, and how. At this point, the foundations of the club are looking shaky, but I was still happy to read the inaugural tome, an explicit, dishy, and decidedly good-natured romp through the sexual peccadillos of the rich and famous.

Scotty Bowers was a handsome young man. To hear him tell it, he’d been chased afte
...more
Brenda
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ewwwww.....
Christopher Roth
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because it promised to be possibly the most over-the-top sleazy Hollywood memoir ever, and it did not fail to deliver. Scotty Bowers is a Midwestern World War II vet who, after the war, settled in Los Angeles and took a job at a gas station on Hollywood Boulevard. He was already something of a bisexual sex-addict (a term I dislike; let's just say he needed it, and got it, every day from anyone he could) when the actor Walter Pidgeon pulled in for gas; Scotty tripped his gaydar ...more
V. Briceland
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to confess that at several points during Scotty Bowers' sin-sational Hollywood tell-all, Full Service, I would forget that I was reading something allegedly from the non-fiction shelves. Instead I would flip the pages with wide eyes and think, "This satire on Tinseltown memoirs is hi-LAR-ious!" I can't quite think of another autobiography featuring such purple prose and such an unreliable narrator—or in which I've had to suspend, from front to back cover, such a great amount of disbelief. ...more
Alisha
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
i work at a bookstore and have had various people, especially older women and i'm talking like 70-80, come in and ask for this book.
those poor little old ladies.
i read this, and it is pure smut. i love old hollywood and stories of the silver screen, i love various actors from that generation and so many of the movies have influenced my life, including styles and ironically what i look for in a man.

considering this book suggests that many of these celebrities are either gay or bisexual, or strai
...more
Lisa
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Uhhh, I mean what do you say? Obviously, I think the first few chapters are totally gross. Even if the author maintains he was just doing a civic duty by letting adult men have sex with him, that doesn't mean I think it's ok, and you can think I'm a crusty prude if you want, there is nothing natural about grown ass men having sex with a little boy. Prefacing this book that way diminished his Hollywood sexual exploits for me. The stories also become so repetitive that they lose any intrigue. It's ...more
Lauren
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: listened-to
I can't remember reading a modern book that espoused a less mainstream acceptance of sexualities. The author recounts with such gratitude his early sexual relationships with a friend's father, neighbors and priests, and then later his pride in setting up tricks for Hollywood royalty including a memorable husband who regularly leaves his "unsuspecting" wife in the car at the local rendezvous point to have quick intercourse with other women, I struggle to be non-judge mental. The sexualization of ...more
Anne
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who reads biographies of famous people should not feel embarrassed by reading this. I admit that I follow popular culture in magazines and on-line "news" organizations etc., Yet I found myself being endlessly surprised. Some might wonder if any of this (or all) could possibly be correct, but the well respected author, Gore Vidal, validates this information by admitting that "Scotty" does not lie. You WILL be shocked. I would have bet that this book would have been filled with rehashed inf ...more
Erika
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book reads like an overlong, grandiose letter to Penthouse, up to and including the ubiquitous "I never thought this would happen to me, but..."

Bowers flashes back and forth between his days as a gas station attendant/procurer for Hollywood's A-listers in the Post-war 40's, then further back to his days of being molested by/prostituting himself to the Catholic priests of his boyhood diocese. I'm well aware of the difference between molestation and prostitution, but Bowers apparently is not.
...more
Chantal
Feb 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I don't even know where to start with this one. First off, I think it's sad that the author was clearly exploited as a child but doesn't seem to realize or acknowledge that fact. Secondly I don't believe all the stories he tells. I do believe there was a huge demand for paid sex in Hollywood during this time - both homosexual and heterosexual, and I do believe that the author provided and supplied some of it. But I just don't buy all his stories - and the fact that all the people he mentions are ...more
Farrah
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Hmmmmmm. Very very raunchy and too graphic. I did enjoy some of the dishy Hollywood gossip but Waaaaaay too much information about their sex lives. It really made me laugh that he started off the book by saying:

"The gas station was the portal that took me into the exclusive world of high-class sex."

Lolololol!!!! Really??? How can you write that with a remotely straight face??

Also funny how he made himself basically the sexual center of pretty much every single famous person of a certain era. O
...more
Greg
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was a fun, quick read, but not particularly well-written. Reads almost entirely as one sexual encounter after another. Amazing to think that, if his account is true, he was involved in the sex lives of so many celebrities. Events mainly proceed along the "I tricked ___________ who was a ________ in Hollywood, worked on the pictures _________ and ________, and had a fondness for ________ and ________ in bed." Some of the anecdotes were very amusing, though.

Scotty seems like he was a decent hum
...more
Amanda
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
It was interesting in the way that any book about wild celebrity sex would be. However, it's also depressing to see that under the image carefully crafted by the big studios, celebrities of the "golden age" were, in fact, gilded.

Pretty much a bunch of celebs squandered their lives away in unhappy marriages, drank themselves to death, died from complications related to AIDS, or as we all do, grew old and ugly. The only difference is, we aren't watched by the world.

Such is life.
Renee Hoyos
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Apr 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: marga-readers
I'm not sure how much of this book I believe. I'm not even sure what I just read.... All I'll say is --What kind of siren song did Scotty's parts call out to EVERYONE he came in contact with??? And I'm 100% sure I would not take any drink that he stirred.
Rick
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um...it's okay if you're in the mood for trashy, is-it-really-true, dirty dish on celebs.
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