Persephone's Reviews > Underfoot in Show Business

Underfoot in Show Business by Helene Hanff
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Jul 24, 2009

really liked it
Read in July, 2009

This is actually Helene Hanff's first book, published in 1961, a few years before she enchanted millions with her 84, Charing Cross Road. It's an episodic account of her years as a struggling playwright on Broadway, leading to how she ended up writing for television, and it overlaps (and never mentions) the period of her famous correspondence with Frank Doel and his staff at the London antiquarian book shop. We do meet a couple of friends who figure in 84, most significantly the irrepressible and incorrigible Maxine Stuart, a flame-haired actress who can't hold a tune (and yes, that is important).

I think my favourite chapter covers the how and why of being an "outside reader" which includes everything you need to know about The Lord of the Rings (warning: Hanff is not a fan). However, I recommend your reading it for yourself to find your favourite bits. A book you can put down and pick up again quite comfortably.
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