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"One of the best books ever written about the movies." (Daily Telegraph, Book of the Year #1)
"Selective and sly, personal and political – and by far one of the best books ever written about Hollywood... The stories are vivid and the voices as clear as if the speakers were still alive... Like reading a secret diary and looking at a geologist’s diagram at the same time: with each intimate revelation, the precise stratification of the world’s most glamorous and closed society becomes clear." (Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph)
"The best book ever done on the terrifying social dysfunction of the beautiful people... [Stein] is clear-eyed and knows where the bodies are buried... Though all “true”, this book reads like a dream... A spellbinding record of that ancien régime." (David Thomson New Statesman)
"The dark side of Tinseltown – the fame, the fortunes, the secrets – told by those in the know... Stein edits together the dizzying array of interviews she has collected, weaving them into a subtly revealing oral history that illuminates Hollywood life from the 1920s to the 1990s." (Victoria Segal Sunday Times)
"A gripping story of money, power and fame... Highly entertaining stuff packed with memorable anecdotes." (Sebastian Shakespeare Tatler)
"A saga, like Steinbeck’s version of Genesis, about family squabbles and sins passed down, along with money, from one generation to the next." (Peter Conrad Observer)
"Absorbing oral history of Hollywood... A tantilisingly intimate portrait of a handful of families whose very different experiences together sum up Tinseltown to a T." (Brian Viner Daily Mail)
"Stein’s style is addictive: briskly intercut (rarely does one voice claim a full page), unafraid that gossipy asides will lessen its gravity. And like Chandler, like James Ellroy, like Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon and Nathanael West’s Day of the Locust, West of Eden sees something primally rotten in the bedrock of the city." (Danny Leigh Financial Times)
"This is the book Hollywood has been waiting for... Gripping and stealthily emotive... An astonishing collection of voices... Read this and you'll never turn onto Doheny Drive in the sunshine again without thinking about this gilded, glittering city’s identity as a fascinating and troubled invention of the 20th century." (Olivia Cole GQ)
"Jean Stein’s book deploys a wonderful grace in uncovering a monstrous reality – it tells brilliant stories, sometimes very personal ones, and lets their accretion work its own magic... A wild compendium of stories about what it is to be a child in a world of childish adults, and her book feels political, a meditation on the moral consequences of being looked after by powerful monsters with sick egos." (Andrew O’Hagan London Review of Books)
‘A selective, sly history of studioera Hollywood... This is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written about the movies.’
The Number One Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
West of Eden is the definitive story of Hollywood, told, in their own words, by the people on the inside: Lauren Bacall, Arthur Miller, Dennis Hopper, Frank Gehry, Ring Lardner, Joan Didion, Stephen Sondheim – all interviewed by Jean Stein, who grew up in the Forties in a fairytale mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
The book takes us from the discovery of oil in the Twenties with the story of the tycoon Edward Doheny (There Will Be Blood) and traces the growth of corruption through the syndicates, the mob, and the movie studios – from the beginnings of the film industry to the end, with News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch (who bought the Stein mansion in 1985).
West of Eden is about money, power, fame and terrible secrets: the doomed Hollywood of the late Fifties, early Sixties – ‘the rotten heart of paradise’. Like her last book, the best-selling Edie, this is an oral history told through brilliantly edited interviews. As this is Hollywood, it’s a book full of sex, drugs and celebrity glamour; but because it’s built from the firsthand accounts of people who were actually there, many of them writers, actors and artists, it’s also strangely claustrophobic, seductive, and completely compelling.
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Buchbeschreibung Jonathan Cape, 2016. Hardcover. Zustand: New. New and unread copy. Fast, daily dispatch 2-4 days for delivery within UK. International orders may take up to 3-4 weeks. Bestandsnummer des Verkäufers 9780224102469
Buchbeschreibung Zustand: New. This is Brand New. Bestandsnummer des Verkäufers Prksh-18042019-27683