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Hollywood Animal: A Memoir of Love and Betrayal    by Joe Eszterhas order for
Hollywood Animal
by Joe Eszterhas
Order:  USA  Can
Hutchinson, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by David Pitt

For a while there, Eszterhas was the world's most famous screenwriter. He wrote Basic Instinct, you might remember that one. Showgirls, that's another of his, and Jade, but he's also written some good movies, like the excellent thriller Jagged Edge. (Flashdance was one of his early ones.)

His memoir is a big, thick book full of personal revelations, sharply worded opinions about Hollywood and some of its players, a certain amount of ego (perhaps too much of that), and, surprisingly, some moments of tender reflection. As inside-Hollywood books go, it's one of the more interesting, and Eszterhas is or at least he seems to be refreshingly honest about his own self-destruction. (There's a reason why you haven't heard of him lately.)

Some parts of the book, like the author's very public battle with superagent Mike Ovitz, are priceless; others, like the autobiographical passages that really don't reveal very much about who the man is today, can easily be skipped over.

The thing about Eszterhas is, you either love him or you hate him. Whatever your position, you won't be inclined to change it after you read Hollywood Animal.

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