Hollywood Animal by Joe Eszterhas
A Memoir

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Synopsis

He spent his earliest years in post WWII–refugee camps. He came to America and grew up in Cleveland—stealing cars, rolling drunks, battling priests, nearly going to jail. He became the screenwriter of the worldwide hits Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, and Flashdance. He also wrote the legendary disasters Showgirls and Jade. The rebellion never ended, even as his films went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the box office and he became the most famous—or infamous—screenwriter in Hollywood.

Joe Eszterhas is a complex and paradoxical figure: part outlaw and outsider combined with equal parts romantic and moralist. More than one person has called him “the devil.” He has been referred to as “the most reviled man in America.” But Time asked, “If Shakespeare were alive today, would his name be Joe Eszterhas?” and he was the first screenwriter picked as one of the movie industry’s 100 Most Powerful People. Although he is often accused of sexism and misogyny, his wife is his best friend and equal partner. Considered an apostle of sex and violence, he is a churchgoer who believes in the power of prayer. For many years the ultimate symbol of Hollywood excess, he has moved his family to Ohio and immersed himself in the midwestern lifestyle he so values.

Controversial, fearless, extremely talented, and totally unpredictable, the author of the best-selling American Rhapsody and National Book Award nominee Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse has surprised us yet again: he has written a memoir like no other.

On one level, Hollywood Animal is a shocking and often devastating look inside the movie business. It intimately explores the concept of fame and gives us a never-before-seen look at the famous. Eszterhas reveals the fights, the deals, the extortions, the backstabbing, and the sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll world that is Hollywood.

But there are many more levels to this extraordinary work. It is the story of a street kid who survives a life filled with obstacles and pain . . . a chronicle of a love affair that is sensual, glorious, and unending . . . an excruciatingly detailed look at a man facing down the greatest enemy he’s ever fought: the cancer inside him . . . and perhaps most important, Hollywood Animal is the heartbreaking story of a father and son that defines the concepts of love and betrayal.

This is a book that will shock you and make you laugh, anger you and move you to tears. It is pure Joe Eszterhas—a raw, spine-chilling celebration of the human spirit.
 

About Joe Eszterhas

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Joe Eszterhas lives in Bainbridge Township, Ohio, with his wife, Naomi, and their four sons. He has two grown children from his first marriage.
 
Published January 1, 2004 by Hutchinson. 752 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hollywood Animal

Kirkus Reviews

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The highest-rolling screenwriter in Hollywood history tells all.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Eszterhas hasn't actually had a picture made for a while and maybe his great period is behind him: the glory days when this legendary bear of a man would terrify executives by taking out a gigantic hunting knife and stabbing it into the conference table before telling them why he was right and th...

Feb 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

The Guardian

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The Devil's Guide to Hollywood by Joe Eszterhas Duckworth £12.99, pp396 Hollywood is a gold rush town, tantalising the imagination with the lure of money, fame and glamour.

Feb 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Eszterhas hewed Stone out of the head of Hollywood as Hephaestus freed Athene from the brow of Zeus - the actress forever after insisted that Eszterhas had "created" her, although, as he points out, her most famous moment, the interrogation scene in Basic Instinct in which she uncrosses her legs ...

Apr 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

The Guardian

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Hollywood Animal by Joe Eszterhas Hutchinson £17.99, pp756 The title Joe Eszterhas has chosen for his memoirs is taxonomically just.

Feb 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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Author/screenwriter Eszterhas introduces readers to the ultimate in Hollywood animal thinking when he quotes an unnamed Oscar-winning producer as saying,the only time I'll root for anybody to be a s

Jan 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

BC Books

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The biography of a man living larger than life in the world's most sadistic, masochistic, brutal creative enclave.

Sep 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

BC Books

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Well, technically, he doesn't live in Hollywood, he only works there, but you get my point: The book exposes more sordid stories of drugs, sex, money-grabbing deals, and other shenanigans in Hollywood than any dozen biographies of movie stars or directors.

Sep 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

Suite 101

While the breakdown of his first marriage is brutal and painful, the love story between Joe and the true love of his life, Naomi, is what great Hollywood stories are made of.

Jun 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

The Sydney Morning Herald

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May 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

Alibi

Still, for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of Hollywood, Hollywood Animal is an enjoyable, if extremely lengthy, read.

Jun 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

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