Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody--Review and Giveaway

Okay, fellow writers. Stop what you are doing. Go to Amazon. Buy the following book now! If there was one book I read this summer that resonated with me as writer, The Holden Age of Hollywood is it! Out of five stars, I'd probably give six. I'm so glad we are doing a giveaway for this one, because it's a great, fast paced, witty, snarky read.

Here is the synopsis from the book:

"Hollywood died on me as soon as I got here. Welles said that, not me, but damn if he didn’t nail it, you know?" Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process. They’re out there for anyone to find—but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found. Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.

Sam Bateman is one of those guys. He's sarcastic, bitter, and at times, very clever. Disillusioned and jaded by Hollywood, Sam definitely knows how all the games are played, and he's pretty good at playing a few himself. He's not afraid to mess with people or tell them what he really thinks.
I liked Sam. A well developed character, I have to say that at times he reminded me a little bit of the narrator in Fight Club. I loved his narrative voice and the way the author shared Sam's unique perspective on the world. He manages to evolve and change which is good because when I first started reading the book, I was a little worried that there would be nothing but doom and gloom for this guy.

I really liked how the author, Phil Brody, gives the reader a great glimpse of what goes on when a film director is looking at scripts. In many ways, it's a lot like the process we know that agents use when they try to decide what authors they want to represent. However, I think the scriptwriters have it even worse! This book also provides a lot of insight into the script writing process and what makes a great story work. This is definitely a book any author, especially if you've been struggling a while, will enjoy.
Great movie quotes, a few wacky characters, and an interesting romance round this novel out. It's a fascinating look at a particular life style and I think the author captured the flaky and desperate side of Hollywood in a realistic way.
Put this one on your reading list, kids! Be sure to enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good Morning Mary Ann, It sounds like you really liked this book :)

  2. As one who fell in love with Holden Caulfield (and may still be in love with him)early on, I'll love anything that alludes to, references, looks faintly get the drift. I'm entering!

  3. Hi Vicki,
    I did enjoy this book very much! One of my favorite tours of the summer!

  4. Kaye,

    I think there is lots in this book that you would appreciate.

  5. Jessica,

    I like Newsies, too. It's been turned into a Broadway show.

  6. My wife also enjoyed this book.