Synopses & Reviews
"There's just one hunk of funny anecdote after another, quotes from everyone who ever mattered in the movie biz, and the thing is jam-packed with screenwriterly advice. Plus it's hilariously funny, ribald, sexy and brilliant."--Liz Smith
In The Devil's Guide to Hollywood, bestselling author and legendary bad-boy screenwriter Joe Eszterhas tells everything he knows about the industry, its players and screenwriting itself--from the first blank sheet of paper in the Olivetti to the size of the credit on the one-sheet.
Often practical and always entertaining, The Devil's Guide to Hollywood distills everything one of Hollywood's most accomplished screenwriters knows about the business, from writing advice to negotiation tricks, from the wisdom of past players to the feuds of current ones. Eszterhas has selected his personal pantheon of the most loved and loathed players in the business and treats the reader to a treasure trove of stories, quotes and wisdom from those luminaries, who include William Goldman (loathes) and Zsa Zsa Gabor (loves).
The Devil's Guide to Hollywood could only have been written by someone who loves the business as much as Eszterhas does--but who also has its number.
"Eszterhas delivers a dishy, catty mix of reminiscences and Hollywood trivia...his forte is skewering sycophants and phonies in this opinionated showcase of the underside of Hollywood life."--Publishers Weekly
"After 31 years in the Hollywood trenches and 15 films including Flashdance, Basic Instinct and Showgirls, screenwriter Eszterhas delivers a dishy, catty mix of reminiscences and Hollywood trivia in the guise of a handbook for wannabe screenwriters. Writing in a format perfect for readers with ADD, Eszterhas offers hundreds of instructive epigraphs, each an excuse for a short, gossipy paragraph. He includes a smattering of basic advice (avoid having your ideas ripped off by going to pitch meetings with a witness), warnings about producers, agents, directors and actors ('The word star is rats spelled backwards'), self-aggrandizing tales of wheeling and dealing, and tangents about various sexcapades (his own and other screenwriters'). He doesn't stint on snide comments about people he's worked with, like Sharon Stone, or about those he's refused to work with, like Michael Ovitz. Eszterhas includes fun quotes from Hollywood legends like Ben Hecht and Raymond Chandler and his fellow Hungarian, Zsa Zsa Gabor, but his forte is skewering sycophants and phonies in this opinionated showcase of the underside of Hollywood life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[C]onstructed as a sort of open letter to an imaginary neophyte who wishes to learn how to write scripts....A lengthy series of axioms, anecdotes, exhortations, accolades, admonitions and insults." New York Times
"A rude and sometimes crude manifesto for screenwriters from an ex-icon who wants it known he takes no prisoners in a business where writers are perceived as dispensable cogs." Los Angeles Times
"Mr. Eszterhas fashions himself as a mountebank who has shrewdly beaten Hollywood at its own game. That role, if played well, would have a certain rogue grandiosity. But on the page, at least, Mr. Eszterhas comes across as much more loutish, bullying and common." Wall Street Journal
"Aspiring and practical would-be screenwriters looking for good advice will find this offering inspiring and hilarious." Booklist
In The Devil's Guide to Hollywood
, bestselling author and legendary bad-boy screenwriter Joe Eszterhas tells everything he knows about the industry, its players, and screenwriting itself from the first blank sheet of paper in the Olivetti to the size of the credit on the one-sheet.
The Devil's Guide to Hollywood distills everything one of Hollywood's most accomplished screenwriters knows about the business: from writing advice to negotiation tricks, from the wisdom of past players to the feuds of current ones. Eszterhas dispenses advice as only he can: with his tongue firmly in cheek and a certain finger extended good-naturedly toward the sky. His tips on how to survive in Hollywood are based on his own rugged and real-life experiences: they are not just useful but vastly entertaining. He reveals what he's seen in Hollywood and what he's learned about writing and selling scripts there for record amounts. He also recounts bite-sized takes from personalities he either admires or loathes, sharing the richest, best industry lore that has inspired, amused or enraged him over the years.
The Devil's Guide to Hollywood is hilarious, ornery, colorful and wise. It could only have been written by someone who loves the business as much as Eszterhas does but who also has its number.
Hollywood's legendary bad-boy screenwriter tells everything he knows about the business, its habits, and its players after his 30 years in filmmaking.
Mike Ovitz told him his Wilshire Blvd. "foot soldiers" would hunt him down. He's antagonized almost everyone at the top in Tinseltown. And now, Joe Eszterhas tells everything he knows -- in brief, quotable bursts -- about the business, the history of Hollywood, and how to write screenplays that make millions. Idiosyncratic, gruff and as shaggy as Eszterhas himself, The Devil's Guide to Hollywood makes a character/leitmotif of Eszterhas' fellow Hungarian Zsa Zsa Gabor ("Money is like a sixth sense that makes it possible for you to fully enjoy the other five."), and makes the case that Marilyn Monroe was the sharpest tack in Hollywood ("Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents."). Refreshing, dirty, tough, there's no book like it.
About the Author
Eszterhas was born in Hungary and spent his first six years in Austrian refugee camps. He came to the United States in 1950.