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Wednesday, February 11th, 2004


Hollywood Animal: A Memoir

by Joe Eszterhas


A review by Adrienne Miller

"We had another bottle of Cristal back in her house and crawled around the dollhouse some more. I discovered that her body was doughy, too much peanut butter and Wonder Bread maybe." So writes Joe Eszterhas of Sharon Stone in his thoroughly despicable new memoir. Eszterhas is the individual responsible for "writing" (if that is indeed the word) Flashdance, Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct, Jade and, yes, lest we forget, Showgirls. Apparently, these screenplay credits seem to be all that's required to have the right to pen a 736-page "tell-all." Eszterhas, however, has very little to tell about Hollywood, certainly very little that's thoughtful, or even interesting. The chapters about his childhood in Cleveland are the closest the book comes to anything resembling "heart" (although we all could have done without moments such as "I was looking at the girls' bodies in school....I felt my pimpli grow and become rigid sometimes when I looked at them.") Hollywood Monster is a name-dropping, self-aggrandizing, self-justifying, score-settling embarrassment. Eszterhas's hero, he quite unwisely mentions in the book's early pages, is Norman Mailer. Joe Eszterhas, as should be obvious by now, is no Mailer.

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