by Barry Paris (University of Minnesota Press, 1989,
"Lulu in Hollywood"
by Louise Brooks (University of Minnesota Press, 1974,
For the first time, we are recommending two books in
tandem since they are two entirely different kinds of volumes
while, at the same time, complementing each other well, especially
for the fan who wishes to delve deeply into the life and mind
of the enigmatic Louise Brooks. Barry Paris' biography of the
star really needs no elaboration since it has been recognized
as the authoritative word on Brooks' life since it was first published
in 1989. Paris' excellent research is evident, and he handles
a life of much scandal without scandalizing. As one reviewer noted,
it is "not simply a summary of her movie plots and love affairs,
but a serious work of film and social history." Whether you're
a Louise Brooks fan or not, the insight Paris provides into this
era in cinematic history is well worth the read.
One should not pick up Lulu in Hollywoodexpecting an autobiography nor a "nice" book. Brooks
is sassy, ascerbic and irreverent. She writes in a no-holds-barred
style and may even knock some cinema idol off the pedestal on
which the fan has placed him or her. One reviewer said it best
when he noted, "A tart, fleet, gossipy book, a whip-flicking
display of wit and spite," adding "Louise Brooks emerges
not as a white goddess wreathed in incense, but as a sassy companion,
wisecracking, knowledgeable, completely free of cant and coy sentiment,"
. . . but, therein lies the charm of the book.
this book from
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