Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two new ebooks about Louise Brooks

Two new e-books about Louise Brooks have been published for Kindle, the amazon e-reader. I've written short reviews of each on the amazon.com website. Here are my reviews, with links to each book. 
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My Afternoon With Louise Brooks
by Tom Graves
Publisher: Rhythm Oil Publications (June 10, 2011)

I can't get enough of Louise Brooks, the legendary silent film star. That's why I was excited when I came across this new e-pub by a professional writer with articles in major newspapers and magazines as well as a couple of earlier books to his credit. (Author Tom Graves is legit, and his 1982 meeting with the actress is mentioned in Barry Paris' definitive 1989 biography, Louise Brooks.) However, I found myself disappointed by this rather slight account of a now long ago encounter with the reclusive actress. More an anecdotal essay than a book (which can be read in under 10 minutes), "My Afternoon With Louise Brooks" largely fails to deliver. It is short on detail and perspective, and except for the striking cover image, there are no illustrations. The author mentions research and interviews he conducted with Brooks' family and friends - as well as the first chapters he wrote for a planned biography - but they are nowhere to be seen. I would like to read more.  [More info here.]

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Louise Brooks: Her men, affairs, scandals and persona
by Maximillien de Lafayette
Publisher: Times Square Press (May 23, 2011)

This "book" is terrible. It is poorly written, poorly laid out, padded with extraneous material (and lots and lots of white space) and otherwise riddled with innuendo, half-truths and errors. For example, I spotted one image of a Brooks look-alike who isn't Louise Brooks! There is no bibliography or list of sources to support the author's many outrageous claims regarding the actress, but there are numerous images seemingly gleamed from the internet. Where does the author get this stuff from? Or does he make it up? To call this rather slight cut-and-paste e-pub a "hack job" would be to give it too much credit. It's not worth the paper its not printed on.  [More info here.]

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Crazy Rhythm
by Daniel Vian
Publisher: Spectrum Beacon (May 31, 2010)

There is third book out, a work of fiction, which I have purchased but haven't had time to read. It is called Crazy Rhythm: A Novel of Hollywood, by Daniel Vian. Has anyone read it?  [More info here.]

One other recently released ebook - a work of erotic fiction,  Nymph: The Singularity by J.E. Lansing, features a character based on Louise Brooks. 'Nuf said. [More info here.]

4 comments:

  1. RE: Louise Brooks: Her men, affairs, scandals and persona

    "For example, I spotted one image of a Brooks look-alike who isn't Louise Brooks!"

    Don't tell me. It was that Ellen von Unwerth picture of a Brooks lookalike model licking the pearl necklace. I have notified at least ten posters who have posted this picture that it is NOT a picture of Louise. And the results have often been combative in nature. Between that and the Michele Pfeiffer shot it gets frustrating explaining. This book sounds downright sloppy. But it seems like Boswell's Life of Johnson compared to Humphrey Bogart: The Making of a Legend by Darwin Porter. The author just puts words in the actors' mouths. Louise comes out as some loudmouth vulgarian by way of twelve year old nymphomaniac. Maybe the scummiest book that I ever read. Recommended to read for review with severe caveats. Horrid.

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  2. Funny how some folks take it upon themselves to be some kind of tsk tsk morality cop. And spend their lives and long career cranking out detailed and descriptive naughty lies about other people.

    He should probably stick with the space alien thing, or does he make up dirty innuendo about them too?

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  3. It really is bewildering. Nothing heroic can come out of this. Yes, Bogart had a reputation. So did Louise. It has been detailed. But this is an assassination with bent facts. The press that publishes the book (and the other "biographies") has a statement that it blends facts with tabloid sensationalism, but there is not set delineation. We can wait for "Bogart Eats Foot" to appear soon.

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  4. Further thoughts on these two new books at my column on examiner.com at http://www.examiner.com/louise-brooks-in-national/new-louise-brooks-e-books-disappoint

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