A Stranger in the Mirror


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Sidney Sheldon
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Literature and Fiction
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5 out of 5

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In his prime, Sidney Sheldon was one of the world's best authors. He penned two masterpieces-this book, and "The Other Side of Midnight," which deserves its own review coming soon. This book is about oldtime Hollywood, from just after World War II to the final days of the '60s. Toby Temple is the best thing to come out of Detroit since Joe Louis. He represents no real comedian, but he incorporates the best of all the big names of the day. Jill Castle is a Texas bimbo who, in a sane world, wouldn't be allowed near Toby Temple. But Hollywood isn't sane now, and it sure as hell wasn't sane in those days. At least back then, the fruits and nuts had to hide their fruitiness and nuttiness. Now, thanks to scandal sheets like the "Enquirer," and garbage TV like "Access Hollywood," everything is right up front, whether you want it there or not. Here they are with their masks off-good, bad and indifferent Hollywood people. The agent, writers, stooges and hangers-on who build Temple into a superstar can't protect him from Jill-who is both his destiny and his fate at the same time. Like Joe Louis and Babe Ruth, he gathered "yes men" like a ship collects barnacles, and his end is up there with the final days of Ruth or louis. Nobody has come close to writing a Hollywood book like this one. Not even "Hollywood Wives," is in the same league. There was a reason why-his wife had been something of a Hollywood personage once upon a time. After "The Other Side of Midnight," Sheldon's work became too girly and formulaic to give serious attention to. So read these two and love them.