Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review: Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History

Hi all,

Are you a fan of movies and stories about celebrities old and new? Can't get enough of those often told stories of celebrities misbehaving? Then you are going to love this new book by Mark Bailey, Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History. It was the title that drew me in (can't ignore an old Bogart line), and the stories kept me reading. I received this novel from NetGalley and Algonquin Books in return for my honest review. So here it is, more about this book full of hilarious stores and my review.


Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History
Mark Bailey

Book Description:

True tales of celebrity hijinks are served up with an equal measure of Hollywood history, movie-star mayhem, and a frothy mix of forty cocktail recipes.

Humphrey Bogart got himself arrested for protecting his drinking buddies, who happened to be a pair of stuffed pandas. Ava Gardner would water-ski to the set of Night of the Iguana holding a towline in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Barely legal Natalie Wood would let Dennis Hopper seduce her if he provided a bathtub full of champagne. Bing Crosby’s ill-mannered antics earned him the nickname “Binge Crosby.” And sweet Mary Pickford stashed liquor in hydrogen peroxide bottles during Prohibition. From the frontier days of silent film up to the wild auteur period of the 1970s, Mark Bailey has pillaged the vaults of Hollywood history and lore to dig up the true—and often surprising—stories of seventy of our most beloved actors, directors, and screenwriters at their most soused.

Bite-size biographies are followed by ribald anecdotes and memorable quotes. If a star had a favorite cocktail, the recipe is included. Films with the most outrageous booze-soaked stories, like Apocalypse Now, From Here to Eternity, and The Misfits, are featured, along with the legendary watering holes of the day (and the recipes for their signature drinks). Edward Hemingway’s portraits complete this spirited look at America’s most iconic silver-screen legends.


My Five Star Review:

Hang on lovers of old and new Hollywood, it's going to be a bumpy ride! As well as some stumbling, passing out, and even law-breaking. But mostly, you are going to laugh out loud at the crazy antics of your favorite Hollywood icons. Love them or hate them, the Hollywood bunch sure know how to have fun, and in Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History, you get to hear about some of their most memorable drunken times. Bogie and his pandas, Sinatra and his toupee, how directors loved to drive their actors crazy and how actors loved driving the studios insane. It's all here. Stories of the stars and their favorite beverages as well as their hangouts.

As a lover of old Hollywood, I couldn't wait to dive into this book telling stories of celebrities from the silent era on up. Some stories I had heard before from reading biographies of celebrities, and others I had not. Many made me laugh out loud. From its inception and throughout the 40s, 50s and even 60s, Hollywood was a wild place, (still is) and the stars seemed like children no one could tame. Drunk children. But you can't help but laugh at some of the stunts they pulled. The author also tells stores from the sets of top movies as well as all the famous hangouts, old and new. And to top it off, recipes of some of the celebrities favorite drinks are included.

I really enjoyed this book. It was amusing and entertaining. I'd recommend it to anyone who has a passion for fun stories from Hollywood.

(I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Algonquin Books in exchange for my honest review.)


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