Monday, October 3, 2022

Book Review: It's Alive by Julian David Stone

Book Review

It’s Alive 

A Novel

Julian David Stone


 Book Description:


For readers of F.Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon and Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run.

The only thing harder than raising the dead, is making a movie about raising the dead.

In the summer of 1931, life was good for Junior Laemmle. Though only twenty-three years old, he was the head of all movie production for Universal Pictures, and under his reign, the studio flourished. So much so, he was about to be bestowed with the greatest honor a young executive can receive in Hollywood: a promotion to vice president of the entire company. What’s more, Carl Laemmle, his father and founder of the studio, was returning to California for the first time in years to personally present the honor to his son.

Or so Junior thought.

When his father arrives, Junior discovers that instead of being grateful for transforming and catapulting the out-of-date studio into the future, his father is obsessed with Junior’s next production: 
Frankenstein. Like the year before, Carl is fervently against making another grisly and gothic film, despite Dracula becoming a huge hit—a project which Junior fought for and personally oversaw through production. Also not helping Junior’s cause, though the film is just days away from beginning production, the final choice between Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff to play the role of the Monster, has yet to be made.

It’s Alive!
 is a thrilling and vibrant portrait of 1930s Hollywood centered around the chaotic and exciting days just before the filming of the beloved cult-classic film, Frankenstein. Woven with hopeful passion, emotional vulnerability, staunch determination, and creative fulfillment, readers will be swept along with breathless cinematic pace through events that will not only change the lives of everyone involved, but Hollywood itself.


Genre: Biographical Fiction


My 5-Star Review:

Imagine - if it hadn’t been for the persistence of young Junior Laemmle—the son of the owner of Universal Pictures but not yet able to make decisions for the company—Frankenstein the movie would never have existed. For those of us who grew up loving these old classic horror movies, that would be hard to believe. But it’s true, and author Julian David Stone shares with us, in his fictional recreation, the days leading up to the making of Frankenstein.


Even with the success of Dracula behind him, Junior still must fight tooth and nail to produce Frankenstein. Success for many hangs in the balance as Junior pushes through his project despite not getting the go-ahead. Boris Karloff waits with bated breath, and only pennies in his pocket, for the okay to play the monster while Bela Lugosi cringes at the thought of being forced to play the monster. The author shows through several real-life characters the angst they felt up until the final decision, which makes the reader turn pages in anticipation. A wonderful story for those who enjoy the old horror flicks and great background on a beloved old film. If you are an old-movie buff or just a lover of Hollywood sagas – you will enjoy this novel.


Buy Now:

Amazon Kindle or Paperback



About the Author:

Julian David Stone has always been a creative at heart. When he realized in the ’80s that being in a band wasn’t in his cards, he began smuggling his camera into concerts – adventures he later chronicled in his best-selling coffee table book No Cameras Allowed: My Career As An Outlaw Rock & Roll Photographer. He moved to Los Angeles in his 20s to study filmmaking and wrote screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony and MGM, as well as a full-length play (The Elvis Test) and several short-form documentaries on Frank Sinatra for Warner Bros. He is also the writer and director of the cult comedy feature film Follow the Bitch. His award-winning debut novel, The Strange Birth, Short Life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl, centers on the world of ’50s live television and is currently being turned into a TV series. His latest work, the historical fiction novel It’s Alive, is a vibrant portrait of 1930s Hollywood centered around the chaotic and exciting days just before the filming of the beloved classic film Frankenstein.