I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.1930s Hollywood: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Vol. 1 by Frank N. Brathwaite
Published by Outskirts Press on September 4th 2013
Source: ARC from publisher
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30s Hollywood has been covered in great detail over the decades. In spite of this, 1930s- Hollywood The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Vol. 1 provides a concentrated review of what made the decade stand out as a winner. Vol. 1 focuses on Tinseltown's highs and lows throughout a turbulent period in America's history. On the backdrop that was the Great Depression, Hollywood was able to deliver the goods to a society that had just about given up. The "movies" were the only form of cheap entertainment that provided escapism for the millions of distressed and temporarily displaced people across the country. The volume also delves into the lives of two charismatic individuals whose talents, smarts, and overall appeal changed the history of the cinema forever. Plus the book compatibly covers a topic that remains as omnipresent as it was back then, Gossip! Inside, readers will get a quick case study on the origins of the "fan magazine" and how it evolved into the conglomerate of entertainment based publications, via on-line media outlets that we all are fortunate to have with us today. In modern times, many are still interested in showbiz and celebrities. It's the reason Hollywood is a billion dollar industry. Nonetheless, fascination with celebs began long ago during Hollywood's silent days. Vols. 2 and 3 completes the trilogy. Demand will bring these volumes to the marketplace expediently in the near future.
This book was pretty all right. It was informative. I liked the presentation. The first section is short summaries of news articles throughout the decade. The middle section is all about Frank Capra. The last section is about Shirley Temple. I recognized some names, but didn’t know most. Still, it inspired me to check out a few old movies. I had already been familiar with Shirley Temple (I basically idolize her) so it was cool to read about how she became so famous. And reading about Capra’s movies made me want to watch them—some of which I’d heard of but never genuinely considered watching before.
So that’s content. As for writing style, there are a few more issues. Firstly, I don’t think this book was edited. There were many mistakes. Typos, bad grammar (some sentences I couldn’t make heads nor tails of), and things like saying “temporally” instead of “temporarily.” Also, some phrases were used wrongly and confusingly. He also managed to repeat a lot of information to the point where it was annoying. And he skipped around a lot. For instance, in the sections on the people, we’d get mini-biographies of similar people at random times. I’d think, “All I really want to hear about is Capra (or Temple), not these other people. At least not this much on these other people.” And the section with the news articles were confusing as well, because often phrases were used and I wasn’t sure if they were part of the original article or the author’s insertion. They sounded like the former, but I wasn’t sure.
So I think the choice of content was good, presentation was good, writing not so good. But I did like it, I liked learning new things and being inspired to watch and properly appreciate old movies.
reaction upon finishing
I love Shirley Temple!
this book in one word