A Hollywood Life

A Hollywood Life

by David Freeman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Screenwriter and novelist Freeman ( A Hollywood Education ) writes with authority, revealing the inside scoop on Hollywood--and one Tinseltown denizen--through the eyes of ex-screenwriter Gabe Burton. When famous actress Carla Tate's body is found washed up on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., Gabe (Carla's friend, biographer-to-be and sometime lover) pieces together her whole, affecting history. Drawing on what she has told him and what he has observed, he fashions a reflective memoir. Born Karen Teitel, of a meek mother and a father whose lofty schemes are always unsuccessful, Carla appears in her first movie at the tender age of five days; a few years later she is the child star of a popular movie series. In her late teens, she gains the guidance and love of powerful lawyer and Hollywood insider Jack Markel, 30 years her senior and married. Their passionate affair outlasts her three marriages and ends only with her death. Despite years of immersion in the shallow and manipulative world of movie-making, Carla remains a smart and good person--although far from spirited. Although diminished by glib observations meant to be insightful, Freeman's sympathetic tale seems to get at the truth behind a life spent on screen. First serial to Journal of the Writers' Guild of America, West. (July)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Screenwriter Freeman tries his hand at a fictional biography of a ``legendary'' movie star, Carla Tate, from her days at age seven as an MGM child star to her Natalie Wood-like death at age 39 in a yachting accident. The story is told in flashback after her death (like The Barefoot Contessa ) by, what else, a screenwriter, lately turned completion bond salesman. Freeman jaunts through four decades of Hollywood history with pleasingly authentic detail; but some of this serious-toned book is as surfacey as its perfunctorily explicit sex. The chief problem is that Carla herself, a blend of some familiar faces, just isn't all that interesting or cliche-free. A nice try, but disappointing from the man who wrote A Hollywood Education ( LJ 7/86).-- David Bartholo mew, NYPL

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Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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