Hollywood Sinnersby Peter Joseph Swanson
Karin Panotchitch, raised on a sheep farm and married off to a drunken loser, finds her way to 1939 Hollywood at the tender age of sixteen. Along the way to stardom, she meets up with Ramon Classic, who with his many brothers is ready for a hostile takeover of MGM, Mama Gravy, the colorful and opinionated proprietor of the run-down Gold Rush brothel, and Sister Agatha… See more details below
Karin Panotchitch, raised on a sheep farm and married off to a drunken loser, finds her way to 1939 Hollywood at the tender age of sixteen. Along the way to stardom, she meets up with Ramon Classic, who with his many brothers is ready for a hostile takeover of MGM, Mama Gravy, the colorful and opinionated proprietor of the run-down Gold Rush brothel, and Sister Agatha, the mysterious nun who seems to turn up every time Karin rides the trolley.
Hollywood history, flying bullets, and big dreams make for a lively story about what happens when a sheep farmer's daughter tries to make her dreams come true.
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This review is of Peter Swanson's Tinseltown Trilogy ~ Hollywood Sinners, The Joan Crawford Murders, and Bad Movies. Some time has passed since I completed the third and final book and I have no excuse for being so slow at posting the review(s). Save only that life has intruded and I did not want to write reviews without being totally engrossed. I wasn't going to take the chance of possibly turning away future readers and/or fans. I also couldn't decide how best to write the reviews, either one at a time or all three in one. So, without further ado, I give you the Ménage à trois: Hollywood Sinners, The Joan Crawford Murders, and Bad Movies. In Hollywood Sinners, I was transported to the glories and horrors of Hollywood in the 30's. I followed Karin from her home on the farm to her marriage with the lunatic drunk into Hollywood where she met Ramon, Mama, Carol, Antonio, Etienne and Sister Agatha. That sounds simple, but in reality, I cringed as she suffered at the hands of the drunk, who got what was coming to him pretty early in the tale. I laughed with her and the conversations she had with others. I imagined waking up beside her in the ditch as a foot long lizard stared at us both. I rode on her coattails as she pursued a dream of making it big and all the experiences that go along with the journey. I won't give it away by saying what happened to Karin and those she came into contact with. However, I will say the journey was quite an enjoyable ride. In The Joan Crawford Murders, I was again sent to Hollywood only this time the setting was the 50's. Instead of Karin, I was now enjoying the city with Joan Crawford. Whatever I thought I knew about Joan was thrown to the side after reading this book. During Joan's comeback production, I was able to see her in a new light as one Joan Crawford drag queen look-a-like is murdered after another. One by one someone is eliminating them and Joan's alcohol and drug induced paranoia had me wondering if she wasn't the psychotic killer. You know, Joan, no not that one...this one, not her...her. In the end, well...no, I can't tell you. Just get the book and read the filming for yourself. Who knows who will be left standing in the end ;) The final book in the trilogy, Bad Movies, was as good if not better than the first two. It had me laughing, cringing, crying, and blushing more than ever as I was thrust into the 70's with Jill in Tinseltown. Jill wishes to be a successful model, however she is naive as to the price she'll have to pay to achieve this goal. The price of bad movie making, a stalking psycho, murders, and natural disasters. All of these make an appearance in Jill's journey to stardom. Not to mention her fleeting, but haunting memories of losing body parts.... In my opinion, these books were a welcomed distraction. Peter made me believe I was in Tinseltown and witnessing everything happening. He made the characters, their dreams and motivations, their struggles and achievements, and the lifestyles believable. The mystery and intrigue had me wondering what was going to happen next. All in all, I enjoyed these three books and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Hollywood Sinners is a 188-page turner containing 11 chapters that brings the 1939 Hollywood scene to life in a breath like no other, Peter Joseph Swanson style. Peter creates a world with a pulse, encapsulating characters so graced and flawed with humanity that they appear to step from the pages into your memory. The mix of reality and the absurd, in a melting pot that every reader can relate to, sets the thrilling pace of this novel. From the moment that Peter introduces Karin Panotchitch, a woman leaving behind her childhood hardships on a sheep farm to chase her dream for stardom, the reader feels the depth of her soul. As the story unfolds, one foiled experience after another, the fortitude of this woman shines like neon in a midnight sky. "I ain't afraid of anybody. I ain't afraid of the devil! I ain't afraid of you! I've known too many devils all my life and they ain't worth the bottom of the outhouse!" Peter carves out the soul of Karin from moments of hunger, pain, fear, excitement, yearning, and ambition. Karin is sweet yet tough, well seasoned yet naïve, which puts her in the middle of some outrageous moments. The reader views an assortment of complexities from the imagery of Peter's creative mind. From bits and pieces of Hollywood memorabilia, to ironic humor, to the madness of bank robberies and shoot outs, to casting couch antics, and beyond. Adding to the liveliness of the action, Peter moves from black and white to many glorious shades as he introduces his colorful characters. Standing out from the crowd, Mama Gravy gains distinction with her candor and unique style of thought. ".Nobody wants to see a Joan Crawford type play a b*tch. Absurd." What do you get when you mix sassafras tea, nylon, cacti, nuns, mobsters, hookers, satire, poignancy, and starlets together? You get lucky! You get Peter Joseph Swanson's HOLLYWOOD SINNERS! I read this book in two days, during which I giggled, got mad, almost cried, and even cursed a time or two. Reading this book is an interactive sport that I would recommend to anyone who really loves life. There are subtle treasures, blatant life realities, truths, lies, and everything you don't expect to find in a book about the fascination motion pictures brought to humanity.
It's been quite a while since a book floored me so, in a really good way of course, but also in a very, very thoughtful way. Hollywood Sinners~by Peter Joseph Swanson ain't at all what you'd expect, kiddos. The beautiful, failing heroin Karin's got more heart and more hutzpa than any other chicklet I've come across in a literary work in a long time. Peter takes her and breathes such an unfailing depth into her, you see her sweet little struggle with herself, her determination to surpass all the convoluted crap that tries hard to trip her up on her quest to become a Hollywood Diva of the late 1930's as she tears it out of an unquestionably sucky past into a future replete with possibilities that somehow always get skewed and trip her up. But this little sweet pea gots balls and pushes on and on and NEVER gives up not ever. She's a definite charachter study in perseverence. Peter brings back to rich and colorful life the 1939 Hollywood. The dioluge is exquisite, decorated in humorous lingual twists that makes you chuckle but also has a certain sharp wit about it that is edged in deep little pockets of sociopolitical commentary that hits you from left field and you go, ahhhhh, and smile. Sharp, witty, crafty, the conversations between the rich and diverse and so alive charachters in thsi book is priceless, absolutely enthrallingly rich, rich, rich! On her quest to divahood we meet the most colorful charachters that hook Karin who becomes CAROL in and hook her up, charachters styled and guttery, bitter and side splitting crack uppy. Mama Gravy, one of the richest charachters in Hollywood Sinners had me in stitches of gutter laughter at every turn of page. Her phraseology and attitude toward life made me grin and made me cringe. Overall, there is no other book in which you will find Tinseltown like THIS, enriched with exquisitely fleshed out charachters that suck you in with their dillemas and their strengths and their very existence, and nowhere else will you find such predicaments as in Hollywood Sinners, predicaments to make you laugh uproriously, shout out loud to guide th charachters so alive on pages, and sometimes your little heart may just skip a beat here and there because a lot of us are shapes of Karin in on way or another. Shootouts, and irony served rich, conversations so true to the swish style lingo of 1939. And my favorite movie princess of the 30's makes an appearance in the sinously jaded beauty of Francis Farmer. Gotta tell you, kiddos, you in't never seen Francislike THIS! And I can tell you this, I will never look at cacti the same way again. ;) And the ending, the ending, should've maybe made me tear up a little bit, but even on those last pages, goddamn, but this girl, my Karin, she got heart and the soul of a survivor, and she made me smile, kind of soft and kind knowing, and feeling all right. Can you tell how much this book made me grin and feel and just throroughly groove on ever page? Maybe I personalized it a little bit and became Karin for a while, maybe cuz she and I kinda maybe share a little bit of past. You gonna feel the same, because we all got a smidgen of Karin Panotchitch in us. As for Peter Joseph Swanson, I gotta tell you this, my friends, the man's got TALENT, and he's got HEART, and if you don't wanna miss out on one the most exceptionally written and thought out literary gems of now, get your copy of HOLLYWOOD SINNERS today and lean back and fall thro
Hollywood Sinners by Peter Joseph Swanson Reviewed by B.L.Morgan 5 Stars When you read as much as I do sometimes you get the feeling that there's not really anything new out there. It was nice to find out that I can still be surprised. From the back cover blurb I thought that this book was going to be a Hollywood crime novel. It was, but it's a whole lot more than that also. Hollywood Sinners is about the adventures and misadventures of Karin Panotchitch(soon to be Carol Pan) who escapes a life of poverty and abuse by running away to Hollywood to become a star. I found this woman's journey to be one of the most originally told tales that I've ever read. In this book you have gangsters, gunfights, hookers, madams, nuns and Hollywood stars. The action and dialogue sparkles. The things that happen to this girl are knee-slapping funny and wildly unpredictable. The thing that most impressed me was how Peter J. Swanson put me in the Hollywood of 1939. The speech patterns he used were incredible. I actually was hearing the voices of old time movie stars as I read Hollywood Sinners. I read for fun and the bottom line is that I had a blast reading this novel. Hollywood Sinners is highly recommended for anyone who wants a fast enjoyable reading experience. Hollywood Sinners was great fun!
I wasn't sure about reading "Hollywood Sinners." It's about Hollywood - not something I'm particularly interested in. But Peter Joseph Swanson's Hollywood turns out to be a strange, exciting and curiously thought-provoking place, and I'm glad I took the time to visit there. "Hollywood Sinners" is not a terribly long book. At 188 pages, it probably didn't matter that I didn't identify with the protagonist, so I started reading without needing to decide where my sympathies lay. Soon I recognized and appreciated the delightful craft in the writing - hardly a spare scene or sentence anywhere. And I noticed a feeling of fable and sense of the surreal that, I suppose, is rather appropriate for a novel set in Tinsel town. Not that Peter's depiction is unreal. But it had never occurred to me beforehand to wonder what Hollywood would be like, just before World War II, or where the sympathies of Americans would lie, not just about the war. I absorbed a feeling for a strange foreign place as I read, and found myself looking through a new lens at the present. Karin's mishaps had me laughing, even as I saw them coming. The sense of timing, as well as the sense of time, is very satisfying to the reader. And, though I couldn't agree with Karin's aims, I could delight in the resonance of her misfortunes. By the end of the novel I was simultaneously pleased and searching back through pages to see what I'd missed. I felt contentedly bemused, and could happily have read further. So maybe I'd better start looking out for the "Joan Crawford Murders" - next in the trilogy.