Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Hollywood Stories

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review - Hollywood Stories

About the BookAfter collecting literally hundreds of vintage tales of Hollywood legends over the years, Stephen Schochet not only wrote a book that everyone could enjoy on the glamorous, and not so glamorous, stories of Hollywood icons, but also created audiobooks.  As explained in an interview with Reuters, this entrepreneur told two kinds of stories on his tour bus; origin stories – telling how things we take for granted came to be, and funny anecdotes.  He not only read a lot of books to find his material, but also tried to meet people who were connected to the famous – like housekeepers – that he could garner some tidbits from!  His book is a special blend of biography, history and legends and covers scandalous yarns on some of Hollywood’s greatest characters – from Shirley Temple and Lucille Ball to Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney and Michael Jackson.
Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! (Hollywood Publishing) is packed with wild and wonderful short tales on many famous stars, movies and directors – anyone who has been a part of the world’s most fascinating and unpredictable industry!
Schochet is also the author and narrator of two audiobooks. The first is Tales of Hollywood which started as a way to highlight the origins of how famous things in Hollywood began, combined with humorous tales about the stars - for which he masterfully provided background music and sound effects to add realism.  The second project, Fascinating Walt Disney, was a huge hit – telling stories of how Walt created Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, Snow White and all his endearing characters, causing the host of one radio show to dub Schochet ‘The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard.’The author covers the gamut when it comes to situational stories; from the one about a bus full of tourists at Universal Studies who were viewing the famous motel from the movie Psycho and who screamed in terror as a tall man, dressed in drag, carrying a large knife and looking remarkably like Norman Bates, charged the tram with a convincing maniacal expression– only to find out it was actor Jim Carrey having some fun - to the story of how Walt Disney overprotected his two daughters from the limelight in fear of their being kidnapped, to the point that when one daughter found out from a classmate that her father was THE Walt Disney, she went home and asked for his autograph!
Hollywood Stories truly has something for everyone.  It is a thoroughly entertaining book that features a remarkable cast of Hollywood’s legendary characters and icons and is jam-packed with surprising and funny tales with often unpredictable endings.  No matter which page the book is opened on, there will be some fascinating part of Hollywood history to be savored!

Please read the LA Times article at:,0,3645826.story and check out his website:: to read the many reviews on his book.
Stephen Schochet is willing to do in-studio interviews as well as on location at famous Hollywood sights, such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Chateau Marmont Hotel, etc.; places that will serve as the perfect backdrop to some of his best stories.

My Take on the BookWho isn't intrigued by the lives of the stars. Whether they are television or movie stars, small or large, they tend to live larger than life and draw us into their lives via vicariousness. While I hate to say it, I have even been drawn in every now and again, though I try and stay away from the lewd acts and scandalous relationships and breakups (too much drama). This book takes all of this to the next level. With the fact that this author truly knows what he is talking about, he shares his past experiences being a tour guide into a book.

I loved the stories that he shares, and the book is set up as such that you could start the book almost anywhere and be able to find a new section and start with it, or, if not, you could at least start a new story.

Because the book is set up as I mentioned, it was very easy to read, and even if you set it down, picking it up was easy to do and the text was very engaging.

With stories of stars including those of Chaplin, Bill Murray, Ridley Scott, Forest Whitaker, Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, John Ford, Clint Eastwood, Walt Disney, Gene Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Peter O'Toole, nd even leonard Nemoy, this book has them all.  in Ireland story!), a Miscellaneous section, and a Leading Men and Leading Women Lore section (a long piece on Ronald Reagan and so much more).

If you are interested at all in a glimpse into the lives of the stars, this book is for you! You will not want to set it down, nor will others who you share the book with.

If you would like this book for your own home you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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