Cover Image: Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending

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Member Reviews

I want to thank NetGalley for a copy of this book. I found this book very engaging from start to finish. I enjoyed the chronological telling, which allowed the biography of Harvey Weinstein to unfold before the most recent history we are all more knowledgeable about was presented. The biography of Harvey Weinstein was an interesting journey into film history, and also the understanding of how movies get made. I learned quite a bit from that portion of the book. As the book began to unfold describing his subsequent arrest, trial, and conviction it became a real courtroom drama. I also learned a lot about how the legal system handles sex crimes. Overall, a very comprehensive history that felt robust in its research and was well sourced. One star deduction simply for the (at times) dull courtroom transcripts portion.

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Really fascinating reporting about a saga that changed the world works that gets lost in the attempt to figure out a man who cannot be figured out. And so long. So So long. way too long. I felt like this book leaned toward being a textbook for someone who wanted an exhaustive account of the whole thing rather than someone interested in the topic, if that makes sense.

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Very big book to tackle. I think Auletta did a good job of giving credit to Weinstein for the work he did in the movie industry while also considering the fact that even without the sexual abuse allegations, he was a pretty terrible boss. The evidence was laid out pretty clearly and without hearing Harvey's side as he never spoke at trial or anything, I think the evidence was presented in a fair manner.

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Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP The Penguin Press, Penguin Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

Where do I begin... This book is really well written. Ken Auletta has put this book together very well .so we can see how far back Harvey Weinstein and his debauchery goes.

This story is about more than Weinstein though. It talks about the beginning of Mirimax films , and Harveys relationship to his mother and his brother. You can also see how he was enabled to prey on women and exploit them. This was a really hard book to read, but it was also a page turner. There were a lot of things that are really unbelievable in this book, but one thing we now know is what a disgusting person Weinstein is.

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I struggled with this book. Not because it wasn't well-written, but because the subject matter it discusses is difficult to address. I won't say it made me see things in a different light, but it did make me acknowledge things in a deeper way. It's a good book with plenty of evidence and sources to back up the claims it makes.

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Ugh. What a horrid human being. That being said, the author did such a great job researching and clearly communicating Weinstein's history of sexual assault. At times, it was hard to read, and always left me wondering how someone could get away with this behavior for so long.

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Lord knows we’ve all heard just about enough of the movie mogul and convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. Or have we?

Newspapers, magazines, and television programs in the last five years have given us a depressing blow by blow account of the disgraced movie maker’s horrid crimes against women, but this new book by New Yorker writer Ken Auletta shows us what we were missing: context.

In the hands of a great magazine writer like Auletta, we suddenly realize that what we know about Weinstein really was just skimming the surface. In this book that he always wanted to write—Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence—Auletta finally unravels the secrets he was trying to unearth 20 years ago when he did a major takeout on Weinstein and his Miramax Company for the New Yorker.

Back then, Auletta had heard the rumors about Weinstein’s beastly and criminal sexual behavior that eventually exploded into the public consciousness, but Auletta was too early. Weinstein’s victims were just not ready to talk, or they still were silenced by non-disclosure agreements. Eventually, thanks to a pair of New York Times journalists and Ronan Farrow, the women did talk.
It must have been galling for Auletta to watch as others realized the story he had tried to write. But now he’s back with a detailed and all-encompassing history of the Weinstein brothers and their film company Miramax. In outlining their successes and Harvey’s out of control appetite for money and sex, Auletta unearths the ultimate creation story of how this sexual predator was able to operate.

The failure of Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s father to achieve dreams of owning his own great company combined with their mother Miriam’s screaming and temper tantrums, play a large role in who Harvey ultimately became. Bob Weinstein had his own issues but seems to have avoided becoming quite as profligate as Harvey.

What’s surprising is how little Harvey tried to hide his larger than life excesses. His employees came in for a lot of abuse even outside the sexual realm. He was a bully of the first order. A woman who worked for the Weinsteins for 10 years is quoted by Auletta as saying, “We used to say of his home, ‘They must have done a number on those kids.’”

Auletta goes on quote another person familiar with Harvey: “Shocked by Harvey’s behavior, a former intimate conceded, ‘He’s like someone who’s been raised by wolves.”

But Auletta concedes that not everything can be blamed on the Weinstein boys’ parents. He falls back on that truism of philosophy: “Character is destiny.” Auletta writes that Harvey could never tame his four demons: his ferocious rage, his predatory sexual compulsions, his promiscuous spending, and his relationship with younger brother Bob.

This account is filled with the details that all those news stories left out. Not only how the Weinstein brothers rose to power but also the fact that Harvey had a gift for storytelling that few film executives possessed. Credit to Auletta for showing us that Harvey was not only a beast. There was a reason he rose to the top of the filmmakingranks—he loved movies and knew a great script when he read one. He was also nicknamed “Harvey Scissorhands” for editing out the excesses in a director’s original cut and largely making it better.

Their home life was a horror show, but it filled the Weinstein brothers with an unquenching desire to become somebodies and not merely employees as they saw their father. They went to college in Buffalo and soon become extremely successful concert promoters in that city. They were there in the ’70s—the dawn of the golden age of rock concerts—and through competitiveness and sheer willpower, were able to control the scene in that city.

But they always saw themselves in another even more glamorous medium. Bob Weinstein was tasked with figuring out a way to segue into the brothers’ true love—movie making—and he did. Bob Weinstein comes in for quite a bit of admiration from Auletta for his behind-the-scenes manipulation and competitiveness. In this book, Bob Weinstein is perhaps finally given his due.

All the while, Auletta’s easy style of magazine writing is on display here, and it seems effortless, which, to anyone who’s ever tried writing for magazines, it is decidedly not. This is a pro’s pro we’re reading here, and it shows. There is anecdote after anecdote and detail piled upon detail, but the writing never sags. It soars! One cannot wait to pick up the book again to continue reading.

As for the not-so-secret-secret hovering over Harvey all those years, Auletta lets us in on the reason he feels it continued for so long: “Harvey’s movies wowed critics and made money,” he writes. “Furthermore, rumors of Harvey’s infidelities were not shocking in a film community where pressuring women for sex was business as usual.
And if members of the community heard that Harvey sexually harassed or chased women—though almost uniformly they would later deny that they had—was this so very out of the ordinary in Hollywood?”

Auletta concludes it was not except that Harvey as usual overstepped even those warped norms. “Rape,” Auletta writes, “was out of the ordinary.”

No matter how much you think you know about Harvey Weinstein, this book will make you realize how much bigger—and more interesting—the story is. One wonders how long it will be before the Weinstein brothers get the full series treatment on a streaming platform.

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Reading this book was eye-opening, fascinating, and terrifying. I could not stop turning the pages, but was left with a gross-information hangover when I finished. Nonetheless, I feel like this is an important book for people to read -- these are egregious accounts of rape, harassment, and mistreatment of women in Hollywood. It is also a FASCINATING look at Miramax for anyone who is interested in film production in the 1990s/2000s. Miramax did things so differently, and so well, bringing more independent films to popular audiences. And yet, there's really nothing good about this story. Not even Miramax, whose employees it is noted are ashamed to discuss or even reveal that they've worked there (on resumes even!). I thought the way Harvey's relationships with various professionals and friends were so interesting -- the amount of abuse they were willing to put up with, and how the threshhold for it interacted with power -- who has it, and how to get more in the film industry. Just a really fascinating book. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and share.

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In-depth, well researched, behind the headlines book about Harvey Weinstein. Disturbing in parts and hard to fathom how he managed to get away with sexually assaulting so many women for so long. Important read.

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The 4 stars are not truly reflective of how I feel having read this book. I did not "really like it." It deserves 4, possibly even 5 stars for being well-written and researched as well as imminently readable despite the horrific subject matter. Harvey Weinstein is a massive commuter train wreck with bodies strewn hither and yon across multiple tracks in every direction with a bullet train bearing down on it with no indication of slowing down. For each Miramax film that I love and adore it seems there is a hellish tale of hostile work environments and sexual assault or harassment that will forever haunt me. But this is the price we pay because bullies don't change their behavior--bullies have to be confronted and stopped--and no one with the power to stop Weinstein wanted to get off that train.

Readers' note: I could not read this book for very long without stepping a way from it. I don't think I know any women who have been harassed and I know several who've been assaulted and it was very triggering.

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First off, let’s get clear on one thing: I feel like I need a shower, or something, after reading Ken Auletta’s book about Harvey Weinstein. Interestingly titled Hollywood Ending, I received a copy of it from Penguin Group/Penguin Press and NetGalley in exchange for this honest review. Mr. Auletta wrote an article for New Yorker Magazine about twenty years ago, back when Harvey was pretty much at the top of his power. Back then, the big revelations were about hw angry and volatile, occasionally violent, Harvey was to many people, including voth his employees and people with whom he was collaborating on projects. Back then, when asked about the rumors/stories about him, Harvey denied everything. Since no one was willing to speak on the record about him, it wasn’t until much later when Mr. Auletta shared his notes with Ronan Farrow, that Farrow’s account (along with work by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor) broke the story wide open. Today, Harvey is in jail (finally))

For anyone who might think this is all rumor and innuendo, the last TWENTY percent is notes and documentation. TBH I was relieved, because after reading that far, I was sick of the whole sordid story. And it isn’t like these revelations really changed things. Auletta himself concludes that “Perhaps “believe women” faces a steep uphill climb.”

Some people think Harvey truly believed that he never raped or sexually abused the 100 or so women who spoke out to say he did just that. Some people think that he was “…a sociopath, unable to comprehend the suffering of others, or to distinguish right from wrong.” For those who think it’s all just gossip, evidence for this story being true is reinforced by one “… of Harvery’s closest childhood friends, Alan Brewer, believes Harvey’s “assaulting of women has less to do with sex than with control, dominance.” And for anyone who might think the activities between him and women were not solely his doing, her is how one of his attorneys describes him: “ “Harvey is a sociopath. He is not someone who thinks he did anything wrong and is burdened by a heavy conscience. He believes that if a woman wants something from him, even if he pins her down and rapes her, he thinks it is a consensual act.” He is making a trade: what he wants in return for what she wants.””

So. He is in jail. Some of us are relieved. Some think “It’s about f&%$ing time. And Ken Auletta is a good storyteller and writer. Four stars.

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