The name “Hollywood” conjures up fantastical images of bright lights, glamorous dreams, and impossible riches. From its humble beginnings as a ranch sprawling northwest of Los Angeles in the late 1800s, Hollywood has spanned lifetimes as a factory of dreams, a dazzling place where all things are possible.
This collection of stories takes you on a journey into the golden age, illuminating the space between the airy fantasy and the gritty reality of life in Hollywood. In a transient city where nothing lasts, thousands of stories have taken place in their time here. From the offscreen debauchery of the silent era, to countless dramatic and mysterious deaths, to the sinister past lives of world-famous LA landmarks, vestiges of Hollywood’s checkered past can still be found all over the city.
With generations of Tinseltown’s luminaries living and working under the sunny guise of paradisal prosperity, their real stories reveal the sordid underbelly lurking directly beneath the surface. A dangerous collusion between the studios, the press, the mob, and the LAPD forms an impenetrable behind-the-scenes network of corruption, power and control, where the truth is always up for sale. A network in which the most glamorous and well-known figures are merely players in this elaborate charade. It’s magical and gritty, it’s ugly and dirty, it’s the land of dreams...it’s Hollywood.
A native of sun-bleached Los Angeles, Andrea Van Landingham grew up surrounded by L.A. stories. Her love of Hollywood lore dates back to her teen years, when the discovery of classic cinema led to a small collection of films - a collection that continues to expand today. Andrea’s fondest memory from those early years is riding the metro into Hollywood on weekends, exploring the locations where her favorite stars had long before worked and played.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
This book was quite interesting. My father grew up in the 30s and I spent my childhood in the 70s and teen years listening to his stories about the scandals and people mentioned in this book. It was interesting to get more in-depth looks into the stories I heard when I was younger.
This was a great collection of classic Hollywood true stories. The golden era of Hollywood and the studio system. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
This is a group of stories about the other side of Hollywood, telling the genuine story of those who worked and played there. It goes back to the earliest days of Tinseltown and covers many famous scandals and mysterious deaths that are still questioned by current readers. Many were handled by Hollywood fixers who would sanitize the scene of the crime before police were called, removing anything scandal worthy. Bribes were routinely given to officials to make stories and legal problems disappear. Most are well known stories but there are some that are less common. Those I liked the most, as I’ve read the others multiple times through the years. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Andrea Van Landingham, and the publisher.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this collection of true stories regarding several old time Hollywood cases. The detail presented is like none other I've come across. i learned a lot. I highly recommend this book. It's not only full of details I hadn't heard before, it's also excellently written. I couldn't put it down and I was sad when it was over. I'd love to hear more from this author.
Hollywood Horrors sets out in an extremely readable and enjoyable format the scandals that rocked glamorous old Hollywood. The chapters start with the silent film stars and take in everyone from the Dohenys to Loretta Young to Thelma Todd to Errol Flynn to Jean Harlow to Mickey Cohen to Lana Turner ending with Elizabeth Taylor herself. Each of these glamorous stars is brought to life by the crisp writing as the scandals unfold around them. Even if you don’t know anything about these characters other than their names, you won’t be disappointed.
A well researched and interesting chronicle of Hollywood’s hay day. Dating back to its infancy from silent films through the days of bright lights, beautiful stars and glamour, I was dazzled by stories of numerous scandals, crimes, murders and the ‘underbelly’ of this iconic Tinseltown of celebrity. The studios hiring of ‘fixers’ handled the scandals and crime scenes with speed and precision long before the authorities arrived on the scene. With names like Thelma Todd, Errol Flynn,, Elizabeth Taylor and Loretta Young, Andrea Van Landingham keeps the reader engaged with writing that is crisp, clean and addictive. Highly recommended.
This is a fun book for readers who want an introduction to the most famous Hollywood scandals, murders, and a variety of other crimes. There’s a good amount of detail but little that hasn’t appeared elsewhere first…. “Tinseltown” already covered most of this ground. For the most part, mysteries remain mysteries in this book (the Black Dahlia murder was most plausibly solved by Steven Hodel). If you are new to this genre, you will find that Hollywood Horrors whets your appetite for more.
Was I pleasantly surprised by this book! I used to gobble up everything on silent movies and Hollywood in general. I really wasn't expecting to read anything more than I've read in the past but thought it would be a fun read. Was I mistaken. Hugely. There was all kinds of information I did not know about in just about every case in this book. I read this in just a few hours. Couldn't read fast enough. I will be purchasing this copy of this book I highly recommend.
On a whim, I requested Hollywood Horrors by Andrea Van Landingham because I enjoy reading about old Hollywood. The stories of the past really give you a sense of the history of Los Angeles and the people and celebrities, both famous and infamous, who populate it. At first, though, I wondered if this was merely a tabloid book with seedy stories quickly rendered. So not accurate. This beautifully written book engages the reader with vivid descriptions of days gone by and the tawdry tales hiding behind the silver screen. Even if you already knew some of the stories, it draws you in and keeps you reading. Of course, you'll hear about famous cases like the Black Dahlia and the Fatty Arbuckle story but other less known stories come to light. It's exciting to wonder what will come up next and fathom how these stories would turn out in today's world. With rampant social media, you know these unseemly crimes may result in very different outcomes. When I finished the book, I wanted more, but the last chapter's story ends in the mid-1960s. I feel there could be more to uncover, maybe in a future edition. Also, maybe a continuation leading up to more contemporary cases like the O.J. Simpson case, for example, or the Phil Spector case. My only issue with this book was that it abruptly ends without any type of epilogue or summary of Hollywood and the crime stories that seeped through its sunny exterior. Anyway, this was an enjoyable read for anyone who loves old Hollywood. It was well-worth the time I spent on it.
This was a fun, interesting read about the sordid past of Hollywood. I'd heard about some of these stories, but many were new to me, as were the people the stories were about. I hadn't realized how much corruption and cover-up law enforcement was responsible for back then. I loved reading the history and really liked that the author added addresses several times so the reader not only knows where the events happened, but what is at the address now. Loved the photos at the end of the sections too.