The man needs no introduction for me, and the varied thoughts from one of the best to ever do it is a great way for me to end the year.
His take on producers is certainly something, but whether it’s his own story or one relayed to him from another within Hollywood’s orbit, it’s always interesting. Not to mention that you get neat little drawings to punctuate each section/chapter.
Even though I took a month of Sundays to read it, we’re only talking 200-ish pages, and as you’d expect from such a master of his craft, it reads as smooth as silk.
Many thanks to NetGalley + Simon and Schuster for the advance read.
Someone once said that an experience we take from watching a stage play is always more profound than watching a movie. Many years ago, I watched a performance of David Mamet's play "Glengarry Glen Ross," which made an impression more potent than any of David Mamet's movies. To this day, I consider his command of the English language and writing style superior.
"Everywhere an Oink Oink" is a mixture of a memoir and essay collection. The author has a vast knowledge of movies and talks a lot about Hollywood, which is, for the lack of a better phrase, the "old Hollywood," with big stars and big names. These were the times when the goal was to please the audience, the majority, while now, according to Mamet, the intention is not to offend the minorities. It's a complex issue, not a fading trend. The picture of our world on a big screen (or a much smaller tablet) is changing to reflect how our streets and communities are changing. We don't live in the world of white men and their power anymore. The movie scriptwriters and producers know it.
My feelings after reading this book are mixed. It's worth reading for encyclopedic knowledge and the style, which reminded me of a conversation that can often be rushed and chaotic. I liked some of Mamet's humorous snippets, such as giving his current favorite line from a forties noir: "I knew your parents before they died." Other times, the jokes he quoted were a bit raunchy for me.
As a director working on a movie set, Mamet is calm and collected according to his words and enjoys the camaraderie. He listens to the actors' remarks but also to the movie team members, who sometimes have the best ideas when faced with a technical issue. I loved his analysis of how a film's method differs from a stage. The film, for Mamet, works as a series of juxtaposed images that convert the plot and feelings; the dialog is secondary.
"Everywhere an Oink Oink" are the engaging musings of one of our writing giants whose convictions might be controversial, as they are for me, but who still has much to say. And he is certainly not shy about doing so.
A short but tedious memoir from David Mamet that I found to be a frustrating reading experience. This is a collection of essays about Mamet's life in the movie-making industry, and memoirs only works for me when I can find some common ground or something to like about the memoirist. I will always and forever love Mamet's movie "The Spanish Prisoner", and other works of his to lesser degrees, but this volume was filled with so many convoluted paragraphs that I kept reading sections to my husband, asking him, "Do you have any idea what Mamet is trying to say here?" (I feel quite sure that Mamet would tell us that we're just not intellectual enough to grasp his pontifications.) There is endless name-dropping, lots of self-congratulating, and the general feeling that Mamet thinks he's always the smartest person in the room. There are flashes of wit and some great observations, but not enough to make up for the rest of the slog. This needs CPR from a ruthless editor. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for a digital review copy.
My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this memoir/ history/screed about Hollywood, adventures in the writing trade, and a world that seems to be living an artist behind, something the writer is not happy about.
One of the few art forms that I have never been into is theater be it dramas, comedies, Broadway, off-Broadway experimental, kindergarten. I have read a lot of plays, but have never really had the bug to see them live, though I love music, love movies, and love words. So my familiarity with the works of David Mamet are more from his writing, movies, and television work, rather than his plays. I enjoyed the Untouchables, loved the Spanish Prisoner and House of Games, and still use lines about producers from the underrated film State and Main with a friend all the time. Everywhere an Oink Oink: An Embittered, Dyspeptic, and Accurate Report of Forty Years in Hollywood is a book that is pretty much summed up in the title, at parts a memoir about Mamet's work in LaLa Land, at times a history of Hollywood, a bit of odd culture warrior whingeing and angry letter to the editor of a local newspaper that comes out once a week.
The book begins with a talk about Hollywood and how it started with filmakers fleeing Thomas Edison's lawyers and goons trying to keep control of the new medium of making movies, The west had the weather, and the lack of controls, so filmmakers could be the robber barons they so wanted to be. Mamet describes the levels in Hollywood, Producers with the money schemes and couches, Agents who might do work for the pay. Readers get stories about Mamet, getting a job by pushing a friend to recommend him, and a lot of old stories on Hollywood's forgotten past. Scandals, rip-offs, and faded stars and dreams. These stories are quite interesting and very well written, along with an essay about racism in Hollywood that really makes one wonder what people were thinking. However balancing this out is what can only be called a lot of of Old Man Yells at Cloud, to quote the Simpsons sections, that seem to be injected randomly not to trigger, more to confuse.
A memoir that is about Hollywood and seems like a Nolan film. Not really following a narrative, moving from past to present, to rambling about COVID for a phrase, not a sentence just a phrase, and moving on. The history and tales of stars the Mamet have met are very good, a story about Sean Connery is surprisingly touching, as one wouldn't have expected it from Connery. Discussions about old directors, older actors, some known, some lost in the nitrate of film history, are really good. However the writing, even with all the big words seems choppy. I don't think Shel Silverstein is mentioned in the book without the words my friend before it on every occasion. Weird lines about a constitutionalist appear, with nothing else to explain why. There are some snaps at people who gave him grief and trouble, but others remain nameless. When the book is on, Mamet really is good, the Hollywood history is fascinating, as well as some of the making of his films. But the book really needed an editor, which I am sure Mamet would have threatened, or just a little James Ellroy removing every other word, even though the book is kind of slim. I am omitting the cartoons and odd Granddad jokes too, as I only remembered they were they when I saw the cover, as they don't add anything to the story, and further the idea of yelling at clouds plot line.
Recommended for fans of Mamet and Hollywood history, with the proviso this isn't his best work, nor a real memoir as I don't remember much about his stage work coming up, except in a discussion about the great Ricky Jay. Some essays were quite good, some were quite something, but while I was sometimes confused, I was never bored.
Thanks, Simon & Schuster and Netgalley, for the arc!
I've studied Mamet in theatre school. I enjoy watching his plays performed. EVERYWHERE AN OINK OINK is my first foray into his memoir writing. Sadly, though, I'm not a fan. So much so that I couldn't even finish it because the writing is circles of gibberish with a coherent thought and random comment here or there. This surprised me so much because it shows none of the beauty of his plays - those came from this mind?
Maybe you have to be a Mamet superfan to like this? But what I read of it made me lose respect and like him less than I already had, and I only knew of him as a playwright, not as anything else. I think it needs a strong editor. I was excited to hear stories of Hollywood through the years but received only nonsense - quite the disappointment.
David Mamet has written some of the greatest dialogue ever to appear on stage or screen, but that doesn't necessarily translate to prose. Why did he write this book? To provide (as he says) "salacious gossip posing as information"? I think not. While some bits are mildly entertaining, I suspect it really comes down to the fact that we are human, and as humans we dream, and when we dream we dream of money. Mamet said that, too. Dog my cats indeed.
In EVERYWHERE AN OINK OINK, script writer David Mamet says that a movie is just a series of juxtaposed scenes. It seems he thinks that’s what a book is, too. Lines are “juxtaposed” illogically with preceding and following lines. Paragraphs are set above and below other paragraphs that have nothing at all to do with one another. Forget about trying to trace the point of each essay/chapter: There isn’t one.
If the writing itself wasn’t atrocious, Mamet’s attitude is. He has no problem telling you who the best/funniest actors/writers/directors are, and who the worst/lousiest are. Everyone who ever fired him from a project or dared to question his script was an idiot. He thinks diversity in Hollywood is a joke and that women apart from Audrey Hepburn are good for nothing but serving as the butt of sexist jokes.
The title is the best part of Mamet’s “book.”
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC!
In his new book "Everywhere an Oink Oink," author and playwright David Mamet provides an unvarnished look into filmmaking, brimming with some great inside baseball anecdotes about the people and culture of Hollywood. With the signature acerbic wit that characterizes his plays, Mamet takes no prisoners, complaining about the silliness of the ascension of politically correct Hollywood. I may not have agreed with all of the political views expressed throughout, but I was always thoroughly entertained.
Thank you to NetGalley and to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.
I have a feeling only the most diehard David Mamet fans will enjoy, or even understand, this book. I'd hoped for a straightforward account of living in Hollywood—meeting huge celebs like Jack Nicholson, dealing with the dolt studio executives, etc. —as the book description promised. Instead, this there is so much word salad here that many times I had zero idea what Mamet was talking about (I'm sure he would just tell me that I'm not intellectual enough for his rants).
However, then there would be flashes of the wit and sensibility that made Mamet so successful. I'd sit up, thinking, "Ah ha! NOW he's going to enlighten and entertain!" but then it would all slide backwards into word salad again.
I think a very strong, very brave editor was needed, but who is going to stand up to David Mamet and tell him his writing is incomprehensible? The whole point of the book is David insisting that his writing is genius and those who get it are stupid plebeians.
I just reviewed Everywhere an Oink Oink by David Mamet. #NetGalley Thank you David Mamet, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this memoir in exchange for an honest review.
Unreadable, incoherent rants from an angry, bitter man. I regret having requested this ARC, because now I'm going to have to pretend that David Mamet died 20 years ago in order to ever enjoy watching any of his past films again in my lifetime. I would only recommend this book to people I hate.
Literate and fascinating a bitter but funny polemic against the stupid people running the movie business(and there seem to be plenty of them). Mamet displays an encyclopedic knowledge of film and literature and gossip. Definitely worth your time.. Read it.
Truth in subtitles: David Mamet is not kidding about the embittered and dyspeptic parts. In this unconventional memoir, Mamet the playwright/screenwriter/director/curmudgeon doesn't offer up many stories about breaking into the business or writing THE VERDICT or THE UNTOUCHABLES. He'd rather deliver a series of obscure lectures about Art and Commerce punctuated by ancient jokes; if you get the punchlines, maybe you get the point. There are flashes of insight - "Trivia is gossip without malice," some lovely reminiscences of Danny DeVito, an instructive lesson on gift-giving - but all too often the book veers toward incomprehensibility. Even Mamet's grumbles about diversity campaigns and the general humorlessness of younger generations can be difficult to parse. Conversely, the cartoons are obvious and only occasionally funny.