Of All The Gin Joints by Mark Bailey; Illustrated by Edward Hemingway (4 out of 5)


This was a great, fun little read. The authors go back to the silent screen era of cinema and beyond that. I’d like to see these gents dissect the little miscreants of today’s youth misbehavior squad (Bieber, Cyrus, Minaj, etc) next. Anyway, this was a lot of fun to read. You could set it down and pick it back up hours later, ready to be entertained again. I loved reading about all of the silent film era stars who I wasn’t real familiar with. I felt like I learned some eyebrow raising history lessons, but totally worth it. And fun. Mostly fun.

The authors went through and dissected Hollywood’s movers and shakers (mostly shakers, not stirred). You get a little history of their careers, and a lot of great anecdotes that I’m pretty sure have never been published prior to this. The cocktails are a great added bonus. They tie in with the chapter and the actor/actress that preferred that drink. You also get a great history of Hollywood’s great bars, restaurants, seedy hotels (I never knew Elizabeth Taylor spent six of her honeymoon stays at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and I’ve read tons of biographies of her), behind the scenes of quite a few iconic films that were almost jettisoned by the troublesome behaviors of the drunken stars, and many more surprises. Honestly, I can say I laughed at the sheer gall, not to mention the staying power of the livers of some of these drinking marauders, of some of the stars when they were drunk as a skunk. There are a few sad stories in this collection (Frances Farmer, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard), but plenty of raucous, fun tales as well. I mean, you not only get actors and actresses, but also the other side of the camera, with producers, studio heads, authors, and directors. A well-rounded history of shame, celebrity, and spirits. A hell of a lot of fun, this book. It would also be a great stocking stuffer for cinema fans for the holidays. Throw that in their stocking, and some of their favorite spirits, and voila! instant holiday gift.



~ by generationgbooks on September 9, 2014.

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