From the very first page, Sam Bateman, the protagonist of The Holden Age of Hollywood, reminded me of a hard-boiled detective, a post-modern Philip Marlowe. In fact, Phil Brody's style of writing has been called "neo-noir", a term, I assumed coined to describe this modern-day film-noir type. I loved the snappy dialogue and the footnotes explaining screenwriting jargon and Hollywood "in-jokes" for those of us not in the know.
Only a phenomenal writer could write so many bad script synopses so hilariously well. And Phil Brody is that evil genius. Here's just one example:
"My Date with Minka by Bobby Wickford is an inane comedy about Billy Wackforth’s attempt to score a date with TV/film star Minka Kelly with the help of his good friend Sally Crenshaw. In the end, he goes on the date and mind-bogglingly wins the starlet over, then breaks her heart when he realizes he’s in “serious like” with good friend Sally. Ugh. Surprised it’s not written in crayon."
The Holden Age of Hollywood is a page-turning, tongue-in-cheek look into the often corrupt but sometimes brilliant and frequently overlooked world of cinematic pre-production.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.