October 26, 2011

Review : The Hollywood Book of Breakups by James Robert Parish

Title : The Hollywood Book of Breakups
Author : James Robert Parish
Reading Dates : 31 Aug - 14 Sep 2011
The Hollywood Book of Breakups
From Amazon :
"Half of all marriages end in divorce--and then there are the really unhappy ones."
--Joan Rivers

Do you suppose that the person who first said "Life is stranger than fiction" might have had Hollywood marriages in mind? Why watch a romantic film starring a leading man and a leading lady when their real-life romances are so much more interesting? It seems that a celebrity's latest film can have a considerably longer life span in the theater than his or her marriage du jour.

One would almost think that Tinseltown has come to embrace divorce as an accepted pastime. Some celebrities have seemingly collected spouses over the years, systematically adding notches in their belts of divorces. Cases in point: Zsa Zsa Gabor (nine), Lana Turner (eight), Elizabeth Taylor (nine), and Mickey Rooney (eight). This list appears to make Jennifer Lopez a mere novice with only three marriages, two divorces, and one terminated engagement to date.

In The Hollywood Book of Breakups, James Robert Parish looks at scores of hot Hollywood romances that eventually fell apart. From the decade-long union of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to the "just-for-show" nuptials of Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates to the four-and-a-half-year marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to the "other woman" divorce of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Parish covers it all--from the burning embers to the fizzling fires of Hollywood breakups. You couldn't make this stuff up--and James Robert Parish doesn't need to. Hollywood writes its own drama when it comes to scandalous breakups.

Book Review of The Hollywood Book of Breakups.

Whatever I was expecting from The Hollywood Book of Breakups, this wasn’t it. The book reads like a series of short stories with little insight into the characters or elaboration into the details, and most importantly, is BORINGly repetitive.

While I rarely read non-fiction books, and have certainly never picked up one like The Hollywood Book of Breakups, I admit that I was expecting some sort of tittillating exposé into the lives of famous celebrities. Instead, the book describes little more than the facts as it continues to repeat the same cycle over and over again. After the 4th or 5th couple’s retelling, the book became so excruciatingly boring that I’m amazed I even managed to finish it. I doubt very much that I’ll be repeating the experience.

Still, whether the book is interesting or not, would depend on reader expectations. My problem is probably because the people in the book, real though they may be, are not people I understand. Without that, reading about so many couples who seem to be repeating each other’s mistakes is hardly interesting for me.

This is simply not my cup of tea.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Definitely not.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? No.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Not really. This isn't my cup of tea, so I can't imagine which readers would be interested.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

Books alluded to :

My LifeMy Life in High HeelsAs Time Goes By : The Life of Ingrid BergmanPrime Time a NovelMommie DearestLa Cousine BetteMy Mother's Keeper / B. D. HymanWhat Falls AwayHOW TO CATCH A MAN.....Rock Hudson: His StoryI'm with the Band: Confessions of a GroupieMy Point...And I Do Have OneThe Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Oprah's Book Club)Debbie: My Life: Debbie: My Life


  1. Hollyweird is just that---weird. I don't know that I want to read about all their breakups since I don't think many of them live with real expectations.

  2. @Felicia
    Yup ... I probably should have realized if I'd really thought of it ... very depressing stuff.

  3. Hi!
    Why read it when you can see the whole story on t.v. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

    Just Books


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