Tinseltown by William J. Mann audiobook

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

By William J. Mann
Read by Christopher Lane

Blackstone Publishing 9780062242167
15.92 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true account of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now. In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to uncover the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse group of people who surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount Pictures, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly minted legends, and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate. A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime

A New York Times bestseller

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, October 2014

The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true account of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.

By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to uncover the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse group of people who surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount Pictures, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly minted legends, and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.

A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Sex! Drama! Scandal! If you have the slightest curiosity about the dark purple scars of Hollywood history, this is the go-to book you cannot miss…Epic and fabulous—every page is haunting, every chapter a film noir. I was up all night.” Rex Reed, film critic
“Many readers will come away from this stellar and gripping true-crime narrative utterly convinced by Mann’s solution to the unsolved 1922 gunshot murder of William Desmond Taylor, president of the Motion Pictures Directors Association…With a gift for evocative phrasing (one figure is described as having a face like a ‘living mug shot’), Mann has crafted what is likely to be a true-crime classic.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“While searching for a solution to the sensational crime, Mann masterfully captures the zeitgeist of Hollywood in its early days.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Gripping…Mann expertly juggles the various threads of the narrative to a satisfying conclusion that is sure to please both true-crime and film-history enthusiasts.” Booklist
“William Mann fires on all cylinders in this fascinating real-life crime story that has stumped film fans since 1922. A page-turner with incredible research and prose double boiled, Tinseltown is a whodunit tour de force, revealing the dark heart of Hollywood.” Patrick McGilligan, author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light, an Edgar Award finalist

Reviews

Reviews

by David12 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A new take on an unsolved true crime.

In 1922 a movie director named William Desmond Taylor was murdered in his home, and the case has never been solved. There were many suspects, and over the years there have been various theories as to who actually committed the crime. At the end of the book, the author details who he thinks did it, and explains in detail how he came to his conclusion. The book weaves the stories of performers, directors, studio heads, and many of those on the fringe of show business – blackmailers, con artists, and others, in with the rise of the movie industry, censorship, and changing attitudes about popular culture. This is an area in which I have read much, and I was familiar with most of the performers and even some of the executives in this real life drama. However, there was one major player who I had really no knowledge of at all. One thing that did occur to me as I was listening to it is how fleeting fame is. Most everyone who played a part in this book is forgotten today, except to movie buffs and historians. However, in their day, they were as famous as people such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Adam Sandler, and Taylor Swift are today. How many people will remember them in 90 or so years from now? The book is suspenseful and it really flows well, with the intertwining stories logically presented. The narrator has a very clear and steady voice that is just right for this sort of story. I would recommend this to fans of movies, history, and true crime.
by Rogue Writer 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Hollywood’s Long Tradition of Scandal

I typically avoid books in the history genre but was glad to have stepped outside my preferences for this one. Mann presents this story of Hollywood’s longest unsolved murder in a way that simultaneously utilizes the formats of journalism, historical fiction, and investigate reporting while eschewing all those styles to create one terrific piece of storytelling so apropos of the subject matter. Without resorting to filling in the gaps or creating the thoughts of the players in the murder of film director, actor, and industry spokesman William Desmond Taylor, Mann manages to craftily infuse his narratives with the voices and perspectives of each person about whom he writes. For those who believe that Hollywood, in fact the entire country, was somehow more wholesome, safer, and just better all around in the good ole days, this book is an eye opener. Especially when it comes to scandals in Hollywood, there’s nothing new under those bright lights.

Author

Author Bio: William J. Mann

Author Bio: William J. Mann

William J. Mann is the bestselling author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn; How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood; Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; and Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines. He divides his time between New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 15.92
Audience: Adult
Language: English