Consider this a warning. Don’t read Hollywood Stories, a practically bottomless well of rich anecdotes collected by Stephen Schochet, if alone.
You will come upon a funny bit about two comedians such as the anecdote where George Burns is playing golf with Harpo Marx that is so good you will want to share it. No, I won’t tell you what happens .
Then, you will find yourself saying “I didn’t know that” when you read how a now famous actor got his start. And you will want to tell someone.
Luckily, I started reading the book evenings after other writing assignments were done.
The fortuitous timing meant that my husband who enjoys old movies and an occasional current flick, was nearby so I was able to say, “Listen to this” or “Did you know…?”
When I read during lunch and breaks. I had to find out what tidbits Schochet had found on Star Trek, Walt Disney and Disney characters and John Wayne plus stories about where stars lived and played.
However, no one was around to hear my latest find -make that Schochet’s find.
The author, a Hollywood tour guide, has been collecting stories for about 20 years. He tells many of them to his tour customers and on his syndicated Hollywood Stories radio feature.
Arguably, the next best thing to hearing him tell the stories is to read them. They are a welcome time off from work and hard news.
After finishing the book’s nearly 300 pages, each containing about three verbal snapshots of movie icons, I started making a holiday gift list of people who might appreciate the book. They should find it a fun read unless they would rather not explain to strangers why they are laughing aloud or saying, “oh!”
The caveat on Hollywood Stories is to not look for chapters on stars either alphabetically or by decade. An Index does list people, shows and places alphabetically but the chapters are divided into such segments as “Great Hollywood Comedians” and “Television Tales.”
Yes, the book has Hollywood in the title but the TV stories here seemed to fit well because the stars often lived in California or interacted with movie people.
Readers who want more info on a particular star need only look in the Bibliography. Schochet lists his sources.
To see how the author looks and sounds go to a TV interview available on UTube.
For more information visit Hollywoodstories