Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. MannTinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann

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

byWilliam J. Mann

Paperback | October 6, 2015

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New York Times Bestseller

Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime

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 tale 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 ascendency 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 unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that 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, 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.

William J. Mann is the author ofKate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn;How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood;Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; andWisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, which won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award. He divides his time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.
Title:Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of HollywoodFormat:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.84 inPublished:October 6, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062242199

ISBN - 13:9780062242198

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Old Hollywood Makes Modern Hollywood Look Pretty Tame Strap in kids, it's going to be a bumpy ride! If you thought modern Hollywood was scandalous, sinful, decadent and self-indulgent, boy do I have news for you. Welcome to Tinseltown, circa early 1920's (and later)- those who held power, held it tightly. Those who wanted power, sought it- sometimes violently and those stuck in the middle, just wanted to make it. Wanna talk ego tripping. murder and backstabbing, look no further. Unsolved murder- check! Hidden sexuality- check! Early feminist- check! Greedy, power hungry studio boss- check! Even more greedy, power hungry film exhibitioner (movie theatre)- check! Take the time to read this wonderful tome, you won't be disappointed. We glamorize the good old days, without understanding, romanticize and gloss over some pretty terrible things- all to uphold the Hollywood glamour- that churns out movie stars and turns people out.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing historical whodunit I felt like I was a bee in the bonnet of a twenties Hollywood starlet, gobbling up all the juicy tidbits in the Hearst papers. The final moment where the author ties it all together had my heart pounding. There are clews throughout but that moment at the end was a master stroke.
Date published: 2015-04-01

Editorial Reviews

“Mann spins this yarn with all the suspense and intrigue of a Dashiell Hammett novel. From beginning to end, the engrossing true tale will keep you guessing.”