Monday, September 7, 2009
Choosing a good star biography
I love to read biographies on actors and actresses from the golden age of film. You can transport yourself into the 30's or 40's and live in Hollywood for a few moments. You can also go behind the scenes of old Hollywood, and see how everything worked, and how the actors lived. Yes, I really love biographies!
Although, it can be very difficult to find a good star biography. There are many books out there about classic movie stars. Most of the good ones sadly are out of print, but they are still available through the library or used book stores. In this day and age you can find almost anything online, such as on ebay or amazon. But how do you know whether the biography you want to read is a credible one or not?
A couple of years ago a bought two biographies. One was one the life of Joan Crawford, and the other about Rudolph Valentino. I thought that these would be so much fun to read, but I was soon very disappointed. These books were written my an author named David Brett. While I was reading the Joan Crawford biography I wondered if what he was writing was the truth or did he just make up the story as he went. After I finished this book I started the Rudolph Valentino biography. I didn't even get half was through this book and I had to stop. It was full of so much garbage that I know was not a part of Valentino's life. I was so disappointed that I bought these awful books. Later on I was online reading about David Brett and I found out that he his definitely not a credible author. He gets most of his information from other books known to be trash. Sadly, he has written many biographies. His most recent is a book on Jean Harlow. From what I hear, this book has many mistakes. So I will let you know now, do not ever buy a biography by David Brett!
The best way to find a credible author of biographies is to research the author. Amazon is a great place to read a lot of feedback from people who have already read the books. If you find a book you'd like to read, first go there and read the reviews. You should quickly find out whether it is a good book or not. Most of the people leaving the reviews on these biographies are true classic movie fans, that know what their talking about.
I am currently reading "Not the Girl Next Door". A biography on Joan Crawford written by Charlotte Chandler. This book has been wonderfully reviewed by many people, including a book of the month spot at Turner Classics. After this I will read a Mae West biography written by the same author.
Don't stop reading the movie star biographies! Just be careful about who the author is. There are many wonderful authors out there who want to do these actors justice.