Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Jackie Collins - Hollywood Husbands

I grabbed this book from the second hand book store. Its been a long time since I indulged in a bit of lit-trash. I have read a couple of her books earlier, Lucky and Hollywood Wives.

Jackie has this trademark style. She introduces several strands of stories at the outset, linking the characters in some way. For instance, in this book, there are three friends who struggled together once upon a time in Hollywood. Jack Python is rich and successful as TV talk show host. He is handsome and scores easily with women. He is dating Clarissa, a noted film actress and is thinking of settling down with her. Howard Solomon is a studio CEO and starlets love to dance at his whims. He is married to Poppy but wishes to play the field. Mannon Cable is a filmstar married to beautiful girl, but still years for his ex-wife Whitney Valentine. Jack Python has an older sister called Silver who has just bounced back from a total washout stage to being the top star on a TV show. She is single and despite being in the late forties, can pick and choose. She has a daughter called Heaven and they do not get along. Heaven is living with her grandfather. Her uncle Jack looks after her well. On the other hand, a famous model Jade has just moved to LA from New York. Wes Money is a bartender and drug runner, he is a survivor and a real man. All these fates are intertwined.

Oh.. there is a side plot of a psychotic killer on the loose. The novel gives us tantalising glimpses of her background and the people she has done away with, making them look like accidents. The reader is kept guessing about her identity. All we know is someone is gonna pay....

In typical Jackie style, we get a quick character sketch of all couples in the first couple of chapters, we get to know their agli pichli. What the chars have been doing and where they are headed. Then the story starts, things happen to this of that person, the story moves ahead. Some chars get together and make violent love. Some chars fall into a flashback, some cheat, some break up, some meet and fall in love and all that jazz.

Jackie Collins tries to be brash and brave and shocking. Errr maybe at one time she was. Now she aint. Despite her characters trying hard to be bad, they wind up being good. Even a drug sniffling, ass-licking, wife cheating b**tard like Howard whimpers tamely by the time the book is to end. Silver falls in love ... jeez ! Wes Money turns straight (in his dealings - his orientation is straight right from the start). All the husbands turn seedha sada at the end.

What Jackie is, is a good read. Her books are racy, fluffy, frothy. Good for airports. I hardly ever fly, but there are times when I feel I am waiting at an airport. When I am home, I am just whiling time till I am back to the kitchen for dinner, or off to sleep, or doing some other chore. Jackie is a perfect read for the waiting period.

She likes to draw a strong character that reminds you of someone in the entertainment business. So Silver is drop dead glamourous and talented and a diva like - say - Marilyn Monroe. Clarissa is a serious actor in the mold of Susan Sarandon or Meryl Streep. Mannon Cable is like Clark Gable (hey it rhymes even ! ). So while aam readers like us dont know these people intimately, we know through gossip rags the kind of things they do. So whatever Jackie tells us about them seems believeable.

Racy Fun and Glamourous. Thats what the book is !


Smita said...

If I remember correctly I have read this!!! But as u yourself say "Her books are racy, fluffy, frothy. Good for airports.' and equally easily forgettable!!!

But somehow I never really liked her writing may be because of too much sex & drugs and all. But yes sometimes such racy reads do brighten up our mood!!!

Cool review :)

couchpapaya said...

oh yes, i *think* i've read this or hollywood wives, certainly the books all run into one another. ur so right, though i remember smuggling these books and reading guiltily now i wonder what the whole deal was :) as for the characters, reading abt supposed/real lives of filmi types is always fun. shobha de has some bollywood book (bwood nights?? dont remember) which had the same feeling as collins.

avdi said...


She has this jerky style. Sometimes she contradicts herself. On one page a guy is nasty, a few pages down he is mellow.

But anyhow, good trash

avdi said...

Papy, it happens to me all the time. I have read Lucky, but dont remember the story for the life of me. I remember Hollywood Wives, but I think I kind confuse it sometimes with First Wives Club.

I dont think Shoba De comes near her.

Vee said...

Never read her though have couple stocked in my boxes (jus bought long agoas she is famous)

Shobhaa De's mention? whats the catch? She writes (almost) like her?

avdi said...

Koi shobha de ke book batao jisme usne koi dhamaka kiya ho.. I read one, and found it inspid. boring even.

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