Another Good Story Ruined: Karina Longworth’s ‘Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood’

Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood

Here’s a “fun” challenge. How many mistakes can you spot on the first page of “Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood?”

 


A friend who has written many distinguished books on Hollywood emailed me over the weekend about Sheila O’Malley’s review in the Los Angeles Times of Karina Longworth’s “Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood.”

Years ago, to keep my head from exploding, I opted out of what The Times passes off as book coverage, but prodded by my friend, I took a look. I was not impressed with O’Malley’s review, but I’ll let you make up your own mind about her take on the book.

Longworth’s biography is a different matter, however, because we are big fans of accuracy and original research at the Daily Mirror HQ. I was curious as to whether she would pick up the totally concocted story about Howard Hughes and David Bacon put forth in Darwin Porter’s wretched book on Hughes, “Howard Hughes: Hell’s Angel.”

But Longworth lost me on the first page with one glaring, elementary blunder. Anybody who makes such rudimentary mistakes simply isn’t worth reading. It is a shame when neither an author writing about Hollywood — nor the editor — know anything about Los Angeles history.

 

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Another Good Story Ruined: Karina Longworth’s ‘Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood’

  1. Lawrence W Platt says:

    My parents were jocks and avid tennis players. In the 1940s, we lived in Parklabrea, which had no tennis courts. So my parents would sneak in to the Ambassador and use their courts. “Watch your little brother,” my mom would say. I was bored stiff and was never mollified with a cherry Coke later in the coffee shop.

    So, OK, what’s the big glaring error on the first page?

    Like

  2. rrrandi says:

    Say it isn’t so! I love Longworth and I love you. What’s a girl to do?

    Like

  3. Mary Mallory says:

    There was no Hollywood Sign in 1921, the Hollywoodland Sign was created in 1923. The Ambassador was not Spanish architecture, there was no unobstructed view of the ocean for 15 miles from the hotel, and the palm trees were not recycled from a Valentino movie.

    Like

  4. Jeanne Marie Spicuzza says:

    That Los Angeles was a desert prior to the aqueduct isn’t true.

    Like

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