FATE KEEPS ON HAPPENlNG: Adventures of Lorelei Lee and Other Writings by Anita Loos

FATE KEEPS ON HAPPENlNG: Adventures of Lorelei Lee and Other Writings

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forty short pieces by the late, great Loos--most of them from magazines of the 1950s, a few of them never-before-published. (""Among Miss Loos' papers were found manuscripts in various stages, some in rough draft, others in finished form."") The first section offers some monologues in the charmingly illiterate voice of Lorelei Lee--on ""the World Economy of 1950"" (bootleg gin is ""no longer an Economic Necessity""), on hairdressers, Marxism, and Dr. Kinsey. (""All I can say is that you have manadged to encounter 5,940 Femails who will never get anywheres."") But the rest of the collection is Loos herself talking--about Hollywood and bygone stars, about love and sex, and (rather tetchily) about changing times. There are disappointingly bland sketches of Audrey Hepburn, Colette, Noel Coward, Lillian Gish, and Louise Brooks. Somewhat saucier are memories of: sweet yet funny Helen Hayes, who ""lacked my sour viewpoint,"" accepting ""such phony intellectuals as Alec Woollcott at their own valuation""; Carole Lombard, Marilyn Monroe, Tallulah; and that ""born siren"" Paulette Goddard--whose conquests included George Gershwin. (Loos gives a grossly inaccurate summary of Gershwin's fatal illness in this posthumous piece--for which editor Orsini must take the blame.) And elsewhere Loos nostalgically recalls the Twenties, sneers at Freud, pooh-poohs the brouhaha about drugs-in-Hollywood (""what else is new?""), sighs over ""this youthful preference for the unsightly"" (Barbra Streisand, Willem de Kooning, Philip Roth) . . . and mourns the increasing unmanliness of men, the grimness of Women's Lib. (""The two leaders who are pretty are rapidly losing their looks."") Virtually all of Loos' best anecdotes have already appeared in book-form--A Girl Like I, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye--but old fans will enjoy this dated, uneven, yet often-sprightly collection.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1984
Publisher: Dodd, Mead