The son of a motion picture founding father, Lasky has a superior vantage point from which to survey forty years in the industry -- spanning the scene from the time he made his only screen appearance as a camel boy extra on the set of The Thief of Baghdad to his days as a meager story reader ""chewing the cud of mental monotony"" to screenwriting stints under the aegis of Cecil B. De Mille. The dream factory was still a colony when Lasky Senior was making The Covered Wagon and Wings while his son was schooled with ""children of film pioneers"" like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joel McCrea. Later as a young story department reader -- who dated Jean Harlow during one of her rifts with William Powell -- Lasky records the coming of age of a Frankensteinian star system which ultimately destroys its master (""Hollywoodites rode to the guillotine in platinum tumbrels""). An integral part of this book concerns the author's numerous tours of duty in the De Mille stable -- Jeanie MacPherson was then C.B.'s ""aging handmaiden"" and Lasky pere himself struggling to forgive but not forget ""the Boss'"" insults in the period between Union Pacific and The Ten Commandments. Assuredly, the son has the bead on the mystique -- his is an understanding, nostalgic, fond farewell.