DETOUR: A Hollywood Story by Cheryl with Cliff Jahr Crane

DETOUR: A Hollywood Story

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirty years later, Cheryl Crane, the daughter of Lana Turner, tells the story of the night she fatally stabbed her mother's lover in Lana's bedroom. Before her recovery from alcohol and pills and her new, celibate life as a bornagain Christian in her 60s, Lana had seven husbands. All of her marriages were complicated by her tremendous career drive, innumerable side affairs, and vodka. Cheryl is the daughter of husband #2, Stephen Crane, for whom she retained a great love until his death by alcohol. Crane himself was a great careerist whom Cheryl describes as a vast boor during his years with Lena, but who came into his own during his later years as a millionaire restauranteur. Meanwhile, Cheryl was raised by a series of drinking ""uncles,"" the worst of whom was filmland-Tarzan Lex Barker. Barker began raping her when she was ten and continued to do so for the next three years, sometimes while unwitting Lana was nearby reading a magzine. This brutality ended when Cheryl complained to her grandmother, who told Lana, who told Lex to clear out of house in 20 minutes. Then, at 14, Cheryl found Lana often in terror of her new lover, Johnny Stompanato, an ex-mobster who threatened to cut her face. During one bedroom fracas, when Cheryl was sure Johnny's upraised arm was coming down on Lana, she ran him through with a kitchen knife. What followed was Juvenile Hall, a delinquent youth, and eventually, stability when her father hired her as a hostess and she became a knowledgeable restauranteur. She also hid the fateful stabbing from conscious memory until her adult lesbian love match with a woman named Josh, which has now lasted 18 years. Lana, until her conversion, is seen as an egocentric monster, though the story ends all hearts and flowers. Much of the book is in the voice of research, with Cheryl's own tones breaking through only occasionally. Even so, it's well done and a real grabber.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1988
Publisher: Arbor House/Morrow