Egomaniacs in fast cars, Armani-clad spoiled rich kids, their movie mogul parents, ``lavishly appointed'' Tinseltown homes, and always-sensational sex—it's Collins romping on her well-trodden but ever-fertile ground. Jordanna Levitt and her pals—precocious, underachieving children of the movie industry's most important and dysfunctional families—are known as ``The Hollywood Five.'' Jordanna is a slut without ambition, Marjorie Sanderson is suicidal, Shep Worth is in the closet, Grant Lennon and Cheryl Landers operate a call girl operation. When she's bounced from the mansion of her producer dad and his pregnant, younger-than-she-is new wife, Jordanna takes a job as the assistant (and later costar) of ``incredibly good- looking'' movie star/director Bobby Rush, the child of a brilliant but cruel famous actor. Their devastating physical attractions and broken homes make the two kindred spirits, but Jordanna's got a problem that even a top Bel Air psychotherapist couldn't solve: She's being hunted by a madman against whom she testified at his trial for murder. Luckily for her, handsome Brooklyn cop Michael Scorsinni has just relocated to L.A. He and a top-notch celebrity reporter for Style Wars, the gorgeous and down-to-earth Kennedy Chase, team up to stop the crime (as well as grapple with their own lives' melodramas) and in so doing, fall in love. All this races in front of a backdrop of superlatives: the hottest clubs, the harshest drugs, the seamiest sex, the meanest mafia, and the prettiest posers. The Hollywood Kids are palimpsests upon which are listed the traumas of the trust fund; Michael and Kennedy are cut from the ``beautiful but damaged'' cloth; supporting characters (the black cop buddy, the lusty Latina newscaster) are straight from Central Casting. Plot, though suspenseful, offers few surprises. Still, it's a Porscheload of fun. It's logical: Hollywood Wives and Hollywood Husbands breed Less Than 9 Zero 210 offspring. (First printing of 500,000; Literary Guild main selection; author tour)

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Pub Date: Sept. 19, 1994

ISBN: 0-671-66627-4

Page Count: 624

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1994

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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